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What was hot, what was not; who got rehabbed, who got caught

January 1, 2011

Inspired by an old newspaper tradition, our stalwart feature writer pens a 1,000-word tribute to the tumultuous year that has just passed.

Let us lift up our glass, filled with holiday cheer,
To the winners, the losers, the events of the year.
What was hot, what was not; the skinny, the dope, the goods,
From Bieber to GaGa to a lascivious Tiger named Woods.
From Lindsey Lohan to ‘MadMen’ to ‘Jersey Shore,’
From ‘Iron Chef’ to Republican Revival to the divorced Al Gore,
From the late Elizabeth Edwards, whose husband still smirks,
To angry Mel Gibson, with his rants, raves, cocktails and quirks,
From ‘The View’ to ‘No Clue’ to ‘Who Knew?’ and How Are You?

National news
The top story of the year was the deadly, costly oil spill from BP.
It killed 11, spewed 170 million of crude, ruined the Gulf. Creepy.
President Barack Obama signed a $1 trillion health care overhaul.
But it faces 100 lawsuits and may be costlier than what exists, overall.
Pre-quake, already the Western Hemisphere’s most destitute nation,
230,000 were killed, millions left homeless and diseased. Oh, to be Haitian!
In a year of turbulent squabbles, horrible disaster, war, and little praise,
33 Chilean miners were miraculously freed after a mine collapse of 69 days.
U.S. forces formally ended their combat role and looked ahead to leave Iraq.
But if Sunnis and Shiites and other bickerers don’t agree, we might go baq.
Facebook and the Social Network is the hottest communal force on Earth.
It staggers the imagination to consider how much its founder will be worth.
Bernie Madoff left hundreds without money, security or hope.
His latest victim? His very own son, hanged at the end of a rope.
They want to build a giant Mosque near the site of Ground Zero.
Isn’t that a bit like burned Rome building a monument to Nero?

State news
Outgoing Governor Carcieri and staff were more than willing
To loan $75 mill to risky new tech venture 38 Studios and Curt Schilling.
Three North Providence councilmen allegedly took the bribery bit.
Facing trial for shaking down a developer for $25K for a zoning permit.
RI can really boast about its efficient, cost contained new highway,
As the DOT successfully completed the $610 million IWAY.
T.S. Eliot said that ‘April is the cruelest month’ of them all,
Record rain and flooding proved him right, washing out the Warwick Mall.

Politics
Senate power was removed from Nancy Pelosi, who,
When informed, began to resemble Bela Lugosi, ooooh!
Oblivious Mass. voters, disdaining the file and the rank
Of the angry masses, somehow, incredibly, re-elected Barney Frank.
In Rhode Island, a state which teeters on the bankruptcy brink,
Lemming voters followed a ‘Name’ and gave us new Gov. Missing Linc.
Though evidence showed he was chauffeured like a privileged weannie,
State voters actually promoted and elevated Little Mayor Cicilline.
All it takes is very good looks, a pick up truck and shirts that button down,
And, you, too, can be elected to the U.S. Senate! Just ask Scott Brown.
President Barack Obama was elected ‘cause he promised ‘Change!’
Still two wars, no jobs, big debt, failed policies. Can we elect Danny Ainge?

Sports
In Red Sox Nation, it was extremely hard to remain calm,
As their wounded roster read like one from Vietnam.
But SoX Xmas came early in Gonzalez, Crawford and Jencks, Oh, glee!
And to top it all off, the Evil Yankees whiffed big on Cliff Lee.
The Celtics came within an eyelash of championship heaven,
But lost in the last 2 minutes against the Lakers in Game Seven.
The Patriots look unstoppable, Tom Brady’s hair is shaggy boss,
Things turned completely when they ejected whiner Randy Moss.
The Bruins failed again, 38 years of wretched fan abuse.
(Wait….this is supposed to be a TOPICAL poem and that isn’t news).
Mike Tyson was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Hope he doesn’t bite off his bronze bust’s ear when they call his name.
In Germany, Paul the Octopus uncannily predicted the World Cup winner.
Sadly, he died soon after in his aquarium tank, an oracle turned dinner.

Entertainment
James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ was a $1 billion sensation with great reviews,
‘SpiderMan, the Musical’ COST almost that much and hasn’t left previews.
Sandra Bullock won an Oscar and public sympathy over Jessie James,
Who, with Tiger Woods, was enshrined in two Infidelity Hall of Fames.
Oprah Winfrey left daytime TV after two decades on top, ratings still boffo,
Then faced ongoing queries as to whether she really worshiped Sappho.
So, Lindsey Lohan,
How’s it goin’?

Deaths
We lost some greats to the Reaper’s Scythe, so let’s memory stroll:
John Wooden, Bob Feller, Erich Siegal, Teddy Pendergrass, Manute Bol;
Jean Simmons, J.D. Salinger, Al Haig, Peter Graves, Robert Culp,
Lynn Redgrave, Lena Horne, Art Linkletter, Gary Coleman, (sob, gulp….)
Jimmy Dean, George Steinbrenner, Edwin Newman, Dennis Hopper,
Barbara Billingsley (who, in the 1960s, was the utmost in proper),
Eddie Fisher, Tony Curtis, Leslie Nielsen, Blake Edwards AND
So many, many more, please, let’s give them all a big hand!!

Locally
In Richmond and
Charlestown, counterfeit bills were passed;

And thieves stole catalytic
converters so they could go fast
And to our loyal readers in Jamestown, Charlestown and Peacedale,
May the New Year bring you peace, mail (and $1 million).
To readers in Coventry, Hope Valley, Richmond, Hopkinton and Cowesett:
May the New Year bring you renewal, reinvigoration, recharging and reset.
To North-South Kingstown, Hopkinton, Narragansett and Potowomut:
May 2011 bring you joy, love and any word that rhymes with ‘Potowomut.’
To friends in Wakefield, East Greenwich, West Warwick and Exeter.
Thanks for all of your support, good will, and the chance to exit here.
From all of us at RICentral News, who daily, fight the good fight.
Merry ChristHannukKwanzFestivusHolidays to all, and to alllllll
(wait, I have to be sooooo politically correct….is that right???????)

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