Opinion: The six New Year’s resolutions Angelenos should make for 2015

Every year, people ask me for my New Year’s resolutions.

I hate that.

What do you mean, resolutions, plural? Implicit in the question is the assumption that I need to improve not just one, but many aspects of my habits or personality. I’m not saying I’m perfect — but I try to avoid people who not only think I’m a mess, but feel comfortable telling me that they think I suck. (Perhaps one of my resolutions for 2015 should be to cultivate a demeanor so fearsome that no one would dare ask me about my resolutions.)

New Year’s resolutions are stupid.


Everyone knows that nobody keeps them. Yet, year after year, we keep going through the motions of pretend self-improvement. Why not just live honestly, and admit the fact that we’re going to eat too much in the coming year and like it, and drink too much starting on the very first day of the year, hours after resolving not to?

I’m not saying people can’t change. I am friends with a man who was a con man and a thief when he was young; he’s a straight arrow now. I’ve gone from being an A student to dropout and back to A student. People change. But I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone who, say, resolved to lose weight and ended a single gram lighter 365 days later. People change when they have to or when they get sick of themselves, not because of a flip in the calendar.

For this cartoon I asked myself, what would it take to make a certain type of Angeleno — privileged — become a better citizen? Bearing in mind my jaundiced view of New Year’s resolutions, you have to keep several tongues, including your own, firmly in cheek while reading these.

I know lifelong Angelenos who have never taken Metro. Surely it couldn’t hurt these liberal treehuggers to get out of their Audis or Priuses into the mass transit they say love. Who knows? Depending on where they’re going, they might beat traffic. I’m not that convinced that voting changes much, especially in a two-party system in which both parties are owned by corporate money. But voter turnout in municipal elections is so sad that voters ought to show up at the polls just to justify the jobs of election board employees.


I, however, resolve to change nothing.

I just hope I succeed.

Follow Ted Rall on Twitter @tedrall