Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ringing In The New Year

Like many of you, I celebrated New Year’s Eve with friends, food, and the depressing remains of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve or as I like to call it, “Why am I unable to power on a television and not see Ryan Seacrest?” The show featured in-depth reporting from Jenny McCarthy, wearing a headset left over from the Apollo 13 mission control center, and Fergie, wearing a bedazzled piece of air-conditioning duct-work, not to mention a stellar lineup of some of the most talented voices in modern music.

Unfortunately, the talented voices of modern music had better offers in Las Vegas so ABC presented us with a Backstreet Boys / New Kids on the Block reunion show instead. For the better part of an hour we were treated to a dozen grown men singing and dancing their way along the precipice of obscurity while gaggles of teenage girls looked on and wondered why their mothers were so excited.

Lucky for us, ABC wisely chose to balance this middle-age career triage with the fresh sounds of Ke$ha who performed her party anthem “Tik Tok” as gaggles of mothers looked on and wondered why their teenage girls were so excited. During her moving rendition of her chart-topping hit, Ke$ha also managed to desecrate not one, but two Judeo-Christian holidays by grinding on what appeared to be a biker-gang enforcer dressed as Santa Claus and then savagely beating a piñata of the Easter bunny.

As if this wasn’t enough, she peppered the underwhelmed crowd with inspirational nuggets such as encouraging them to “make 2011 our bitch” and publicly resolving not to “become a douchebag” in the coming months.
At the conclusion of the aforementioned music performances, I could not help but wonder which held the greater cache of talent; the artists performing on the stage, or the roadies who helped assemble it. I felt disappointed by the entertainment and the only effort exerted on my part was turning on the television.

Having seen enough, we decided to flip over to CNN and follow their coverage of the groundbreaking “guitar drop” in Nashville, TN. I couldn’t help but be filled with pride as I took in the throngs of people gathered in my state’s capitol to witness our historic New Year’s Eve debut. The pride quickly passed as I watched CNN’s Nashville correspondent, painfully overplayed as a cow-girl, trade banter with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin.   

Then, as midnight approached, we became witnesses to a televised train wreck. Since there was no clear official countdown, the guitar arbitrarily began its descent almost a full minute early only to stall halfway and slightly re-ascend before stopping again. I am still unsure as to whether this was a deliberate attempt to correct the premature drop or a mechanical failure. At any rate, the powers that be decided to distract from this embarrassing monstrosity by setting off the fireworks early leading to a chain reaction of confusion and, even more heinous, unnecessary cutaways to Kathy Griffin.

It got bad enough that at one point I envied the celebration staged by Biloxi, Mississippi for both its understated simplicity and chronological accuracy. To Nashville’s credit, I have heard no reports of fatalities or gang violence at the celebration which means it is still ahead of Memphis, where the only things that normally drop at midnight are the shooting victims.

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