Saturday, April 20, 2019

Happy St. Peaches Day

     While everyone is busy preparing to celebrate the Easter holiday, or maybe recovering from the Good Friday holiday (which everyone knows is the #4 party holiday in the world), I would encourage everyone to take a minute, stop, maybe have a sip of tea, and spend some time basking in the glory that is St. Peaches Day.
     St. Peaches Day is a holiday in which one eats ravioli and throws confetti in ones bushes.  Or maybe some local public bushes if you don't have your own.  Mainly, St. Peaches Day is a great because you do not have to celebrate anything specific.  It is not dedicated to any one specific purpose.  You can celebrate whatever phase the moon is in.  You can celebrate your good and close friends.  You can celebrate your past loves by burning Scrabble tiles spelling out their names in a wastebasket in your studio apartment.  You can celebrate Lego.  Literally anything goes, as long as you do ravioli and confetti.  Those are the rules.
    Because other than being named after a legendary man named Peaches, who probably isn't high on the list for canonization, St. Peaches has no significance.  It is just a time to celebrate things that you feel are worth celebrating.  And eating ravioli.  And throwing confetti in your bushes.
   So take some time out from all of those structured, single point of emphasis holiday that all of these religions and Hallmark companies and governments are always pushing down on you.  Take some time out to celebrate a holiday that means something real, because it means whatever you want it to.  And it's here.  It's today.  It's now.

Happy St. Peaches Day!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Beware the Ides of April

Last month we discussed the dangers - whether real or perceived - of the Ides of March.  But as it turns out, the Ides of April might be equally or more dangerous, yet we never hear about them.  So let's look at some of the awful things that have happened on this day in April, and wonder why we have never daisy chained them together to see how truly awful this day can be.

1.  The death of Abraham Lincoln (1865).  You know Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, the face of the penny AND the five dollar bill, and a very tall man.  While the act of violence that took his life occurred the night before, he lingered for almost an entire day after John Wilkes Booth has asked him to leave, and he passed away on April 15, 1865.

2.  The Inauguration of Andrew Johnson (1865).  Generally not considered to be a great President, so much so that he was one of only two to face an impeachment trial in the Senate.  He basically bungled Reconstruction and the reunification of the United States after the Civil War, and his decisions laid the foundation for American society and law for the next 100 years, which would have been great had I not been forced to type that first sentence.

3.  The Sinking of the RMS Titanic (1912).  The Titanic took the ultimate ice bucket challenge off the coast of Newfoundland on April 15.  We all know the story I am sure, about the over 1500 people who died, the fact that it was the maiden voyage of a supposedly unsinkable ship, and that it led to us having to sit through that stupid movie.  The sinking also caught many people off guard because the Titanic was undefeated against icebergs up until that point, so it was a surprising victory for Mother Nature.

4.  The resolution that led to the discovery of the Teapot Dome scandal was introduced into the U.S. Senate (1922), which was bad if you were one of the Teapot Dome movers or shakers.

5.  The Second Attack of the Belfast Blitz (1941).  Two hundred Luftwaffe bombers attacked Belfast, Northern Ireland, mostly because they could.  900 people died and approximately 1500 were injured. 

6.  The Hillsborough Stadium Disaster (1989).  In an effort to ease overcrowding outside of the stadium during an FA Cup semifinal between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, police open an exit gate because apparently they thought it was better have overcrowding inside the stadium.  The resulting crush of people caused 96 people inside the stadium to die, and 766 to be injured in standing room only pens inside the stadium.  This led to the elimination of standing room only pens in the upper levels of English soccer (sorry, football) stadiums because apparently it takes mass casualties to convince millionaires to allow people to sit down.

7.  The Boston Marathon Bombings (2013).  Remember when the backpack bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon?  Yeah, that happened on April 15.  And ever since then we have had to deal with everything being #strong.

8.  The Notre Dame Cathedral Fire (2019).  You just heard about this on social media, because that is where we get our news from.  The roof of Notre Dame catches fire during renovation work and burns like crazy, destroying the iconic spire.  The Parisian fire brigade is able to save a startlingly large amount of the ancient structure, which is good.  Touchdown Jesus remain unharmed because that is at the University in Indiana, not at the cathedral.

So, as one can see, the Idea of April has not been kind to history.  And we haven't even gotten into the fact that it is the day that taxes are due in the United States, which is a mini-disaster for literally millions of Americans every year.  So don't worry about the Ides of March so much.  But beware the Ides of April.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Beware the Ides of March

     Eidibus Martiis - The Ides of March.  We have visited this subject before, Company, so I do not think that we need to go over it all again.  For decades and centuries we have been led to believe that we need to beware the Ides of March.  I am fairly confident that this is due to the fact that in 44 B.C. a soothsayer uttered it to Julius Caesar not long before Caesar uttered the equally famous "Et tu, Brute?"  Except that none of this is true.  All of these classic sayings came straight from the pen of one William Shakespeare, which makes sense because all of the classic lines come from Shakespeare.
The site of the original Globe Theater.
Not the photo you expected, is it?
     Now, we can get into what was really said a.) by the soothsayer, and b.) by Caesar when he was stabbed 23 times at the Theater of Pompey, but I am lazy and Wikipedia can do that just fine for me.   The point here, Company, is that from the minute that the first actor uttered that famous phrase "Beware the Ides of March" at the Globe Theater in 1590-whatever the Ides of March, and the idea that bad things will happen upon them, has sort of been a self-fulfilling prophesy.  We know the phrase, we've seen the play, we've seen the band Ides of March perform - probably at a casino somewhere - and we have sort of just begun to believe that things are going to bad on this day.
     And they often do.  I walked into the office wing of the Worldwide Headquarters this morning and was expecting things to go to shit because "Beware the Ides of March" and so it was.  I spent the entire day fixing things that I neglected to pay an intern to fix ten years ago.  And it was annoying and stupid.  Because I expected it to be.  And so it was.
     So what do we do, Big Dave?  How do we defeat this?  How do we make this end?  Well, Company, I don't think that we do.  The easiest answer is that we defy Journey and simply stop believing.  Remove the oxygen and the flames will die.  Insert other metaphor/simile/comparison here.  But truthfully, I don't want it to end.  There is something sort of mystically and magically human about the whole thing.  A bunch of guys in togas invent a calendar based on the moon, name a random day in the middle of the month, then stab their leader on that day.  Sixteen hundred years later a guy writes a play about it, and we just sort of take things from there and create something mythical.  It's the Ides of March and shit is going to go sideways.  It is all in our minds but we MAKE IT HAPPEN just through the sheer force of will.  Unintentional will.  Through the ether.  It is unbelievable, the power of the mind and the will.  Let's not squash it.  Or things might get weird.  Beware the Ides of March, indeed.