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COLUMN

Happytown

It may not have been the year of the rat, but 2011 sure was full of rodents. Also, expect more of the same - plus an added twist of Jesus - in 2012. Happy New Year?

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Like most holiday celebrants of the drink-until-you-die persuasion, we’ve spent the lion’s share of our time over the past couple of weeks trying to forget the events and acquaintances of the past year while swigging our swill to the tune of Auld Lang Syne.” Forgot! Sure, 2011 may have been a romp in the hay for cynics and populists alike, but it was also the sound of logical life unraveling in a high-voltage dryer. Inevitably, now comes the time for the champagne chagrin and black-eyed regret that are inherent to these dark, quiet days leading us into another year. And, as always, we rush forward with a swishing glass of selective retrospect in hand. It’s over! And yet it’s all still beginning.

The year kicked off with the inauguration of Our Dumb State’s worst governor ever, Rick Scott, who promptly threw a tantrum and put the kibosh on anything he hadn’t directly approved (which was everything) so that he could figure it out for himself. Oh, we could list all of the initial atrocities of Gov. Scott here – his attempts to privatize all things public including prisons and schools, a blocked volley to force piss tests on the financially needy, disdain for unionized labor, merit pay for teachers, the killing of high-speed rail – but that would be too exhausting, and his dismal polling shows that most people are already aware of the extent of his awfulness. Instead, we’ll choose to remember 2011 as the year that Rick Scott popped up everywhere like a little self-promoting child star ready to cut the ribbons at car dealerships for attention. He was at a donut shop, a Walmart, behind the DJ tables on a cruise ship, shoveling slop in a public school – all in a desperate attempt to make it look like he wasn’t the same monster borne of Medicare fraud that the Floridian public mistakenly elected. He was just like us: clumsy, awkward and annoying. He hated the media. We hated him back.

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