Monday, December 1, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Word-Based Economy

Everyone bashes holidays. It’s become fashionable in our market place of ideas, which appears to have becoming a complaint-based economy. They bitch that Christmas is depressing and Thanksgiving supports obesity. It’s a symptom of a parasitic pseudo-culture, one that lives by denying and destroying but can barely create anything of its own – except guns and books about how other people are stupid, which I guess is somewhat creative, as enough of the attitudes fostered by the latter support sales of the former.

I’m a different sort. When I’m unpleased with holidays (and I am, especially around February 14), I make one up. I like the notions in general – the notion of the rejuvenating holy day, and the notion of the day off (which is twice as divine). I always doff my cap to the Pilgrims for picking a permanent Thursday of gratitude. It’s great that the oppressive Puritans installed the only four-day weekend in the hemisphere.

Halloween is my favorite. Candy everywhere, awesome or awesomely terrible movies on television, and nobody has to be themselves for a night. You can be Julius Caesar, Axl Rose or Zorro. Halloween comes with snacks, a genre of entertainment and an activity. It’s a model day.

I’m a creative sort, so let the word go forth from this time and spacebar that we’re going to have a Reading Day. This is when you take your favorite short story and read it to people. Novellas do not count, nor do stories written by you or anyone you know – that is cheating and I will not like you submarine my holiday with your kid’s crappy fiction. Pick your favorite author – Gabriel Marquez, Eudora Welty, Haruki Murakami, anybody. Pick your favorite story, grab some people, and read to them. You can even give copies of collections to friends and family for the commercial aspect. It will be a big deal for children to become literate soon enough to join their first Reading Day, even if most of them pick The Giving Tree or Good Night Moon.

Comic books will count, but you’ll have to gather a cast to read the other parts for you. You can only be Batman, not the narrator, the Joker and Alfred, too. The point, in the ears of Batman or the teeth of Edgar Allen Poe’s "Black Cat," is to gather (which, I guess, is more of a "House of Usher" theme). Gathering is essential to festivals.

We’ll put it on December 1st, to piss off the National Novel Writing Month people. I don’t mind the competition with the late-December juggernauts. A little competition between Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Eid-ul-Fitr and New Years turned them all into Happy Holidays. But instead of “On Dasher, on Dancer,” it’s on Kafka, on Kaufman, on King, on O’Connor, on Zelazny, on Barthelme, on Borges, on Hemingway, and of course, on Robert Frost’s On Writing.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome!
    We should make a website, if Talk like a Pirate day can work, so can this!


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