With the year — and the decade — winding down, people are busier than ever. In fact, who has time to review everything that’s in and out in society, politics, fashion, the arts and life in general? Not me — I’m swamped!
So to keep things simpler in these tough times, I've narrowed down our list to five things that are in and five things that are out in each category, which I'll spotlight over the course of the week: News and Politics, Entertainment, Sports and Life in the USA. That’s a very manageable 10 each for 2010 — because manageability is in.
News and Politics
1) Sarah Palin. For better or for worse, you can’t get more in than good ol’ Sarah. Republicans love her because she’s the only member of the GOP who’s able to get a camera crew to follow her around for a reason that doesn’t involve a sex scandal, yet. Democrats love her because she reminds people who they could be stuck with if they dump Obama in 2012. And fruit vendors love her because she helps them move tomatoes.
2) Healthcare headaches. Complaining about health care was in last year; complaining about health care legislation is in this year. But never fear, because the Democrats are determined to pass something, even if they have to make it exactly identical to the healthcare system we have now.
3) Fame seeking. Used to be you’d work hard, study, excel in your given field and, if you were one of the fortunate few, eventually get on a TV reality show. But that was so 2006. Now you get on a reality show by party crashing the White House or pretending to send your kid up in an unmanned balloon. Let’s face it, life these days is just one big reality show audition — so you better start walking around with an egg on a spoon, just in case.
4) Swine flu. Yes, bird flu had its moment in the sun, but never really caught on, mainly because it was made up by the World Health Organization to justify their no-show jobs. (Er, that’s just a theory.) But swine flu, now there’s a disease people could get behind. It’s yet to reach pandemic proportions, but it’s prevalent enough to have people blaming Obama for the lack of vaccine, and pigs for existing.
5) Sexting. What did we do before we could send naked pictures of ourselves over our cellular phones? I don’t remember, but I’m sure it was much less interesting. We probably had to talk to each other. Talking is out.
1) Change you can believe in. I’m not positive, but I’m relatively sure President Obama promised that by this time we’d be living in a war-free, prosperous, bipartisan utopia, where the air we breathe would be like the mist that rises off unicorns when they bathe. Turns out change is a little tougher to come by — I know he said it wouldn’t happen overnight, but it at least needs to happen before the world is taken over by killer robots. Killer robots are in.
2) Glaciers. Watching them melt out of existence is now officially a spectator sport; when a frozen dinosaur emerges thawed from one and eats Greenland, don’t come crying to me. But never mind these crazy scientists and all their wild “studies” and “facts” — global warming is a completely natural cyclical occurrence, like margarine and Jessica Simpson’s suntan.
3) War. It’s been almost seven years since we invaded Iraq, and we’re still over there getting the Iraqis ready to police themselves, which is apparently not unlike those film shorts where somebody had to teach the Three Stooges how to be doctors. And now we’re sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, but in order to placate people who are sick of all this occupying, President Obama is having them return home immediately upon arrival. The armed forces have been instructed to slap their foreheads in unison, declare that they forgot their bayonets and get right back on the aircraft carrier.
4) The Great Depression Part II. Turns out reports that our economy was about to collapse in a mushroom cloud of derivatives and credit default swaps were somewhat exaggerated — all it took was a few hundred billion in bailouts and everything’s fine again. Just look at those great Wall Street bonuses if you don’t believe me! There’ s probably an article about them in the defunct newspaper you’re sleeping under.
5) Republicans. You’d think they’d be more popular by now, with the Democrats dithering and “Yes we can” turning into a slogan about the administration’s ability to buy beer for its summits. But the ones we want to forget won’t go away (Cheney in ’12!), and the rest of them keep cheating on their wives while telling everyone else whom they can marry. It’s not a recipe for success, which might be why Lou Dobbs is out of work. Maybe he should try selling tomatoes on the Sarah Palin book tour.
NEXT: In and Out in Entertainment