Give me a break from creepy ads
By Christina Nuckols
I am hoping to say good-bye to 2012’s barrage of political ads. After Election Day, I felt safe to venture beyond public broadcasting, but not for long. The commercials that replaced the attack ads were even scarier.
Lawyer Daniel Crandall tried to persuade me I need not feel “uncomfortable” calling him if I’m rear-ended in the Towers parking lot. Brad Pitt was even creepier hawking Chanel No. 5 in his worst performance since that horrible vampire movie.
I hope 2013 will be better, but alas, the two likely candidates for governor are certain to be on the airwaves soon. I can see their ads already.
Here’s Democrat Terry McAuliffe by a fireplace confiding in smarmy tones, “I’m easy to vote for!”
Next comes Republican Ken Cuccinelli, newly goateed, whispering huskily, “My luck, my fate, my fortune. Inevitable.”
Excuse me while I tune into the “Antiques Roadshow” and fling my remote control out the window.
So long, Snooki
By Luanne Rife
Goodbye, “Jersey Shore.” Not that I ever watched it. Snooki and the melanoma-worshipping T-shirted tribe invaded the covers of the supermarket tabloids far too long. Their presence crowded out the ability to quickly and discretely keep tabs on the real icons of pop before my groceries scurry along the conveyor belt and force me to avert my eyes from the train-wrecked lives of . . . Snooki?
The Kardashians? The “real” housewives? Toddlers and their tiaras?
Please don’t let them follow the rest of us into 2013.
If only 2012 could wrap its tentacles around the species who deploy cosmic osmosis, aka Twitter, to “share” too many uninformed opinions, then quickly become offended because everyone’s up in their grill. (Wait, I’ve been informed “grill” was left behind in ’09. Whatever.)
There is a tipping point when a trend peaks before its decline. Mark 2012 as the year crass crashed.
Have a happy, greener new year
By Elizabeth Strother
I hope the end of 2012 will be the end of Roanoke County’s flirtation with one-world conspiracy theorists pleading for withdrawal from ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability.
Supervisors voted not once, but twice, this year to keep the county’s membership in the international association that promotes sustainable development. Both times, the vote was 3-2.
Any actions the county takes are purely voluntary. The close votes and the way program critics go on about it, though, you’d swear this was a world campaign of intimidation against cowering American communities.
Supervisors Butch Church and Ed Elswick, who voted against ICLEI in January, asked to put it back on the agenda in August to, in Church’s words, “put this to sleep or continue it forever.”
Well, foes still show up regularly at board meetings to issue dire warnings — their right, forever. My wish for the new year: Repeated exposure will improve the board’s herd immunity to pandering.
By Christian Trejbal
I am happy to leave Montgomery County high school controversies behind in 2012.
When Blacksburg High School’s gymnasium collapsed almost three years ago, controversy was inevitable. The county debated whether to build or renovate, how to pay for a new school, whether to delay a new Auburn High School in Riner, and how much to spend.
It got ugly at public meetings. Some county residents tried to frame the issue as us against them, as comparatively wealthy Blacksburg against the rural parts of the county. Tea partyers railed against taxes to pay for new schools and other public services.
Despite all that, 2012 was a year of construction, and the schools are scheduled to open in 2013.
It is just too bad that the rest of the bitterness, weak county leadership, inter-county feuding and financial problems will not likely fade into the past along with the high school controversies.