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2011, in 565 words

December 30, 2011
By Wes Burns , Times-Republican

Grab the champagne and pre-apologize to the room mates because New Year's Eve is upon us.

For a holiday about new beginnings New Year's Eve falls into a horribly predictable pattern. People make their laughable resolutions, somebody tries to sing Auld Land Syne (which no one has ever known the words to, ever), you ALWAYS find glitter in your drink, even if no one at the bar is actually wearing any glitter, and some joker who thinks they're going to be the life of the party when they start yelling out countdowns ten minutes before the ball drops.

Hilarious. You got a handful of intoxicated people to yell out a series of numbers because you did. I didn't know Mark Twain was reincarnated as a friendless twit in the Heartland.

"But wait, aren't some of these traditions what you love about the holiday?" Well, you've got a point ... me ... some of the best things about New Year's Eve are what you can count on every Dec. 31.

Old friends, good drinks and ironically viewing the Time Square countdown are all welcome memories from New Years past. Beyond even these tropes of a great time lays the true joy of the holiday, passing judgment on the previous year while looking forward with an oblivious and naive optimism, and doing so in the form of a list.

Without further adieu, here's the Old Cold & the New Hotness for 2012.

Obscure music genre.

Old Cold: Dubstep. This stuff used to be so outside the norm that an entire genre of Youtube videos popped up where people filmed their grandparents listening to Skrillex. Now Korn is doing dubstep; just a matter of time before "First of the Year" finds its way into a car commercial. I'm thinking Hyundai.

New Hotness: Post Ironic Soviet Rock. 2012 will be nothing but hipsters nodding their heads to Autograph and Kino records, only on vinyl of course.

Vending Machine Items.

Old Cold: Mrs. Freshley's Jumbo Honey Bun. Disgusting. Just ... awful. Also: does not taste like honey. It tastes like shame.

New Hotness: Jello samples from a Terminator. Oh yeah, that's real. Kraft has debuted a vending machine that offers free samples, to adults only. Usually when you see a machine that offers 'free samples' and says 'adults only' the BEST case scenario is that someone is playing a prank on you. Instead the Kraft machines don't want to give out free pudding to kids, assuming that they would abuse the system and assuming that adults are somehow above that. So this thing uses a camera and something called "Anonymous Video Analytics technology" to determine if A: you are an adult and B: you are in fact John Conner. Creepy? Yes. But, hey, free pudding.


Old Cold: "Text talk." "BRB" is not a word. "U" is not a word. "LOL" does not replace actual laughing. So stop it!

New Hotness: "Charge it to the game." Get downsized? Charge it to the game. Went broke? Charge it to the game. Works for everything.

So there it is, the comprehensive, three item list of everything that happened during the entire tenure of 2011. Time to get ready for the last great New Year's Eve, as we will all be destroyed by the Mayan Apocalypse in 2012.

Ancient MesoAmerican prophecies heralding your destruction within one year's time coming to fruition? Charge it to the game.


Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Friday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or



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