by Bob Canada.
I was having a conversation with Benjamin Light the other day and we were that sensation of how the year 2009 feels like it’s only just started and yet, it feels like it’s moving by so fast. Mostly this came up in our complaining that we didn’t do enough to celebrate the Ides of March. I mean, this is a holiday best associated with a dictator being stabbed to death 23 times. Why wouldn’t you want to celebrate this with friends and perhaps binge drinking and cocktails weenies?
But as we discussed it more, we realized that we needed new holidays. The old ones are boring (and so are you, uptight old guard that’s forced them down our throats for too long now). Sure, we could make up a holiday, and sometimes that works, and sometimes you just come off a crazy person (which also works, depending on which kind of girls you’re trying to take home, methinks). So many not all of the old holidays are so terrible, so “Hallmark-ized,” we decided. Maybe there’s some old obscure beauty of a festive day that we could dust off and really elevate to a party…
Caesar’s all like, “You know what? Fuck your bitchass Rubicon.”
(Somewhere near this point in the conversation, we had a good chuckle about St. Patrick’s Day, the day in which we all become Irish (i.e. getting as close to a permanent state of drunk as one can possibly manage) and we accept Irish Car Bombs into our life as if they were air or water or sweet political promises of change. And that’s great and all, but Commander Light and I both lamented the fact that we forgot to wear orange that day. You know what we’re saying.)
The most obvious candidate for new fun party holiday is Guy Fawkes Day, without a doubt. Or, I guess, it’s more accurately Guy Fawkes Night, but I’ll give it to the British, when the empire’s not too busy having the sun set all over it, cause they can turn some interesting things into a party. Guy Fawkes (you saw or hopefully read V For Vendetta, yes?), of the Gunpowder Plot fame, is celebrated as a huge villain over the seas, and every November 5 they have a hell of a time celebrating the foiling of his attempt to blow up Parliament back in 1605.
And I have to say, you know you were a bad dude when people just go nuts in not only celebrating your failing at something insidious, but they also opening celebrate (with open containers) your eventual hanging and drawing and quartering. And to add in bonfires and fireworks… wow. You’ve succeeded at something there before you got violently shuffled right off the mortal coil.
Not to mention that you have your own nursery rhyme to commemorate the condemnation of you:
So here in America, Benjamin Light and I have to ask our fellow yanks, why wouldn’t we want to celebrate that?
Of course some of this is all in jest (but not as much as you might think, to be honest), and part of it is funny to us because it’s fucked up, but we’re men, so that’s our thing. But more importantly, beyond those two days, what other big events or holidays are recognized that are based on suffering and murder? And I’m looking for something older, because I don’t want to be the kind of guy who throws a Columbine party, thank you, or a 9/11 party. That’s just fucked up.
I mean, look at Cinco De Mayo, which is not, as someone tried to tell me the other day, about Mexico’s liberation or independence. It is, however, a day marking the rather surprising victory of the Mexican army over the French army in the Battle of Puebla back in 1862. While it’s not about liberation or independence as I just stated, it is significant because the victory is so shocking (the Mexican army was outnumbered more than two to one), and it is the last time a foreign army tried to invade the Americas.
Clearly, that’s all a tangent, but it was a bloody battle, and it’s highly celebrated recognition of a very bloody day. It amazes me how often that kind of thing happens. For example, the two-fingered English salute:
That’s not a peace sign the douchebag above is flashing you. I’ve heard several different explanations, but it basically goes back to medieval warfare, and showing the army of an opposing country a simple gesture of “Hey, fuck you, I still got the two fingers I need to pull back this arrow in this here bow of mine, you fuck.” Or something to that effect, I believe.
That’s also another tangent, or could easily become one knowing me, but I guess that’s what I’m asking you now, o dear Counterforce reader, in that I’m looking for new holidays, holidays based on violence and murder and mayhem, but the kind we celebrate. Nothing that’s “too soon,” or based on hurricanes or school shootings, or someone going postal (quick side note: does the etymology of “going postal” as an accepted, universally understood phrase start with Clueless?), or any of that (but maybe on grisi siknis, which is Miskito for “jungle madness” and just sounds… interesting), but the kind of thing where the suffering was turned into elation.
And if I don’t get any responses to that, then I’ll have to turn Easter to a mega blowout bash, only renamed to “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and complete with keggers and… well, whatever the kids do when they “party” these days. I’m mostly kidding about that.
In other news: Battlestar Galactica ends tonight. The second part of the series finale, entitled “Daybreak, part 2” is 2 hours and ten minutes long and I have to say, I’m kind of glad this series is coming to a close. I used to really like this diaspora-flavored show way back when it first started, and for a long time it rivaled a lot of shows to be one of the smartest, funnest things on TV, a real concrete reason why TV was good. Then the allegories took over a little too strongly, and the show seemed to lose a little of it’s substance and became all surface. It became one of those shows that just cruised for acceptance, the kind of show that people who are desperate for you to consider them smart would list off as their favorite show. You could ask them, “Oh, explain this allegory to me,” and they’d say, “Oh… it’s all about the Iraq war.” You’d say, “Oh, that’s very interesting. In what way is it about the Iraq war,” and you’d get a blank stare and a stammer, and usually a response of, “Uh… Starbuck is hot, man!”
