Jean Shepherd – “New Years Resolutions” – January 1, 1973 – WOR, New York – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
The inimitable Jean Shepherd, holding forth at his post over WOR in New York on this New Years Day in 1973 – exactly 50 years ago.
The subject for this verbal assault of the best kind is the somewhat quaint and hardly-ever-taken-seriously concept of New Years Resolutions.
We’ve all made them – some of us continue to make them. Some of us have figured out that New Years Resolutions are generally not worth the energy it took the oath to pledge them with. Usually hot on the tail of remorse, wall-climbing embarrassment, instant breakup, ruined suits, tell-tale odors of unintentionally recycled Kung-Pao Chicken and a headache that has taken on seismic proportions, usually started by uttering the all-too-familiar after-morning phrase “Oh Shit!
A resolution seems like the best idea ever assembled inside your addled brain. And you swear on a stack of bibles or croak out over a surprise visit to the porcelain goddess that “You’re never going to do THAT again – EVER”.
And it looks good on paper and you tell everyone, especially all the people who are having a hard time scraping two words together to say to you, that you have made a “resolution never to drink again” – and you mean it – BOY, do you mean it. And you are rather proud of yourself for making this positive break from your old bad habits. And maybe the fierce determination lasts two days – two hours – two weeks before you are right back to square one, telling yourself “let’s don’t be hasty now – I mean I would lay off those sweet party drinks – I never had that problem with Scotch”. And there goes that resolution, out the window for another year, until the next New Years Eve party, looking for Huey in a very big way.
So Jean Shepherd has a few words on his own resolutions for the coming year – resolutions he freely admits wont be kept even after the broadcast for this January 1, 1973.
But oh, we persist and once again Jean Shepherd calls us out.
Boy, he’s missed.
Happy New Year!