Why the New Year resolutions?

resolution2

ABOVE is a New Year resolution from a century ago.
How things have changed since 1915.
According to a heap of surveys, the most popular resolution for 2015 seems to be to lose weight, or to have a more attractive body.
In a review for the Oxford Journal’s Social Forces, sociologist Isidor Thorner argued that setting resolutions at the beginning of the new year is a legacy from our Protestant forbears, and that they now function as a weakened, secularized version of what used to be “an earlier religious attitude of life-long emotional discipline.”
Many of us make resolutions and many of them are broken by January 31. As Mark Twain once said: “Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual”.
Two-thirds of Australians failed to keep their New Year’s resolution in 2014, according to a recent survey.
Abigail Saguy, a sociology and gender studies professor at University of California, Los Angeles, said the main resolution for 2015 was to lose weight.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if people had new year’s resolutions like help the needy, give more money to charity, be more involved in social causes, or be a better friend or parent or neighbor?” she asked. “I’d love for those to be the focus at the new year; instead, it’s, ‘How can I be thinner and better conformed to social expectations in the hopes of having more privilege?’ ”

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100 thoughts on “Why the New Year resolutions?

  1. I used to be mad on New Year’s resolutions. Admittedly, they were, at least in part self – obsessed. But this year, I haven’t really made any, partly becaused all my plans for 2013 left me disheartened.

    The above resolution sounds lovely. Good thing to think about.

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  2. I heard something on the radio which was wise. It went something like, why do people want to start a new year drunk, kissing strangers.

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  3. With so much obesity around I don’t think losing weight is an unreasonable resolution for those afflicted. Of course it’s unreasonable if it’s aimed at being ‘better conformed to social expectations in the hopes of having more privilege’.

    Resolutions fail so often because no strategy is being planned to achieve them. Do you have a plan?

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    • A documentary that asks, all of a sudden did the entire world become gluttons and sloths all at the same time ?

      I cut down on the white poison. I am losing weight now fairly easily.

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  4. I saw a list of N.Y. resolutions on line, and thpught this of interest.
    “Let go of thinking you are not where you should be. You are right where you need to be to get to where you want to go, so start asking yourself where you want to go.”

    Another – “Let go of thinking you need to know the way. We learn the way on the way.”

    Not saying we should make these our resolutions, just that they are worth a moment’s thought.

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  5. Nevertheless, provided we do no harm to others, our New Year’s resolutions are no one else’s business. I’m sick of being judged and told how I should think. Stop trying to control me! 🙂

    HAPPY, HEALTHY, WONDERFUL New Year everyone. May it be better than last year and may we all get closer to God.

    Love you!

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  6. The Pope has been doing some amazing things recently. I noticed it’s never mentioned here. Fallen out of favour or something ?

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      • “Condoms may reduce the chance, but they don’t eliminate it.”

        Kind of like seatbelts and deaths in car accidents. Fortunately the Catholic Church doesn’t have much of a voice in our roads and traffic authorities.

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      • I suppose that’s true Stu. If you get pissed and drive erratically at high speeds the seat belts probably won’t save you.
        And I don’t think the Catholic Church or any other church has taken a stance against seat belts. You. of course, may know better.

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      • Just in case my point was missed, why should people in Africa choose the advice of the Catholic Church over the 90% efficacy rate of condoms when it comes to preventing AIDS?

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      • And why aren’t people more sexually responsible to stop the spread of HIV?
        The other thing is that in many parts of Africa men don’t wear condoms – not because the Catholic church says no – but because they just don’t want to. It’s a cultural problem. That’s a huge part of the crisis Stu. You can’t blame all this on the Catholics or whoever. The clear thinking has to encompass the entirety not just used as a Catholic bashing point. Although it might make you feel better to do so.

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      • “And why aren’t people more sexually responsible to stop the spread of HIV?”

        Like wearing condoms?

        “You can’t blame all this on the Catholics or whoever.”

        I can attribute the proportion of blame that church deserves, and with good reason. Cardinal Tujillo is a leader in that church and is spreading false information to poor and undereducated people about condom use and the spread of AIDS. Contrast this with the WHO which is trying to educate people about the very cultural practices you refer to.

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      • Hey Durwood,

        Vaccinated children can still catch the diseases they were vaccinated against too.
        Are you also an anti-vaxxer?

        Should we not bother vaccinating the kids, not wear seat-belts and just drive drunk. Is that really the Patterson view of the world?

        Some people who have cancer treatment will die anyway. So lets just close down hospitals.

        This argument is ridiculous on an incredibly inane level.

