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

'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?”