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Jewish World Review Dec. 29, 2000/ 3 Teves, 5761

Marianne M. Jennings

Marianne M. Jennings
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The year that was -- THE YEAR 2000 began with great disappointment. Y2K fears had driven otherwise prudent souls and even some Massachusetts Democrats into bomb shelters stocked with Ovaltine, shotgun shells and generators for VCRs. They emerged with egg on their faces, albeit powdered, for even backward nations with Spencer Tracy "Desk Set" computers entered the millennium flawlessly.

But 2000 was not without its computer fiascos, all inflicted by pierced youth. Using e-mails with titles adults found necessary to open at work, i.e., ILOVEYOU, one young man wreaked havoc on civilization by shutting down eBay for a day. The market for black velvet paintings of dogs playing poker took an unprecedented dive. Total damage caused by the ILOVEYOU virus was estimated at $3 billion, a figure exceeded only by Arizona's tab for its alt fuel tax credit program. When the Melissa virus shut down, we retreated to pride in our nuclear security at Los Alamos.

When we learned the Chinese were downloading the Los Alamos secrets through Napster, we focused on our foreign policy strength. Children found floating in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida were promptly returned to totalitarian states to enjoy daily brainwashing and milk once each week.

Elian Gonzalez captured the world's heart and a lot of loot from Disney World and his Miami relatives before Janet Reno and armed guards captured him from a closet in a Little Havana home. U.S. Marshals staged a strategic seizure of the lad from the arms of the Elian's original rescuer, a fisherman and formidable foe who looked as if chemotherapy failed him.

Mr. Clinton then single-handedly brought peace to the Middle East in the form of street fighting, the bombing of U.S. ships, and disruption of the Israeli government.

Our true strength, gender wars, continued in various forms, particularly in Vermont. Via judicial imperialism, civil unions were blessed and beds, breakfasts and gay marriages became the mantra of Vermont chambers of commerce. Richard Hatch, the survivor of Survivor, showed the world he was gay, in addition to all of his body parts, and emerged the victor in TV's show about conniving losers who could take six weeks off to eat rats on rice.

Speaking of TV losers, Darva Conger married a millionaire unemployed comedian. Seeking restoration of her privacy, Ms. Conger posed nude. There were internal genders wars at the Olympics with steroids responsible for much of the confusion. Dr. Laura Schlessinger incurred the wrath of gay and lesbian activists because she relies on scripture and nature as her higher authorities. Ms. Gloria Steinem committed the ultimate feminist faux pas by marrying a guy (with bucks, no less) at the home of her friend, Wilma Mankiller.

The 2000 presidential race, begun in earnest when Al Gore was born in 1948, plodded along with John McCain's constituency, the media, crestfallen when McCain's Truth Express derailed in South Carolina. Al Gore defeated Bill Bradley handily with a makeup wand, earth tones and tall tales of his adventures as inventor of the Internet, inspiration for Love Story, and holder of the lock box.

Bobby Knight was expelled from Indiana University for slapping kids around. His arrogance in running a basketball program free of cheating outraged university trustees who insisted on a new-age coach - one experienced in recruiting felons.

Hillary Clinton announced her run for the Senate in New York in January 2000. Hillary Clinton then purchased a home in Chappaqua to get around pesky constitutional residency requirements. Rudy Giuliani, Mrs. Clinton's original opponent, struck with cancer and a Jerry Springer-worthy divorce, slunk away. Little Ricky Lazio was Mrs. Clinton's final opponent, but, lacking sufficient black pantsuits, was defeated.

The media filled their McCain void when Mr. Gore took time out from writing Harry Potter to name Sen. Joseph Lieberman as his running mate on August 7, 2000. Mr. Lieberman placed all of his previously held convictions in a lock box on August 8, 2000 where they could emerge only if he returned to the Senate and required credibility.

Nasdaq behaved much like an Explorer with Firestone tires, doing several loop the loops before bottoming out at about 88 cents per share. Gen-Xers whined, "So, like this economic stuff is bogus. I'm all . . . I may have to get a new wardrobe and a real job." Al Gore finally said the same thing six weeks after losing the election to chad.

As 2001 begins, W. prepares for his presidency, Mrs. Clinton prepares to spend an $8 million advance, Robert Downey, Jr. prepares to go to prison, and the media brace themselves for the void the departing Clinton circus leaves.

