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The Rant

A few things Randy Haspel would like to see happen in 2013.

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Rather than make up some lame best/worst list from the past year, I'd rather list a few things I would like to see happen in the future. They vary in subject and are in no particular order, but all are equally important. At least to me. I'm not talking about things in general, like "a return to civility," but specific things that I lie awake and think about in my quietest hours. It's because I'm a problem solver, and I'm waiting on some progressive think tank to call me up and actually pay me to dream up gems like these. Some may call them pipe dreams, but I'd prefer to think of it as "creative visualization," which, I read, causes your wildest fantasies to come true, provided that they are first approved by CIA guidelines on astral projection. So, if I shut my eyes and concentrate, the Akashic record of all things past and future will grant my desires, which include:

• In the near future, the discredited and co-opted Tea Party will break away from the Republicans and form a third political party called the Neo-Dixiecrats, paying homage to their philosophical forefathers. This will encompass the race baiters, the climate deniers, the science refuseniks, the rape defenders, the Obama haters, the wackos, morons, and yahoos, leaving the business of governing up to those who actually have the country's best interests at heart.

• After the first of the year, NRA president Wayne "Call Me Crazy" LaPierre will convene another news conference in which he will reveal that because of pressure from his members, he now agrees that military assault weapons have no purpose on city streets other than murder, and his conscience leads him to oppose the sale of high-capacity magazines and drums to the general public. LaPierre will say, "The police are out-gunned, and just like the 'Tommy gun' was banned in the 1920s, I see no reason not to outlaw assault-style weapons now." LaPierre will further announce an NRA fund to assist victims of gun violence and educate school children about the dangers of firearms. In a candid aside, LaPierre will tell assembled reporters, "Look, I always knew that the Founding Fathers were only talking about muskets, but these guys were paying me a million dollars a year. The high-tech weapons of today don't really have anything to do with the Second Amendment."

• Leading up to the mid-term elections, the benefits of legalizing marijuana will spread from west to east, just like the original pot craze in the Sixties. But this will be about personal freedom and the potential revenues resulting from government regulation and taxation of marijuana sales. Pot laws will fall in state after state like dominoes, which, by coincidence, will see pizza sales rise. When the possession and sale of small amounts of pot are legalized, the prison doors will open wide and release tens of thousands of nonviolent marijuana offenders back into their communities; municipalities will discontinue using SWAT teams to kick in the doors of marijuana growers; because the profit has been taken out of illegal pot trafficking, the crime rate drops precipitately; the bloody conflict in Mexico ends because marijuana was the cash crop and the demand for harder drugs has now diminished. The U.S. government smacks themselves on the head and says, "What were we thinking?" while Congress votes to end the fool's errand, the failed "War on Drugs."

• Rupert Murdoch decides that the Republican Party has gone too far and transforms the Fox News Network into an entertainment channel that only shows Elvis movies and old reruns of All in the Family. Murdoch announces that a major portion of Fox's profits will go to Planned Parenthood and the establishment of a series of nationwide adoption agencies for unwed mothers. Shortly thereafter, Rush Limbaugh's sponsors decide that enough is enough, and end one of the longest and most obnoxious chapters in radio history. After his arrest for inciting a riot, Rush is declared a clear and present danger to the common order and is spotted wandering the streets with Bill O'Reilly, attempting to kick the homeless.

• President Obama brings the war in Afghanistan to an early end, pledges that the U.S. will never again initiate a war by invading a sovereign state without provocation, and announces a commission to look into the Bush administration's lies leading up to the bombing of Baghdad.

• The Bass Pro Shop opens in the Pyramid to praise and unprecedented excitement. The featured attractions are unique to Memphis and the world and become a must-see in travel articles and tourist guides. The underwater visual experience is so enthralling that even the jaded people of Memphis return to the area, revitalizing the Pinch district while creating scores of jobs. Bass Pro decides against plastering their name all over the pyramid or putting a giant fishing lure on the exterior.

• The owners of the six major record companies decide that, hereafter, rap will be considered an art form, just not music. Some guy screaming into a microphone while a DJ plays sounds from days of yore is not a musical presentation; it is a spoken-word recitation, accompanied by pilfered snippets of already existing songs. I don't care how much they pay in royalties, "sampling" is merely stealing another artist's creation. Imagine Andy Warhol "sampling" Vincent Van Gogh.

• It is discovered that Donald Trump was not born in Queens, as records indicate, but in his mother's native Scotland. His father falsified the birth notification with assistance from paid lackeys in the press, hoping the boy would be president someday. The Donald is declared an illegal alien and is forced to "self-deport," where he begins a campaign for Scottish independence from an "illegitimate monarchy."

• In 2016, we will elect our first woman president: Elizabeth Warren. And finally ...

• Justin Timberlake will record my most soulful composition, "A Woman's Touch," available for listening on YouTube by Randy and the Radiants, and it becomes his biggest hit to date. I move into a zero-lot line on the river and pay off my credit card bills. Hey, it could happen. And a guy can dream, can't he? All I need is a little help from my friends and some collective creative visualizations. That just might bring me the same happy new year that I wish for all of you.

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