Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Run awaaaaaaay!!!!

All right, sports fans, who's ready to help The State out with The Answer to The Question posed by The Centerpiece here?

The choices that will better define who we are – and who we want to be ...

The only answer on the board is "Flee!"* It's a perfectly legitimate answer (and if it's actually "our move," we have no choice), but unfortunately it's one that doesn't have anything to do with the story:

The State newspaper’s staff sizes up key issues to watch in the Palmetto State, plus, things to look forward to in the year ahead

Uh, yeah. So what sort of next moves will "we" be making in this "year of decisions"?***

ETHICS REFORM. After the ethics debacles of 2012, South Carolinians could be excused if they think they need a bath. Everyone will have their own ideas for strenthening the state’s weak ethics laws. Can politicians reform their own nests?

TRACKING THE PENNY Richland County will begin several road projects, and bus riders will see service improvements as soon as January. Expect to hear the words “scrutiny,” “oversight” and “stewardship” with some frequency as officials spend $1 billion from the new sales tax.

USC SPORTS The Gamecocks’ “Glory Era” in sports should continue unabated. The baseball and basketball teams have new coaches. With football, watch for who will replace Marcus Lattimore, who will start as quarterback and how stellar a year Jadeveon Clowney can have.

The Economy Economists expect improvements to continue this year if the fiscal cliff is averted. The state is poised to attract more commercial investment, which will bring more jobs. And continued low interest rates could spur even more movement in the real estate market.

The government we want Many of us want a smaller government. Many think shrinking government now would hurt most those who can afford it least. We’ll have many conversations in 2013 about who we are and what we want our government to do.

Starting to see the problem? "We" might be able to make some moves about our own ethics, but it's going to be hard for us to uncorrupt South Carolina politics singlehandedly. "We" get a little closer on the road projects, because there's supposed to be a citizen advisory board in place soon. What "our" next move has to do with USC sports -- I'm guessing "genuflection" is the move The Staff of The State has in mind -- is anyone's guess.

After that, we're simply babbling. By the time "we" get to "the government we want," it's fairly clear that "many conversations" is what a newspaper says when it doesn't have the sand to distinguish the paranoid lies of AM radio from actual public policy decisions.

If you want to write a year-ahead piece, go ahead. It'd help to be coherent -- in Strunkenwhite terms, not just to express coordinate ideas in parallel form, but to express coordinate ideas, period. And when you're scraping about for an image to sum it all up, just go for the New Year's Eve fireworks from New Zealand or something. The symbolic stuff doesn't work if you don't know what you're trying to symbolize in the first place.

* There has to be at least one other piece** on the board, and he could be controlling either (but not both) of the available squares.
** OK, 10 points to Weaseldor if you know which one.
*** Links as in the online original.

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