Thursday, January 6, 2005

A Promising New Year

  Many of you have already begun the annual tradition of New Year’s resolutions.  Many of you are six days into your self-torture and sacrifice.  New Year’s resolutions have been around for almost four thousand years; they have been a part of the calendar year for almost as long as the calendar itself.

  In 1500 B.C., ancient Babylonians made their resolutions.  Among the Babylonians, the most common resolve was to return borrowed farm equipment.  And they probably still had the rotor tiller in their front yard in June.

Over three millenniums later, it’s more common to give up smoking or promise oneself to lose weight with the New Year.  In fact, it would be interesting to look up national sales figures for cigarettes and candy bars during the first three months of a given year.  I imagine that they would be considerably lower than the remaining nine months.  By March or April, the resolution is often a vague memory.  About the time we start writing the correct year in our checkbook, we pick up the cigarettes or snack cakes again.

  This may seem cynical.  That’s because I think that resolutions are like British Royalty, noble but powerless.  They are promises to ourselves that we almost invariably break.  Resolutions have always seemed to me like 365 days of Lent. 

  So this year I have no resolution.  But I thought it would be fun to make resolutions for other people.  This is what I came up with:

  • Ron Artest—this year you are to give up basketball and hip-hop; you are giving them a bad reputation.  You are to spend more time trying to get into the Ultimate Fighting Championships, where your talents would be better showcased.

  • Billy Joel—this year you are to give up either the bottle or your driver’s license.  It’s up to you.  Get a driver or put down the screwdriver.  It’s 2005, and time for an important decision.  No more crashing into houses.

  • Young Buck—See Ron Artest.

  • Any celebrity with their own fragrance—marketing and merchandising is great, but this is more about popularity than it is about the product.  You must resolve to milk this while you can, but don’t take yourselves or your perfume too seriously.  If Gloria Gaynor came out with a fragrance today, it wouldn’t matter how good it smelled.  No one would be interested.

  • Nelly—Stay away from Nashville.  No connecting flights, no concerts, no contact at all with country music in 2005.  Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, and George Jones are all off limits this year.  That’s why we have Kid Rock.

  I’m sure that these celebrities will uphold my resolutions for them as well I would my own.  And there is some comfort in that, I suppose.  We make resolutions to break them, and then we forget them.  Take a moment and try to remember last year’s resolution.  I know it’s disappointing.  They are supposed to be.  Happy New Year.

-From Pulse
   January 6, 2005