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Philip Morton: New Years Resolutions

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The New Year ‘s holiday is a breath of fresh air for me. Very few moments on the calendar allow you to forgive yourself for your past sins and start over. The time honored tradition of making New Year’s resolutions is one I embrace. It’s a time to forget the past and start anew! Unless that requires effort.

Before this, only confession in Church could forgive your past sins. So crossing the New Years’ threshold gives you the actual benefits of religion without years wasted practicing actual religion. And it’s exciting! Resolutions allow you to make extraordinary feel good statements about how you’ll change your life for the better, but then stop after only three days. This is also like actual religion.

This forgetting the past thing and starting anew works very well for me as I don’t like myself or anything I’ve done. I wish we had a New Year every month!

Today many of our resolutions deal with our excesses. For example; We resolve to eat less, quit drinking, quit smoking, stop paying for sex, stop printing money, cut out our use of human growth hormone, cut down selling human parts to robots, standard stuff.

But for a resolution to be successful, it needs to be attainable. For example; this year I vow to pay my mortgage.

The second thing about New Years that I love is singing the song Old Lang Syne. Did you know it was spelled that way? Of course not. No one can spell it. That’s because it’s an old Scottish song from 1711 and the Scotts didn’t invent spelling until 1798.

Important historical note: this is the only Scottish song that’s internationally famous and sung around the world at the same time every year. Few songs have this distinction. That doesn’t count the other famous Scottish sound also in everyone’s head at the same time during a hangover, which is bagpipes.

Here is a verse from the original Scotts verses of Old Lang Syne from 1788. It’s a bit tricky, and goes like this:

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin auld lang syne.

What’s surprising is that this doesn’t make sense even in old Scottish. But as there’s lots of drinking in Scotland during the New Years’ holiday, and every other time in fact, it’s not surprising the song itself is a bit confusing — and in fact calls for drinking during the song itself. “We’ll raise a glass for Old Lang Syne” is a refrain.

This works well for the ‘forgetting the past’ theme of the New Years, as many who sing this song and follow the drinking instructions will forget the past when they wake up the very next morning. They may also forget who they sang it with, why they woke up in bed with a person named Otto and why they are still dressed and covered with leaves.

My new year’s resolution this year is simple.

I’m going to quit making resolutions.

Read the Rest of this Article ->: Comedy on HuffingtonPost.com on 31 December 2012






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