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The winter, spring, summer and fall of our discontent

Our scribe chronicles the year's fun and folly, the wacky and weird, the dismal and dysfunctional.

December 31, 2009|Steve Lopez

Today, looking back,
as I search for a way
to describe the year past,
every good and bad day,
I'd like to thank those
who gave me a lift:
Polanski and Manny.
Arnold? A gift.
I thank the Assembly
as well as the Senate:
They promised to lead,
but they never once meant it.
They mangled the budget!
It wasn't much fun:
Maybe next year
they'll get something done.
Oh, wait, I've forgotten
to cover all bases:
The lawmakers managed
to hand out staff raises.
And then there's my favorite
lawmaker of all:
He paddled a lobbyist, Michael Duvall.
What was he thinking?
What was Mike inta?
Spanky Duvall,
pride of old Yorba Linda.
And out in the real world,
the jobless rate rose.
The governor talked of
the parks he would close.
It's hard to remember
that time of great pride,
back in the day,
before the dream died.
Our schools were a model.
Our colleges grew.
Kids got their master's
and doctorate too.
But now things are dreary,
The Golden State troubled.
Professors are furloughed,
fees have been doubled.
We know how to fix things,
but will we? Why, never.
Our new slogan's catchy:
Ungovernable forever!
But let us get back
to those we must knock:
The ones who don't act,
but just talk, talk, talk, talk.
Rep. Laura Richardson,
D from Long Beach,
had three home loans
and defaulted on each.
Mark Ridley-Thomas
is next on the list:
His spending excesses
are not to be missed.
The county budget
is under a blade,
but the supe has embarked
on an office upgrade.
Is all this outrageous?
Or is it just me?
Let's all go to work for the DWP.
Elsewhere in government,
cash is quite tight.
But there they get raises
to turn on the light.
Grabbing for cash
is a great local sport.
I even tried marrying
Jamie McCourt.
And what will become
of the Dodgers next year?
The divorce could result
in 20-buck beer.
Today, looking back
at the crooks and the brats,
I must save a dart
for those fat Wall Street cats.
Suffice it to say,
'twas a motley collection
of crimes cataloged
in The Times' business section.
And for all that we hoped
with Obama's anointing,
his first year in office
has been disappointing.
He got the peace prize,
but the surge that he pushed,
leaves us all feeling
that we've been George Bushed.
And what about Roman?
He's hardly served time.
And Weinstein won't say
it was even a crime.
Winger and Woody and Whoopi?
They weren't even sure
it deserved the name rape?
Don't worry,
I'm calm now.
My anger's diffused
I've reached for my medicine,
dazed and confused.
Thanks to my quack
of a doctor, I'll cope.
He wrote me a ticket
for mountains of dope.
And thanks, City Council,
for reefer emporiums,
which opened despite
citywide moratoriums.
And while Mike Duvall grabbed
that lobbyist to spank her,
Mayor Tony V.
found a new TV anchor.
So what can we hope for
in Two Thousand Ten?
I doubt that I'll want to
retire my pen.
There'll be more great fodder.
The lies will be newer.
Will Polanski return?
Malibu build a sewer?
I can't end my poem
Without thanking the few,
who made this year better,
for me and for you.
and to Heal the Bay.
And thanks to Bruce Kravets,
who taught for no pay.
And last, most important,
To readers: A cheer
for your feedback, your tips,
let's meet here next year.

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