Setting Fire to the New Year

You know what should be done each New Year’s? There should be a huge public bonfire on the lawn of the White House where people can symbolically burn things in which they’re disappointed, or of which they’re ashamed, or from which they’d like to abstain, whatever the case may be, from the past year. And there could be a huge workshop with lots of work tables and Elmer’s glue and glitter and felt squares and smelly markers so people could create these symbolic representations of these things. And a panoramic photographer would be hired to record everyone, each holding their creation, prior to tossing it into the fire.

It would be a huge bonding experience. And a chance to air grievances. And people would laugh because some people are less creative than others and would have really funny symbolic representations, but not on purpose, which would make them even more hilarious. And people could throw their Bill O’Reillys or Howard Sterns or chocolate ice creams or carbohydrates or impatience or alcoholism into the flames and cheer together as the flames rise higher to swallow up all of the frustration and pain and disgust from the year so everyone can start over. And maybe somebody would get a little angry because they don’t like the idea of human beings being burned in effigy, but they’d get over it when someone else points out their symbolic representation of impatience in the form of a parent striking a child isn’t pleasant to look at either.

People like to bond over destruction and salvation, it seems. And most everyone likes fire. What better way to ring in the new year than with a massive bonfire ignited by a unified feeling of dumping the bad and starting over with good?

4 Comments so far

  1. True Believer (unregistered) on December 30th, 2005 @ 3:33 pm

    You’ve just described Burning Man. It’s in August, not January, but otherwise that pretty much sums it up. You should go next year.


  2. ash (unregistered) on December 30th, 2005 @ 4:00 pm

    i know a little about burning man but didn’t think of it in that regard… burning man is 1000 times more fun in the desert than d.c. but i was just in d.c. last weekend and thought it’d at least be more fun to have a bonfire than a big ol’ xmas tree and 47 foot tall menorah.


  3. Eventster (unregistered) on December 30th, 2005 @ 4:20 pm

    I like the idea of burning off the old for a New Year celebration. Christmas has pretty good timing being only a week earlier, that way the tree is pretty dry by NYE. Nothing does it better than a 12 foot flaming rocket blast coming off the Holiday tree in under 60 seconds.


  4. True Believer (unregistered) on January 1st, 2006 @ 2:48 pm

    I was in DC myself last weekend- in fact I went to get a drink right across the street from the tree & menorah. I have to agree a giant bonfire would be a lot cooler. We’ll be there xmas next year too, should I bring some stuff to burn? :)



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