Well, here it is, the end of yet another year. Time to look back, make new resolutions (yeah, right), and think about the things that will make 2011 go down in history. Or just sit around watching television and not really caring about it much. At least "that" holiday is finally over and perhaps people will stop driving around in their SUVs with fake reindeer antlers sticking out of the windows. I did actually see that the other day. It made me want to have a wreck.
So what were the most underrated stories of 2011? For one, has anyone seen the news stories that the Iraq war is over? Maybe not, because there haven't been very many. NINE years, billions if not trillions of dollars spent, more than 4,500 American soldiers killed, more than 100,000 Iraqi soldiers and civilians killed, a whole generation of veterans with untold problems coming home, and it still can't get the same attention as Lindsay Lohan having a cocktail while wearing a stolen necklace. The only interview I've seen about the Iraq war was with a very bitter John McCain, who was talking about how stupid it was to bring the troops home.
And then there was that other little tidbit of news about Barack Obama and his team taking out that little-known guy, Osama bin Laden. Americans lost half their civil liberties because of him. Traveling anywhere in the United States or overseas is a nightmare. Again, billions and billions of dollars have been spent trying to keep us safe from bin Laden and his minions, all we heard about for years was him being the most wanted man on the planet, and yet when Obama and crew killed him, they barely even got credit from the very politicians who couldn't stop talking about him and changing the laws because of him. You would have thought that he was some low-end thug who died of natural causes. What is it with everyone blaming President Obama for every single thing wrong in this country and never giving him any credit for the good things he does? I know he's not perfect, but give a brother a break.
And what about those police officers who pepper-sprayed the peaceful protesters at UC-Davis? The students were just sitting there and the guys practically hosed them down with the stuff, shooting it straight into their eyes. It did get some attention (not the least of which was a pretty hilarious comedy spoof of Martha Stewart pepper-spraying a turkey), but where is the follow-up? What happened to those officers? Are they still on the job? I guess I could try to find out, but I'm afraid of the answers I would find.
My vote for the most overreported news story of the year is, well, there are so many it's hard to say. I'm going with the Casey Anthony drama for number one. It was not only overhyped while it was going on; it's been overhyped since it's been over. And yes, believe it or not, the murder case is over. She was found innocent. Get over it. My favorite part of that whole saga was watching all the people who were total strangers to her gathering in mob fashion (what DO mobs wear?) to scream such hatred toward her, not knowing if she had killed her little girl or not. It was kind of sick and very Florida.
Actually, Florida itself might be the next most overreported news topic. What is with that state? Is everyone there nuts? The female astronaut driving over there nonstop from Texas in adult diapers a few years ago to assault another female astronaut? Lobster Boy in his trailer park down there trying to kill his wife with his wheelchair some years back? Who could have made that up? And I know I make too many mentions on this page about missing white people and the attention they get, but they ought to change Florida's nickname from the Sunshine State to the Missing White Woman State. If I were a white woman I'd be scared to go there. It's like every day one goes missing. It's worse than Aruba.
Okay, I take back what I said about the Casey Anthony trial being the most overreported story of the year. It is the story of the Republicans vying to be the presidential candidate in next year's election. The news media seem to be hanging on and analyzing every single word every single one of them has to say and my big question about that is: WHO CARES? They are all such losers, none of them is going to win. Does anyone really think Michele Bachmann or Rick Santorum could actually run a country? Not even a tiny one, much less this one. Newt Gingrich is just a philanderer who needs to lose some weight and Rick Perry is, well, Rick Perry. Mitt Romney seems like a nice enough fellow and he did get his peeps health care as governor of Massachusetts, but I don't think he's got it in him either. Where, oh where, is Pat Paulsen when we need him?