New Year


Calvin and Hobbes have a lot to answer for.


Not that Calvin and Hobbes — the other ones. Luther and Marx aren’t far behind. Calvin and Luther of course gave us the Protestant work ethic – an insistence that we are known by our success in life. The more successful you are the more likely are you to be favoured in the eyes of God. That was Calvin’s shtick at least; Luther was mostly a cheerleader.

As for Hobbes he warned us that life was nasty, brutish and short and the world was a terrible place where the war of all against all was inevitable. Only firm resolve and obedience to order would get us through. And Marx? He might seem like a jolly fellow, promising a workers’ paradise after the last vestiges of capitalism were torn down, but his central aphorism was: From each according to their ability, to each according to their need. In other words if you had ability, you had a duty to achieve, a duty to produce a surplus to be lapped up by those less able to contribute.

So there it is: All of western philosophy and religion conspire to make us all feel inadequate and never so much as at this time of the rolling year.

So this is New Year’s and what have you done? Another year older and nothing much begun.

The reason we make resolutions is because we feel like we were such failures in the previous year, right? And we feel like failures strictly because of philosophy. I say, first thing we do is kill all the philosophers; they are even more trouble than lawyers. Does that count as a resolution?

In any case, I refuse to play along any longer. I resolve to do nothing next year. That’s not a decision to make no resolutions. You should take it literally. I plan to accomplish absolutely nothing of value in 2016. I will not write a novel or even a short story. I’ll be completely unproductive at work. I will let the books at Bundoran Press publish themselves – I’m sure there is an app for that.

I’m going to stay away from the gym, drink exactly as much as I do now, stay fat. And I’m going to completely ignore my family and friends. Who needs them anyway?

And I’ll probably fail to achieve any of those goals either.

Doesn’t matter. As a friend of mine used to say, goals are for hockey players. (She could have said soccer players but they hardly ever seem to score goals.)

Hell, to get the year off to the right start, I won’t even finish this blog.

And that’s nine and a half minutes.

Oh, and Happy New Year!


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