On December 29 you find yourself caught between wishing people a happy xmas or a happy new year? Do you look back or do you look forward? Happy undefined middle bit!
If there is a truism in New Year resolutions in the contemporary west it is the desire to live more in the present. This despite the trend for technology to always pull us away from where we are, from the person or people we are actually physically with: by smartphone, skype or social network; by the costant consumption of culture in its musical and cinematic forms especially. On the tube everyone is headphoned out of their environment. In a 1970s film this would be a dystopia. The modern self is dispersed, shattered, fragmented. It is now acceptable to be tweeting while in a meeting; MPs are tweeting instead of debating in Parliament. We are rarely fully present despite our avowed aim to be in the here and now.
Modern man is a non hic et nunc animal. He is mainly absent .He is dispersed in the stratosphere, the blogosphere, the fantasyosphere. Little parcels of him drift around, mostly ineffectually, fractions of the whole animal.