Friday, December 31, 2010

Let's find out just how obtuse I can be

I don't get people.

That is without a doubt a common refrain from me here at Strange Horizons, but it becomes particularly poignant for me on this day.
You see, at the risk of sounding communist, I hate New Year's Eve.  And no, it's not just because Natalie Portman is officially off the market.  This day is up there with Halloween and 4th of July for my unholy trinity of hated holidays.  I just can't understand the need to celebrate this date.  It is an arbitrary point on the human concept known as "the calendar."  There is nothing different about this night than any other.  There is no magic in it, there is no convergence of cosmic energy or any other kind of New Age hoo-hah that occurs at midnight on this date.  It is just so utterly pointless.  So much so, that you might as well set the date for the celebration on March 24th.  It means about the same thing.
Yet the standard response to it seems to be, "Hooray!  Let's get drunk!"  And by drunk I don't mean just a little "tipsy," but stone-cold, flat on your ass drunk...and just in time to get behind the wheel of a car.  This is such a pervading meme that I believe a great many people observe it purely out of the drive to conform.  It's a bit like the Dave Matthew's Band.  I don't think that many people like them, I believe a lot of people profess to in order to fit in.  Same thing with New Year's Eve.
So much so, that there becomes a social stigma around either being alone or at home on this night.  That's right, societal pressure to have "an amazing time" and boast the next week at your mundane job about how the party you were at was crazier than all others.  People will go out of their way to get to a party, any party so long as the "stigma" cannot be applied to them.  Yes, drinking with a room full of more-than-likely strangers is a helluva way to spend a holiday.  Ahhh, the social phobic's nightmare.  Still, I can't blame them.  I've done any number of things in my existence to satisfy that need, that utterly unspeakable need for the approval of others.  After all, humans are just a conglomeration of DNA sequences and somehow that need for acceptance got grafted into the source code along the line. 

But I'm done with that now.  I don't know how much longer I have in this life, all depending upon cybernetic advancements I suppose.  I just know that I no longer wish to make my decisions based upon societal approval.  In taking the first step in doing so, I was heartened by this blog, Nourishing Obscurity.  I am far from the only one with disdain for this day.  Heh, comfort.  Knowing I'm not alone.  There I go, contradicting myself.  Guess it shows just how deeply ingrained the acceptance need is set. 

So I will not be alone tonight.  I will be inside with my family, attempting to carve meaning out of the night while blocking the noise and stupidity of the outer world.  Living your own life isn't easy.  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  But it just might be the sanest option.

So Happy New Year's Eve.  Or as I like to call it, just another day.

NOTE: The above photograph, "The Season of Isolation," is from Matthew Nixon at Red Rubble.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets

1 comment:

  1. On Facebook, Jen said "I'll have a mojito for you at Second City in that case."

    Fine by me.


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