Hi friends and those who somehow stumbled upon this blog (and thank you for that). Happy (many versions of) holidays (and festivuses, or plain old times to just get drunk, or moments to wish for better families, or a family at all, or a dog that talks). Hope you’re all safe and merry.
For those of you who do know me personally I’m sure you would not classify me as someone who would get all teary eyed or jingly balls around this time of year. And you’re right, I am dead inside. Well, maybe just in an affective coma. Don’t get me wrong, I too have a screenplay somewhere in a locker of memories that I believe could rewrite the Christmas story, only in my head the wisemen would be 3 hot professorial brunettes in overalls who would also finish my thesis, the baby Jesus would be my twin nephews who call me Feist, and mary and joseph would be licentious ladies dressed in black Doc martins who refuse marriage but really want a party with moonshine and Judith Butler quotes instead. Now that’s a good time.
My mother (I’ll call her lil’ Betty) and I were just chatting away over toast and tea and she asked me what my resolutions were this year. I refuse to have any, I told her. Why? she asked me, annoyed and inflected like she gets when she thinks I’m about to launch into something political. I don’t believe in them, I said. Well I do, she quipped and listed a bunch of her own self-sustaining prophesies for 2012.
It’s true I’m a dorothy downer when it comes to making new year’s resolution, and not because I too don’t feel that affective urge, like bad bacon in the tummy, that says this is the chance to start anew, to shower away the excessive dirt I rubbed all over myself in the year past. I too get romanticized by the thought of a rebirth. In years past I’ve given up doughnuts, chocolate, the Bible, fruit, pop, hoping the Globe and Mail will get better, chips, fries (and chips again), the Liberal party, babysitting, reading Kant, playing with my sister as a child (easy one), True Blood, Pole dancing (never liked it anyway), speaking in tongues. But really I felt empty and confused as to why I’d promise to give up something I only vaguely did anyway in order to buy Karma, or to prove I too could suffer like someone I was convinced was actually a lovely, lonely woman with a beard who ran an occupy movement somewhere hundreds of years ago.
I felt cheap. Or as though I were so busy concentrating on myself and what I was going to do for myself in the future year, I was forgetting to live in the moment, the Now, that required me to think beyond my own chocolate cravings.
Today, it’s the lingo surrounding the resolutions that reminds me that something feels fishy about these declarations. Something that conjures up images of contracts, deeds, and investment banking:
For 2012, I____________, resolve to partake in (FILL IN BLACK: More gyms, more fruit, less gambling, more writing, less worrying, more love, less sex, more work, more saving, more friends, more traveling, less weight, less carbs, more biking, more sleep, more time with family, less driving, less smoking, more health, more yoga, more calmness, less Oprah, more Oprah, less CNN, less love, more fiber, blah blah blah) for 365 days.
The fact that the new year begins with an albeit contemplative, but almost narcissistic obsession with the “I” and what the “I” needs and wants to be happy is a tad nauseating.
Generally speaking resolutions could be summed up as promises or betrayals of the same rhetorical thinking we all had last year, or, evidence of a “more me and less you” mentality. In 2012, the notion that “less” and “more” define the next year’s actions terrifies me right out of my plaid. I sit here with my mother, imagining Stephen Harper, or Newt Gingrich, or Michelle Bachman, or Nickleback (ahhh!) making their resolutions along these self-absorbed lines and I cringe.
Walk with me there:
Top ten (fabricated) New Year’s Resolutions from the people we all wish would stop needing to prove themselves: I’ll give you a list of some of the people who make me angrified; try and match them with their resolution: MARGARET WENTE, MICHELLE BACHMAN, STEPHEN HARPER, ROB FORD, SARA PALIN, PETER MACKAY.
1. After successfully pulling Canada out of Kyoto and refusing to sign the G8 petition for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, this year I want even more power to screw up with, and less annoying protesting voices. So I resolve to declare Canada mute. Except for me.
2. After having gone Rogue and putting the Christ back in Christmas, I need more vanity. So, I’ll run for the republican leadership once the boys in front totally blow their chances, just by opening their mouths.
3. This year I want more pictures of myself. I’ll once again use the Maritimes to make me look as though I am a ‘salt of the earth’ kinda person, maybe even putting out a picture of me and my dad on a farm I never worked on, wearing rubber boots my assistant bought for me at Holt Renfrew, and I’ll take the military helicopter to deliver useless promises of federal aid for the have not provinces.
4. I want less gays. To get this, I’ll claim that a good old fashioned Bible can help you pray away the gay, and that queer children, although they are being bullied by homophobes and succumbing to suicide, really don’t need care, they need more hatred waged against them.
5. This year I want to be even more public and less informed. I’ll write horrendous pieces that are conservatively touched and filled with poor research, in a paper that continues to publish me, somehow, and then I’ll get so many people fired up with my spectacular decrees, my popularity will skyrocket. Worked for the dudes on Jersey Shore.
6. This year I want to read even less than I did last year which brings me into the negatives. I want less libraries, less social services programs, less occupiers, less bike lanes for people trying to be healthy and environmentally conscious, less assistance for the poor, less vegans, and for sure less free speech. And I really want more UFC in schools, more bromances, and more taxpayers who live in the burbs.
How did you do?
This year I think I’ll try something new. A queer, lonely, optimistic resolution to not do resolutions. Maybe then I will actually start making this moment the day to change the present, and the everyday a day for thinking about someone else who might need me to give or offer or make or say or do or lend or sing or cook something. Ok, not cook. Then we’ll all really be fucked.
three cheers for resolutionless years.
i’m fairly certain resolutions just set you up to fail and feel shitty about yourself. why bother with resolutions when i can do that all on my own!
extra points for the political interests noted in your article/post
Thanks Pragmatist! I look forward to more posts on your blog as well.