1585 Happy New Year 2016
May your dreams come true at a greater rate than your resolutions succeed. After all, today a .300 hitter is considered a batting savant. Winning half your games is considered a “winning season.” And whether you say the glass is half empty or half full, it’s still at 50% of capacity.
Resolutions are kind of like Soviet five year plans. They sure sound good when you hear them. They look good on paper. Rarely do they turn out as expected. Or wanted.
In at least one respect, they were better than the resolutions you made for 2016. Everyone knew and accepted they were unrealistic, maybe even fakes. Really, in 1928 did anyone expect the USSR to achieve full industrialization by 1932? Of course not. The dopes in Washington may have. But no Russian worth a ruble did.
So what makes you think you’ll be able to fit into that bikini, graduation suit or your Smart-For-Two “car” at some point this year? Face it. If you take up 1 and ½ of the two seats now, you’re unlikely to take up less than 1 ⅓ by January 2017. You still won’t have room for a passenger. And in fact, you may even take up 1 and 9/10.
Which brings us to negative resolutions. Long time listeners or readers of these pieces are familiar with this radical concept. Resolve to gain ten pounds, drink more coffee and bourbon, smoke more than the usual pack a day and be kind to animals. Since resolutions almost always fail, so will these and you’ll be better off for it. Added bonus: no guilt when you fall short.
How did we get into the resolution trap? Far as we can tell it started with the Babylonians who promised things to their gods a little over 2,000 years ago. The Romans did much the same. It didn’t really become a big deal in America until the great depression.
Sometimes we’re slow to pick up on things.
But “new” is a big deal here. So making resolutions or fresh starts at the beginning of a new year is completely in character for us.
If you don’t believe “new” is a magnet for Americans, test yourself. Monitor your reaction the next time you hear the word.
--Times Square got through the annual New Year celebration with the feared terrorist attack. Six thousand additional cops on hand. That’s a good number but no one’s saying how many more than usual that was, if any.
--Assuming the hotel fire in Dubai was not arson, and considering the number of high rise fires there this past year teaches us an important lesson. Safety rules make sense and Dubai’s may not be strong enough or enforced vigorously enough. Remember that the next time you wander around a mall or a hotel or a supermarket closer to home.
Happy New Year from the entire staff and management of this blog. That’s me. I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2016