Yes. Yes, she is.
(I should add here that I have no problem at all the character changing into a woman in the reimagining, especially since Katee Sackhoff’s Starbuck is easily one of the best things about the show, but if I could be reincarnated as any character from 70s TV, it’d probably be Dirk Benedict’s Starbuck.)
I’m leaving out my complaints about the psuedo-religious or new age spirituality allegories you’d also get out of BSG fans, because it’s pretty much the same conversation you’d have about the political allegories. I complain about that and I complain about people who watch this show and tell you about it so that they appear smart, and yet somewhere in there is the fact that I continued to watch this show since it stopped being good in the hopes it would resurrect itself (sci-fi pun!), but no such luck. So let me just say this: If BSG was an author, it’d be Paulo Coelho, and we’ll leave it that.
Anyway. Battlestar Galactica. Guy Fawkes. Julius Caesar. Brutal violence that begets crazy party times. Also, Happy Nowrūz! I think we’ve pretty much summed up a nice chunk of TGIF right there, don’t you? Go frak yourself.
Frank Costanza: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.
Cosmo Kramer: What happened to the doll?
Frank Costanza: It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born: a Festivus for the rest of us
The script to “The Strike” episode of Seinfeld.
But just remember…
…Festivus isn’t over until you pin me!
Despite my best efforts it’s Monday again, and to make it even worst, it’s the first fucking day of December. Jesus Christ, you know what I mean?
Deepak Chopra suggests that America is to blame for the Mumbai attacks and that the media should look within to try and understand the sick delusions of the terrorists involved. That’s Deepak Chopra, new age healer and philospher, advocate of aromatherapy and regular enemas, and terror expert. (I make fun, but he actually does bring up one or two interesting points.)
There’s also the possibility that the United States warned India that such an attack was very possible and maybe even probable about a month ago.
Obama unveiled his national security team today, including Hillary Clinton as Secretary Of State. It’s the end of the world as we know it… and I feel fine.
Oh, and apparently we’re officially in a recession now?
Well, since the economy’s bad, and you’re having a hard time finding something fun to do that doesn’t cost a lost of money, right? Have sex! It’s fun! It’s free!
Maureen Dowd on Tina Fey. Tina doesn’t like the bad boys.
A nine year old Chinese girl, caught up in a U.S. custody battle and raised in America, is now having to forcibly readjust to life in China.
Brains of autistic children slower at processing sound.
A woman disappeared in Goblin Valley. What a cool headline.
Two words I’ve always wanted to rhyme together: Wombat combat!
The Merriam-Webster word of 2008 is: Bailout.
Check out these badass pictures of angry looking clouds gathering over Greenland. They’re like beautiful, pissed off oil painting clouds.
Lifehacker’s top 20 Top Ten lists of 2008.
I should point out here that all the rest of the photos in this post are going to come from this article on lions that I just read. Why? Because it’s fucking lions, man!
For some reason this morning, my alarm clock was on this morning and went off at a certain time blaring the radio into my unusually serene slumber. I haven’t actually heard the radio in… well, it’s been a long fucking time. And, I shit you not, the song playing was “A Long December” by the Counting Crows.
That was a bizarre and slightly horrible jaunt down memory lane but it made me think a little more about how as we near the end of this decade and we have a political change in Washington, we’re going to start ending our collective psuedo-80s flashback and… what, do a little retread of the 90s? I see more and more 90s nostalgia cropping up here and there and to be honest with you, I’m kind of curious to see how that decade would replay itself in our culture now. How does the most post modern and “homage” and referential-heavy decade rebirth itself into this day and age?
Totally unrelated, but speaking of time capsule bands from the 90s, have you ever listened to the lyrics of “December” by Collective Soul? What the fuck are they talking about?
Oh, hey, today is World AIDS day.
Oh, and it was on December 1, 1955 that Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montogomery, Alabama.
The 1824 presidential election was deadlocked between John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, William H. Crawford, and Henry Clay, and on December 1 of that year, it was turned over to the U. S. House Of Representatives. Adams ended up the winner.
And December 1, 1992 is the day that Amy Fisher was sentenced to 5 to 15 years for shooting Joey Buttafuoco’s wife in the head. She ended up serving 7 years.
Woody Allen is 73 today. Sarah Silverman is 38. And Nestor Carbonell (Richard Alpert on Lost!) is 41. Though, really, he’s actually hundreds of years old. You know, cause of the island. And shit.
God, that show can’t come back fast enough.
Anyways, it’s the first day of the week and the first of December. It’s time for Christmas shopping (holiday shopping, sorry), panicking about being able to afford Christmas shopping (again, holiday shopping), deciding who’s not even worth worrying about how you’re going to afford to get them something for the holidays (Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, all that shit). Get excited.
Oh, and Festivus too!