What gentle reader’s resolutions may be, for the New Year, are no business of mine, and I will not presume to advise, beyond recommending that you keep your resolutions. I have noticed, this year especially, that they (“resolutions”) are going out of style. I make my own on Saint Andrew’s Day, for the new liturgical year, so am already ahead of most “secular” people still mulling their options on New Year’s Eve. My reasoning is, that if I can’t keep my intentions through Advent, at least by the fourth Sunday I may be able to remember what they were. It is good to remember things.

But the spirit of Resolution has been dying in our society, and that is among the principal reasons that our public life has been down-trending. It is what we may call the Age of the Putz, using the term with its full Yiddish vigour, yet in English where we may say it in the presence of women and children. Yes, it means stupid, foolish, worthless, idle and so forth. But as I understand, at the fulcrum, it means “easy to swing around.” It means being led by one’s rope, as it were. A putz (understandably confused with a schmuck, or a nebbish) does what he has been told by the authorities, and oddly like the brave, he does not hesitate. But this is because he can’t endure pain. He can be agreeable, yet without charm. (Reader warning: my Yiddish may be defective.)

This would be acceptable, in the sense that there is nothing we can do about a putz — he has already surrendered — but a line must be drawn somewhere, if only for our own edification. This is where, in current jargon, we cross over from a putz, to a Karen. In my apartment building alone, there must be a dozen who have made this “transition.”

They are the ones who think they will die, if you’ve forgotten your bat-muzzle, or threaten to step within seventy inches of them, in an elevator. They may appear to be making a threat, by the shrieks of complaint they utter, but really it is only fear. It is, to be plain, the opposite of Resolution. The authorities, taking them for putzes, have easily instilled the “public health” terror, with “science” they have made up, and may yank them here or there as they want.

Could I make videos, I would record a snide little number that composed itself in my head, last May (when we were only two months into “fifteen days to flatten the curve”). It was entitled, “You’re Going To Kill People!” The dance component was a variation on the hippie-days twist, in which Walmart shoppers try to stay six feet clear of each other, while looting modest consumer durables.

Resolved, for the indefinite future, not to participate in this dance. Well, that might be labelled as a command. But the challenge we face is to retrieve vacuous, Pre-Batflu Normal; not so much to resist lunatic orders, as to ignore them. And should we be confronted by a phalanx of putzes, behind their forest of imaginary sarissas, offer to give each a hug and a kiss. Or better, retreat, as if you cannot hear them. For they are too encumbered to chase.

At the centre of Resolution, is a certain willingness to die. This counts for ten points in battle, but in the fog of everyday life, it translates into a willingness to be uncool. To show indifference in the face of social pressure, is what must serve to make the modern hero, or heroine as the case may be. It is not even necessary to shout, “To hell with all you idjits,” for that would be taking the devils seriously.

In the finest mediæval tradition, when the devils display at their most pompous, we laugh at them. Let us be Resolved, to laughter.