        As is the last argument – Ohh it’s a cultural problem I guess the church can give whatever advice they like then and wash their hands of any problems. That’s convenient.

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      • As usual Patrick, you miss the point. I’m not saying don’t vaccinate. Or don’t wear seat belts. Or don’t wear condoms.
        I am saying think a little beyond the little box you seem to inhabit.
        Also my name is not Durwood. Are you denying you are the same guy posting here under the name Patrick and Austin and Bubba?
        Waiting for your response. But not holding my breath.

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      • Hi Delmore,

        I’m the guy who’s here posting as Bubba Ray and only by that screen name. (bar one occasion when you were being obstinate in a discussion on magnetism).

        I’ll wait for that to sink in but I’m not holding my breath 🙂

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      • “So Stu you blame the AIDS epidemic on the Catholic Church?”

        Non sequitur Bryan. I’m accusing them of lying to poor undereducated people in Africa about the efficacy of condom usage in preventing the spread of AIDS. Do you condemn this practice by that church or don’t you?

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      • Yes Stu I do condemn the Catholic Church’s call but I say there is more to the story than that. Don’t you agree? Or do you just feel better by attacking the catholics and leaving at that. Seriously mate. think a bit deeper.
        ?

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      • “Yes Stu I do condemn the Catholic Church’s call.”

        That’s excellent, and really the only point I was trying to make. And yes I agree the Catholic Church isn’t responsible for the AIDS pandemic – hence my use of the term non sequitur in the earlier repsonse.

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      • Think a bit deeper.

        So what if the Church was telling us not to wear seat belts or telling us not to vaccinate our kids.

        Then anybody with half a brain would be condemning them.

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      • “OK Stu, so you don’t blame the Catholic Church for AIDS. Excellent. Thanks. So why did you bring it up in the first place?”

        I didn’t bring it up. Bubba posted an article from The Guardian and you followed up with the repsonse “Condoms may reduce the chance, but they don’t eliminate it.” I was responding to these things and I never made a comment or suggested “blaming the Catholic Church for AIDS”. This was something you asserted, to which I responded “non sequitur”.

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      • I never made a comment or suggested “blaming the Catholic Church for AIDS”

        Really? How about

        I’m accusing them of lying to poor undereducated people in Africa about the efficacy of condom usage in preventing the spread of AIDS. Do you condemn this practice by that church or don’t you?

        Selective memory Stu?

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      • Hey Durwood/Delmore/Darwin

        If you are travelling in a vehicle wear a seatbelt
        If you have children get them vaccinated
        If you are having casual sex use a condom

        If anybody gives contrary advice based on their theology ignore them. (Ignore the defenders of the contrary advice givers too)

        (Good thing I didn’t hold my breath ain’t it 😉 )

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      • It’s a little more complicated than that Patrick.

        South Africa’s latest HIV survey finds boys having sex earlier, plummeting condom use and that unmarried couples living together are more at risk of HIV than married or single people.

        The report by South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey, released yesterday by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) found that 12,2 % of the population was HIV-positive – almost 2 % more since the last survey in 2008.

        HIV infection was highest in women aged 30 to 34 years old (36%) and men aged 35 to 39 years old (31,6%).

        Why? You might find some answers in this article:

        Why Men Don’t Use Condoms in a HIV Epidemic: Understanding Condom Neglect through Condom Symbology

        http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/iatl/reinvention/issues/bcur2013specialissue/farrar/

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      • “Selective memory Stu?”

        Unable to grasp the concept of a non sequitur Bryan? I will make this really clear for you: it DOES NOT FOLLOW that accusing the Catholic Church of lying about condom efficacy is “blaming the church for AIDS”.

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      • “Sorry mate, your logic is skewed on that one.”

        I won’t hold my breath waiting for you demonstrate how (keep breathing Bubba!).

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      • Hey Durwood

        If you are having casual sex use a condom

        This is still best practice and you’ve shown us nothing to demonstrate otherwise.

        (Hey Stu and I are in agreement in this one – let me assure you that we’re not the same person. I’ll jump in now before you start throwing other names at me.)

        That article you’ve linked would suggest that it’s the lack of the use of condoms that’s a problem.

        Do you think that the stance of the Church has helped or hindered in that regard?

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      • Well no, monogamy, not screwing around, not sticking needles in yourself or abstinence are the surest ways to avoid HIV. Nothing would demonstrate otherwise.
        I know you’re not Stu. You’re Patrick alias Austin alias Bubba.

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      • “I didn’t think you’d understand Stu.”

