Wednesday, 31 December 2014

My address to the world on the occasion of New Year's Eve, 2014

Ah, New Year's Eve, we meet again, each of us 12 months older, but neither one the wiser.

At this eleventh hour there is a choice to be made and it is Hobson's choice:

Either the purgatorial limbo of a party, where time will slow to a near standstill as the outgoing year drags its feet like an irritable child reluctant to go to bed. And on the horizon the god-awful moment where asinine social convention compels you to link hands with people who you would quite happily nudge over a high precipice if you thought that you would get away with it, while the whole rotten lot of you pretend to know the words to Auld Lang Syne, and give a single ounce of a fuck as to their meaning and sentiment.

Or, if not the party, then the dismal prospect of the Hootenanny on BBC2. The spectacle of Jools Holland locked in stilted conversation with Dawn French, before accompanying Dave Stewart (formerly of The Eurythmics) on boogie-woogie piano in a re-tooled version of a song that he wrote for Alisha's Attic in 1996. I was young then. Even the prospect of Oasis releasing another dreadful album, written in the plodding tempo of a knackered dray horse, could not dampen my enthusiasm for life.

The greatest and most inspired New Year's Eve celebration I ever participated in took place in 1999 during the premature millennium festivities: I began urinating shortly before the stroke of midnight - a continuous stream of piss that, like a gracefully arcing, golden bridge, spanned two arbitrary ages, each one bearing the weight of a thousand years.

"Start as you mean to go on!" I yelled to no one in particular as outside fireworks pointed at the witching hour, like batteries of nuclear weapons, launched on either side of it, and the sky was momentarily filled with colour and noise.

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