Good vibes

The editorial staff roundly mocked this simple editorial writer. “Positive stuff in 2012? Part of the reason this state can’t recover is because the news media keeps putting positive spins on bad news.”

It’s a little deeper than that, actually. There’s little doubt that rah-rah media have trouble finding enough local good news to dilute the wire newsfeeds, but every dog has its day, and occasionally a New York comedian will make jokes for the humorless to get all heated up about.

Come on, gang. It’s OK to be optimistic going into a new year, even if it’s just whistling in the dark.

Some of these arguments go back to the chaos theory of social reform: Things have to break bad before people fix them. It’s starting to feel like things are really broken.

While it’s impossible to say with any certainty that next year will be better than this, the odds seem in our favor. What is the likelihood in 2012 that we’ll have an Amtrak wreck, a mass murder in a restaurant, a major urban fire, a crash at an air race, a motorcycle club shootout in a casino, or an international tsunami to threaten the U.S. with radiation?

There are even some other concrete things that offer enticements to real hope. For example, we haven’t had a major casino close this year. The last one anyone around here can remember was the Siena Hotel Spa and Casino, which closed in October 2010 and reopened this year. CommRow’s opening seemed a step forward. Reno Little Theater’s inauguration of their new space also seems a bright spot. The war is over in Iraq, the Arab Spring is having repercussions the world round, and there’s going to be a presidential campaign so we can be distracted from the foreclosure and jobless reports.

Peculiarly, one of the most hopeful signs is something that people pointed out again and again after painful events in Northern Nevada: In the face of tragedy, this community comes together. Be it murder or fire or flood or drought (or Fozzie Bear), we can see many of the non-elected members of this society working together to solve problems through their volunteer efforts or even through their labors to bring topics like economic inequality into the community’s thought process.

The result of this tough year—these tough years—is that people are developing a siege mentality; and that’s a great thing, from a certain perspective. No matter what damage the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune visit upon us, we’re still dressing up like evil Santa Clauses and making merry in the city’s streets. We’re still rockin’ ’n’ rollin’ on Friday nights. We’re still soaking up the sunshine in the summer, planting our peppers in the spring, sporting our Day-Glo green fantasy fur chaps in the fall. We’re still making love on the deck when it seems like the neighbors and kids have gone to sleep.

You naysayers and pessimists can take your naysaying pessimism down the road. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass.

But as for us, we’re staying. And we’re looking forward to 2012—at least as far as Dec. 21, anyway.