Rev Billy: "Bernie Madoff – what were your resolutions for the last 40 New Years?... My suggested resolutions are that we continue to act, more and more, on simple desire... praying, seeing, shopping locally or bartering, laughing inappropriately, making art for neighbors, smiling at strangers, birdwatching and… we have the simple wish to dance, listen to music and to hold hands. What am I driving at here? Can a resolution be that simple? Yes - to DO, to BE, to LISTEN, to TOUCH, and in a word, in 2009 we need to return to direct human experience. The idea is so basic that it doesn’t occur to us that practicing experience would be necessary... do them non-commercially... Dancing and holding hands THAT way means communicating powerfully with our fellow citizens.... a good New Year’s Resolution would be to be able to shout the truth, and then to be able to hear such a crying out from others, too. We have to hear the cry from within ourselves as well as hear it from an orator in public space. I believe that the criers are out there, but we are so dulled down, emptied, hurried, shell-shocked by advertising, iPodding, Facebooking, sitting in traffic, waiting in line… all we do every day to pursue Consumerism.... If we remain consumers, fans, tourists, demographic groups, investors – and not sensual citizens, we will never make our way back... And we will die or we will live – it is our choice. If we die, we might die standing up with our eyes open, buying something we don’t need with money we don’t have. That is modern Hell. Right now, in 2009, we have an opportunity to defend ourselves against those who find every detail of our lives a potential profit center. The corporations have stumbled, they are smashed on their own greed. We have a unique window of opportunity - maybe have a few weeks or months in 2009 - in which to cry out. All the fake happiness and sorry of advertising is less powerful now. Remember how the supermodels and giant celebrity heads on the cityscape seemed to shrink down after the world trade towers crashed? They were suddenly so ridiculous. The spell of Consumerism was broken for a time. Now it’s happened again. And what are we doing? We are trying to clear our heads. We get up on one elbow. We know what we must do. We need to slip to dance, hear the music, and hold hands. This year, we pledge to find the power again by being human."