Happy New Year! I'm going to bed

  • Article by: JAMES LILEKS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 30, 2010 - 10:16 PM

"New Year's Resolutions" is the columnist's laziest end-of-the-year idea, but I never resolved to avoid it. Still, I'm ashamed. It's one of those subjects you keep in a case with a glass window and little hammer on a chain -- use only in the case of utter abandonment of inspiration. But there's no news, is there? We have FREEZING RAIN that MAY COMPLICATE COMMUTE and guys who are paid to opine should harrumph about complicated commutes and blame fat cats who don't look out for the little guy. Also, don't you hate that one commercial on TV? And I remember when milk came in bottles and gay meant "homosexual" instead of a form of butter used in Indian cooking. No, that's ghee. Whatever happened to Johnny Carson? That fellow was just the chicken's whiskers, he was. Well, I'm going to bed.

Sorry, just preparing for my dotage. Anyway. Resolutions are inane. The entire idea of starting the new year at this point is ridiculous, but we have that brilliant egomaniac Julius Caesar to blame for that. Previously the Romans celebrated the new year at the start of March. Caesar dedicated the first of the month to the two-faced god Janus, who looked forward and backward. He was also the patron god of doorways, so if people at a party tonight walk into a glass door they're not drunk, they're classically pious. Anyway. Resolutions!

When I finally pass the person who's poking along in the passing lane at 55 mph, I resolve not to look to see what sort of IDIOT drives like this, because unless they can see out of their left ear, they can't detect my withering glare.

I resolve to stop reading YouTube comments, because when a video about a cute cat who has a Hitler moustache turns into a 127-comment thread arguing about Hitler, I realize that 4 percent of the Internet consists of scary guys with short blond hair who type with their left hand only because the right hand is always doing that Sieg Heil thing.

I resolve to press two for espanol just once. The hold music just has to be better. The other day the English-language hold music appeared to be Lady Gaga played by pan pipes.

I resolve to stop picking up things the demonstrators sell in grocery stores just to make them feel like they did a good job, then putting them back when I'm in another aisle. I will put them back where they really belong.

I resolve to stop using the word "eyeballs" to describe how websites attract viewers, unless the site actually receives eyeballs packed in dry ice.

I will not use the phrase "at the end of the day" unless it is 11:59:59 PM and I have been asked to describe the moment in the most literal terms possible. I will also drop my decade-long attempt to inject the catch-phrase "ain't that the chicken's whiskers" into the popular culture, because it's just not working.

I resolve not to come up with a clever reply when check-out clerks ask how I am, but say "weeble gorfer wombat whosis," which is pretty much what they hear no matter what you say.

I resolve to try to give a flying fig about a new Walker exhibit of an artist who works entirely in the medium of congealed soup. For all I know it could be a brilliant, ironic commentary on our culture's complex, ambivalent relationship with noodles and small, mushy pieces of celery.

I resolve to give the clerk my phone number or e-mail when I'm just trying to buy a fancy bottle of hand lotion, because they seem to get annoyed when I say I have no interest in entering a vast database that will be revealed by WikiLeaks someday and make my name pop up when anyone types "lileks" and "coconut verbena" into Google.

I resolve to exercise less. Seriously, I'm exhausted.

I resolve to finish a column with a vague expression of goodwill for the coming year that obviously does not include criminals, traitors, foreign and domestic enemies, and YouTube trolls. There, check that one off. The others? Well, maybe. They all seem based on being less self-satisfied and self-righteous, which is probably why columnists are encouraged to avoid the subject; ruins your entire reason for being.

Happy New Year! And remember when it starts -- at the end of the day.

jlileks@startribune.com • 612-673-7858 More daily at www.startribune.com/popcrush.

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