In which we embrace New Year traditions
LIFESTYLE FEATURE by Gregory Beatty, Paul Dechene, Geraldine Malone, Toontown Rat and Stephen Whitworth
I have a fantastic track record with resolutions. Every year I pick an area where I need improvement and every year I meet or exceed my goal. For instance, in 2010 my resolution was to eat more coleslaw. DONE. The following year I vowed to smoke more cigars. NAILED IT.
Sometimes I get a little metaphysical, like in 2012 when I made a commitment to “go for the gold”. Oh I went for the gold, all right. That gold, it got got.
I only wish my “keep my eye on the prize” resolution had been as successful.
I haven’t settled on a resolution for 2016 yet but I’ve got options. There’s always “get another pet snake”. I added three in 2015 though, so I don’t know if that’s going to be challenging enough. Then there’s “drink more beer”, but that might be too challenging. I mean, I drink a lot of beer. I want this thing to be doable.
What about “keep them guessing”? It’s got everything: the challenge I need plus the mystery people expect. “Keep them guessing”. I like it.
It’s either that or the snakes.
Here are some resolutions from a few of our writers. May they inspire you to victory, or whatever. /Stephen Whitworth
I resolve to only sleep with smart people, just in case. I further resolve that you should, too. Yes, biology says pick the quarterback or head cheerleader, but since we no longer need to hunt for our food or form creepy patriarchal alliances with other tribes, physical strength and arbitrary cultural standards of beauty have become irrelevant.
So make the world better, everyone. Fuck nerds. /Toontown Rat
Dance Ninja Dance
I’ve made them and broken them for at least 15 years. Every time I’m optimistic that this is the year I’ll start buying better wine, run that half marathon, or call my grandmother more.
I still drink the cheapest “red blend” wines, I despise running in groups, and I can guarantee you that my grandmother has not heard my voice on the phone in at least a few months.
So this year I will set myself up for success by choosing things so outlandish that I won’t be surprised that I am not close to achieving them. Farewell obtainable goals that crush my soul (and my poor grandmother’s) when I don’t pull through and hello resolutions that I put little hope behind.
To start off 2016 right my new goal is take up break dancing or learn ninjutsu. If I don’t know how to break dance life will go on as normal, but imagine if I did pick it up? It would be like when you go to karaoke and someone breaks the perfect fifth octave of a Mariah Carey song. I could head on down to Amigos one weekend and suddenly push the tables aside and bust a sweet move. I’d be the Mariah of that dance floor.
I’ve always wanted to learn ninjutsu but things will continue if I don’t. Although if I were to learn, the next time the editor of this fine paper gives me a deadline of less than 24 hours, I resolve to swing my limbs in the style of the shinobi in his general direction. /Geraldine Malone
I further resolve to inspire my writers to achieve their resolutions. /Stephen Whitworth
Be It Resolved
I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, and most of the regrets I have when I think back on 2015 are tied to realities outside my power to change. You know, things like extreme political rhetoric that seeks to divide people into modern hate-filled tribes, or insane disparities in wealth that privilege a handful of people while forcing countless millions to live in poverty, or out-of-control gun violence south of the border — stuff like that.
Back in 2004, I participated in an art event at the old Weyburn Mental Hospital called The Archaeology of Madness. Prior to the tour starting, we were interviewed by “therapists” as if we were being admitted to the institution. One question asked of me was: if you were a car part, what part would you be?
When I replied “A steering wheel” my therapist responded “You like to be in control, do you?”
“Of my own life,” was my follow-up reply, which I delivered with a shrug.
It’s not for me to impose change on people whose lifestyles and beliefs I regard as being more part of the problem than part of the solution to the many dilemmas that confront us as a species. All I can do is live my life as responsibly and sustainably as I can. That’s true on a personal level, and also on a professional level, where much of my writing over the last while has sought to champion values I believe in such as scientific rationalism and rejection of self-serving myths, beliefs and stereotypes.
That’s something I plan to keep doing. So here’s to 2016! /Gregory Beatty
Close Friends, Closer Enemies
I resolve to watch Greg closely. I regret letting my guard down around him in 2015. That guy’s up to something. /Stephen Whitworth
I regret it. /Paul Dechene