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10, 9, 8, 20, 7, 19, 6, 18…. Chicago’s Annual Miscounting Day! (New Years)

I was going to make a post about this before it inevitably happened just to chuckle at my pragmatic ways, but ‘tings happen.  (My younger cousin came over for the holidays and wanted to hit 75 on his warrior in WoW before he went back home, so I let him get his game on.  In the process my access to the pc was limited so that is why this is a little delayed.  Also the misses got my a PS3 which would have just been rude if I did not play that all hours of a day.  Etiquette first, lads.  Etiquette first.)

Why is it that every New Year’s ‘celebration’ held in New York is grand and at the very least accurate, and why is Chicago’s held in such an inverse way?  Every year we get to see New York count it down in style as the whole process should be rather simple, but then when the clock ticks down to our turn, every single station in the Chicago land area botches the job so effortlessly?  The difficulty should arise within lining up entertainment and keeping the drunken lots on camera herded together and in a comatose state before the countdown reinvigorates them into belting out Auld Lang Syne. 

The countdown to the fireworks and noisemakers is the easy part, yet consistently, annually there exists a brief stutter in time where the telecasters are counting down the seconds and about half way through the cartoonized numbers start animating across the screen stating the actual countdown.  I need to seek out Steven Hawking or Doctor Emmet Brown to begin to visualize how this short-lived split time-stream can occur simultaneously, and why how it seals itself off exactly at midnight without forming a Time Paradox.

I understand that there has to be buffer to allow the possibility of previously stated drunken lots ample time to swear and be bleeped out by the censors manning the Censo-Button.  This is understandable when Live TV collides with large audiences consuming ‘festive holiday spirits’ but this can easily be accounted for and avoided. 

          1.     Clearly there was some sort of delay for safety/censor reasons, or someone that was involved in the Dubya -vs- Gore presidential ballot in Florida is working the count down on every channel.  Even so, New York seems to be doing just fine and they have a great deal more people on camera at any one time.  If this means they are masters at all things clockwork, or simply lie to either the audience in person or those at home as to what the actual countdown is, it looks authentic and accurate. 

(I say lie because due to that few seconds of buffer needed to bleep out something unsavory to the audience at home they either have to time it up to be accurate for those watching it on TV, thus those there in person are celebrating it early a few seconds; or they are just casting the footage of other people counting it down accurately, in which case those at home are stuck a few seconds behind.  Somethings gotta give!)

After all, the main reason I notice it is botched in the mid-west is from the conflicting time on the screen and the people shouting the numerals, so keep them the same and wrong or right, all affected will think it to be precise.  It is all an excuse to get liquored up and kiss the significant other anyway.  Doesn’t need to be run by NASA to chant the same numbers at once here, folks.

          2.     To avoid a delay that noticeable, scan your party pool closely and avoid serving alcohol entirely, or at the very least just minutes before the celebration to avoid inebriation and embarrassing spills, as well as the f-bomb and whatever else some griefer might be willing to cry out just to get his one moment of pre-adolescent fame.  The parties shown on the localish news were rather small, say fifty in a large ballroom, and that was sufficient enough to keep the delay short, but for crying out loud, keep the numbers that audience is saying and the ones flashing so vividly on screen identical!  The title of the post was quite what I heard across every channel minus the one streaming from half the nation away.  Sounded like a game of pong with its beeps and bloops replaced with drunken and daft proclamations of random numbers, the string of digits changing each time the pellet or ball makes contact with the bar…or whatever that rectangular thing was supposed to be.

If all else fails at the time of the reveal, just cut the microphones all together and fade in Auld Lang Syne or whatever other fitting song comes to mind and people at home will get the idea of the festivities going down as the timer hits zero.  Add in a cross-fade to stock fireworks-at-night footage and boom goes the dynamite.

For people fearing that this could be our last year, that was a terrible sendoff into the potential final New Year’s we’ll see.  And if that really is the case, no matter how unlikely it is, does it matter if one lone jackarse gets through the barricade of censors and shouts a stream of obscenities?  At the rate of what words are being allowed on basic television, it won’t be that long till we run out of taboos.

But, enough of that.  Until the next New Years, anyway ^_^  Here’s the ending of It’s A Wonderful Life, in case anyone missed it during it’s like ONE playing this year.  Every time I checked it was never on, while Scrooged and A Christmas Story were on non-stop, as well as all the versions of Christmas Carol playing in rotation, like planets orbiting a really rich and crotchety moon.

