New Year, New Life?

Still-Life with glass, butter and cake by Van Schooten

Happy New Year!
This simple wish implies the hope for a new life, or at least a different approach to it; however 2012 has already started off in a way that promises more of the same...

Political Speeches
I watched New Year speeches by 3 different political leaders:
President Obama: a proper New Year’s Message. It was positive, it reminded Americans about their role in American politics and that they are the true vehicles of change.
President Cavaco Silva: overall, a depressing New Year’s Speech. The Portuguese president repeated a lot the words “sacrifice”, “difficulties”, “crisis” rendering the speech heavy, gloomy and thus ineffective. He also spoke of hope, but frankly hope doesn’t pay bills. Nevertheless, there were two excellent moments in his speech when he reminded the Portuguese that they too were responsible for this crisis and that no Portuguese is discharged from the combat for the future of the nation.
President Sarkozy: overall, another depressing New Year’s Addresson Dieu! He repeated a lot the word “crisis” (which is ineffective, he should sack his speech writer), he used the words “souffrance” (suffering) and hope...what is the matter with Latin-Europeans? However, I loved his assertiveness “neither the markets nor the agencies will decide French policies.”...vive la France!

Fareed Zakaria 
It is not a secret that I watch GPS every Sunday. And this Sunday was no exception. This time, Fareed Zakaria didn’t dare offering us his forecast for 2012 so he invited a panel of 3 experts to do so: what a disappointment. The most interesting expert was the one who spoke the least; the least interesting expert (who avoided eye contact) was the one that spoke the most and the lady...giggled.
GPS has accustomed us to a certain level of excellence, but yesterday’s show seemed to vaticinate a boring year – same comments, same opinions, same good old analyses.

Portuguese Media
People just welcomed and embraced the New Year with joy and hope. The Portuguese Media, with a panicking tone, bombarded Portugal with the following tragic news: starting the 1st of January your electricity bills will increase by 4%! Going to restaurants will cost more due to the increase of VAT (now 23%)! Buying concentrated juices, sodas, pre-prepared meals, industrial cookies and cakes, pizzas etc will cost more due to the new 23% VAT (oh yes, what a tragedy to eat healthily – the ingredients to make, at home, most of the mentioned products are only subject to 6% VAT)!
Portugal and the media need to learn one thing: we are before an opportunity and not the end of the world. Just reinvent yourselves.

At least Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin made me laugh to tears and that is the proper way to start a new year: humour, laughter, music, joy and relaxation.

New Year, New Life? Not quite. But I can tell you that in this blog it will be something like: “New Year, New Scalpel”.

The 2012 session of “Dissecting Life & Society” starts now! 

Comments

  1. Happy New Year, Max!

    Cavaco Silva's speech was both depressing and patriotic at the same time, which in this case can be a paradox.
    Sarkozy's speech was desperate, in my opinion.

    I wacthed Fareed Zakaria's show last Sunday: I like Ms. Slaughter, I think she is very intelligent however she did giggle a lot; what she nervous or was she despising that bloke that avoided eye contact (what is he hiding)? I have seen him in there a couple of times and he is always pessimistic about things...don't like him.

    The portuguese media is like the media everywhere: panicky.

    I am ready to use the new scalpel along with you, Max ahahahahah....:-) Here's to a new fabulastic year!

    Tchau

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  2. Happy New Year to you too Max.

    We have been a lot of fun and games in our parliament too. It has been a comedy bordering on a farce.

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  3. Happy New Year, Celeste :D!

    You were missed, girl!

    "Cavaco Silva's speech was both depressing and patriotic at the same time, which in this case can be a paradox."

    LOL I hear you!

    "Sarkozy's speech was desperate, in my opinion."

    He is campaigning already, so I get him...

    "I wacthed Fareed Zakaria's show last Sunday: I like Ms. Slaughter, I think she is very intelligent however she did giggle a lot; what she nervous or was she despising that bloke that avoided eye contact (what is he hiding)? I have seen him in there a couple of times and he is always pessimistic about things...don't like him."

    What was there to be nervous about? I didn't understand all that giggling and I dare not pursuing a cheeky avenue *nodding*. Mr. Ian (I never remember his name) never looks other panelists in the eye: he is either shy or he is insecure about his analysis, who knows.

    "I am ready to use the new scalpel along with you, Max ahahahahah....:-) Here's to a new fabulastic year!"

    LOL LOL good, good. Here's to a fabulastic year indeed, darling.

    Celeste, thank you so much for your amazing comment: the year begins well :D.

    Cheers

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  4. Happy New Year, Rummy :D!

    So I've heard. But it can also mean that India is about to undergo a massive change (which I hope it does soon). And as we all know change, most of the times, entails turmoil before things settle, so let's see.

    Rummy, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us :D. Great start of the year!

    Cheers

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  5. Hi Max,

    “New Year, New Scalpel”

    ROFL! ^5!

    Looking forward to blood flowing and heads rolling. It should be the theatre of the macabre. I will have a seat in back of the theatre (don't want the blood to splash on my shoes or hat.)