Sex, lies and recounts are tough to top. Cheney cholesterol levels and Crawford, Texas can't hold a candle to Monica, Whitewater and the White House as a bedroom community. Could Milosevic demand a recount? Mr. Gore already has his first union endorsement for 2004. The weight-challenged womyn never sings - the media won't let her.

JWR contributor Marianne M. Jennings is a professor of legal and ethical studies at Arizona State University. Send your comments by clicking here.


12/23/00: Litigation: It's the American way
12/15/00: In defense of rhetoric
12/06/00: The company we keep: Lawyers and elections
12/01/00: Liberals' art of trashing of women
11/20/00: Put me out of my misery
11/17/00: On being a statesman
11/13/00: When it's broke, fixing it wouldn't offend the Framers
11/08/00: ELECTION 2000: I SURRENDER
10/27/00: Al in the package? Memo to women: Choosing presidents and husbands
10/20/00: Ten things the gay community should understand
10/13/00: "You Have a Lump."
10/06/00: The government as the pharmacy: Don't
09/29/00: The capacity for truth
09/22/00: Charity with strings and an agenda
09/15/00: The taming of the shrew: Gloria Steinem takes a husband
09/09/00: Why rich folk don't bother me none
08/28/00: Survival of the not-so-fit but conniving
08/25/00: Conventions: A study in contrasts
08/18/00: Resenting the accusations of racial prejudice
08/04/00: Women: Their own worst enemy
07/21/00: Hillary: Our longshoreman First Lady
07/21/00: SUVs: The root of all evil
07/14/00: The basketball gene and white men not jumping so well
07/07/00: I wanna be around
06/23/00: The liberal conversion
06/14/00: Sex and the City: The shallow but vulgar female
06/08/00: No excuses schools
06/02/00: Oh, Canada: Our Nutty Neighbors to the North
05/23/00: The new mollycoddling coach
05/16/00: On adultery and leadership
05/12/00: Taking your lumps
05/02/00: Elian: There's never a liberal around when you need one
04/25/00: Life's circle and tenderness
04/18/00: Womyn who want it both ways
04/11/00: The monsters we're raising with the ergo proposition
04/05/00: Endowing the Hooters Chair for Literature Appreciation
03/28/00: Dr. Laura: The passive/aggressive kid's mom
03/21/00: Dough and campaigns
03/14/00: The volunteerism of conscription and pomp
03/07/00: Hope and pray that religion remains a force in politics
02/29/00: Ditzes in TV Land
02/22/00: Cranky nitpickers make writing a [sic] experience
02/15/00: Those chameleon 60s activists
02/08/00: McCandidate McCain: Flirting with principles
02/01/00: The demise of marriage
01/25/00: Stroke of the pen, law of the land: Clinton's Camelot
01/18/00: Off the Rocker Rorschach Test
01/11/00: Oprah's lemmings
01/04/00: Struggling mightily amidst the comfort
12/23/99: Confused fathers
12/14/99: Drop-kicking the homeless
12/07/99: Turtles and teamsters, side-by-side in Seattle
11/29/99: When conservatives behave badly
11/22/99: Compassionate conservative: Timing and targets
11/18/99: The elusive human spirit and accountability
11/11/99: Succumbing to the intellectual child within with the help of crackpots and screwballs
10/28/99: Live by litigation, die by litigation
10/22/99: Jesse, Warren, Cybill, Donald and Oprah
10/14/99: Inequality and injustice: It's the big one
10/05/99: Dan Quayle, morals and schoolyard bullies
09/30/99: The monsters of epidermal parenting
09/21/99: The Diversity Hoax
09/15/99: Waco Wackos
09/09/99: Selective censorship
09/01/99: The village, the children, judicial imperialism and abortion
08/24/99: Naughty Newt?
08/17/99: In defense of Boy Scouts and judgment
08/10/99: Ruining the finest health care system in the world
08/03/99: Nihilism and politics: ethics on the lam
07/26/99: Of women, soccer and removed jerseys
07/23/99: Not in despair, a mere mortal doing just fine
07/20/99: "Why me?" How about "Why us?"
07/13/99: Bunk, junk & juries
07/06/99: An Amish woman in a Victoria's Secret store
06/30/99: That intellectually embarrassing Second Amendment
06/24/99: Patricia Ireland eat your heart out --- but check out the recipe in 'women's mags' first
06/22/99: Dems and the Creator coup
06/17/99: True courage is more than just admitting troubles

© 2000, Marianne M. Jennings