As this should have worked

For those of you who are joining us, the end of the year has passed Europe and Africa. It is now moving onto the eastern Atlantic at a rate of some 15 degrees per hour, which it has maintained ever since the first sightings in the Pacific. At this speed, no trace of 2009 will remain on this Earth in twelve hours' time. Please remain calm. Stay in our homes. Despite any rumors you may have heard, there's yet no evidence that this event is destructive. Panic is the worst thing you can do to prepare yourself and your loved ones for whatever may come. This station will continue to bring you the latest news for as long as we can.

In a press conference earlier today, a DOD spokesman stated that the United States would take, quote, "any steps necessary" to "defend the sanctity of its soil and people." Details are scarce, but reliable sources tell us that the aircraft carriers USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Carl Vinson have left their homeports on the East Coast. More on this as it develops.

Joining us now is our special correspondent Joyce Green from Hawaii. Joyce.

Hello, Harry. Behind me is being held what may be the most important conference in history. Delegates and scientists are being flown in from all over the world, many of them from countries no longer with us in 2009. All of them here to answer a simple question: Why would something so huge, so powerful, follow human time zones? How does it relate to us, and how do we use that?

And what can you tell us about their findings?

They're not letting reporters in, but with all the traffic going on it doesn't really matter. I wish I could say things have gone well. For the longest time the whole conference was stalled by accusations about some kind of superweapon test. They're just getting to the real issue: Time zones. Are they, somehow, malfunctioning? Are they holding the event back or causing it to happen? Apparently, Harry, they're planning on tests: making declarations that move small parts of a time zone east or west. Of course nobody wants to do that on their own territory. There's talk of putting the zones out of order, switching what are known as UTC-3 and UTC-2. Some say that this would short out or break the effect, the threshold, others call it too dangerous. But I have to say... there's a fear in the air that if all this is really man-made, our decisions may have lost the power to affect it when China and India left us.

Of course we're all praying for success. Back to you.

Thank you, Joyce.

I just want to add that if Donny and Bobby are watching, I love you both, and if Mommy can't --

Yes, yes, thank you. Here in the studio, we've received word from NASA that it cannot execute a space launch in the time remaining. It is now confirmed that human beings cannot be sent beyond the reach of the time zones. This puts an end to the second of two popular escape plans: early drilling attempts were discredited by geologists, citing experience from the Cold War. The message went on to apologise for placing the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and -- one moment, please.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have just been informed that the University of Pennsylvania has received a transmission from a research team beyond the threshold. We'll see if we can get it to play.

--sistant Hodgkins. We were actually in Edinburgh for a marine biology expedition, but when we got the news we headed to the countryside to establish an, erm, emergency observation post.

The threshold has passed us, I repeat, it has passed us. We're still alive, as far as we know, right way round, three-dimensional...

We didn't feel its passing, but there was an effect. Bursts of multicolored light throughout the visible spectrum, concentrated above cities, towns, population centers of all kinds. They built up through the evening and peaked on the critical moment. Jake here is convinced they focus on intelligent life, but even he says we don't know yet.

All our stuff works. We, uh, didn't all have oxygen masks - the atmosphere is breathable. In fact the air is crisp and clear, and somehow there's this sense of expectance, it's difficult to describe. We're naturally trying to test for trace contaminants. Gravity's still 32.2, all the chemical reactions we've done have worked. I wish we had proper instruments for this. One thing we're not sure about is the spatial relationship to 2009. We can't find a way back. We've done the numbers, they just aren't making sense.


The architechture here looks similar to 2009. Of course, we're only just past the threshold. I expect this will change as we move in deeper. We haven't tried our water and food yet, but can continue -- wait. Hold on, what's that thing? Hey! AAH--

With a too-wide grin at Dimview

Notes from the Surf

Incremental Googling.

UBS whistleblower asks why he is going to prison
Birkenfeld's former boss, a Swiss citizen and an alleged mastermind of the conspiracy, was... held for four months on a material witness warrant before he was quietly allowed to leave the country... "And I am the only one going to prison. Out of 19,000 accounts and no Swiss bankers," Birkenfeld responds.

The top 10 stories not brought to you by mainstream news media in 2009
"Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored for 13 years, says he's finished with reform. It's impossible, he said in a recent interview, to try to get major news media outlets to deliver relevant news stories that serve to strengthen democracy."

1% of population controls six times combined financial wealth of 80% of people
"The bottom 90 percent have been saddled with 73 percent of all debt... Debt is slavery for many... Bondholders have been protected at all costs during this crisis.  Goldman Sachs through AIG received 100 cents on the dollar for their horrible bets.  The banks have unlimited back stops thanks to taxpayers.  This is how the top 1 percent rule the new feudal state."

Political Myths We Live By
"If ‘democracy' means ‘rule by the people', it isn't. It is an oligarchic system of elected political elites tightly enmeshed with the unelected economic elites in industry, state bureaucracy and the media. These, often discordant, elites together make up the ruling class."

