A very merry Christmas / And a happy new year / Let’s hope it’s a good one / Without any fear —John Lennon, Yoko Ono, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”
We’ll see if we still feel so new and happy and resolved when the champagne wears off, but while the new year buzz is on we want to wish all our readers (past, present, and future) good health and a little more security and prosperity, and a little less stress. But, because security, prosperity, and freedom from stress are not the hallmarks of our time, we wish you at least the strength to endure the hard parts and greater enjoyment and appreciation of the good times. We knew 2009 was not going to be easy (see our prognostications here) but did not anticipate quite how nasty it could get. It may get worse yet. In that case, we’ll need good cheer, confidence, and plenty of activism to keep us warm and in the frame of mind that can handle adversity.
As for our resolutions: We resolve to work harder and smarter to keep our readers informed about matters of infrastructure and environment—especially concerning New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Gulf Coast—and about war and peace. We’ll keep the pressure on elected officials in Louisiana and in Washington to take better care of the people and the land, to spend less on war and private contractors and more on flood protection, infrastructure, health care, education, jobs programs, and environmental protection.
We also resolve to keep the pressure on Democrats and Independents to fulfill campaign promises, and, where it seems worth the effort, we’ll do what we can to hold Republicans accountable to the people they’re paid to represent. As much as possible we seek a united America, a progressive nation. In the spirit of national unity evoked by President Obama in his West Point address in early December:
It’s easy to forget that when this war began, we were united—bound together by the fresh memory of a horrific attack, and by the determination to defend our homeland and the values we hold dear. I refuse to accept the notion that we cannot summon that unity again. [Applause.] I believe with every fiber of my being that we—as Americans—can still come together behind a common purpose.
While his overall context concerned an escalation of war with which we do not agree, we fully support the president’s assertion that “we must rebuild our strength here at home . . . . the nation that I’m most interested in building is our own.” This is the mission to which we rededicate ourselves as we enter a new year of perils and possibilities. Working on rebuilding.
But first, for tonight, another sip or two of champagne, with a sincere toast to all the workers, public and private, military and civilian, who aren’t able to take the night off.
And now, let’s celebrate with some cool New Year’s greeting card images from the New York Public Library’s digital collection.
What could be better than champagne and mushrooms?