Write and Wrong

Resolutions are shit. Especially the ones that people make at the start of a new year. Yes, it is an opportune time time to start afresh, but there is nothing mystical or magical about one day becoming another, is there? This occurrence happens, er, daily. So why can’t you ‘resolve’ to make these decisions any other time of the year? Especially if they are potentially life-changing decisions to make, such as giving up smoking; eating less than a bath-full of crisps in a single sitting because “they were there”; buying new boxer shorts as your ageing balls are hanging through the worn-out gusset, etc.

Resolutions are just decisions made under a different guise, and often ones that aren’t completed. I propose that it becomes a contractual obligation for it to be taken seriously. One with penalties. Consequences. For example, if you can’t walk past the cake shop after the third week of January without succumbing to the temptations of a dream-laced, choux pastry, cream-filled, chocolate and goo-explosion of fantastic proportions – drooling yet, fatty? – then you should have to pay double for petrol, your train or bus fare to work for a week. Failing that, the following month, your pet, youngest child or favourite handbag gets taken into care for a month. If there were consequences, then the public at (sometimes very) large would think twice about declaring such unutterable and unachievable targets as some sort of shit-badge of honour.

Drooling yet, Fatty? Choux buns, earlier today

However, some targets or decisions are attainable and have some merit. I, for one, have made two important ones already, but these are more due to timing than any turn-of-the-year determination. The first is to post 52 times on this blog in the calendar year of 2012. Starting in January makes mental memory sense – I could have started this in October, but I wouldn’t have remembered when I started or finished. I received an email from WordPress, with some statistics of the previous year, and it encouraged me to commit fully to a year of more writing. Let’s hope you stay with me for that. And hope that the quality of output is not diminishing as we reach the year-end.

The second was an altogether easier decision to make – not to go and see, or rent when it inevitably arrives on DVD, the bio-pic of the Bionic Pig that was Margaret Thatcher. ‘The Iron Lady’ is neither the follow up to the kids tear-jerking The Iron Giant, nor robotic porn. Instead, it stars Meryl Streep (a talented actress, but star of many a hateful film) as England’s most devisive leader. Now, there is a lot of hand-wringing from people far too young to ever understand or appreciate what she did and didn’t do first hand, and this film is not going to answer those questions. And having grown up in that era rather than studying it after the event, I have no idea how her reign is portrayed in the classroom. I wonder if she is depicted as a strong leader, that insisted we protect the furthest outpost of what was left of the British empire in the Falklands? Or, as the bitch that watched the working class riot, strike and beg for work as the rich got richer?

However, to try and depict her as a human character that had feelings or a heart is going to be a harder sell than convincing me that blue people live on another planet, or that Twiglets aren’t baked by God with a Marmite jar. She used to exist on 4 hours sleep a night, and as she aged, needed an operation to stop her hands clenching into a claw that gripped the British Isles by the sea-surrounded bollocks. It is still undecided if, upon her death, she will be afforded a taxpayers’ state funeral, as was Winston Churchill. But for every solemn Tory head bowed at the roadside, there will be many, many more that will be partying like it’s New Year’s Eve – and ready to make more false resolutions the morning after.

Meryl Streep as Bionic Pig, Maggie Thatcher


Happy New Year – and follow me on twitter @benopause