Argentine 'Dirty War' defendants on trial
Among the defendants on trial now are some of the dictatorship's most notorious figures, including former Gen. Jorge Rafael Videla, who led the junta that governed after a 1976 coup, and Argentina's last dictator, Reynaldo Bignone. There is also Alfredo Astiz, nicknamed "Blond Angel of Death." More trials are due next year for those charged with involvement in “Operation Condor,” in which dictatorships across much of South America cooperated in hunting down and killing leftists.

Honduras: The Coup That Never Happened
"state henchmen shot Alejandro Villatoro, the owner of Radio Globo – one of the few media outlets brave enough to speak out against the coup... Radio Globo had by that point resorted almost exclusively to broadcasting online from secret locations... Some, like Canal 36, have shut down altogether after having equipment destroyed, signals interrupted, offices ransacked and editors assassinated."

Speech by War Veteran
"I feel guilty any time I see a mother with her children, like the one who cried hysterically, and screamed that we were worse than Saddam as we forced her from her home... Millions in this country without health care, jobs, or access to education must watch this government squander over $450 million a day on this occupation... I threw families on to the street in Iraq only to come home and find families thrown on to the street in this country."

Cleveland’s Worker-Owned Boom
"Instead of luring outside corporations with promises of tax breaks and lax standards for labor and environmental practices, the Evergreen strategy develops home-grown worker-owned enterprises... The Fund is modeled in part on Spain’s Caja Laboral bank, with initial funding from foundations. But as they grow, the Evergreen co-ops will be an increasingly important source of funding for other co-ops"

Worker Cooperative Productivity
"participation is most conducive to enhancing productivity when combined with... the conditions that will prevail under Economic Democracy... most find worker self-managed firms more productive than similarly situated capitalist firms."

So, it is the future. I know that the changing of a date is nominal, yet it is still important for me. I spend a lot of time thinking about my country, both researching it and investigating it, and I have noticed a few things that point from Pony, Montana, to the 1912 US Presidential Election right up to the present, and these things stay on my mind because I find them very relevant to my life. Some of these ideas I have researched enough that I can support, others are notions. Here is some of my notions:

The US Press is still, as it ever was, fond of narratives and not always willing to look at the entire picture, especially in day to day reporting. The more I study America, quantitatively and qualitatively, the more I find its hard to sum up major trends, let alone exceptions and countercurrents. When Barack Obama was running for president, there was many charges that the press was overly friendly to him. I think these charges were true, but I don't think it was due to politics as much as it was due to the fact that Obama had a good narrative: a relatively young man, the first African-American, running for president! There was no way to shape that narrative towards failure. Of course, no American president ever manages to really impress more than 60% of the electorate, and Obama was no exception. There were pockets of anger and hatred towards him all along. Then, in 2009, with Obama actually in office, the press needed a new narrative, and suddenly discovered that there were lots of people: predominantly white and rural, that were never too fond of him to begin with. Suddenly the narrative switches to the idea of some great populist backlash against Obama. And again, this wasn't because the press either had it in for Obama, or there was actually any more discontent against him than there is for any president. It is because the press needed a narrative, and the future, as a narrative, had grown old. The past, represented by all those people in middling-rural and suburban area who knew about American history from the cowboy movies of the 50s, was the story of the year.

The problem with the past as a story is it gets old quicker than the future as a story. After a year of the narrative being focused on people's reaction against the urbanization and change of America, there isn't much to be said for it. Most likely, the press will find a new narrative, probably equally unbalanced, with some haste.

Reasons I Get Grumpy About New Year

  1. Mid-winter is a bloody stupid time for a new year celebration. This isn't a time of new beginnings, it's a time of huddling around snuffling, wishing it wasn't so bloody cold, and cheering yourself up with the odd bit of carousing.
  2. It's all the more stupid when you consider that by and large we adopted the Roman names for months, even though they obviously count from March* - around the time of the Spring Equinox, a very sensible time to celebrate the coming of the new. So our year ends after the twelfth month, 'Month Ten'.
  3. The date was originally fixed to coincide with the Winter Solstice, as was Christmas*, but because humans hadn't got the hang of calendars yet, they ended up getting spread out. So we have three celebrations over the course of about a week and a half, if you bother celebrating the actual solstice.
  4. I've been around too many people on coke at New Year. It's been a while now, but all that time crammed in tight spaces with folks under the influence of Magical Dickhead Powder still colours my perception of the whole thing. Not that people thoroughly pissed up on champagne are all that much better.
  5. I've got the flu.
  6. Moan moan moan.

Happy New Year everybody!!!

*at least I think that's how this worked out. Don't expect me to check my facts when I've got a temperature of 101.

Even more reasons why I get grumpy round the new year?

I go to bed at a reasonable hour. Mostly. This means that the fireworks tend to wake me up. Especially when my moronic neighbors set them off at 20:45, not 0:00. some people's kids....

