New Year’s Day is my favorite day of the year. Starting with the prior November, the craziness of the holidays takes hold and makes me feel anxious, and I kind of just hold my breath until it’s all over. Normally, I don’t watch a lot of TV except for Stewart & Colbert on Hulu and movies on Netflix, but in the past couple of months, I saw a lot more than usual, and the holiday commercials were just surreal. Somehow, our priorities got very out of whack, and everything feels forced and fake. The bulk of what I saw seemed to be about enhancing one’s experience of having one’s eyes glued firmly to little screens at all times, enjoying who knows what inanity and making no attempt to connect with live humans in one’s vicinity. Or if not that, how to make your woman feel special, because hey, we all know that every kiss begins with Kay®. The defining moment of our sad slide came last night, when we briefly turned on network TV to find a countdown to midnight, and there was Toby Keith singing an ode to a Red Solo Cup, while mindless plastic-faced automatons in the audience waved their red cups in unison.
Now, finally, we have a new year and a chance to refresh, renew, or just plain restart.
I’m really glad 2011 is over. It was a good year for me personally, but for my country, it was unbelievably terrible. I hope that in 2012 we can find a way to come together and start caring about one another and about our planet before it’s too late. I don’t really know where I’m going with this train of thought, but I’ve been feeling guilty lately about enjoying making my art in my own happy little world while so much is going so wrong. Making art can be a very selfish endeavor, as I do it for myself alone, and I don’t attempt to use it for any greater good. I want to change that in 2012, but I don’t know how. Any ideas?
We all have different definitions of success and happiness, but whatever yours may be, may you experience them in the coming year.