Friday, 31 December 2010


New Years Eve 2010

I will be sober in seeing this one in. It's a good excuse for boozing but it has in recent years become more difficult and increasingly pointless to go out as pubs now rip off people by demanding tickets in advance. The fact is people's hearts are no longer really in celebrating but more the fear that someone somewhere else is "having a better time".

As the aim of consumer life is to cram in enough pleasure to stave off thoughts of death. Not make a celebration a spontaneous part of life or one determined by tradition. NYE has to be booked, planned and geared for extravaganza months in advance to make a profit and for people to think if they spend money on it, they are entitled to a certain happiness.

Those wishing to profit from that anxiety will do so. And in that sense NYE is no different from any other commodified experience that can be sold and marketed. It's best just to spend it at home with your family and friends. A New Year is just another year.

Those young enough might see it as full of future potential but many obsessed with being young simply fear it as a another year closer to death or getting older and less attractive. That sense of underlying panic accounts for why some simply have to go out and do something to distract themselves.

"The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room."-Blaise Pascal.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for an excellent post. Distraction is an interesting concept. I often hear people say that once they realised the pointlessness of life, or its fragility, they decided then and there to cram it with as many experiences as possible. For example, a colleague of mine lost her husband tragically young. So she decided to take up high-risk sports, and cram every moment with "experiences", so that she would not look back with regret at the things she had not done.

    But I cannot understand this attitude. If they have truly seen meaningless and fragility, then the pleasant interesting experiences are as meaningless as the others. Either I am missing something here, or tonight's shouting crowds are in deep denial about something.