I also don't see it as a time of new beginnings. I see it simply as another day. That's been the case with most of the holidays. I haven't gotten anything for Christmas this year, and it bites. Really, it bites hard. I didn't want a shower of gifts, but something nice from a friend or two would be nice.
hang on, did someone send me something? Yes, a friend of mine send me an X-rated gift in the mail. Good thing I didn't open it in front of anyone. But still, I mean, Damn, just damn. I hate depression. I really, really do.

Oh well, I start school again next week. Maybe that will help.

So, I guess this is it; another year passes and leaves all of us. As I prepare to say Goodbye, I softly recall everything that's happened.

With all good, or bad, this has been a necessary step towards the final touches needed.
I bend to tie the shoelaces (no, I am not wearing a dress, because it's a hybrid between a New Year's Eve party and a high-school gathering). Then I smile because fragments of memories wander through my circuits.
I wonder how will everybody be? Will everyone come? I guess by "everyone" I actually mean B..
I'm afraid he will.
I am quite afraid. Why?
I dunno. Maybe because it's been too long since I've seen him. Maybe because it's been quite painful the whole break-up and his pseudo-attempt to re-conciliate with me.
Or, because it was like in those perfect movies: the most popular couple in high-school that everybody thought they'll end up a picture-perfect family printed on the cereal-box? But given to certain circumstances we split up. Now, everyone back home knows our history, and every girl he's met has clashed against my virtual projection next to him...Which is bad for both of them.
But it's been all buried there under a pile of memories, and I just happened to stumble upon these. I tend to "block" undesired thoughts about things that hurt me. I don't know how I can do this, but I can actually "forget" painful things which really did happen.
Sometimes it takes years to remember a "firewall-ed" thought.But when the trigger comes, the whole dam with bad memories spills on my face.

I was almost ready at eight p.m.; I needed only to let my hair loose (being very long, it's difficult wearing it freely around the house, so I tie it in a bun.) and add a little mascara on my eyelashes.
I was betting on the "naturally-beautiful" look tonight, as I know for a fact that all the female-company will go over-the-top in achieving a Barbie-look. I also know that male-company like diversity, ergo, everyone will glimpse at the "effortless-cute" girl that just walked by...
It's all like a game of chess: if you can't anticipate, you won't be able to prepare your defense. I'm not the kind of girl who craves attention; more like the kind who demands it , just by presence: a mix of mystery, respect and deadliness floods the room.

I guess I will always be a threat to whoever will be his next girlfriend/wife. Because, 'round here, the world is a really, really small place. It's like those nasty ghosts that haunt every girl:
the X-girlfriend (thunder&lighting bolts): everything you'll do, she already did it. AND BETTER!

Except that's all in their heads: I am me, this is not a fight for the Queen Bee title and if he hasn't been able to find a new girlfriend, it's not necessarily my fault.

I did not expect the moon and the stars from our party, but I wasn't grumpy for being there, either.
At around half past eight, B. came by my place to pick me up, so we arrived together, giving birth to some question marks above people's heads.Most of the night was spent chatting with former class-,school- and high-school mates.
Laughing, laughing, and laughing some more. Champagne bubbles at midnight, camera flashes and glitter.
It was a blast! I enjoyed every moment of it! B. and I were the last to leave. When we stepped outside, the sun was just about to rise, through the thin, foggy air of a new year's birth.

We had also only 2 cigarettes left.

- Oh, crap! We don't have any smokes left..
With a sad note in my voice, I told him we couldn't find any at that time & date.
- Don't worry, we'll make detour while we walk home, but you'll have to clench your teeth because it's very cold...
He said with a little smile.
- I'll try not to "quick-freeze", I answered giggling.

And our foot-steps uncovered their well-known traces, since back when we used to do the same, as the parties we had attended, reached their end.
The same streets, the same houses and us two-not quite the same.
I don't remember when, or through which circumstances, my right hand clasped his arm. Maybe a reflex gesture. It was so cold, and I woke up with my hand in his, both of them in his pocket...
My fingers were burning now. Or, perhaps I was burning, but admitting it, was worse than a slow, painful death.
We continued our little journey through the sugary snow. We talked about things as if time had never passed between us.
It was like a magic spell was cast upon us, making us forget that five years ago we already chose our separate ways. As in The Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. Even though we almost forgot, we ended up spiraling around each other again.

We got to my house and we stayed for another 5 minutes, using a last cigarette as excuse. I exhaled my last smoke, squashed the left-over in the snow, and kissed him on his cheeks...

-Well...Goodbye! Sleep tight and see you tomorrow...I quickly whispered preparing to run away faster, because I sensed the pressure filling the dams of my eyes.
-Goodbye...I...I never thought it was going to be like this...I mean, I had a very good night! See you! Call me when you get up...He said, slowly moving away, and I was near the back door from my house.

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