Source: CVDaily Feed

“Come, gentleman. I hope we shall drink down all unkindness.”

—From William Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor”.

When I ended my column last week describing the worst stories of 2103, I stated that this week’s column would be the very best of 2013. And then I realized something terrible. There really was not that many good news stories in the last 12 months.

Isn’t that awful?

Oh, the year was not completely devoid of good news stories. But they were the usual blurbs about a waitress getting a $1,000 tip; or, some kid who got a pony for his birthday; or a sports story that will be repeated a dozen times in 2014 and every year hence.

Most of the “best” I was going to opine on this week were really bad stories that I was able to elicit a certain level of schadenfreude. The unfortunate urge we all feel to be happy when bad things happen to bad people. The negative, cynical nature of modern media has conditioned us to slow down our car and see if there are any dead bodies on the road when we approach an accident.

There was one story that made me exceedingly happy. Pope Francis. Even the hardest of non-religious hearts such as my own has to admire the humble servant who is now the head of the largest church on Earth.

The Catholic Church is not a part of world history; it is the most profound influence in the history of the world. And now, it is lead by a man who is determined to reinvent the mission of a church and reintroduce its 1 billion members to a life in service to the poor and downtrodden.

I doubt I could ever return to any church. I am too resolute in my philosophy that a living deity silently ruling o’er us is illogical. That this god speaks to us through mortal men is not plausible to me. That this god does not intervene against atrocities because his mysterious ways would make our heads explode if he revealed them to us seems too convenient. Yet, if religion is to exist, and the Holy Father is the most influential person alive, then the world is a better place with Francis in the news daily.

So, if I cannot talk about the great stories that filled the calendar year about to expire into history, what shall I discuss in this last column of 2013? How about 2014?

I will not make any predictions or resolutions. And I am not so far gone into my newly-minted optimism that I think the world will be filled with ice cream and hugs in the upcoming year. This is more a wish list of things that should happen.

* I doubt that the massively flawed program known eponymously as Obamacare can be righted. If anything, its pratfalls will become more prevalent in 2014. So, if Obamacare is to fail, then the Democratic Party would be wise to surrender to the obvious and help the GOP dismantle it—if not completely obliterate it from existence.

* I hope that when Dennis Rodman visits North Korea in 2014 that he is re-enacting a plotline from the TV show “Homeland”. Maybe The Worm is a CIA agent covertly trying to take out Kim Jong-un. One day in the upcoming year, they will be chillaxing in Kim’s back yard, playing a game of cribbage and Rodman will bludgeon him to death with the cribbage board. Dennis Rodman: American Hero.

* Speaking of “Homeland”, now that Nicholas Brody is dead, I hope that the writers of the show kill off his uber-annoying daughter, Dana. Not write her out of the script, but kill her off. Horribly. Like, maybe have her get hit by a speeding train carrying a load of nitroglycerin. In my 43 years of life, I can’t recollect any television character that made me froth with bile more than her.

* In sports, I want football and baseball games to be played in under 3 hours, and college basketball games to played in under 2 hours. We are now inundated with replays in sporting events to determine if the most frivolous of rules violations exist. Replay was only supposed to rectify the most egregious of calls. Now, they are used for everything. I do not watch sports to see calls get overturned. I watch them to see great athletes compete. I doubt 2014 will be the year the tide turns on this subject. But I will watch less sports if they continue to played at a snail’s pace.

* I will most decidedly take on the midterm elections in my column. Tea party wackadoos will not be my only targets. The Democrats are going to have a bad year in 2014…and I am the kind of guy to throw an anchor to a drowning politician.

* Locally, I am going to invent the rules for the Herald-Journal drinking game in 2014. Everytime the HJ emulates the Deseret News with its LDS propaganda fluff pieces, we down a shot. I want the HJ to always be a pillar of truth. I want a newspaper that never comes off as having an agenda. In my opinion, that is not what exists presently. If this is the way the HJ thinks it can make a profit, then so be it. And they can be a mouthpiece for the Mormon church if it is their will. Just call yourself what you are.

* Staying local, I want my USU Aggies men’s basketball team to make the Tournament. But my optimism for them ever winning a tournament game is at a minimal. In football, I will enjoy every single snap Chuckie Keeton takes under center. And I look forward to his coronation as the greatest Aggie to ever play in any sport.

* “50 Shades of Grey” will be an infamous flop of a movie in 2014. The era of “Mom Porn” books and movies must come to an ignominious end.

* Over/under on how many of the Sutherland Institute’s weekly commentaries on KVNU by Paul Mero will be on the subjects of homosexuals or alcohol: 51.

On a personal note, I want to thank every single one of you for reading my columns this year. Agree with me or not, like me or not, it has been a privilege for me to write this column. I will return to this page on January 9th. I will try to be as entertaining and insightful as my talents allow.

I plan on having the very best 2014 that I can. I am getting my weight down. I am enjoying raising my three children. And I am shunning as best as I can the negative influences that have dominated my thoughts and actions the last few years. I sincerely hope all of you will see the new year as a new birth of optimism.

To all of you, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.