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A Poem for the Year That Was...And the One That Will Be

B&C's Rob Edelstein looks back lyrically on 2008...and ahead to 2009 12/29/2008 07:00:00 PM Eastern

'Twas two months before litmus, the DTV shift
While all through the industry folks felt adrift
Though Black Friday triumphed days grew again grayer
With business as neglected as a Betamax player
The Dow Jones kept rolling through maddening swings
Oh, when would it beef up and take only shwings?
The once-stuffed economy hurtled on south
Through a gaping yap bigger than Charles Barkley's mouth
Pleas came in for money, while all through the House
And Senate they'd grapple, and grumble and grouse
Chairman Martin was wincing from a sling and an arrow
Or maybe a voodoo pin from Kyle McSlarrow
Portfolios started to look quite anemic
Jim Cramer stuffed Franklins into his Posturepedic
So we sat in our office and did reassess
Tiptoeing 'round “Less Is More!” and “More Is Less!”
These phrases of summary, this year so big
With losses: even bookmakers dropped their vig
And yet when you look back and add up the rate
We all feel quite happy for 2008
It had lots of drama and magic and thrills
And YouTube was there to catch all of its spills
For with each regression, recession and such
Some reasons for cheering would lift us a touch
Hillary came thisclose, inspiring her gender
And Bill found some odd ways to try to defend her
McCain, he's a maverick, or haven't you heard?
With Letterman he couldn't get in the last word
A Palin-esque ticket, it started to getcha
Were you thinking she'd really win? Oh, you betcha
Katie asked questions that seemed pretty fair
But some of those answers were really out there
We wondered if Palin could be our commander
Just 'cause she saw Russia from her rear veranda
She gave us a few of the jokes of the fall
From Putin to newspapers—she read them all
And Tina Fey turned out to have the right looks
Her winking became one of SNL's hooks
Stations' campaign ad profits made coffers bloat
The money poured in till we all went to vote
A horserace it was and how well they all ran
Till Obama electrified with “Yes we can”
Debates raised such issues, the insults would pour
On Bill Ayres, on plumbers, on “that one,” on war
On Freddie, on Fannie, on showing some tact
On vote machines, on—get this—who's really black
Barack raised such sums and ran quite a campaign
Made history, and many popped the champagne
While several top moments provided a spark
It's hard to top that special night in Grant Park
Though Michael Phelps struck with a familiar ring
Collecting his world-record Olympic bling
His one “touching” moment, that relay, his routs
His mother and sister, his fist pumps, his shouts
And then on the sprint track: You watch him, he's gone
It's swift Usain Bolt, he's from Jamaica, mon!
The volleyball ladies and gymnasts a-spinning
And Bob Costas offering comments so winning
In drama there's Mad Men, man, how that show broke
A hot new hit that generated real smoke
Although to be honest we're all still a-grievin'
The end of Sopranos: We won't stop believin'
The writers' strike sapped time, funds and energy
As networks became their own worst enemy
Ben Silverman's jolly and ringing his chimes
While prime dramas sail for more welcoming climes
Will Leno and Zucker's big gamble take time?
And will the big payoff in late news be prime?
And will the move from analog be the rage?
As everyone enters the digital age?
American Idol, we hope that still flies
As Simon sips Coke and Paula rolls her eyes
It's funny, and even though we're feeling low
There's cause for some optimism, don't you know
We may all be feeling like one addled nation
But we're geared up for the new administration
'Cause even in these dark times filled with somefright
Looking down the tunnel we still see the light
We'll hold onto that for as long as it's sound
And hope ads and houses and cars can rebound
And sure, these are times that make everyone pine
For old days when we didn't need a lifeline
But trust that this industry's always well styled
With classy shows for man and woman and child
So things aren't great, what was fast now seems slow
Maybe we're nuts, but we still go with the flow
Perhaps because we still hold this guarantee:
Folks still fill the den shouting, “What's on TV?”


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