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A few resolutions for others: It's far easier to tell everyone else what to do than to give up caffeine in winter

Posted: Sunday, January 05, 2003

New Year's resolutions don't work with me. It seems unreasonable to make a major life change during the most dark and depressing season of the year.

This is the time when we need our crutches and vices to drag us through this seemingly-unending epoch between Christmas and Memorial Day.

How long until breakup again? Eight months? Nine? It's tough to give up caffeine when you don't see the sun until noon.

So I won't waste your time with hollow promises and half-hearted resolutions for myself this New Year. Instead, I've decided to make resolutions for others. I figure I'm better at telling people what to do than I am at doing things myself anyway, so here goes ...

I resolve that Gov. Frank Murkowski spend at least one weekend each month visiting us common folk here in Alaska. If the guys in the National Guard have the time to serve, so should he.

I resolve that President Bush submit a full disclosure of all Internet sites he's visited in the past year. Isn't it fair that if the government has a record of my visits to fantasy basketball sites, I should get a list of the fantasy political sites they've been to?

I resolve that whoever created the college football Bowl Championship Series be forced to sit through each and every silly college football game played next December, including the PuppyChow.com Bowl, the Smurf Bowl and the Sega Bowl (presented by Nintendo). If I have to watch Hawaii State play a game against Utah Tech in Boise, Idaho, whoever is responsible better be watching, too.

I resolve that environmentalists stop whining about opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Anyone who drives an SUV from Oakland to Berkeley to attend a protest rally against drilling for oil in Alaska needs a one-way bicycle ticket up the Dalton Highway. In February.

I resolve that those thinking about making charitable donations this year don't forget about Africa. Remember back in the '80s, when it was fashionable to think about the plight of starving Ethiopians? You don't hear much about that anymore, yet much of the continent is now utterly ravaged by AIDS, war and hunger. Don't forget, the seeds of terror often are sown by the hands of those most troubled.

I resolve that Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and anyone else who believes God's plan includes destroying other religions go to the caves of Tora Bora to be with their own kind.

I resolve that all Alaskans wake up, make some sound fiscal decisions and realize just how good we've got it up here. No income tax, and the state pays us for breathing? Please. If we're going to drive to the bank to cash our checks, we might think about spending a little to pave the road.

I resolve that the government spend more time addressing the cause of terrorism, rather than the effect. The doctrine of "if you're not with us, you're against us" is only serving to further isolate our country. The idea that "we're all Americans" might sound like a nice recipe for solidarity at home, but many in this world aren't enthusiastic about words dripping such gooey drops of imperialistic batter.

I resolve that the "good ol' boys" at Augusta National don't bow to pressure and admit a female member to their golf club. Boycott the Masters golf tournament? Fine. Call it sexist, elitist and wrong? No problem. But as long as the Boy Scouts can keep atheist Eagle Scouts out, Augusta should be allowed to say "no girls allowed."

I resolve that all our local fishers -- be they commercial, subsistence, sport or guide -- find some common ground to stand on. The waters may be rough, and solutions often elusive, but we still have the best fishing in the world here. Let's at least work to keep it that way.

Well folks, that's a heap of things for people to keep in mind this coming year. Maybe it's a little ambitious, but isn't that the point of making resolutions?

OK, OK, you're right. If I'm going to sit here on my soapbox and tell everyone else what to do, I'd better at least make one resolution of my own.

Fine.

I hereby resolve not to write another resolutions column for at least a year. After all the letters I'm sure to get on this one, that shouldn't be too hard to keep.

Matt Tunseth is a reporter for the Peninsula Clarion.



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