Watch and learn from all the deranged fanatics taking centre stage
U.S. President Barack Obama celebrates after winning the U.S. presidential election. Photo: Jim Bourg
HOPEFULLY you're reading this at the beach, or your favourite holiday destination. Me? I'm in my office. It's chilly here (15C), and it's been drizzling on and off for a month. I don't know when Los Angeles moved to Seattle, or Melbourne.
I'm sitting in my office because America doesn't believe in holidays. Taking time out of your working life to sit back and do nothing for two weeks would categorise you as lazy, or not committed to your job. But let's say you ignored the cultural guilt and took two consecutive weeks of ''vacation''. Try pushing it to three. Well you couldn't, because most jobs here only offer two weeks of leave.
Rather than obsess about the fact I'm working and you're not, let's instead talk about all the lessons the US could've learned in 2012 - and didn't.
Recording artist Rihanna (R) leans her head on Chris Brown as they sit together at the NBA basketball game between the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles December 25, 2012.
Sport first. The NFL (American Football) and the NHL (Ice Hockey) has major industrial action this year, as they've had in the past.
Did they learn from previous embarrassments, locked out seasons, replacement players etc? No. The NFL forced fans to do the unthinkable - develop a fond appreciation for umpires.
We learned replacing them with amateur ''scabs'' during a strike pretty much ruined football. The NHL lost a season through a strike a few years ago, which crippled the league. Right now, they're at it again. This season will most likely be scrapped soon, and diehard fans are getting screwed over again. Maybe one day professional sporting leagues will remember that without fans, there are no professional sporting leagues.
Politics. The good news? Obama got re-elected. The bad news? His opponents don't appear to have learned anything from the last time he beat them. From fiscal cliff to gun control, there are some seriously deranged and delusional folks on centre stage politically right now, who appear to be ignoring opinion polls, constituents, and anyone else suggesting moderation. A real moment to implement lasting, positive change is being squashed by misinformed, sexist fanatics - and it's sad to watch.
Sex. Far too broad a subject to cover completely, so let me just mention one singer who genuinely upsets me. Rihanna. She's a popular, raunchy young black woman who sings a lot about sex, and was beaten up by her then boyfriend, rapper Chris Brown, in 2009.
During the week, Rihanna was all lovie with the same Mr Brown at the Lakers basketball game in LA on Christmas Day. He's still on probation for the assault, but Rihanna doesn't care - her love doesn't see bruises.
Another year is just around the corner. Rather than wishing for world peace, no more hunger, and to become more handsome, this year I'm going to simplify. All I want is for us all to improve our capacity to learn from mistakes, grow, and take responsibility for our words and actions.
And to not date Chris Brown, because he's a loser.
Happy New Year!
Tim is a writer, TV producer and
proud former Canberra resident who has lived in Los Angeles since 1997.