Happy New Year and Ramblings on Auld Lang Syne

“What does the song mean? My whole life, I don’t know what this song means. It means ‘Should old acquaintance be forgot.’ Does that mean that we should forget old acquaintances or does it mean that if we should happen to forget them, we should remember them which is not possible because we already forgot?”

“Well maybe it just means that maybe we should remember that we forgot them or something. Anyway, it’s about old friends.”

Yep. It’s about old friends, and getting drunk with those old friends, but not buying those old friends any beer because, look, do you really know them that well? And can’t they buy their own damn beer? Yeah. They can.

Basically, the song is asking you a rhetorical question: Should you forget your old acquaintances? Never think of them? Never think of the olden days or the days of yore or yesteryear? The answer is a resounding NO! Of course not. You should get drunk with those old acquaintances and talk about the good ol’ days! That’s what you should do!

The full sentiment of the song is lost to many of us, since in these here united states, we only sing the first verse. As a nation of drunk asses on New Year’s Eve, we don’t have time to sing eleventy verses of some Scottish song we don’t understand. There’s drink to be drunk, and some hot guy or gal with whom we want to accidentally make out and then never speak of again.

Anyway, read the lyrics for yourself. I’m fairly certain the song is about getting crunk, Scottish-style, but what do I know? I’m a known crazy person.

The English Version The English Version in a Bagpipes Accent
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and days of old lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since days of auld lang syne.


We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.


And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
And give us a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.

Shid ald akwentans bee firgot,
an nivir brocht ti mynd?
Shid ald akwentans bee firgot,
an ald lang syn*?

Fir ald lang syn, ma jo,
fir ald lang syn,
wil tak a cup o kyndnes yet,
fir ald lang syn.

An sheerly yil bee yur pynt-staup!
an sheerly al bee myn!
An will tak a cup o kyndnes yet,
fir ald lang syn.


We twa hay rin aboot the braes,
an pood the gowans fyn;
Bit weev wandert monae a weery fet,
sin ald lang syn.


We twa hay pedilt in the burn,
fray mornin sun til dyn;
But seas between us bred hay roard
sin ald lang syn.


An thers a han, my trustee feer!
an gees a han o thyn!
And we’ll tak a richt gude-willie-waucht,
fir ald lang syn.


The message is pretty clear, isn’t it? Don’t forget your old acquaintances! Don’t forget the old days! Meet up with some old friends; go out and pick some daisies; maybe paddle in a stream, hold hands, and then go to the pub!

Not so fast, though — surely you’re buying your own pint, and surely I’m buying my own pint, and yes, I will stop calling you Shirley, but look — I haven’t seen you in a while, and frankly, I’m not sure if I like you enough to buy you a pint (and dissing my Shirley joke didn’t really help your “buy me a damn pint” cause.) So why don’t you go buy your beer, I’ll buy my beer, and then we can drink our separate respective beers and talk about auld lang syne aka the good old days aka back in the day! And then later when we’re good and sloshed, we’ll hold hands and drink some more! (But I’m still not buying you a beer, so back off already.)

That’s what the lyrics mean! Right?

No wait.

Upon a reread, I think the song is saying that you should skip all the daisy picking and paddling around because that’s dumb — you should just get drunk with your old friends and talk about what y’all have been up to, and you’ll come to find that everyone is up to the same shit: picking fine daisies, running around the slopes (skiing?? golfing??), wandering many a weary foot, paddling in the stream from morning til dinner (why? For fishing? In a stream? While paddling? Something doesn’t add up. No wonder Scottish people are drunk all the time.) Also, there’s a sea roaring between you. I bet the sea is a metaphor for distance, hence the old acquaintance business.

I think that’s it.
Or is it? I don’t know. I just spent a half hour trying to figure out how to add tables to this post. I’m not exactly an expert on anything. Besides, I’ve never really thought about what the song means. I’m just spit-ballin’ here.

Point is, go out, get drunk (or not) and hang out with friends (or not) and just wait until midnight — if the world doesn’t end, then go to sleep and wake up and curse yourself for having drunk so much the night before (or not).

[videos after the jump] Read more

New Years Open Thread

What are you all getting into?

I think I am going to spend the night fighting for position on the couch while gaming or watching tv. Not sure. Exciting, no?