Happy New Years, all!

6 responses »

  1. Did you catch that pop star (whose name I didn’t catch) saying her New Year’s resolution is to “not be a douchebag?” Too late!

    Luckily for us here in the Sunshine State, which isn’t very sunny or warm lately, we receive the east coast feed and see the zombified Dick Clark live. Man does he look like a stroked out, plastic surgery nightmare. I don’t know what they believe in Hollywood but Botox doesn’t sure a stroke. It’s a shame too since I like Dick Clark, listening to his Sunday morning pop show all the time when I was a kid. It’s horribly obnoxious that Ryan Seacrest is the new Dick Clark, since I’m certain Seacrest handed out a plethora of sexual favors for his position in our cultural zeitgeist.

    Happy New Year =)

    P.S.: They don’t show It’s a Wonderful Life enough anymore. It’s on once a year now but was one hundreds of times a season when I was a kid. It’s better than Scrooged…but not A Christmas Story. Nothing beats Raphie shooting his eye out and wearing a pink bunny outfit. =)

  2. “It’s a…pink nightmare….”

    I’d say your description of Dick Clark being zombified and stroked out is quite the accurate description, sadly. Even worse is his supposed replacement, as you mentioned. Much rather see Carson Daily there, and he was on some channel I noticed, than Seacrest because Seacrest just comes off fake or forced. I know they all have to do that, but he is a smidgin too close to ‘used car sales men’ for my tastes.

    And man did I botch the editing of this post >.< Going back to add in paragraphs where they got eaten up in the spellchecking process. My bad, bud. Sorry you had to read that mangled mid-section up there. At least the Wonderful Life video came out ok. Was gonna put up a slower version of the song I found, but once I saw this clip I got all warm and fuzzy. It's a shame at how many Christmas movies bomb at the office and are still being played like nuts today. White Christmas, etc.

  3. A Christmas Story was a box-office failure but is now a cult classic. I was young when it came out and didn’t hear of it until I was a teenager. There’s a great version of Auld Lang Syne by the band Amps for Christ that I particularly love which you can probably find online somewhere.

    I’m not a fan of Carson Daly myself (his stint on MTV left a bad taste in my mouth) and have loyally watched the Dick Clark version for years. Unfortunately Seacrest’s taking over and I’ll probably switch. However, if the conspiracy nuts are correct we only have one more New Years before the world ends – and none if the religious right are correct about Jesus coming back this summer. Thankfully I don’t believe in either and barring some unfortunate event I’ll hopefully see many more New Year countdowns. =)

    By the way, don’t see Tron: Legacy – it sucks big time. I can’t wait for Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere, which is hopefully coming to my little area of Florida in the next few weeks.

    Congrats on your PS3. I like them but opted for a regular blu-ray player instead this holiday season. It costs less, still has Netflix capabilities, and won’t distract me from all the other nonsense I partake in on a daily basis. If I didn’t have some many obligations I’d love to have a PS3 but I fear my life will fall apart while playing Fallout or something similar.

    • That’s gotta be weird for a publisher to handle a Christmas movie. They know it’ll probably bomb (barring remakes) but it could thrive on TV…they make tv specials but those are hardly worthy of being replayed once let alone every year (ABC Family just forces them onto the air, anyway >.>). Wonder if x-mas movies are the film version of poetry? Don’t really make them because they don’t really sell, at least not predictably.

      Won’t see Tron, blotting it off the list right now. Though I might get it for free from the library if the ol’ movie well runs dry. And grats to you on the blu-ray! Not a big fan of the Pirates sequels, but man do they look purty’ with blu-ray on a big screen. (Older cousin loves the series, and all it’s flaws.) In short, even movies I dislike look good on one of them suckers’. Kudos!

  4. Happy New Year man! By the sounds of it you’re probably still counting down anyway. Does that mean you get some extra days in your year or what?

    • Haha, yes! You caught me man! The cousin coming over bit was all ruse as the news channels are *still* stuttering about in a never-ending sequence of numbers. Blast it all! hee hee

      I just don’t get it, man. At first it was more of “huh…that’s odd” but since I noticed it *every year* they fumble. I have more fun watching my digital clocks blink back an hour or so during the time change than New Years anyway. Though every time it rolls around I do get a hankerin’ for some breaded shrimp and cocktail sauce. Takes a great deal more shrimp to vom’ than champagne , after all.


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