THE OPPENHEIMER REPORT (December 28, 2020)
A pre-emptive Happy New Year to my readers! All my life, I’ve been a cynical person, and for the first 20 years that I wrote The Oppenheimer Report, it was mostly about character assassination and tongue-in-cheek commentary on current events. Of late, the reports have taken on a more serious tone. My wife and editor, Shauna, is concerned that I will lose my “12 loyal readers”, but it’s not as if I’m going to experience Kevin Spacey fall off the face of the earth kind of anonymity, because I’ve always BEEN anonymous! The fact is, I’m a very different person than the guy who started writing this “report” as a New Year’s resolution back in 1992. At the time, my directive was to write a page about events of the week, a postcard from the edge, and to do it for just one year. One year has turned into 29. I think I might quit when I get to 30 years. For me, it’s always been about the discipline of writing a page per week; something to give my ever-deteriorating brain a little much needed exercise. It also forces me to sit down and take a moment to assess the week. Typically, at the end of the year, I would try to sum up the events of the year, but I think it would be impossible to do that for 2020. I wrote to someone the other day that 2020 has become a numerical swear word. Go 2020 yourself.
I’ve had a melody rattling around in my head for the past couple of weeks, and out of that melody, I wrote a song to commemorate Christmas 2020. I wrote the lyrics last week and finished the song on Christmas Day. I was excited to complete a song, any song, because I’ve been in a long, creative dry spell of late. The song is entitled “The Good Fight (Christmas 2020)” and on Boxing Day, I posted my very stripped-down performance of said song on Facebook. Indeed, this was a strange Christmas for most of us. A lot of people have written pandemic songs lately, and very few of them seem hopeful. The message of my song is that 2020 really sucked, for most of the world, but that I have not thrown in the towel. I wanted to record something for my 12 loyal listeners to acknowledge that there is always hope where there is love. The inspiration for “The Good Fight (Christmas 2020)” was John Lennon’s well-known Christmas song “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”. Although it will not likely be heard by many, I’m glad I put it out there. I needed to end 2020 on a hopeful note. All of my songs are journal entries and I needed to write at least one song to record the remarkable year which has just passed. We can’t change what has happened, and we certainly have little control over the hearts and minds of those who don’t believe what we believe. All I can do is adjust how I behave. This is a pivotal point for mankind. History will likely sanitize the insanity, but I doubt anyone will be able to rationalize it.
I didn’t intend to write another report in 2020, but I just had to say this: annus horribilis, don’t let the screen door hit you on the way out. Kudos to Hunters Bay Radio for giving so many of us locals a voice, and for doing so many good and charitable things for our community. This season, Jeff Carter and The Bay Food Crew delivered (I believe) over 500 complete dinners to local food banks, putting a huge dent in the problem of food insecurity at a time when it is needed most. There are good people everywhere, and I intend to focus on those people in the new year. I hope you can do the same. Shauna and I are proud and thankful to be affiliated with this great radio station. May 2021 bring us all hope, safety, good health, and prosperity. Keep fighting the good fight, and if you don’t believe in the good fight, then “2020” YOU!
Written by Jamie Oppenheimer ©2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED