The New Millennium
26 October 2000
A billion people around the world are tuned into the networks to see the reporting of the new year. It seems every news network and television station across the land is showing clips or slides or projectile screens of troubled areas for Y2K, rioting, terrorism, and better or worse events occurring throughout our international global economic system of stocks and bonds. Investors are running around screaming “Where, oh dear heaven, is Greenspan? What does Greenspan say? What do we do if everything collapses?”
NBC, ABC, PBS, FOX, CNN, and a million others show the events of the world. On HBO they seem to have found the previously unknown of Monica Lewinsky Oval Office surveillance videotapes and their ratings are shooting through the roof (no pun intended).
Times Square is crowded with millions, as bands across the land play for massive crowded audiences who bought tickets that would be half as much any other time of the year. Sting is telling everyone about starting up a brand new day. Billy Joel is saying goodbye to Miss Saigon, and Christina Aguilera has her hair dyed a mixture between blonde and black that looks a bit like a skunk with seventeen million screaming teenage men watching her from around the world wishing they could have a mere three minutes with her to allow themselves an outlet for their testosterone charged hormonal desire.
On and on, the parties, the celebrations, the events continue. In Paris, Charles DeGaulle International Airport is lit up with thousands standing around singing and screaming 'La Marseillas'. Midnight strikes London, and Her Majesty the Queen dances with her friends as fireworks light up London so bright and so loud that a RAF veteran is having flashbacks from 1941 and he almost dies of shock as he runs down the road screaming “The bombs are falling on London, run for the underground tunnels!”
In D.C., the president is slated to give a speech before midnight, but by then most the land will be so drunk by Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, and Tivarsky Vodka that there will be no need to say or speak or do anything save for grab the nearest closest girl you can find and give her one hell of a kiss. And, oh, twenty years from now so many will feel so bad because they can’t very well tell their kids when they ask “mommy, daddy, what did you do for the new millenium” that they ended up making out with complete strangers in some crowded city street with people screaming in a drunk stupor all around them.
Yet…yet..there are many reasons for happiness this year. For example—Al Gore has seemed to have forgotten the words Buddhist Temple, Gov. Bush seems to have become a really devout Christian man—especially after the Christian Coalition clears him a campaign soft money check for $500 grand. And sixty three thousand Kansas farmers have just received a letter from Publishers Clearing House assuring each and every one of them that they are now millionaires!
Yet, for some the happiness in non-existent. On this night an estimated 140,000 around the world will be killed, another 806,000 will be raped, two abortion clinics will be bombed, an estimated sixty two cars will spontaneously combust, Ted Kennedy has just awoken from another nightmare in which a drowned woman reaches out for him whispering the word “Chappaquity” and four people will have the unfortunate experience of having their tongues stuck to the inside of the freezer door, three of those male, one female, and end up having to call the police if they can reach the phone and scream out “Mah tun is uck” in silent desperation that someone, somewhere, somehow will understand their pain and arrive as soon as possible. And, in less then five hours, about twenty cult groups based upon the end of the world being 1/1/00 are going to have a severe drop in membership and fund raising.
Four hours, three hours, two hours until New York turns into the biggest party capitol of the US and entire world. It seems everyone except for the New York police department and garbage men that will have to clean confetti off of street corners for the next three weeks are having a part of the party. And then the moments wind down…five minutes until the end of the world, the new dawn, the year 2-0-0-0. There is a silence that falls on the millions in Times Square, the millions that line the New Jersey Parkway that are stuck in a massive traffic jam, the billions around the world watching Peter Jennings on ABC News, and silence – silence echoes throughout the nation to the point where you can hear the silence.
There is a general tension in the air, and just about everyone in the nation except for Joe Bob Smith from Evans, Georgia is wondering if their electricity will be working or not when midnight strikes. The silence continues, and the few males still without a girl in the crowded streets and scrambling quickly, quickly, looking for someone or anyone to give a kiss to when the clock strikes midnight.
And, finally, it happens. The World Ends, on eastern standard time.
"A page of good prose remains invincible." -- John Cheever
"And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so? I did. And what did you want? To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth." -- Raymond Carver