Advice for a New Millenni///
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the Third, 1900 A.D.
Miss Breakup Girl of New York, New York
An Advice column Most Extra-Ordinary
heralding the DAWNING CENTURY
and the Glorious Events and Social Interactions that will no doubt take
Aw, kidding. (You know the Studio Apartment of Justice -- much
like the contraptions that saved the world in Independence Day -- runs
on a Mac.)
So yes. We made it into the new millennium. (BG even -- finally
-- made plans.)
Now what will we make of it?
Well, why did we make such a big deal in the first place? In his most recent
the Millennium, Stephen Jay Gould writes: "So here we are, engulfed
in a millennial madness utterly unrelated to anything performed by the earth
and moon in all their natural rotations and revolutions."
Why the "madness?"
Well, duh, we like numbers. Especially nice big round ones. We like it when
things come out even. (Which renders the whole "When does the millennium
actually start?" debate somewhat beside the point.) As Gould notes: "Pop
culture may already declare clear victory for the millennium, which will occur
at the beginning of the year 2000 because most people feel it so." From
the "big round numbers are cool" standpoint, 2001 is a space odyssey,
not a millennium. Anyway, so you'll have two big parties; get over
So stockpiling canned goods may already be a thing of the past [century], but
how about banking good will? Vacuum-packing will power? That's right: making
resolutions. Hey, it's a whole new millennium: these better be good. Let's
hope our resolve lasts as long as our surplus of freeze-dried
rations ("During a disaster -- your food doesn't need to taste
like a disaster!")
Perhaps some of mine will inspire you?
- Administrative: I will always put the right number of Ns in "millennium."
- Attitude: I will quit thinking about how, when I was 9, my calculations
revealed that I'd be "really old" in the year 2000.
- Activities: This winter, I will snowboard.
And here are some starter suggestions for you.
Thing is, simply clenching your fists and saying, "This year I will get
into shape!" over and over will not get you to the gym (though it will
work your forearms). A recent study by John Norcross at the University of Scranton
in Pennsylvania suggests that nearly half the people who create a course of
action along with a resolution do stay on track (as opposed to the only 4% who
said sheer will actually worked). Moral: the way to keep a pledge is to make
a plan. Gonna meet someone this year? How? Gonna be more loving? When? Gonna
snowboard? Where? ("Somewhere over my dead body." -- Breakup Mom.)
Above all, let's resolve not to get too backlashily jaded about that nice big
round number. Because if we say it's meaningful, then it is --
what harm is done? How bad would it really be if we started demanding an end
to things like loneliness, disrespect, and self-fulfilling
prophecies by saying things like, "Maybe back in the twentieth
century, but not now!?"
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