No Resolutions Here! (Well, Maybe A Few)

I’m not one for resolutions – or at least not of the New Year’s variety. If I did, I would probably confess during my third glass of champagne some kind of regret for not posting to this blog more frequently, but I'm going to try not to go there. I write when I feel like it, dammit, and I roped in some help so that I wouldn't have to do it all by myself. I know that you have all enjoyed the fantastic entries by Mighty Toy Cannon in particular, as I have. (Happy New Year to you, MTC!)

And while I do intend to give myself more allowance to post less pithy topics (read: sharing some regurgitated Internet humor, perhaps?) from time to time in 2009 (that's NOT a resolution, do you hear?), I do want to share just a few of my hopes and wishes for the next 365 days.

• That most (if not all) of our arts organizations survive. Conventional wisdom says that in serious economic downturns like this, charitable contributions go up even while consumer spending (e.g, ticket sales) tanks. That’s why the next 6 months are going to be incredibly tough for arts groups: while donors have rallied around their favorite arts organization with year-end giving, the attention turns this spring to subscription renewals and early ticket sales for the 2009-10 season. Only those arts organizations that are anticipating shortfalls, and cutting their budgets accordingly, will be able to mount the seasons they have promised us. Organizations with chronic cash flow problems are in serious doo-doo.

• That President Obama lives up to expectations. On one hand, you gotta think that things can only improve when Barak takes office, but we all know that the economy is going to get worse before it gets better. I might find myself a little disappointed when the man fails to steer the economy the way of Yes-We-Can, but as long as he and his trusty advisors communicate with us about what they’re trying to do, and how we all can help, maybe the public will stay with him until the economy’s natural rebounding powers start kicking in. Then there are those little wars to deal with.

• That Sam Adams lives up to expectations. I have been guilty of leading Sam’s cheerleading squad because of his strong commitment to increasing arts funding, but I also recognize that he’s taken several positions that I completely disagree with (like the Headquarters Hotel, as Art Scatter discussed earlier this month.) If Sam can continue to grow and learn from his mistakes, I think he’ll be an excellent mayor, and we’re going to need an excellent mayor to finally pass a dedicated funding source for arts and culture in the region. So I’m counting on him.

• That bad service goes the way of the dinosaur. I have been really upset to have seen some of my favorite friendly neighborhood joints go out of business, while a few restaurants and retailers continue to offer substandard service and a holier-than-thou attitude. Sure, I don’t have to patronize these establishments (and I don’t), but hopefully the rest of Portland (and all of our visitors) can soon be spared from all the incompetence and impoliteness.

• That the Blazers make the playoffs. It’s looking good so far, but anything can happen as any sports fan knows. I’ll even be bold and wish them past the first round series!

• That the MAX green line opens on time and under budget. When the yellow line starts riding the green line tracks into town (travelling up 5th and 6th Avenues, rather than 1st), it will reduce 5 whole minutes from my public transit commute time! Plus I'm excited to see the sleek new trains. And less selfishly, I hope that it’s under budget and over-utilized because we need to be building many more of these trains and streetcars in the next decade if we’re going to cement our status a center for sustainability. (Sorry for all that unintended alliteration.)

• That communities begin to come together rather than growing more isolated. The economic crisis has only exacerbated our trend away from each other. Sure, technology has played a role in some of our increased isolation, but it has been furthermore observed that in an environment of fear, like we're experiencing now, humans react by hunkering down – while other species instinctually gather in groups. I don’t know if more “social grouping” is going to be the cause or the effect of our improved economy, but I’d like to think there is some power in the former.

Now having just typed this out, I suppose it's not appropriate to sit around with passive, idle wishes, so I just may resolve after all to take what actions I can to affect some of the changes I’m hoping for. For example: attending more arts events in 2009! It’s not easy (nor inexpensive) to attend several events per week, but to save the economy and ensure world peace, I will try and do the best that I can. Is there a support group for that?

1 comment:

MightyToyCannon said...


Those are fine hopes you have espoused. I don't spot a single one with which I could disagree. Thanks for letting me share this piece of internet real estate with you for the past several months. Here's to a vibrant 2009!