As some see it, New Year’s resolutions, like laws, are meant to be broken. There is no psychological construct – intellectual, moral or otherwise – that can’t be deconstructed when, say, a deftly wielded martini meets the churlish grin of opportunity. If we make it, we can break it, the thinking goes (or as features editor Marty Olmstead says, “You kill it, you fill it,” should one feel the need to axe a story).
Most resolutions involve the cessation of some behavior or other (smoking and drinking are perennials, though I’ve heard more abstract notions muttered in my midst; I’ve heard someone proclaim the end of her “gallivanting” was nigh, another decided that ’08 marks the end of his “persecution fantasies”). Topping many resolution lists, of course, is “weight loss,” which often comes with specific denominations in mind – though mysteriously always in multiples of five. Cheekier resolutions include those of the ilk offered by my FilmArt3 collaborator Raymond Daigle, who resolved to have no resolutions, since his previous resolution to keep his other prior resolutions left him ultimately more dissolute than resolute.
I’ve been drafting several resolutions, but recently nixed this one from the list: “I will stop hiding cheese throughout the office and timing how long it takes my interns to find it. From now on, I’ll conduct my intelligence experiments on actual rats, despite the fact that interns are cheaper. Preserving the integrity of the experiment is worth the price.” I realized, once the martini and churlish grin wore off, that experimenting on human subjects is best left to professionals. Therefore, in the coming year, I resolve to be more professional.
In 2008, consider making a “prezolution” – The resolution to vote for a candidate in whom one actually believes, rather than a candidate one thinks will win. As John Lennon tunefully disavowed in his solo track “God,” “I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.” I’d vote for John even though Paul stands a better chance of winning, seeing as he’s alive – or, at least, not entirely dead.
Also available is the “Fezolution” – The resolution to stop making fun of the Shriners. Sure, they look like organ-grinder monkeys and drive cars that are way too small for them, but they do tremendous work for kids with orthopedic problems – so don’t hassle the tassled. Those wearing fezes who are not Shriners or organ-grinder monkeys are fair game. They’re asking for it. Seriously.
The Pezolution is a bit of a cipher. For some it means ending one’s relationship with PEZ candies, for others it means fulfilling a lifetime ambition to be depicted as a collectible PEZ dispenser. The candy’s official website crows about the dispensers as an icon of American pop culture, even though PEZ was created in Vienna (the name PEZ, it reminds, is “derived from the German word for peppermint…PfeffErminZ”). Next to becoming a proper action figure, I suppose being an “interactive candy” dispenser introduced “to capitalize on current trends” is acceptable. That is, if you don’t mind whiplash and the extraction of pfefferminz from the gash in your throat.
Hi-Resolution – sure, we’ve all heard the chatter about a pending High Definition or “HD” revolution. The fact is, I can’t say I care if something looks more real than real. Since I’m farsighted, getting up close and personal with a home simulacra machine is as useful downloading “silence” to one’s iPod. Moreover, if one wants to see individual blades of grass dancing in the wind, go lie in the lawn. I’m aware that my aversion to synthetic experience may appear contradictory coming from a filmmaker, but then appearances are deceiving, no matter their resolution.