*** Update ***

I know we are sposed to be thinking positive things about the fresh New Year, but I need to get this off my chest while it is 2010. Rosie is such a hot mess she is driving me insane. She sits near me and whines whines whines unless we are on walks, and simply can not entertain herself without my undivided attention. And I’ve been around JRT’s before- she is a special needs JRT. She is also the only dog I know who, given 6 feet of leash, can perfectly hog-tie herself and have 3 ft of leash left over to attempt to trip me- before we are even out the door. And then there are the walks, with her weaving back and forth and behind me and in front of me, tangling Lily’s leash and tripping me, all while barking and getting every damned dog in the neighborhood wound up. Lily was a mess on the leash at first, too, but she learned quite quickly. Not so much with Rosie.

Damned spazz.

Just Awful

Driving while black, diabetic and hypoglycemic will get your window broken, your seat belt cut, seven shocks from a Taser, a dislocated elbow, and a felony arrest, even after the cops realize the reason for your behavior. The video is horrific.

All Hail the Secret Austerity Czar

Our Glibertarian overlords have big plans for the 112th Congress. Despite wedging on about loving the Constitution, transparency, Government by the people, populism, deficits, etc., etc., etc.–the Leaders of the incoming Republican Confederate Party House majority have shown their fidelity to the oligarchs by crafting rules designed to blow holes into any effort to balance the budget while still transferring yet more wealth from the poor and middle class to the richest in the land.

A recent editorial in the NYTs explained the madness of the new rules:

The new Republican rules will gut pay-as-you-go because they require offsets only for entitlement increases, not for tax cuts. In effect, the new rules will codify the Republican fantasy that tax cuts do not deepen the deficit.

It gets worse. The new rules mandate that entitlement-spending increases be offset by spending cuts only — and actually bar the House from raising taxes to pay for such spending.

And just before Christmas the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities identified an even larger problem with the new rules. It seems that these rules would make Glibertarian fanboy, Paul Ryan, a super secret and all powerful Austerity Czar.

Read more

Open Thread: Part-TAY!

So… who’s got plans for the evening?

Open Thread

So I spent several thousand dollars picking up the car from the garage yesterday, and boy was it worth it. Runs like a champion, and I had been considering looking for a “new” used car later on in the year, finances allowing, and the guy told me that would be stupid because I can get several more years of quality driving out of my car. That’s great news, because I love how it rides. Love my Subaru.

At any rate, went to the garage this morning, started the car to go to the post office, and… the garage door apparently died.

I just said to hell with it, went back upstairs, and went back to bed. This basically sums up 2010 in a nutshell for me. Started with a broken shoulder that disabled me for months, went into a series of appliance and computer failures, followed by multiple deaths of friends and family, a car failure, and now this. 2011 can’t get here soon enough.

I’ve also grown concerned that this is what getting old is all about. You spend the rest of your life discovering new pains, rehabilitating or replacing body parts and things on you house and car, burying friends and family, and building grievances until you say fuck it all and just die.

*** Update ***

In the positive category, I can state that my penis was not amputated because of a medical error. So I got that going for me.

Tic-tok, let’s get this party started

In five days we will learn if the reformers in the Senate have the votes to make endless obstruction in that body more difficult in the 112th Congress.

Talking Points Memo has a fine run down of the tic-tok and dance steps required to get this done. Steve Benen adds some more details here and Jonathan Bernstein filling in over at The Plum Line has yet more background, reporting and speculation on what might go wrong. For yet more background on the issue here is Ezra Klein’s interview with Senate reform leader, Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon.

A lot rests on what Vice President Joe Biden will do and whether or not Harry Reid sides with the reformers or uses the threat of them to cut a deal with McConnell for some changes short of full filibusterer/obstruction reform.

Over the next few days the clock is ticking and the behind the scenes planning, deal making and whip counting for votes will pick up steam.

As Tim F. has reminded us many times in the past, now might be a good to to call your Senators (again) and this time ask them to stand up for reform on January 5, 2011 (this action is especially encouraged if one or both of your Senators are Democrats). You can find your Senator here or from the Senate switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Tim’s Guide for first-time callers can be found here.

Senator Reid can be reached at (202) 224-3542 or by his Web contact form. Vice President Biden can be reached through this Web form or (202) 456-1111 for the comment line or the WH switchboard (202) 456-1414.

Chris Bowers and the folks over at Dkos (aka GOS) are also mobilizing folks for this effort.

What happens to the Senate Rules reform movement next week will define a lot of what can and/or what can not happen in Congress in the coming two years.

So, let’s get this party started.