Happy New Year, all! My husband and I spent our New Year’s Eve in a most uneventful way: eating dinner and watching a British crime drama on Apple TV. He was asleep before the clock struck midnight, and I went upstairs to read in bed at 11:55 p.m. It sounded like bombs going off in our sleepy New Jersey suburb, cannons maybe. I never understood the allure of screaming and setting off fireworks on New Year’s Eve, at least not since I turned 40. I baked lots of cookies (Pfeffernusse and chocolate chips) the past couple days. We are going to our friends’ annual New Year’s Day party this afternoon, always a pleasure, a laid back, no stress get together.
I’m not big on resolutions, although I have hopes for a better year. I simply don’t believe in listing all the things I hope to achieve and then feeling pressured to achieve them against all odds. Perhaps that is lazy of me. I feel the best I can all do is try to be a better person every day, more compassionate, kinder, more tolerant of others and accept our differences as human beings on a planet under siege by environmental raiders, corporate thieves, global warming, terrorism, all manner of brutality, war and fear. If I can be a better person, maybe then I can help change the world. I sound like a 20 year old now. What’s gotten into me? It’s a clear sunny day in New Jersey and I’m feeling good about life, ready to start anew. Perhaps the sunshine has gone to my head.
There are times to lay low and be seemingly “passive,” and times to raise hell and fight for what is right, just and true.
After reading Simba Russeau’s comment to my Jerry Springer post, which reads in part,
“I think that one important revolution that can and needs to take place is if the global community were to have a turn off your TV movement,”
I immediately thought of Peter Finch in the brilliant, prescient film Network, in which he plays Howard Beale, a TV anchorman who announces his intention to commit suicide on the air. The ratings on the show catapult and the audience starts to view him as a kind of messiah. Even though he is clearly mentally unbalanced, the producers use him for all he is worth, because he has boosted the ever-sacred ratings.
Here is the famous “Mad as Hell” clip from the film. Peter Finch won the Academy Award for Best Actor posthumously. He died of a heart attack in January 1977 and his widow accepted the award on his behalf.
In 2011 I had my mad-as-hell moments, far more than I care to recall, and will have many more. Don’t we all? I didn’t stick my head out the window and shout, but I let out a primal scream or two indoors.
Sometimes you have to go against the grain even at the risk of being labeled a madman (or madwoman). The Occupy Wall Street and other Occupy Movement participants have been frequently maligned and dismissed as being lazy, non-working bums who want a free ride. I think they are mad as hell and they don’t want to take it anymore, and they have a right to be. I’m mad too.