Klugman: In the same boat

I don’t really hold with New Year’s resolutions. The closest thing I’ve had to one has been the same for the last five years: “Listen to the song ‘Happy New Year’ by Camera Obscura while walking home from whatever you were doing on New Year’s Eve,” which, FYI, is a descriptive rather than proscriptive resolution, and FYI, I suck. Tracyanne Campbell just sounds so wistful in that song, and it always makes me think that no matter what else the New Year brings, it carries with it the faint but distinct possibility that I will turn into a limpid-eyed Scottish ex-girlfriend of Stuart Murdoch and think sad, blunt-banged but poetic thoughts about men and whisky. (This past sentence catered almost exclusively to people who know at least one fact about Camera Obscura, but dammit, if I know one thing, it’s my audience.)

I am bad at getting myself to do things, and though I understand that for some people the arrival of a new calendar year provides the perfect impetus for ACTION and DECISION, I am not fooled that easily. Nice try, January, but I will probably be the same person as I always was, at least until I hit 21 which does not happen till March. Then I will still be the same person, I just wanted an excuse to talk about my birthday. In trying and failing to do my history reading just now, I came across the name of the leader of the 1793 slave rebellion in Sainte-Domingue, and felt the exact same dorky glee as when four years ago in 11th grade I printed out his name and tied it to my stomach for an extra credit skit (I couldn’t find any tape). It’s a great name, and I have not changed AT ALL. There is some logic problem about a Greek guy with a boat who keeps replacing the wood in his boat until he has replaced all of it and none of the wood is the original wood anymore, so is it still the same boat, YIKES! I, on the other hand, still have all my limbs. I’m not going anywhere.

Somebody, I am not telling who, asked me over break if I am content with my legacy/niche (I think they actually used BOTH words, so double the vomit) at Yale. After I pulled my surprised features back into where features are supposed to be on your face, I realized that I really am not super concerned with a legacy, because I am petrified of people talking about me behind my back which is sort of necessary for anything beyond the tiniest and most self-absorbed of legacies. Just imagine the very mean things they could be saying right now, especially now that I have confessed my one weakness! (Also I hate snakes!) I would like people to think I am nice, because I would like to be nice and I like people to be right, but it is 100 percent up to people if they want to think that, and if so, how often or extensively they do so. Other than that I’m good. And whenever anyone under the age of 23, which for Christ’s sake WE ALL ARE, MOSTLY, says anything about legacies or niches I mostly just get Kanye’s “Power” stuck in my head. “No one [Yale student] should [think they] have all that [much] power.” What a great song, you guys. I could listen to the lyrics for days! “Fuck SNL and the whole cast.” I don’t share your vitriol, Mr. West, but I love a good well-verbalized bit of cultural criticism! “Don’t know what it is with females, but I’m not too good at that shit.” That’s from a different song, but I sympathize. For guys, though. But same thing. I do, however, have to strongly disagree with: “I was drinkin’ earlier, now I’m drivin.’” Kanye! Don’t do those things in that order! If you must do both of the things, do them in the other order. Oh, will he never learn.

But back to Camera Obscura. “Happy New Year, you’re my only vice.” OK, I am moving to Edinburgh when I graduate. No one knows me there, so it would be a chance for a whole new me. Or more realistically, a chance to be the same me, but where people talking to (and, God forbid, about) me would be talking in a different accent. That’s enough.