The Joy of Hypocrisy

I find making New Year’s resolutions an enjoyable experience. Some of my favourite traditional resolutions are to quit smoking, reduce my cholesterol intake and stick to a proper fitness program. Another good one is not to throw up on my neighbour Cecil Idris Idris Jones’s shoes at the summer block party this year. I always get a good chuckle out of that one.

More and more, I hear people saying, though, that they are not making any resolutions for the coming year. I find this a depressingly defeatist attitude. I think perhaps it’s part and parcel of getting older. Let’s face it, the reasoning goes, making New Year’s resolutions just doesn’t work–nobody ever changes their life that way. Well, true enough, I’ll grant you that. But does that mean that we should not actually make those resolutions?

I, for one, have absolutely no intention of contributing to society, taking tango lessons, or resisting the temptation to shamelessly flirt with complete strangers in the vain hope of attaining cheap sexual gratification. Nor do I have the slightest interest in following through on any of the other things that I proudly proclaim I will be or won’t be doing in the year to come. I would maybe consider them, except for the fact that I just don’t want to. That doesn’t mean, however, that I won’t be shooting my mouth off to everyone who’ll listen about what a great transformation is about to take place in my life. You see, as the Buddhists well know, it’s the journey that counts, not the destination.

Oh, I hear you say, in that clever pants way that you have (which, by the way, is not unattractive, you sexy devil you), that there is a name for that sort of person. That sort of person is what we call a hypocrite.

Well, you say that as if it’s a bad thing. Surely anybody with any experience of life realizes that hypocrisy is the very foundation of our civilization. Without a good dose of hypocrisy, how could we get through even one day? How could we go to church? How could we drive our SUVs with our Save the Whales bumper stickers? How could we continue to go on living our pampered, privileged lives on stolen land and the backs of third world workers, and yet read our children books filled with uplifting, socially responsible life lessons? How could we continue to believe that we’re progressive, enlightened souls able to look with contempt and disdain upon those right-wing knuckleheads south of the border? Gimme an “H”, Gimme a “Y”…

Aaaaah, hypocrisy. It makes the world go round. After all, if those ads at the back of the magazines I subscribe to can claim to help me master Spanish and enlarge the size of my penis by listening to a thirty minute audio tape, then surely I can pretend that I’ll quit smoking the next day. I mean, fair is fair.

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