By Anonymous (not verified) on December 25, 2010

And no, I’m not falling into that trap. You go out and dance to the beat of whichever winter festival you want to celebrate. Christmas. Hanukah, Kwanza, Saturnalia, Solstice, noon Tuesday, 420, a December date equal to the square root of the number 625. Whatever. And good on ya. As we say in politically correct San Francisco, “May the corpulent bearded one in the scarlet suit smile upon your chosen shrubbery.” Now, inevitably some people are going to find their stockings aren’t quite stuffed with the egregious booty they were expecting or most importantly, believe they deserve. So I’m here to help the under- gifted achieve a certain amount of cathartic closure. As the great philosopher Rodney King once almost said: “can’t we all wear a thong?” So, to insure that certain traditions don’t get washed right out into the ocean like a picnic table on a Malibu hillside, let me offer up my annual scathingly incisive yet curiously refreshing:

WILL DUR$T’$ 2010 XMA$ WI$H LI$T.

For Mel Gibson: A muzzle. Permanent. Steel. Welded with titanium rivets.

For the Economists who insist the recession ended in June of 09. An opportunity to collect 99 weeks of unemployment insurance.

For Charlie Sheen. A date with Lindsay Lohan. Matching ankle bracelets at Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab.

For WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange: A slip of paper naming whoever leaked details of his sexual assault charges tucked into a dictionary in the fold of the page with the “irony” entry.

For Betty White. 30 more years.

For Ireland. Far fewer reasons to drown their troubles.

For Juan Williams. A prayer rug for his Fox News cubicle.

For the American public. A case of antacid to get through the next two years watching the heartless pummel the spineless cheered on by the clueless.
For Conan O’Brien. Half the on- air excitement he inspired off- air.

For Barack Obama. An electron telescope to focus on jobs. American jobs. Democratic jobs. Obama Administration jobs. His job.

For Mrs. Clarence Thomas. A six pack of Coke.

For Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. A used set of Spanish language cassette tapes.

For the cast of Jersey Shore. Watches that only measure increments of 15 minutes.

For the Texas Board of Education. A railroad car stuffed full of historical blinders.

For Bill Clinton. A Presidential appointment to the position of Secretary of Secretaries.

For Toyota. A new corporate motto. Because after 4 recalls involving acceleration problems, “Moving Forward” might be a bit too apropos.

For Katy Perry. A bigger bra.

For the Tea Party. Kissable wallets. Because it's time to put their money where their mouth is.

For Willie Nelson. A THC patch.

For the TSA. Extensive training to perfect the impromptu prostate exam.

For John Boehner. A deal with Fruit of the Loom to market a line of “Mister Speaker” monogrammed handkerchiefs. And hand towels.

For former BP CEO, Tony Hayward. Now that he has his life back, a reason to live it.

For Medical Science to Study. Dick Cheney’s heart, Joe Biden’s mouth and Rod Blagojevich’s brain.

For New Gingrich, Mitt Romney and the rest of the Republican field taking sidelong glances at 2012. Something on Sarah.

San Francisco based political comic, Will Durst, writes sometimes, this being a conventional example.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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