Meet the new year, same as the old year, just newer.

This photo was on the cover of the free WaPo rag this morning. And lest you nonlocals become concerned about declining standards at the Post, I’ll explain that the Express prints all the wire reports that are fit to snark about and no more.

Because I’m working with camera phone technology that’s at least three years old, here’s the full caption…

On the ball: Workers perform a test of the New Year’s Eve ball on Tuesday in Times Square. Up to 1 million people are expected in New York City Wednesday to help usher out a year marred by a recession fueled by a mortgage crisis and Wall Street’s meltdown. In hopes of better fortunes, 1,000 balloons reading “Joy,” “Hope” and “2009” will be released five minutes before the ball drops.

Which is sure to guarantee a joyful and hopeful 2009 for everyone except the endangered species who ingest these glad tidings and die as a result of them. Or the folks downwind from NYC who wake up to find their yard full of airborne litter from their neighbors.

I’m planning to join NYC in their spreading of good cheer this new year as soon as I can find a print shop that can fit “schadenfreude” onto a balloon.

And really, why do these ball droppers believe that 2009 will be any different than 2008? Or even 1908? After all, there are still over 600 plutocrats who are willing to shell out $14,000 to sit in a room and watch their daughters present themselves to the world for marriage the same way that farmers line up along the rail at the county fair to watch their livestock auctioned off for slaughter. See? Everything’s fine with the economy!

Although, I suppose that I shouldn’t be surprised that so many people turned out…

The director of the ball, Margaret Hedberg, brushed off the $14,000 cost of a table — “Watches cost more.”

And everyone’s sporting that kind of bling. Hell, in 3B’s last BK kids meal, he got a plastic Disney princess and a Rolex, although honestly, I wasn’t that impressed. I’m waiting for the meal that comes with a DBS.

But amid all this good news from those whose balls drop in public once a year, endangered species, and robber barons, there is a spot of bad news for the five people left on the planet who somehow believe that Microsoft makes worthwhile good tolerable working products. Apparently, at 2 a.m. this morning, both all Zune 30s died (from David Connell).

Actually, come to think of it, that brings me some hope and joy for 2009.

Subscribe to the Bradstein feed–Vorsprung durch Technik!

  • I just bought a watch on eBay and it cost me $10.71. Just a hair under $14,000. So close.

    Here’s to a fabulous 2009, Bradsteins! I’m looking forward to many more laughs courtesy of 3B!

  • Yeah, somehow I don’t think that the duchesses shop on eBay like the rest of us common folk.

    If you want more laughs, come on over for brunch…or have we already scheduled one of those? Crap, just show up, how will I ever remember if it was scheduled or not?

  • I’m ready for 2009.
    Bring it!

    —Happy New Year—

    (oh, and you’re going to have to turn 3B onto Neil Diamond. Gage is now belting out “America” at the top of his lungs(with the song, of course)…but for some reason, he calls it “The Camping Song”…hmmm???)

  • I do not remember any $14K watches, obviously I have not become accustomed to the right lifestyle. I am so glad that 2009 will be so much better for everyone though. I can hardly wait.

    LP: “They camping to America” according to your son. I can hear it, can you?

  • L-P: As a junior member of the Red Sox Nation, I expect that 3B’s first Neil Diamond song will be Sweet Caroline. Who can resist the ba-ba-baaaaa!

    CAGirl: You’re so right about those lyrics. I would have never thought of that, which is why you’ll always be my big sister–you’ll always be smarter than me.

  • You can also turn him onto the Neil Diamond Christmas collection. Nothing like a Jewish boy singing Christmas songs.

    When he gets older he can sing Cracklin’ Rose! Like my #1, although he would much rather the hard A.

    #3 got a watch for Christmas with a Penguin on it. Does your 14K Rolex have that??? I think you need to figure out what your standards are. We ate Happy Meals for years X4 and never did I get anything worth keeping. We call them 5 minute toys in this house. Keeps them happy for 5 minutes.

  • Now, now, Papa B — don’t be too harsh on the debutantes. They were doing it for charity, after all. And hey, they were contributing to the economy — Vera Wang dresses don’t grow on trees, ya know. And are you calling Arianna Huffington a plutocrat? The liberal gestapo will be knocking on your door shortly.

  • KMoo: I’d take Cracklin’ Rose, although I have to be careful what I ask for, since I’ll hear it 4,000 times a day.

    Amama: You bring up the 80’s punk name checks in me. First the Circle Jerks, now the Dead Kennedys:

    Now it is 1984
    Knock-knock at your front door
    It’s the suede/denim secret police
    They have come for your uncool niece