New Year’s Eve is commonly known among service industry types as “amateur night.” Meaning that people who don’t go out or even drink much are suddenly out on the town, and for the most part spreading the noxious atmosphere of forced gaiety. People of character do one of three things on New Year’s Eve: (a) attend a smallish party with friends or hit a nice restaurant — anything but a loud, noisy gathering of any kind; (b) find some secluded spot with a great view of a big city or valley and just settle into the idea of watching distant fireworks and listening to the sounds of far-off honking and whoo-whooing; or (c) hit the hay before midnight.
“I’d say ‘Happy New Year’ to everyone, but…all right, ‘Happy New Year.’ But I’ve always hated those words. Nothing’s ‘happy’ by way of hope. Happy is discovered, earned, lucked into. At best, people are content or…you know, joyously turned on for the moment or laughing or telling a funny story or a good joke. Placated, relaxed, enthused, generous of heart…but ‘happy’? Clams are happy. There’s only the hum. Either you hear it or you don’t.
Posted in 2010: “Nothing fills me with such spiritual satisfaction as my annual naysaying of this idiotic celebration of absolutely nothing.
“I love clinking glasses with cool people at cool parties as much as anyone else, but celebrating renewal by way of the hands of a clock and especially in the company of party animals making a big whoop-dee-doo has always felt like a huge humiliation.
“Only idiots believe in the idea of a of a midnight renewal. Renewal is a constant. Every minute marks the potential start of something beautiful and cleansing, and perhaps even transforming. So why hang back and celebrate a rite that denies this 24/7 theology, and in a kind of idiot-monkey way with party hats and noisemakers?
“I would feel differently if I was in Paris or Prague or Rome. It’s another thing over there.”
Posted nine years ago: “My all-time best New Year’s Eve happened in Paris on the 1999-into-2000 Millenium year — standing about two city blocks in front of the Eiffel Tower and watching the greatest fireworks display ever orchestrated in human history. And then walking all the way back to Montmartre with thousands on the streets after the civil servants shut the subway down at 1 a.m.”
Posted eight years ago: “I need to stay in the city until sometime in the early morning, despite the intense cold and wind. I live below a family of animals — Hispanic party elephants — who stomp around and play music so loud that the building throbs and the plaster cracks. It’s a fairly safe bet they’re going to lose their minds tonight so I may as well just huddle down in the city and bounce around from bar to bar. New Year’s Eve is the emptiest holiday ritual of the year, and an opportunity for shallow under-30s to act like assholes.”
From the Wiki page: “‘Auld Lang Syne=’ is a Scottish poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song. The title may be translated into English literally as ‘old long since’, or more idiomatically, ‘long long ago’, ‘days gone by’ or ‘old times.'”