I guess culture is pretty good? There are a lot of people studying it, it must be pretty good. It's not like we would waste our time studying unimportant things. So, you know, let's learn about culture.
Holidays are one of the most conspicuous signs of culture, but you have to be careful. Because not all holidays are real holidays. You know what I'm talking about, right? The ones where, the first time someone asks you "Did you get a card for so-and-so" and you're like "why" and then they tell you and you're just in shock that this is an actual thing? Yeah, those. Except, you never know. Maybe you're not the one that's in shock that it's an actual thing. Maybe you're the one who sees nothing wrong with it. Maybe you are inadvertently celebrating...
...a fake holiday!
With that in mind, here are some tips to help you tell the Hannukahs from the Hallmarks. If any of the following apply to the festivity in question...it might be a fake holiday!
If the holiday was invented by the candy industry.
You think I'm kidding, don't you? Nobody would listen if the corporations in charge of selling candy created a holiday where people buy candy to celebrate something that's already celebrated by another holiday. That's what you're thinking.
Well, you would be wrong.
If the special activity for the holiday is something you do every day anyway.
Hey, I was thinking! Let's set aside one day a year...to be nice to our kids. Because that never happens.
If the holiday is related to your job.
Holidays are when you get off work. If you have to go to work to celebrate your holiday, you're doing it wrong. Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day? I'm sorry, it's your kids. At work. Does that sound like a holiday to you?
Boss's Day is another good example of this phenomenon. Secretary's Day was pretty good until it became Administrative Professional's Day, which is sort of like calling up your mom and saying "Jovial Maternal Reproductive Facilitator Diurnal Period."
The one exception to the job-related fake-holiday rule is Labor Day, solely because it is - with incredible irony - a day you do not actually have to go to work.
If the holiday celebrates a person whose main accomplishment was doing something wrong.
Hey, um, Mr. Columbus? Yeah, Asia is that way.
Tell you what, give me an Einstein Day, and then we'll talk.
If the holiday is a week. Or a month.
Don't get me wrong. I love me some Shelley, some Poe, some Chesterton. I think it's fairly obvious that I think poetry is - as you kids say today - "the bee's knees." But to claim that April is National Poetry Month? Um, yeah, about that. It can't be National Poetry Month. It's too busy being April.
Also, I don't know if National Peanut Month is a real thing, or if the peanut people are lying to us, or what, but...seriously. Come on. I mean...no.
One last thing, though. If anybody tries to tell you Pi Day is a fake holiday, break their incisors with a well-thrown baseball. And then, like, check out its circumference. Because math is awesome.
Be sure to tune in again tomorrow, when we will discuss the greatest threat to the Paul Burns candidacy!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Posted by Brian Buckley at 6:07 AM