Perspectives: A Review of 2014
(Swans - December 31, 2014) What to report about 2014? As Janis Joplin once sung, "it's all the same fucking shit, man." Indeed, this is a simple recapitulation of what happened. People love war and they must be satisfied because there have been aplenty all over the globe. ISIS is the latest enemy after China and Russia. Syria still hangs on but is not worthy of the news any longer. The economies of the world remain in tatters. We had capsized passenger ships and falling/disappearing planes, an Ebola epidemic, and Israel shooting Palestinians (what's new?). In the U.S., the usual political scandals made the daily news. The local killings of young black and Latino kids by cops were a feast for the cable news. Elections did not make a difference -- the GOP won the rat race. Obama pledged he would cooperate with the new majority. Drought and floods ravaged the land. The Catholic Church canonized Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, and beatified Pope Paul VI -- a very good year for dead popes. The new pope is a conservative, mildly reactionary, but the first pope from Latin America (Argentina), a first in the history of the Church. The price of oil and the Russian economy tanked. The U.S. normalized its relations with Cuba, more or less. And the polity stayed in bed.
At least we had the Sochi Olympics and the Brazil World Cup as well as good tennis tournaments -- some pleasure out of the grimy days.
The year was not uneventful at Swans HQ. We sold our Boonville "palace" at a serious loss (it was a poor experience). We gave half of my library to various organizations and left much furniture for the new owners, who did not bother to thank us. We bought a house that was built in 1924 and survived several earthquakes, and moved there in February. A wonderful place located near SFSU, in a quiet neighborhood, with three bedrooms -- one becoming our office -- and two bathrooms.
Unfortunately, I suffered three cerebral concussions in July that has left me unable to walk, lost a bit of intellect (eg. I lost most of my English and reverted to French), and my ability to type on the keyboard, my hands being disabled.
With sorrow I did not maintain and update Swans for three months. I am not sure when I'll get back in the saddle, but this is a start. To say the least, 2014 has not been a good year, with the exception of reconnecting with my dear wife, Jan Baughman.
Welcome 2015 and best wishes.
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