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New Year, Old Me

In my favorite episode of Mad Men, [1] there's this scene where Roger is talking to his shrink and he says, essentially, that for each of us life is just a series of meaningless experiences on a path towards death. The shrink tells Roger that he sounds afraid, to which Roger replies: “More like irritated.” The shrink then asks Roger what he thinks it is that's causing him to feel that way, and Roger replies: “Top of the list: New Year's. It's like an extra birthday—you're supposed to blow out the candle and wish for something. I don't even know what it is.”

I can relate. I often have an unusual perspective. [2] I mostly dislike holidays, for example, because they tend to make me feel like I'm supposed to play some stupid game that other people made up. The system we're all a part of, with all of its holidays, traditions, customs, standards, norms and other expectations (e.g., getting married, having kids, working full-time, paying taxes) largely repulses me, honestly, but I'm stuck here on this planet with everyone else so what am I supposed to do about it? Maybe I should just exile myself to Iceland. [3]

Anyway, it's a new year, I guess, [4] but I'm the same old me—for better or worse.

[1] The episode is The Doorway, but I affectionately refer to it as the death episode.

[2] …and I think that having to deal with other people mostly sucks. See How to Think for Yourself by Paul Graham.

[3] See Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

[4] Actually, today is just an arbitrary day in an arbitrary calendar.

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