        So it’s a no you can’t (or won’t) then. Don’t worry, logic can be hard for the emotionally over invested. Happy 2015 to you too.

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      • Hey Darwin,

        Well if you know it then I guess there’s no point arguing with you on the topic. Call me whatever you want.

        Yep monogamy / abstinence might well be great. BUT never leaving the house is probably a great way of avoiding a traffic accident, and raising the kids in a controlled hermetically sealed environment might be the best way to keep them from catching the really nasty childhood diseases too.

        BUT as most of us have to travel and can’t keep the kids in a bubble for ever then I’d advise that:
        If you are travelling in a vehicle wear a seatbelt
        If you have children get them vaccinated

        AND
        If you are having casual sex use a condom

        As the seatbelt if the best option for those travelling in a vehicle and vaccination is the best option for your child’s health condoms are the best option for those who enjoy casual sex.

        And nothing you’ve stated or presented so far changes that by one iota.

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      • BUT as most of us have to travel and can’t keep the kids in a bubble for ever then I’d advise that:

        That’s nothing to do with it.Doyou think we all have to screw around, stick needles in ourselves?

        If you are having casual sex use a condom

        Or perhaps just don’t screw around. A better and SAFER option.

        And as for arguing about who you are. You know I know.

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      • “Eh?”

        I’m suggesting that you may be emotionally invested in the the outcome of any given discussion, leading you miss or not understand the logical fallacies (in this case a non sequitur) in your responses.

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      • It is interesting to see where aids issue lies. Below the Sahara desert, aids issue is high. The Sahara desert and above it is low. The top bit of South America it is high the rest low. Russia is high, the rest of Asia is low. Aids in the US is higher than Europe and Australia.

        There are countries that in the same ignorance as Africa that have low aids. Then the US which is suppose to be educated on this has higher aids issue than countries on the top of Africa which would be just as ignorant on aids as the countries on the bottom of Africa.

        Education helps but it is not what really keeps aids on a leash.

        Maybe people should not be mating like donkeys ?

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      • “The “eh” was in response to your misunderstanding of my points.”

        Then that’s what you should have said, and then outlined what you think I have misunderstood. And while you’re at it, demonstrate how it follows that accusing the Catholic Church of lying about condom efficacy means that I’m “blaming the church for AIDS”.

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      • Well I dunno how you know I know that you know. Cause I have no idea what you know.

        Just don’t screw around, what an amazingly good idea.

        Let me know if you ever find an idea that also has a real world application.

        And as an option it might well be safer but why is it better? Why is celibacy better than casual sex for those not in a committed monogamous relationship?

        Apart from you own wowserish preferences if boy meets girl and there is a physical attraction, desire and consent why is acting on that attraction better than going home alone?

        Sex is pretty good fun you know, well it is if you’re doing it right.

        And if you are out and about having casual sex then use of the condom is still the very best option. That still stands unchallenged.

        I have no idea what the relationship between needles and condoms is probably something else that you know you know that knowbody else would know.

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      • Gosh you so one-dimensional.
        Screw around if you like but face the possible consequences.

        And needles? Well one of the major links re transference of HIV occurs when people share needles. Didn/t you know that Paddy?

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      • “Do you blame the church for AIDS?” and “Do you blame the Catholic Church for the spread of AIDS in Africa?” are two separate questions Bryan. My answers are “No” and “Yes”. Maybe you could do me the courtesy of demonstrating how the non sequitur I’ve identified is “skewed logic”? You won’t though.

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      • Whatever you wish Stu. As I’ve said before there are many reasons why HIV is spreading in Africa and other parts of the world. If you place the blame totally or even mainly on the Catholic Church you are neither logical or informed.
        If you want to just go Catholic bashing go ahead. Knock yourself out. But don’t pretend you’re informed on the issue.

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      • “Whatever you wish Stu.”

        I don’t make wishes Bryan – they just ain’t my thing.

        “As I’ve said before there are many reasons why HIV is spreading in Africa and other parts of the world.”

        I’ve never said or suggested anything to the contrary.

        “If you place the blame totally or even mainly on the Catholic Church you are neither logical or informed.”

        I’ve never made any statement to support either proposition. Look for the words “totally” or “mainly” in relation to blame in this thread and attribute them to me. You won’t find them.

        “If you want to just go Catholic bashing go ahead.”

        I made one specific, evidence based criticism of that church. If you want to emote and accuse me of “Catholic bashing” you can add it to your usual mistakes.

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      • ICB

        The Church is part of the problem. You can argue about the scale and scope as much as you like but they are still part of the problem.

