Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Year's Dedication

I have deliberately avoided the word "resolution" in this entry's title, lest I succumb (like those recalcitrant and sham nations the world over who do so to the decisive declarations passed by the United Nations - think Ba'athist Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Israel as a start...) to not taking it seriously at all.

The beginning of a new year is symbolic of life's cycles, significant only, of course, to those who decide it is, but allows us - at least the people that follow the Gregorian calendar - an opportunity to pause, analyse, reassess and then make provision for the coming twelve months. I choose to do so thus:

  • I refuse to allow my fucking back with it's two herniated discs to dictate to me what I can and can't do.  I will not bow to the false god Sciatica.
  • I have determined that 2011 is the Year of the Memoir.  Therefore, this year I will read no work of fiction other than that manufactured (as deliberate deception or otherwise) by auto- or biography.   I have begun with Christopher Hitchens' Hitch-22, and am now on Don Watson's Recollections of a Bleeding Heart.  There are some that I will revisit, namely Karen de Young's excellent biography of Colin Powell, Soldier:  The Life of Colin Powell, and Ghandi's The Story of My Experiments With Truth.  There are others that are on my list, like Bill Clinton's autobiography (surprising that it is simply titled My Life), Keith Richards' ghostwritten tome, Life, and, heaven help me, John Howard's intimidating and impudently titled Lazarus Rising and George W Bush's Decision Points (goddammit, he's done it again - what the fuck is a 'decision point'?).  Any other suggestions are appreciated, but I would ask you to refrain from suggesting anything like the fraudulent Pentateuch or any other such religious fabrications - and the Forum section in Penthouse magazine, as tantalizing and provocative that it may be, doesn't qualify either!
That's it.  Just the two things.  Should be easy enough, eh?  I have spared myself the more predictable "I'm going to do X amount of charity work this year" and "I'm going to swear less" and "I'm going to have more sex" and "I'm going to be a better father" and so on.  These are the kinds of  throw-away and churlish resolutions that I feel cheapen the endeavour of bettering oneself.  One should be doing that kind of thing anyway, without having to declare it - the racist, stereotypical, Judean view of the Philistines of the New Testament come to mind (pardon the religious metaphor).

So now it's January 13th, let's get on with it!


  1. I know you didn't ask, but here are the only two memoir-style books I've ever read: Another Bullshit Night In Suck City, and Unpolished Gem by Footscrayite Alice Pung. No, not similar at all, but good reads.

  2. Suck City looks fantastic! Thanks for the heads-up. I'll give a wee look-in to Ms Pung's work also...

  3. Just finished Romulus, My Father by Raimond Gaita. Simple, beautiful and very, very sad. I will watch the movie now and see if it has been butchered by producers, scriptwriters and actors...