    Can't wait for the show.

    Ano Novo, Vida Nova!

    Scalpel Cheers!

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  6. Happy New Year Max!

    I missed my friend who continues to write scholarly posts and wouldn't mind if it hits big people ~ your place is really a vehicle for open opinion and I admire you for that!

    Sometimes we need to be aware of the real world as in "real" and we need writers like you whose not afraid to tell and write about the real scenario of the world.

    I am interested to listen to those speeches...will find time soon!

    Now I wish Obama could do something magical to make a better economy for his people. I am indirectly affected since my hubby is being paid by a big US company and I want some raise in their salary!

    Cheers Max!

    Wish you the best for this 2012!

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  7. Happy New Year, Lady A :D!

    "[“New Year, New Scalpel”] ROFL! ^5!"

    LOL ^5!

    "Looking forward to blood flowing and heads rolling. It should be the theatre of the macabre. I will have a seat in back of the theatre (don't want the blood to splash on my shoes or hat.)"

    LOL LOL oh come on, there won't be that much blood on the carpet - I promise LOL! ROFL...you are killing me, girl ROFL...

    "Can't wait for the show."

    *rubbing my hands together*...

    "Ano Novo, Vida Nova!"

    You know it!

    Lady A, thank you so much for your super comment and for the laughter :D.

    Scalpel Cheers

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  8. Happy New Year, Amity :D!

    "I missed my friend who continues to write scholarly posts and wouldn't mind if it hits big people ~ your place is really a vehicle for open opinion and I admire you for that!"

    My dear, I missed you too, but I know your schedule has been extremely busy :). I am just happy to see you here!
    Why, thank you for your generosity *bowing*.

    "Sometimes we need to be aware of the real world as in "real" and we need writers like you whose not afraid to tell and write about the real scenario of the world."

    I feel honoured by your words, Amity; thanks.

    "Now I wish Obama could do something magical to make a better economy for his people. I am indirectly affected since my hubby is being paid by a big US company and I want some raise in their salary!"

    Obama, the congress..the whole lot. We are all indirectly affected, darling; so I totally get you.

    Amity, thank you so much for your wishes and for your comment :D.

    "Wish you the best for this 2012!"

    Likewise, darling. See you soon.

    Cheers

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  9. Indeed every New Year should start with a new zest for life in a positive note rather than harping on unknown fears and gloom predictions which are all part and parcel of our lives. There should be atleast a day where we can forget the miseries of our lives and truly celebrate from our hearts. May the world be a little better place to live in, in the coming year!

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  10. Happy New Year!

    My New Year was in Taiwan, so I missed all these speeches. Taiwan has an election coming on that has them debating whether the concept of the lesser of three evils is a genuine choice or not. As I left a commentator was complaining over the radio that all the Taiwan politician's kids - regardless of party - had foreign passports.

    I am, as usual, full of optimism that there will be no shortage of substantial material to blog about!

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  11. Happy New Year, Kalyan :D!

    "There should be atleast a day where we can forget the miseries of our lives and truly celebrate from our hearts. May the world be a little better place to live in, in the coming year!"

    You are totally right. Amen to that, my friend!

    Kalyan, thank you ever so much for your input :D.

    Cheers

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  12. Happy New Year, Looney :D!

    "My New Year was in Taiwan, so I missed all these speeches."

    So I heard! Taiwan must be a wonderful place to visit (your posts got me curious about the place).

    "Taiwan has an election coming on that has them debating whether the concept of the lesser of three evils is a genuine choice or not. As I left a commentator was complaining over the radio that all the Taiwan politician's kids - regardless of party - had foreign passports."

    lol seriously - foreign passports? For the first time ever on MAX: dissecting life & society: *no comments*...

    Looney, thank you so much for your great comment (+ info) and welcome back, man :D.

    Cheers

    I am, as usual, full of optimism that there will be no shortage of substantial material to blog about!

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  13. Tendre Max...
    Comme les impolis, j'ai attendu le dernier jour pour manifester un intérêt à cette nouvelle année.
    L'évolution d'une vie prend souvent le pas sur l'histoire du monde, et cela n'aura rien changer au mouvement lent et lourd de notre planète.
    Notre système est englué dans un ronron lénifiant, sans issue vers un avenir responsable de la part de la base, ce qui nous rend inapte à trouver nos élites.
    Ronron encore et encore.
    Bises pleines de forces.
    Sérénité.

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  14. Salut Sérénité :D!

    "Comme les impolis, j'ai attendu le dernier jour pour manifester un intérêt à cette nouvelle année."

    lol pas de probléme...

    "Notre système est englué dans un ronron lénifiant, sans issue vers un avenir responsable de la part de la base, ce qui nous rend inapte à trouver nos élites."

    Malheureusement c'est bien vrai ce que tu partage avec nous...

    Sérénité, merci bien d'être venue et d'avoir partagé ta sagesse :D.

    Bisous

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