Some unknown cause made me think, this New Year’s Eve, about my favorite television newsman, the aptly-named Harry Reasoner. To my early-adolescent mind, he seemed to embody all of the civilized virtues: calm, good nature, and clear vision. On New Year’s Eve, it was his custom to sign off with an old Scottish prayer:
From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!
And with that, let me offer the very warmest of New Year’s greetings to the entire Reality-Based Community. Yes, if you read the papers, you might think that the Mayans, or at least their nuttier modern interpreters, were on to something about the world ending in 2012. But hope is still a virtue – especially when it balances “pessimism of the intellect” with “optimism of the will” – and despair the one uncorrectable vice.
Cheer up! Things could be worse. They probably will be, unless we work hard to prevent it.