Anyway, he used to send us a funny joke every day and they ranged from awful to entertaining. I think the favorites are still, “What is the national bird of Iraq? Duck!” to “Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.” and, of course, “A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.”
The following is a reprint of one of his last e-mails.
Let’s put things into perspective: 2010 was not the worst year ever. There have been MUCH worse years. For example, toward the end of the Cretaceous Period, Earth was struck by an asteroid that wiped out about 75 percent of all of the species on the planet. Can we honestly say that we had a worse year than those species did? Yes, we can, because they were not exposed to “Jersey Shore.”
So on second thought we see that this was, in fact, the worst year ever. The perfect symbol for the awfulness of 2010 was the BP oil spill, which oozed up from the depths and spread, totally out of control, like some kind of hideous uncontrollable metaphor. (Or “Jersey Shore.”) The scariest thing about the spill was, nobody in charge seemed to know what to do about it. Time and again, top political leaders personally flew down to the Gulf of Mexico to look at the situation firsthand and hold press availabilities. And yet somehow, despite these efforts, the oil continued to leak. This forced us to face the disturbing truth that even top policy thinkers with postgraduate degrees from Harvard University — Harvard University! — could not stop it.
The leak was eventually plugged by non-policy people using machinery of some kind. But by then our faith in our leaders had been shaken, especially because they also seemed to have no idea of what to do about this pesky recession. Congress tried every remedy it knows, ranging all the way from borrowing money from China and spending it on government programs, to borrowing MORE money from China and spending it on government programs. But in the end, all of this stimulus created few actual jobs, and most of those were in the field of tar-ball collecting.
Things were even worse abroad. North Korea continued to show why it is known as “the international equivalent of Charlie Sheen.” The entire nation of Greece went into foreclosure and had to move out; it is now living with relatives in Bulgaria. Iran continued to develop nuclear weapons, all the while insisting that they would be used only for peaceful scientific research, such as — to quote President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — “seeing what happens when you drop one on Israel.” Closer to home, the already strained relationship between the United States and Mexico reached a new low after the theft, by a Juarez-based drug cartel, of the Grand Canyon.
1. The Yankees did not even get into the World Series.
2. There were several days during which Lindsay Lohan was neither going into, nor getting out of, rehab.
3. Apple released the hugely anticipated iPad, giving iPhone people, at long last, something to fondle with their other hand.
Other than that, 2010 was a disaster.