Around the Horn: New Year’s Time

All of us experienced what I’m terming New Year’s Time: that time of year when Christmas Day has passed and New Year’s Eve & Day are upon us. One minute the world is filled with holiday spirit, candy canes and presents. The next minute the web whips itself into an end-of-the-year frenzy and everyone loses their minds. Few win, but still, let’s go around the horn and have a look at the various winners and losers in this nauseating time.

Winners: List Makers.
Paragraph and prose are abandoned in an inane race to list-ify everything. Articles that were once titled “Congressional Caucus Meeting Points” are re-titled “TOP 10 THINGS STUFFY POLITICIANS SAID IN A 2013 MEETING SOMEWHERE OMG!” They’ve even got top 10 lists of top 10 lists! Unfortunately for me, the list makers’ exuberance is my torture.

Losers: People who like reading. 
For the normal common man who enjoys a good opening sentence, actual grammatical structure and purpose to a written piece, this time is especially irritating. Every link, tweet, status, etc. is booby trapped with slideshows, numbered items and very. short. captions. There’s nary a full paragraph to be found. It’s as if authors everywhere are afraid that the public’s collective attention span has run out for the year so they chop everything up into easily-digestible tidbits. I can only assume editors everywhere are shouting at their journalists, “Make your articles short people, if I see copy over 140 characters, you’re fired.”

Winners: People Who Shame Other People Into Doing Stuff.
I’d be a rich man if I had a dollar for every time I heard or read something to the extent of “It’s a near year, do this new thing.” Lose weight! Get a new wardrobe! Start a new hobby! The list(s) goes on and on. The problem isn’t necessarily the fact that vendors are encouraging new things, it’s that they use discontentment to motivate people towards the new things. “Tired of your unsightly love handles?” “Done with dressing like a spinster?” “Ready to be done with being bored in your spare time?” Doing new things is great but motivation needs to come from a place of true want and desire, not from the detestation of a thing.

Losers: Those Of us Who Lived Through The Current Year
Year-in-reviews (a close brethren of the previously mentioned lists) are almost as ludicrous1 as referring to Paris Hilton as an “artist.” The entire concept is nonsensical because we all lived through this year! These type of reviews often contain large highlights (which people are very likely to have heard of) like “Katy Perry released a new album in 2013.” Oh did she??! I already know she released a new album, I was first in line to buy it. Duh.

Wrap Up Reactions Irritants 
-Cliché wishes for “everyone” to “be safe.”
-People who proclaim that the upcoming year is going to be “their year.”
-The idea that just because 12/31 turned into 1/1 things are now über different.
-New Year’s Resolutions.2


1There are a few select year-in-reviews that are nifty (e.g. Interesting Photos of 2013)
2I don’t hate resolve or celebrations. I hate that everyone jumps on this New Year’s Time bandwagon which causes them to put aside thoughtfulness and authenticity. People act cliché because they didn’t take the time to say something authentic, they just mimicked what was around them.


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