Pursuits: Creativity

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The Independent Culture
HERE, FINALLY, are those New Year Resolutions - for other people to keep.

But first, RJ Pickles's belated alternative Christmas speakers and messages are: Damien Hirst on Modern Butchery Techniques, Salman Rushdie on Writing Popular Fiction and the Spice Girls on Radical Gender Restructuring in a Post-Feminist Era.

Meanwhile, all that Mike Gifford really, really wants is for the Spice Girls to ginger up their act, for Camilla Parker Bowles to tie a Windsor knot and for Mandelson and Robinson to "neither a borrower nor a lender be". John Burrows would have Geoffrey R atone for his bung-all by selling all that he hath and giving it to the poor, and Maggot T admit the Poll Tax was a putrid mistake.

Martin Brown wants Dolly the sheep and a proliferation of similar clones to assert their individuality by dyeing their wool green or gnawing off their feet or taking up cannibalism; and for dodos, woolly mammoths and sabre-toothed tigers, Jurassic-Park-ically reconstructed from their DNA, to resolve to try harder not to become extinct, second time around.

Several frustrated readers seek improved performances in 1999. Susan Tomes, a Misery Line commuter, wants platform indicators to say "train approaching in 1 minute" for no more than 10 minutes. Please? Thirsty Kirsty would like Thames Water to stop charging her twice (once as water rates, then metered) for using the same water once. And Canny Annie would like London Electricity to stop the scam of charging her and her landlord and the builder for the same electricity units. Is that too much to ask? And Pirate Jane would like her flagging lover Richard to give her a Jolly Roger.

Paul Turner wants George Melly to ditch pinstripes and stupid hats and sport a full suit of armour, visor firmly shut, rendering him both inaudible and invisible.

JR Gore would like Paddy Ashdown to avoid going into Labour, Rupert Murdoch to accept that the Sky's the limit and Saddam Hussein to stop eating his Kurds and weigh the advantages. Magy Higgs wants Saddam to evaporate, slimmers to start, smokers to stop and bosses to be in the wrong occasionally.

And Loki's three wishes are: more women to write for the column; Magy Higgs, JR Gore and RJ Pickles to enjoy the Chambers Dictionaries of Quotations they have won, and for everyone to write in, by 21 January, suggesting some possible uses for a 450-word Creativity column in a week (like last week) when no contributions are received, to Creativity, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Three prizes of copies of Chambers Dictionary of Quotations for the most inspired. On 19 January we shall sum up the dire and unforeseen consequences of that leap second being added.