NEW YORK — At this season of renewal, this time of resolutions and new beginnings, I would like to modestly stand forth and dedicate myself to remaining exactly the same.
That's right, I don't see anything wrong with me that needs changing, resolving, restarting. (At least, nothing that a lot of gym time, deep personal contemplation, and attempts to stop that annoying thing I do when I'm bored won't cure.) So in the exact opposite of the spirit of the New Year, I would like to make New Year's resolutions for lots of other people, instead of myself.
I would like to resolve that MTV goes back to playing lots of videos.
I would like to resolve that Jim Carrey glory in his physical comedy skills and resolutely refuse to do any movie for at least five years that doesn't give him the opportunity to careen around a movie set in a shockingly and hilariously inappropriate manner.
I would like to resolve that certain networks will keep on certain great shows regardless of whether their ratings merit it, because the quality does: ABC and "Once and Again" comes to mind, as does CBS and the now possibly defunct "Citizen Baines."
I would like to resolve that major league baseball gets its act together and passes a salary cap, and, while they're at it, make sure the games are reined in so that they last a smidgen less than forever.
I would like to resolve that more movie chains play wonderful independent and foreign films like "Amelie", thus reminding all of us that the movie business comes in a lot of languages, not just English.
I would like to resolve that major news networks continue the great job they've been doing of hard foreign news since 9/11, making sure that sobering potential threats to the safety and security of this country are reported and that our leaders remain vigilant and responsible.
I would like to resolve that Michael Jordan continue to play great ball for the Wizards, chastening all of us who thought he wouldn't have it in him and giving the lie to the statement that there are no second (or third) acts in American life.
I would like to resolve that George Steinbrenner allow Jason Giambi to wear his facial hair however he likes.
I would like to resolve that Beatles fans all over the world take a minute to think about Ringo and appreciate him now, before it's too late. ("Octopus' Garden" isn't half bad, after all.)
I would like to resolve that certain television shows whose time has passed them by wind it up and call an end to things while they're not yet embarrassing. (They know who they are, don't worry.)
I would like to resolve that HBO subscribers not break their arms patting themselves on the back for their good taste in watching the "Sopranos.". It's easy to appreciate a show like the "Sopranos", coronated by the media and public opinion. Where are all of you when it comes time to defend "Once and Again?" Or, for that matter, "Smallville"?
I would like to resolve that the studios take a one year moratorium from depicting the lives of real people and come up with some interesting, fully developed fake people to parade before us.
And finally, I would like to resolve that the assembled collection of readers of this column, awed and amazed by the breadth and perspicacity of yours truly, have a wonderful 2002, and keep reading.