Carroll: It's Harder To Break Other People's Resolutions

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It's that time of year when people start to wrestle with their annual list of New Year's resolutions. But take heart: WBUR senior media analyst John Carroll has a revolutionary new approach to that pesky problem.

CARROLL: Of all the dreaded holiday traditions — from "The Little Drummer Boy" to fruitcake — perhaps the most dreaded is the New Year's resolution. That's because the second most dreaded holiday tradition is breaking New Year's resolutions. But there's a solution to that — making New Year's resolutions for other people.

First dibs, of course, should go to president-elect Barack Obama. Resolution #1: whenever you have a meeting with Barney "I'm Not Finished Yet" Frank, bring along a magazine to read. More important, though, is Resolution #2: whenever French president Nicolas Sarkozy phones the White House . . . tell him you'll call right back.

Next up: our outgoing president, George W. Bush, the man who put the Duck! in lame duck.

Bush should resolve to organize a Walk For Freedom with Muntader Al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist-slash-footwear flinger who slipped the shoe onto Bush's legacy.

By the way, two words for al-Zaidi: product placement. Just think how much stronger your protest would have been if those pedal projectiles were, say, Crocs.

Speaking of crocks, here's a handy hint for embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich: resolve to get a better poem to hide behind.

First off, what are American poets — chopped liver? Maybe F-Rod should channel Robert Frost — you know, "something there is that does not love a ... prison ... wall."

And speaking of being unloved, alleged Ponzi-schemer Bernard Madoff should resolve to change the pronunciation of his name. When you've made off with that much money, you need a new image for the new year.

John Carroll is senior media analyst for WBUR and a mass communication professor at Boston University.

This program aired on December 30, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.