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When The New Year Was Only About The Calendar
bibliomaniac
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Powell's Books Powell's Books
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There was a time when the New Year celebration was only about calendars. As the clock approached midnight—there was no dropping ball in those days—you had the irresistible urge to hold on to the current year. You wanted to resist the inexorable wave of time washing away forever something that had been a familiar part of your life.

 

You lifted a glass and gave a cheer when the year, in the instant of its death, was reborn as the New Year, but you knew that the only thing that had to change was the number assigned to Now. So, you needed a new calendar but you would get plenty of them from the mail or from local merchants. All you had to do was get rid of a hangover and write the new annual number in the first ten checks in your checkbook.

 

No more. Never again. Those times are gone forever.

 

Our NannyState RiskManagement society has obliterated our annual innocence and our Neo-Hegelian public policies have decimated prosperity. The new year rings in a host of new laws—Hegelian code for The Ascendency Of The State. The noose of Cannot And Must grows tighter around the neck of the hoi polloi. New guidelines issue for what you should eat, watch, consume, utilize, value and scorn. The panties worn by our Pantywaist culture fit ever more comfortably.

 

People adopt resolutions to transform their habits, behavior, character and outlook. These sonorous vows make up in Social Acceptability what they lack in actual resolution. No one resolves to kill more, rape more, cheat more, abuse more, eat more, demand less acceptance of our perverse, fat, stupid asses and yet we do these things.

 

Economic conditions are so bad, people do not want to hold on to the current annual number—they want new digits with which to denote their misery, as if there were magic in arithmetic signification.

 

Experience is so electronically mediated that the old, simple burden of adopting a new calendar happens automatically.

 

Times were better and people were better when the coming of the New Year was only a matter of notation. In those days, people did not try "to live right" or "to eat healthy". In those day, people did not spend a single instant "at risk". In those days, the reprobate did not use the power of government to pick the pockets of persons of probity. In those days, sick people self-identified.

 

Time marches on. Decay stays in step.

 

 

 

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