The curse of the Web is the persistence of our words. It’s hard to back down from a promise made or an exaggeration inflated when the post you put it in continues to exist in a cache somewhere, even if you’ve deleted it.
In that light, I went looking for this year’s New Year’s Resolutions, so we can check the progress. I liked the approach of the TS Right Dominion, who chose to write resolutions for celebrities instead of himself.
Dan Rather—He’s retired now. My resolution for him is to take up something creative. Painting, drawing, making fake ID’s. This man has talent refined from many years of playing 3 card montey on the set of CBS…
The venerable N.Z. Bear, doyen of the TTLB Ecosystem stepped right up with a philosphical commitment: “I resolve to be less of an asshole to those who don’t deserve it, and more of one to those that do.” Neville Neville, whose blog “hopes to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted,” fulfilled his resolution to “love people more” on January 3rd. Anyway, he renamed his blog to give him an excuse if he fails: Loving People Is Hard.
Tom Bozzo of marginal utility, on the other hand, set himself a goal that resonates with my own heart: “try to get through my reading backlog before I bring more books in the house.” With Pynchon, Neil Stephenson and Gene Wolfe on deck, it’s no wonder he posted his failure less than three weeks later!
Jason Mulgrew takes the courageous step of examining his success with his 2004 resolutions first, before going all-out with this year’s list. The hilarious result of his brutal self-honesty is just what you’d expect of someone whose blog is titled Everything is wrong with me.
The qualiajournal musings of Ken Mogi range far and wide, but his pictorial 2005 Resolution has me perplexed. Dr. Mogi’s life mission is “to understand how our consciousness full of qualia arise from the billions of firing neurons in the brain.” My spark plugs must be corroded. Anyone else have a guess?
If you are a habitual liar, vow to become more creative in your fabrications… replace that Hershey bar with real Swiss chocolate… buy yourself some higher thread count sheets and wallow in your glorious slothfulness.
I like the concept of 43 Things, myself. Instead of a wad of resolutions made on New Year’s cusp, and broken three months later, you build a list of on-going goals in a community of others who cheer you on, offer help, and tell you whether they thought it was worth achieving the goals they did. DrPat’s 43 Things include “Read the Baroque Cycle in its entirety,” “Read and review 200 books this year,” and “Kiss in the Rain.” My favorite goal from someone else’s list? “Travel in Space.” 79 people say they want to do that.
And it’s a lot more honest than “world peace.” Only 38 people listed that as a goal.