All around me, that’s what I hear. On the radio. On the television. People passing each other in the hallway. “Happy New Year”. We say it the same way as we say, “How you doin’?” as we pass someone. Not really caring how they are doing, or stopping to find out how they are doing. We just say it, because it’s what one says. And if they say anything other than “all right”, we’re mildly shocked and made uncomfortable… because now we may have to talk to them.
So what exactly is the big deal? On Dec. 31st it was Tuesday. January 1st was Wednesday. It was a day off work. Thursday morning came soon enough and here I sit back at my desk. There was no shifting of paradigms or changing of society or the world at large. No monumental shift in the weather. No real change of any kind.
We went through the “holiday season” singing songs, having parties, going to church (for some), and contemplating the “reason for the season”. And then….Thursday.
So what exactly is the reason for the season? Well…the Earth completed another rotation around the sun, and it’s winter. That’s about it.
Many of the geniuses in our society celebrated the coming of Wednesday by drinking themselves stupid. Well, let me rephrase that. They were already stupid, they just drank themselves stupid-er. Some of these stupid-er people got in to cars and tried to drive home. Some of them didn’t make it. Some of them died horribly in horrendous crashes; and some of them took innocent people with them.
Those who managed to pass out before finding their keys, woke up with their head splitting, sick to their stomachs, and hating life. At some point someone else came along and a conversation started. In some cases that conversation began with, “Dude, do you even remember the shit you did last night?” The answer in many cases will be, “No.”
So… in celebration on Tuesday of the advent of Wednesday some puked all over their living room (or someone else’s). They got in a fight in a bar. Got arrested for DUI. Maybe killed some family in a minivan.
Tons of money were spent on booze so that people could greet the new year completely incoherent. Parties were thrown all over the place. There was sex with random strangers, ex-girlfriends, ex-wives…other people’s wives, etc.
Millions and millions of New Year’s Resolutions were made. Many of them have been broken already. But hey, you can always try again tomorrow, right? And isn’t that the true beauty of the cycle, and the fallacy of the new year celebration?
The calendar, the seasons, are circular. Every day is 365 days from that same day last year and the same day next year. You can wake up on any morning and say, “Over the next 12 months this is what I’m going to do.” That’s a legit “New Year’s Resolution.” Although, given the prevalence of ADHD in our society it might be better to shoot for something more manageable like, “Over the course of the next 5 minutes…”
I know, I know… I’m a grinch. I hate on holidays. I mock those that celebrate them. But take a moment to think about what I am saying here.
There are people dying all over this planet. War, starvation, terrorism, the list goes on. There are people in prison for crimes they did not commit. There are people being murdered and raped and robbed on our city streets. The cops are riding around in MRAPs, kicking down the doors of citizens and in some cases murdering them in their own homes. People are losing the health insurance thanks to our glorious leader. There are millions who have been unemployed for a very long time. Half the country is on food stamps. Autism and all manner of other disorders and diseases are on the rise. We’re in deep doodoo in a lot of ways.
But you’re sitting on someone’s couch or bar stool, babbling incoherently, having attended a party to celebrate the fact that you have to hang a new calendar the next day. Whoop dee doo.
Nothing ended. Nothing new began. You’re the same person Wednesday morning that you were Tuesday night. The world is still the same. Work is still the same. Where you live, what you do, who you know…all these things remain the same. And the same you that couldn’t change a damn thing in 2013, will not change anything in 2014 either. Because the calendar turned a page, you didn’t.
I realize no one is going to alter their thought patterns based on what I have written. I just felt the need to write it. But, I do have one favor to ask.
If you are older than 12, would you please stop saying “See you next year” to other people on New Year’s Eve, in public? It’s juvenile. It’s embarrassing for people who are forced to refer to you as a “colleague”. Most of all, it’s annoying.
We get it!! Today it is 2013, tomorrow it will be 2014. You are not being witty, insightful or bright. You are stating the obvious, with a stupid grin on your face. Let it go. Please!
For those who made resolutions…good luck. Also, what took you so long? Did it suddenly dawn on you that smoking is bad for you? Did you wake up on Dec. 31st to discover that you were fat, lazy and suffering from low self-esteem? You could have resolved to do something that you needed to do on June 6th, or August 14th. You didn’t have to wait until Dec. 31st And, since it’s now January 2nd, I’m sure that for a lot of people those resolutions are already out the window. Having been proclaimed unrealistic, or unattainable.
So like I said. Same you, different day.
What the hell is an Auld Lang Syne anyway?