Beating the ol’ January Blues | Matthew Coughlan

Negatives of Christmas

One key reason for those January blues is that Christmas has finished. Weeks of consuming nothing but alcohol, tins of Roses and left-over turkey has unfortunately come to a dull conclusion. A way to combat the lamenting of Christmas is to quietly reflect on the negative aspects of it.

Unless you have a birthday coming up, you should be thankful that for at least another while – you won’t have to pretend to show excitement while opening a gift from a loved one. We’ve all played a key role in this annual drama of faking appreciation for a shite present. Many of us have acquired the skill down the years but there are a still a few who have yet to fully master the act.

The truth is, as soon as the present is handed over to us, the pressure is on. The giver of the present begins staring you down, waiting impatiently for your joyous reaction. When you finally tear open the never ending layers of wrapping paper it is time for the face muscles to kick in. Some of these muscles are used specifically in this unique situation and therefore have to be vigorously strained to appear delighted. In reality though, you look like a cross between somebody in the process of a stroke and somebody who has just stumbled upon the most pungent scent known to man.

We should all be relieved that, for now, this annual social nightmare is over with. Next Christmas when you receive Jedward’s discography and a sticker book from your aunt, you’ll know what to do.

Events

Gathering

Another way to surely defeat the January blues it to think of all the events to look forward to in 2013. First of all ‘The Gathering’ takes place this year. The only way it could sound more ominous was if they called it ‘The Infected’, but, despite the name, the idea seems generally positive. We are told ‘The Gathering’ is a ‘year long celebration of all things Irish’. The idea of spreading it out over a year is genius because cramming ‘all things Irish’ into one mammoth event could potentially be messy and highly dangerous. However, millions of people drinking Guinness whilst battering each other senseless with hurleys and crucifixes in a potato field, does sounds fun on paper.

According to the official website of ‘The Gathering’, ‘over 70 million people worldwide claim Irish ancestry.’ A considerable amount of that figure may represent Americans claiming their Golden Retriever’s third cousin twice removed has Irish blood, but hey, everyone is welcome home.

As if that is not enough excitement the new registration plates are sure to get your pulse racing. Judging on people’s current bewildering amazement can you imagine the reaction in June when it changes from 131 to 132? There will most likely be utter mayhem followed by a series of riots.

Films and Music

There are some highly anticipated films hitting the big screen this year. This month alone provides us with Tarantino’s Django Unchained while the talented Ryan Gosling stars in Gangster Squad. Later on this year the greatest comedy duo since the Chuckle brothers returns to our screens with Monster University in the shape of Mike and Sully and in December the one and only Ron Burgundy makes a comeback in Anchorman 2 which is “kind of a big deal”. The second instalment of Peter Jackson’s the Hobbit trilogy continues with The Desolation of Smaug.

These promising films are balanced out by Fast and the Furious 19 and Pirates of the Caribbean 11* so don’t get too excited.

(*these figures may be slightly off)

There are plenty of albums due this year to moisten the taste buds of any music lover. Following the success of The Suburbs in 2010, Arcade Fire will be releasing their fourth album which will be produced by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy. Look out for Vampire Weekend’s new album this year too, their third after 2010’s Contra. Another interesting release this year will be from Johnny Marr; the former Smiths guitarist is going solo which should definitely worth a listen. Other bands with new albums coming out in 2013 include Queens of the Stone Age and Daft Punk.

So when it seems that there is no apparent light at the end of that dreary January tunnel, focus on the negatives of Christmas and just think of all that 2013 has to offer. And if all else fails we can watch a new member of the Royal family and the spawn of ‘Kimye’ grace the world. The only thing left to do then is sit back and hope for some sort of weird arranged marriage between them.

Happy New Year and all that…