Like you, I’m not very fond of the quintessential party pooper, skulking round in the corner, moping and crapping all over everyone’s booze-induced state of euphoria. However, this year I am going to be your party pooper; only because whilst the rest of you lounge about on your couches, eating bacon butties and watching reruns of Life on Mars (as you should on a Sunday and the start of the bloody year) I am back at work, wrapping up deadlines and the like.
However, it’s not all word counts and proofing in the office today. Amidst our 80s music morning marathon, my colleagues and I relived the two standout, televised New Year moments; the first being the Sydney fireworks show and the second, London’s competing, tune-synchronised (maybe ‘synchronised is too strong a word) extravaganza.
I only say competing because, although impressive, it baffles me that while The Times and like titles are having a go at other city’s NY celebrations, claiming London’s as the superior offering, slightly more important factors, like cost and environmental effects have gone unnoticed.
Now, I’m not the authority on green initiatives or the UK budget. You lot could have a fireworks fund for all I know (do you?); Australia doesn’t, that’s for sure. Yet for all your inflation and budget cuts, it feels like much was overlooked for an 8 minute show that most people were either too busy pashing or with their heads in ceramic bowls, chucking up, to actually notice.
I’m not trying to be a smart arse here (ok, maybe a little) but check the facts (for both our beloved countries): costs stood at £500,000 and $5 million, for the English and Aussie parties, respectively (I am of course overlooking much more lavish affairs, like the Burj Khalifa do in Dubai; that however was an ‘environmentally friendly’ shindig). Emergency services in London recorded an all-time high of a call every 11 minutes on the night – that’s approximately 2500 calls only post midnight.
Add to that a pinch of perchlorate contamination as a result of the gunpowder and heavy metal residue in the air post fireworks – specially seeing as the shows were the longest recorded in the history of both Australia and the UK - and proven thyroid gland infections in due effect, we have on our hands a brilliant start to the New Year.
I’d just like to make clear that I love fireworks just as much as the next person. When Bad Romance blasted over Circular Quay, I had little homesick tears in my eyes. The ridiculous amounts of money spent, all those people hurt, the stupid intoxication cases occupying emergency services already on high demand, the friendly little rivalry between the beautiful Aussies and charming English; all worth it.
Or is it?
p.s. Check out the brilliant Skype NYE site, showcasing celebrations the world over.