At the beginning of every new year, I like to pause and reflect on the people, events, trends, problems, policies, or whatever else that is considered "IN" or "OUT." It is startling what a year can do, and 1988 is a stunning contrast with 1987. INS and OUTS are, of course, self-explanatory and cut to the core of human experience.
Nineteen eighty-eight was a huge political year, nationally and locally. Ted Wilson was IN all year as he seemed destined for impressive victory, but he is now OUT, as are tax initiatives, and Merrill Cook. Pumping water in the desert and Norm Bangerter are both IN, although they were OUT all year. The T word (taxes) is back IN, and the L word (Liberal) is OUT.The Utah economy is now IN, as are temperature inversions, and miraculously, since he is a Democrat, Wayne Owens. But Michael Dukakis and the entire state of Massachusetts are OUT, along with spin doctors. George Bush is IN, with Brent Scowcroft and most other Utah Republicans. During the inauguration, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will be IN.
Although he is OUT as New Hampshire governor, John Sununu is IN at the White House. Mikhail Gorbachev is IN along with perostroika. Yasser Arafat was OUT, but he is suddenly IN and terrorists are OUT. So are budget deficits, Boston Harbor, and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Bud Scruggs is IN at the Governor's office, and Reed Searle is OUT. Bob Coles is IN at Utah Holiday and Paul Swenson is OUT. Carl Reiner, who strongly resembles a thin Gorbachev, especially when he speaks Russian, is IN, but the stealth bomber and SDI are both OUT.
The FAR SIDE in IN, but its cartoonist, Gary Larson, is OUT and is so tired of cartooning that he promises to STAY OUT. Frank Layden is also OUT while Jerry Sloan is IN. The Utah Jazz are IN unless they take the Mailman OUT.
Morton Downey, Jr. and Geraldo Rivera are so far OUT that they are IN, and Phil Donahue, who used to be IN, is OUT since he appeared in a skirt. Oprah Winfrey is IN since she became THIN, and so is Optifast and all liquid weight loss programs, but 60 pounds of animal fat is OUT. So is LDL (bad cholesterol), but HDL (good cholesterol) is IN. In spite of his weight, Willard Scott is still IN.
Barbara Walters and the celebrities on her 50 specials are IN, but the Chevrolet Celebrity is OUT. Murphy Brown is IN, but Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore have just been taken OUT. Pat Sajak is OUT at "Wheel of Fortune" but IN on his own CBS talk show. Deborah Norville of NBC News is IN, but Channel 5's "Prime Time Access" is OUT.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito are IN and identical twins are OUT. "The Naked Gun" is IN. So are RJR Nabisco, leveraged buy-outs, sweetheart deals, and golden handshakes. But investment fraud and pyramid schemes are OUT, especially in Utah. Unfortunately, so is "Nightline."
Memories of John F. Kennedy are IN, but negative political campaigning is OUT. Orel Hershizer and Bruce Hurst are both IN. But the Boston Red Sox are OUT, along with jogging, attache cases, and presidential press conferences. Hot oat bran cereal is IN, but Crackling Oat Bran is OUT. Ebenezer Scrooge and shelters for the homeless are both IN, but Dan Quayle is OUT even while he is IN. And Dan Rather is OUT ever since his George Bush interview.
Race walking with weights in IN, but Reeboks are OUT, along with the Utah housing market and Mormon rap music. The Crossroads Mall is IN, but the slogan, `A pretty, great state" was OUT before it was IN. Addidas and Nikes are IN, but Home Shoppers Network is OUT.
Greek salad is IN, but Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou and his mistress are both OUT, along with hazardous waste. Isotoner slippers are IN, but Isotoner gloves are OUT. Working out at the gym is IN. So are health maintenance organizations. Shoulder bags for men are IN, but mini-skirts, jump suits, and acid-washed jeans are OUT.
Jim Bakker is back IN the news. Donald Trump is IN as is Calvin Trillin. But Garrison Keillor is still OUT, desperately trying to get back IN. Nintendo is IN, while reading for children is OUT. Double-breasted suits are IN, and so are helmets for motor cyclists. But Robin Givens and Mike Tyson are OUT, and let's hope they stay that way! That's it for 1988. If you ever get too far IN you will be OUT.