Sunday, December 26, 2010

2011: Here's the Year in Preview

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Well, friends, another Christmas Day has come and gone. Meanwhile, serious professional journalists are hard at work on their columns looking back at the year just past, typing furiously to come up with the usual "Year in Review" piece. Not this columnist. I'm always looking ahead, because I'm a forward-thinking kind of guy. So once again, we bring you the high points of the year 2011, or, as we like to call it, the year in PREview.

January: The Republicans formally take control of the U.S. House of Representatives. California Republican Congressman Darrell Issa immediately springs into action, announcing that his House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will begin investigations into the alleged cost of President Obama's trips overseas (which the media dubs "Trip-Gate"), allegedly slipshod training of the Obama's dog ("Bo-gate"), alleged incidents of texting while driving among White House staff ("OMG-Gate"), and alleged use of foreign-made fertilizers in the White House vegetable garden ("Manure-Gate"). "We're gonna get those Obamas for something," Issa proclaims confidently as he signs a subpoena to compel the testimony of "Dog Whisperer" Cesar Milan for the "Bo-Gate" hearings. "Just you wait."

February: Fox News host Glenn Beck is apprehended at the National Cathedral, attempting to break into the tomb of former President Woodrow Wilson.

When questioned by police, Beck explains that he was going to show that the tomb is empty, because his "exhaustive historical research" has determined that Wilson was not only the founder of the Progressive movement that Beck despises, but he is also an immortal shape-shifting vampire who rose from the grave and disguised himself first as Adolf Hitler, then Barack Obama.

"Don't you understand!?" Beck shrieks as he's dragged off to a mental institution. "Income tax! Eugenics! Pearl Harbor! Health care! It's all connected! Let me get my chalkboard and I'll show you! Aaaaaaaahhhh!" Fox News immediately extends Beck's contract and gives him a $3 million raise.

March: Panic ensues when a lone terrorist tries and fails to bring down an Athens-to-New York flight by banging his head very hard against the plane window in hopes of breaking it and depressurizing the cabin. Despite the failure of the attempt, the Transportation Safety Administration institutes security measures that require passengers' heads to be secured firmly to their seats by leather straps, with Hannibal-Lecter-style masks over their faces for the entire flight.

"We understand that passengers may be inconvenienced by being treated like insane serial killers because some delusional lunatic failed to pull off a cockamamie stunt that had no chance of succeeding," says TSA head John Pistole. "But don't you want us to keep you safe? Huh? Don't you? Answer me when I'm talking to you!"

April: Country-pop star Taylor Swift, long known for her autobiographical lyrics, releases what she calls her "most personal album yet."

The record, called "Yeah, I'm Talking About You, Jerkhole," contains songs describing former boyfriends, music critics, a high school teacher who once made a sarcastic remark to her, and the dry-cleaner who ruined her favorite silk blouse. The first single, titled "Bite Me, Kanye West," becomes Billboard's No. 1 hit for 17 consecutive weeks.

May: Failed vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin inks a multimillion-dollar deal to star in a second season of TLC's "Sarah Palin's Alaska." At the same time, daughter Willow announces that she intends to follow older sister Bristol on "Dancing With the Stars," ABC announces that Bristol herself will be appearing on "Celebrity Apprentice," husband Todd signs on to do a five-episode guest spot on "Deadliest Catch," and Fox schedules a three-hour special on son Track's military career.

Palin then takes to her Facebook page to ask why the "lamestream media" won't respect her family's privacy.

June: Frustrated by continued lackluster performances on the golf course and correspondingly lackluster endorsement deals, Tiger Woods' management company, IMG Sports Management, takes out a full-page ad in Sports Illustrated pleading with Woods to start sleeping around again.

"We know it might seem crass," the ad reads. "But you can't deny it. You're a better player when ... well, when you're a player. Come on, man, we've got beach houses in the Hamptons to pay for here."

To be continued ...