If you can read this at all, the Y2k bug has been at least reasonably well swatted, and now we can get on to more useful pursuits.

The idea of New Year's resolutions really never did a whole lot for me; if something needs to be done, it probably needed to be done a few months or a few years ago, and the arrival of the first of January is mostly irrelevant. Still, this isn't just any New Year, and while it's true that each of them is unique — or, at least, numbered uniquely, for the time being anyway — the arrival of a New Millennium, be it today or a year from now, is compelling in its own right, so maybe I'm compelled to make some sort of, er, uh, public declaration of purpose.

(If you read that last phrase as "mission statement", please excuse yourself and put a 7.62 round into your forehead for thinking such a thing.)

If I've learned anything in my forty-some-odd years (and some are odder than others), it's that people tend to exaggerate urgency. And I'm not just talking Y2k, either; as often as not, situations that seem to be a matter of life and death eventually turn out to be situations that require only that one either crap or get off the pot, or something even more mundane. The degree of exaggeration generally varies directly with the interest, financial, emotional or otherwise, of the exaggerating party. The first question, upon hearing claims of urgency, should be "Why is this so-and-so telling me this?" Until this question is answered, it is, I believe, a reasonable policy to keep my own level of excitement in check.

So, for the year 2000, be it resolved: Nothing is as important as They® say it is. Feel free to ignore this policy, should you so desire; it's not all that important.

"They" is a registered trademark of, well, Them.

The Vent

1 January 2000

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