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      • When you say “The Church” I assume you mean the Catholic Church? There are more than one church you know.
        Yes many things are part of the HIV crisis. But to place the blame wholly on “The Church” would be just plain ignorant.

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      • “Well, it seems you’ve come around to the logical position Stu.”

        I can’t come around to a position I already had Bryan.

        “You’re learning.”

        At least one of us is. Your homework is to write “I will not attribute views or positions to people who do not hold them” until it sinks in. I’ll tell you when to stop.

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      • “But to place the blame wholly on “The Church” would be just plain ignorant.”

        Except Bubba hasn’t done that. You can tell that by his use of the word “part” when referring to the problem being discussed.

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      • Bryan,
        just one little niggle over your comment a couple of days back.

        >>>Well no, monogamy, not screwing around, not sticking needles in yourself or abstinence are the surest ways to avoid HIV. Nothing would demonstrate otherwise.>>>>

        Sure, for ONESELF, (and oneself is the only individual you can ever be truly certain about) monogamy and etc do represent ways of contributing to avoid Aids or similar troubles. But the other party, the one you are monogamous with, may not have been so careful or even lucky in his or her past. A rape of that partner may leave him/her unknowingly infected as well. A previous marriage of his/hers may be a further danger, if their partner was infected without him/her knowing about it for example. I understand too, that the partner might just have been born with the inheritance from their parents of the disease. I guess the advice in such case would be for the person never to marry or hook-up.

        Rian.

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      • “Bubba doesn’t acknowledge any other cause. That’s the problem.”

        No, that’s not the problem at all. There is nothing wrong with pointing out a specific action by that church and criticising that specific action for it’s likely effect. The problem is that you want create a straw man whereby that specific criticism (lying about condom efficacy) becomes a blanket criticism (you’re just Catholic bashing by wholly blaming the church for AIDS). Of course, then you attack the second position – which is not ours.

        As I’ve told you before if you really don’t know you are doing this, you are (a) lazy (b) intellectually incapable of having a debate such as this (c) deliberately dishonest or (d) so emotionally attached to the topic you can’t think clearly.

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      • When did I lie about condom efficacy? I really don’t care what you think about me Stu. You’re not that important.
        If you read properly what I was saying I agree that the Catholic Church is part of the HIV spread problem. I never said otherwise. But because I delve a little deeper into the subject you and Bubba get all huffy and blinkered.

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      • “When did I lie about condom efficacy?”

        When did I accuse you of lying about condom efficacy? Are you really saying you can’t work out from the context of this discussion that I’ve been accusing the Catholic Church of lying about condom efficacy?

        “ I really don’t care what you think about me Stu. You’re not that important.”

        Funny, you don’t look like a teenager in your photo…

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      • If you read properly what I was saying I agree that the Catholic Church is part of the HIV spread problem. I never said otherwise. But because I delve a little deeper into the subject you and Bubba get all huffy and blinkered.

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      • “Read what I said above and perhaps think again.”

        How about reading what I wrote first and then quote me accusing you of lying about condom efficacy, as you claimed?

        “What does that mean? Are you just resorting to insults now?”

        The line I quoted from you could easily be construed as the petulant response of a hormonal teenager. Given your propensity for the ad hominem and unfounded accusations (in this thread apparently I’m a “Catholic basher”) I thought you might be able to take a well-deserved jibe. I should have known better.

        “I agree that the Catholic Church is part of the HIV spread problem. I never said otherwise.”

        I’ve already accepted that and moved on. It’s not the issue, as I’ve tried to explain above. It’s not huffiness – it’s trying to get you to admit you have tried to misrepresent me as a “Catholic basher” who “blames the Catholic Church wholly” for AIDS.

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      • A well-deserved jibe? Seriously/
        I spent last night talking with a couple of philosophy teachers and we discussed many subjects.
        I suppose I’m not accustomed to passive aggressive amateurs with bees in their bonnets.
        Who’s the hormonal teenager here Stu?
        And honestly, why do you even bother? To bolster your ego? That would be sad.

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      • “A well-deserved jibe? Seriously/”

        It wasn’t meant to be that serious Bryan. I thought the tone of your response (“you’re not that important”) warranted it.

        “I suppose I’m not accustomed to passive aggressive amateurs with bees in their bonnets.”

        I thought you didn’t want to resort to insults. But maybe you only apply that to insults to you, not from you. That probably explains why you feel it’s okay to cherry pick research when it supports your opinion and then claim it “debunked” when it doesn’t (Ehrman).

        “And honestly, why do you even bother? To bolster your ego? That would be sad.”

