I have made a New Year's resolution, which is to detox. But not the kind of detox that the tabloids conjure up; you know the ones - banish your mince pie muffin top
and your mulled wine waist
in three easy steps of denial, abstinence and torture. Or the even more inane quit smoking resolution. As anybody who has ever smoked knows there is no greater rebel with a cause moment than staunchly refusing to join the New Year's quitter's bandwagon (hence, today's 007 hero pictured here).
No, the detox I am talking about has nothing to do with abstinence and everything to do with indulgence - of the mind, that is. Oh, come on stick with me; it is not like me to go all Marquis de Sade
, is it? No, what I mean is everybody knows that the only resolutions that last are about giving not giving up. And while sure I, and I boldly assume you, have indulged a bit too much of late, our minds have been starving a silent hunger. Barring an hour's light reading about Why Penguins Feet Don't Freeze
and a bout of concentration watching Steve McQueen's ever spectacular motorcycle leap in The Great Escape
, the Christmas period has done little else but fill our minds with glib superficiality.
So along with the empty bottles of pink Cava I ask you to join me in chucking out all that empty calorie brain food. Out with Grazia
and in with the New Scientist.
Instead of reading chick-lit-"dumbed-down" versions of Dangerous Liaisons
give your cultural pulse a spark at the National Theatre with Emile Zola's
classic tale of adultery's revenge in Thérèse Raquin
. Rather than watch YouTubes of talentless strangers, give blood to your artistic vein with this brilliant vodcast
(video podcast, c'mon keep up) of the Velázquez exhibit
at the National Gallery.
Don't think you are alone. I, too, am expecting some pretty nasty symptoms in the first few days of my cultural detox: a banging head, dry mouth and decimated attention span. But I am hoping through sheer determination (see I can still talk the New Year's lingo) I soon won't care if the Moss-Doherty wedding
was really a hoax. And for those who witnessed my Kate addiction
last year, you understand that would show true resolve.
Is anybody else up for a cultural detox?