And so to 2012. As we embark on the final year of our civilisation’s time on the earth, with hopes of hoverboards and Skynets and robot mistresses fading, with Mayans falling from the sky and three of the four horsemen of the apocalypse dressed and ready, I have cause to reflect on all that we achieved together last year. If I recall correctly, I did some minor bits of very little and you didn’t bother reading about them.
We started our social work placements, righting wrongs on emergency duty shifts and de-offending young offenders. We took the Zero manifesto to the next generation, taking up residence in the uni magazine to bang on about vegetarianism, ethical tourism, volunteering and full on proper meddling. We took to the streets for the National Spring Clean, picking up litter, junk and a touch of Hepatitis. We reached out to artists and photographers to fill the site with images and steal nothing from no one. We campaigned for the AV referendum, succeeding brilliantly and transforming our electoral system forever if memory serves. We gave to a ton of Chazzas of the Month and reloaned our Kiva cash to entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone, Kenya and Rwanda. We completely failed to buy an environmentally friendly car, ran a couple of 10ks for chazza and bought vegetarian running shoes in the interests of thoroughness. We went to Nepal, gave to a hard up school, bigged up Fairtrade and fought the class war in Kathmandu. We signed a bunch of e-petitions that didn’t go anywhere because they weren’t sufficiently crass or racist. We freecycled til we couldn’t freecycle no more, we watched and told others to watch The Cove, and we did nothing while they killed Troy Davis. We bigged up the Nestlé boycott, joined a union to score a day off and converted the office to environmentalism in preparation for the return of Gore. And then we sort of ballsed it all up for a few weeks at the end there in a shameful display of inactivity as deadlines and late nights kicked us rather spectacularly in the arse.
But now we begin again, refreshed and ready, socks pulled up, new leaves purchased and turned over. And although our days are numbered, enough remain with which to do good. This will be the year we qualify as a social worker and get to meddle professionally, without essays jamming up our out of hours do-gooding time, with salary to do more good in the direction of charity. Opportunity awaits and resolutions are to be resolted. Or resoluted, depending on how far you’re willing to taunt the English language.
Last year we resolved to run a 10k for chazza (done), buy the world’s most ethical toothbrush (done) and launch Operation Parmesan (done, just barely, like Indy sliding under a door of rock and just about grabbing his hat). They were a mix of the clichéd, the tedious and the who gives a shit but they got done. This year I propose the following mix of the groundbreaking, the earth shattering and the game changing: First, I’ll be a better vegetarian, going after better sources of protein and vitamins and cooking halfway decent stuff instead of just heating up guff made by the ghost of Linda Macartney. Second, I’ll give more to charity, building up to about ten percent of my take-home once the worst of my student debts are covered and assuming Mrs Zero’s still around for me to sponge off. Third, I will actually succeed in buying the most environmentally friendly car my budget can manage when this current model dies as it inevitably will before the year is out. And fourth, I will look to switch my energy supplier to one that deals exclusively in wind, water, heart and various other Planeteers.
I will do these things. I will do all these things and more. And if I don’t, may God strike me dead where I stand. Or put shaving foam in my hand when I’m asleep on his couch and then tickle my nose.
Photo credit: The Zero