By Eliska Counce, TSB Columnist
2013! New year, new starts, new attitudes. I like the feeling of a clean slate, don’t you? I have some definite ideas about how this new year can show 2012 how it’s supposed to be done, too. I was kind of glad to see 2012 end. In between hurricanes, elections, shootings, the Mayan apocalypse, fiscal cliffs and reality TV, it was a bit of a rough ride there. So I’ve taken it upon myself to make a list of how 2013 can kick 2012’s behind. Here’s some things that should happen, in my humble opinion, this year:
They’re here. They’re queer. And that’s awesome. It’s time for America to embrace the next civil rights movement. Homophobia is so 1880s. Time for America to embrace the rainbow. No one’s getting a toaster for recruiting. Your heterosexual lifestyle is safe, truly. You can’t convince me gays present the threat to heterosexual marriage that Kim Kardashian does. I’m not gay, but I am totally supportive of each of our citizens having a right to marry and all the legal goodies that go with that. 2013 should be the year when America starts spreading the love … and the legal rights. Love is a good thing, folks. We need more of it.
The stigma of mental health care should go away. Want to curb gun violence in America? Let’s make a mental care checkup as innocuous as a physical care checkup. Like your body, if you don’t take hygiene into account, you’ll be at risk for poor health. Everyone, everyone struggles. You wouldn’t break your arm and put a bandaid on it. Let’s make 2013 the year we all connect with someone to talk with if we struggle. No one should have it held against them that they took care of themselves. No one looks sideways at you for a well check for your body. News flash: your psyche is part of your body. You don’t carry it in a shopping bag. Tend to it.
Acrimony should go out of style. This “Us and Them” politics we showcased for the 2012 election season was seriously not attractive. On both side of the political argument, I saw heinies being worn as hats way too often. Yeah, yeah, yeah…easy for me to say, I suppose, when my politics seem to be more popular. But it’s a circular process, people. Notice: Bush. Clinton. Bush. Obama. Trust me. Let’s make a deal, shall we? I’ll try to keep from throwing shade when your guy’s in power. Grin and bear it until 2016. Times are always a’changing.
Redneck TV should go away. I mean, really. Reality TV was pernicious enough when it focused on the uber-rich Housewives of Various Cities and, god help us, the Kardashian circus. But at least that reality featured some blingy excess to enjoy. But this new trend: Duck Dynasty? Moonshiners? Or MTV’s Buckwild, which is a cringeworthy Honey Boo Boo meets Jersey Shore? We’re better than this, America. I know we are. There’s an antidote for this pablum, and it’s called the “off” button. Or a nice viewing of Nova. Related:
We need a better hobby than celebrity watching. I know, I know. The siren call of Us magazine is strong. But balance is the key. They’re called “books,” y’all. Let’s look into them. Can we all make an agreement to never speak the smush name “Kimye” ever, ever again? I mean, I think we can all survive without knowing what’s in Beyonce’s purse, right? I shudder to think that when I’m retirement age, Blue Ivy Carter, Willow Smith, and Jessica Simpson’s children might hold elected office if we continue at this rate.
Grown-ups should act like grown ups. It’s children who are “me first” people, y’all. It’s a toddler who grabs what he can for himself without thinking of others. I’m getting a little weary of you charging in front of me in the grocery line, wearing your heinie as a hat in traffic, listening to you be rude to waitstaff or cashiers. 2013 is your year for personal growth. I don’t want to hear about any politicians telling each other to perform, well, acts that are physically impossible to perform in the halls of congress. We’re adults, people. Let’s act like them. And finally:
Let’s keep random acts of kindness a thing. After the Newtown shooting, I was touched to my core by the outreach of kindness to the Connecticut town from all over the world. For a little while, everyone was a little nicer to one another. I heard local stories about people committing random acts of kindness everywhere: compelled to pay for the coffee of the guy behind you in line, offers of help, and generosity galore. Here’s to continuing this trend in 2013. Smile at a stranger. Let that guy merge in, for the love of Mike. Allow the guy with fewer items to go ahead of you in line. You’ll be glad you did.
Here’s to an fantastic new year for our country and American culture! These are only a few ideas for how 2013 can be our best yet, dear reader. It doesn’t have to suck. 2012 was a trial at times for us as a nation and a people. Here’s to making 2013 a little more awesome.