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Shady Illuminations

The Undisappointed

by John Shade

Generic image illustrating the article
  John vows to expect nothing, thuse ensuring that he will not be disappointed.  

Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.

–Jonathan Swift

Thanksgiving is bearing down upon those of us who live in the United States, Canada, or Grenada. For those of you out of the path of the annual Gratitudinalia, an explanation may be in order.

In the United States, Thanksgiving is the day on which we celebrate having enough to eat by eating everything in sight and falling asleep on the couch. In Canada, the holiday commemorates Martin Frobisher’s unsuccessful search for a Northwest Passage. Frobisher gave up, went back to Newfoundland, and resolved not to be disappointed. On Thanksgiving Day in Grenada, they remember the 1983 U.S. invasion.

If those are my choices, I prefer the Canadian model of Thanksgiving. I choose to honor the day in Swift/Frobisher style by resolving not to be disappointed.

Here are the matters in which I resolve not to be disappointed this year:

As the winds of political rhetoric rustle the November leaves, I will keep in mind that the trees of bureaucracy are deep-rooted, and I will not expect anything but Business as Usual from my government. Or from business.

I will not expect Apple to change its pricing model, although I expect them to move the sap bucket from tree to tree regularly.

I will not expect the island nation of Tuvalu to survive global warming, except in the form of the .tv domain, which I think will continue to do very well.

I will not expect Oracle to do anything with Java but what benefits Oracle.

I will not expect to start liking cranberries. Why in the name of all that is rational farmers slap on the waders and slog out into the November bogs to harvest those bitter little pills I’ll never understand.

I will not expect 2011 to be the Year of Artificial Intelligence, the Semantic Web, or Unix on the Corporate Desktop. I expect 2011 to be the Year of the Hangnail.

John Shade was born under a cloud in Montreux, Switzerland, in 1962. Subsequent internment in a series of obscure institutions of ostensibly higher learning did nothing to brighten his outlook. For which he is thankful.

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