The Dick Clark hologram will look something like this.

Speaking of holograms, will we see a hologram of young Dick Clark standing next to Ryan Seacrest this New Year’s, á la Anakin Skywalker?

I have to admit that, upon hearing that Clark had died, my immediate reaction was “Thank goodness — now our New Year’s Eves will no longer be haunted by the spectre of his grotesque visage.” Then I felt bad about that — I don’t necessarily have anything against Dick Clark. I have no idea what kind of person he was in real life, though the fact that he looked so young for so long was always suggestive of some kind of deal with the devil. Having that stroke that paralyzed part of his face humanized him, but I really didn’t want to see him anymore after that.

It’s my own fault really for not avoiding the horrific spectacle that is the televised ball-drop. I hate everything about it, from the general tone of frantic, forced enthusiasm to everyone involved, be it Seacrest, the Black Eyed Peas, or (ugh) Kathy Griffin. And yet somehow it is hard to get away from. It’s as if I must punish myself in order to be cleansed in preparation for the new year. Must it always be thus, or will the departure of Dick Clark for the next plane of existence set me free? I guess we’ll find out in seven and a half months.