        Apply the mirror to yourself first. I bother because you have misrepresented my positions here and in other threads in the past. I’m satisfied my ego is in check. When I made a mistake in the past I’ve admitted it, explained how I came to make that mistake and asked for your understanding (which was duly forthcoming btw). I’d appreciate you doing similar by acknowledging that I (a) never “blamed Catholics wholly or mainly for AIDS or the spread of AIDS” and that you’ve made a mistake by suggesting that I have and (b) have not “bashed Catholics” in any way in this thread.

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      • No worries mate. I genuinely enjoy debates and discussions on this site with you and others. As Bubba suggested elsewhere (I think) the medium probably doesn’t convey sentiment and intent. Besides we pretty much agree on this one anyway!

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      • That’s right. We do agree on this. I just got a bee in my bonnet and, with the heat in Melbourne and lack of sleep, became a pretentious idiot. Thanks for accepting my apology. (I don’t think you have an ego problem).
        Cheers Stu

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      • HI Bryan,

        “Screw around if you like but face the possible consequences.”

        Like a reduced risk of prostate cancer, better immune system, lower stress, lower rates of heart disease etc.

        The health benefits of regular safe sex have been well documented.

        If you believe in intelligent design then apparently we’re designed to shag (if I may be so crude)

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      • Yes Bubba I’m in agreement partly. But rampant indiscriminate sex has its definite negatives. Stress, heart attacks, broken relationships etc are surely some of the negatives for those who live in promiscuity. Not to mention HIV. That’s a fact. Been there. done that (except for the HIV thing and the heart attack). Do whatever you wish mate, but be aware of the possible negative consequences. I wouldn’t presume to lecture you about your own choices but facts are facts.

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    • Hmmm I think Stu might have a point about your levels of emotional involvement in the topic.

      But anyway that seems to put the condom issue to bed (Church bad).

      Now we just need to look at the protection of child abusers and wealth.

      🙂 🙂 🙂

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      • Hmmm I think Stu might have a point about your levels of emotional involvement in the topic.

        Why? I’m not Catholic.

        Now we just need to look at the protection of child abusers and wealth.

        Fine. Go for it. Can’t wait to see what views you might have on those subjects Bubba.
        🙂

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  7. I still love my new year’s resolutions. I really like having that feeling of a new slate, of reviewing what you’ve done in the last year and what needs to be improved whether that’s in work or in spirit. I like to tick them off like a little Miss Prim lol

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    • folks, this is nothing whatsoever to do with the current discussions, but I must tell how I had the pleasure of meeting with and entertaining our beloved Monica along with her husband in my home a week ago. Let me assure you, she is even more beautiful in person, than she looks on our blog here. I look forward to getting a report from her on the meeting she had arranged for the next day or so, to be with our old mate Dabbles. For those who dont know him, he is a most extinguished looking guy with a repectable beard. Great company too. (did I get a word wrong there????)

      Had a super day, and the pair were tolerant and patient enough to spend the whole day with me. My very good friend Strewth joined with us as well. Just great. Agan thanks a million Monica.

      Oh and my number one Pussycat hasnt stopped talking about the ear rub he got from Richard, when he came in through the cat door and inspected the company, (and in the process, gave them permission to stay.)
      Rian.

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      • Thanks Rian.

        Had a wonderful day with you and Strewth. You are a gracious host. Only got back to Perth last night. But alas, the last day of our visit to Victoria was a nightmare with Richard taking I’ll. I had to drive him to Casualty upon arriving home and he’s been kept in overnight for observation. And would you believe that a woman took I’ll and collapsed on our flight over. Luckily there was a doctor on board. We had priority over all the other incoming flights and landed early. But we were all very concerned for her. She was conscious by the time we landed, thank God.

        Anyway, have to go collect my precious hubby from hospital now. Am hoping he’s okay to come home. Talk about taking each day as it comes!

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      • Lovely to meet you, Mon. Hope your visit with Dabbles the deservedly distinguished (or extinguished if you wish) went well!

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      • They’ve at long last discharged Richard. YAAY! Getting better.

        Richard is most appreciative of your love and prayers Bryan, as he was really down.

        And as for my meeting with Dabs? All I am prepared to say is that it was quite an experience! 😆 I fell in love with Billy Bob and Dinkum, though. But next time I’m hoping to meet up with Kathleen and Bryan too. 🙂

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      • Oh Mon,
        So sorry to hear about the good bloke. when I met him the other day, he appeared in simply excellent shape, and it was great to meet him. Do hope that he gets better soon. Will be thinking of him.

        all the best, Rian.

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