Saturday, December 29, 2007

Looking Forward

Bombs may blow bodies and lives to bits, bullets may kill and fools may precipitate the downfall of countries and the welfare of whole populations, but still, Time trickles by. It drips by, droplet by droplet, and brings us ever closer to this year's end. And with this obvious consideration, comes the usual question: is there anything worth looking for in the coming of the year 2008?

I'd say yes, and as proof, here's a partial list of what might be of interest in the coming months:
  • Anime-wise: the beginning of 2008 will see the broadcast of the last part of the Saint Seiya Hades chapter: Elysion-hen. Oh, yes, I know how many have scorned the preceding chapters, and how many are already cursing what they haven't yet seen. In some things, I suppose I am and remain a stubborn optimist, and also, that my love for this series remains intact after more than a score of years since the moment when I chanced upon an episode on French TV. It may also be that I have always loved Saint Seiya for what it is, not for anything else. And also, that I do not turn coat and say the opposite of what I have always said: that the Hades chapter is the best part of the story, along with the battle of the Twelve Houses in the Sanctuary. I havce always said that I wanted to see the last part of the manga animated, and I won't go back on that. I can regret the lack of creativity and the fact that the current director sticks to the manga more faithfully than an adolescent mooning over his first love, but I think honesty demands that many who spit on the anime adaptation acknowledge that, yes, they loved the Hades, and that, yes, the anime is faithful to what they loved, to what they read in the manga, all those years ago.

    [oh, and while I'm babbling about Saint Seiya, allow me this little space for a bit of self-advertisement: I've just put online the latest fanfiction I wrote over the Summer months in Greece. If you've ever read some of my pieces, you know that it's been a long time since I went ahead and took ownership of the Saint Seiya universe and started playing with it, envisioning it far into the future in particular. This year, it was the turn of the past to be tampered with, and more exactly the moment of the rise of a new faith called Christianity in the slowly crackling world of a decaying Roman Empire - Beware that my lack of love for the institution of the Christian Church hasn't varied, and that the story does reflect that. When Blackbirds Sing is an 8 chapters fanfic you can find inside my web home, among other things. ]

  • Elections-wise: weeell, there we have quite a few things to look forward to.

    In Pakistan, January will tell us whether it was possible or not to prevent chaos from totally engulfing the country after the cowardly assassination of Benazir Bhutto. It will also give us the answer that's most likely to who orchestrated the whole thing. My best guess is the Islam extremists (be they Qaeda or not, it's inconsequential), helped by a bit of negligence of the Pakistaniese government (lack of security provided for Mrs Bhutto comes to mind, but it's so not Mr Muscharraf's fault, so not his fault, you see... Ah, the wonders of the passive role in such a coup...)

    In the US, the first months will at last put an end to the primaries in both Democratic and Republican parties. And November will at last see the end of the worst president the US has ever had. Mr. W will go, and good riddance, and leave his successor a situation and a country in shambles, so badly managed during eight years that the gift of the White House is not going to be "rulership over the world's greatest power" but "rulership over a gutted and chaotic country which now more than partly belongs to owners in China and other interesting countries in the world" (yes, in case you didn't know, the interesting thing about the US' debt, is that it doesn't belong to its citizens, but to foreign investors, a great many of them Chinese, I'm sure they'll be good with you all once you start being unable to pay the interests of that ever-growing debt...)

    On a personal note, I'll be watching the first five months of the year with a particular interest, and it's likely to be a rather wearying and worrisome moment. Still, when one chooses a path, one shoulders all the consequences that go with it, be they good, or bad.

  • Politically-wise, it'll be fun to see what happens after Easter: will Belgium explode? Will Leterme seal his position of no-good, incapable would-be prime minister, or will he be saved by some angel or other come from Rome to reinstate a Catholic party in power here?
    And what about France? Will people just drool , wag their tails in happiness at their omni-president, little N Sarkozy when he starts unraveling for good all their social laws and starts tackling the legal limit of the number of hours you can work per weeks? Or will they at last remember they have a backbone and will they fight? Will they remember that they have one weapon, and one weapon only, named "strike"?

  • TV Series-wise, I'll be waiting for more from shows like House, M.D., Battlestar Galactica, Ashes to Ashes, spin-off from the excellent Life on Mars, Heroes, a great many others. And, yes, I hope the screenwriters get their due, and I hope you guys all the best in your battle against the producers. The strike may endanger some shows I love, but hey, if only the producers would be fair, it wouldn't be happening, so go for it!

I could go on like this for quite a while, but it's best to leave a bit of surprise and sense of wonder at the things that may, or may not come to pass in 2008.

One last thing before I go, a small, probably useless piece of all too obvious wisdom:
When blackbirds sing, it means that rain is near. Whether it's just been blown away by the wind and the blackbird's song is joyful, or whether charcoal clouds are hugging the sky and the blackbird's song is a warning and the portent of dark things to come, it's for us to decide. And often, we decide according to our current mood. One day it will be good, and the next it will be bad. The one thing that matters, is never to forget that the two exist, and that there is no universe, no world in which only the one holds sway. There is always another possibility, always a potentiality for better things, and for brighter days.

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