Let us bow our heads in disgrace and disgust as this nation closes out one of the worst years on record. Yes, you heard right. One of the worst, absolute worst years on record.
You want proof? As every publication from Maine to the corner of California has pointed out, this was the worst holiday shopping season since NASA put a man on the moon. In a country where credit cards are sacred, and the consumer rules virtually every corner of our house-of-cards economy, it’s a sure sign that the terrorists have won. Those bastards! Never mind Utah’s outrageous rate of personal bankruptcy filings—and just wait, they’ll climb again next year as well—don’t they know shopping is the holy work of our Heavenly Father? He loves us, and wants us to have loads and loads of stuff!
• From our go-figure file: When President George W. Bush and his team of foreign policy whiz-kids announce a new policy of striking first at any nation even suspected of funding or hosting terrorism, the national press snoozes. Yet when an esoteric sect—we won’t say “cult” because, after all, every religion started out small—of French origin claims to have cloned a child, the entire world freaks out. Never mind the fact that the Raelians believe each and every one of us is a descendent of a genetic engineering project by space aliens. Mormons, after all, believe God lives on the planet Kolob. No, what really galls is the fact that these people have yet to produce a single scrap of evidence proving that they’ve pulled this stunt off. Yet everyone from the White House to the Vatican has released statements either criticizing or condemning the alleged cloning. Whoever the Raelians are, you can bet they’ve got one hell of a public relations firm.
• When will your crabby, sexually frustrated teen lose his or her virginity? Doubtless, this is a question that weighs on the minds of many concerned parents. They can’t put a lock on kids to prevent them from pulling their knickers down, but they can at least have a chance at knowing whether your teen’s relationship is committed or not. Researchers at Mississippi State University discovered that teens in more serious relationships boink closer to Christmas. That warm fuzzy feeling that eventually leads to full-on teenage kicks is called “The Santa Claus effect.” The more reckless, skanky teens choose June as their month of mating. Whatever the month, the only sure sign that teens are “doing it” is when they bring home a Gideon Bible.
• Like fruit falling from a ripe tree, the media loves to pick its favorite people of the year. The Salt Lake Tribune, very predictably, chose LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley as this year’s big man on campus. When you’ve got a direct line to the even bigger man on campus (Heavenly Father), and one of the world’s largest fan clubs, you better count for something. But what about former Clash frontman Joe Strummer, now dead at 50? He never talked to God, or wrangled with Rocky Anderson, but his influence spanned more than one year, at least five sensational recordings, and he never bowed down before unholy mammon for one of those awful reunion tours. Fulton File’s 2002 Person of the Year: Joe Strummer. As if he needed it.