In the spirt of Doug Johnson’s regular Blast from the Past feature, this post has been dredged up from my first year of writing this blog. The thoughts still seem appropriate, with a couple of update notes.
We celebrate New Year’s Day on the wrong day!
The term “New Year” implies the beginning of something important but let’s face it, nothing really starts on January 1 except the diet that you’ll forget before the groundhog arrives. Plus, by that time most people are pretty well strung out on holiday celebrations starting with Thanksgiving five to six weeks before.
Instead of January 1, today, September 1st, would make a far better choice to begin the year since so many significant beginnings occur around this date anyway. Just a few examples…
- This weekend marks the end of summer and of people returning from vacation – both the real ones and daydream versions. (Not a lot of real work gets done in most offices during August anyway.) In fact, meteorologists consider September 1 to be the start of the fall season.
- The football season – the NFL (which is as close to a national religion as we get), college and high school – begins around this date. Ignore those games in August. Everybody knows, the preseason doesn’t mean a thing.
- Schools and colleges begin their academic year around September 1 – at least traditionally. Many school systems have backed their starting date into August, some of them to the first week of the month. But most students don’t take things seriously (some don’t even show up) until after the 1st.
- The new television season for the four real broadcast networks (and two amateur affairs, UPN and the WB) also traditionally starts around this time. Ok, that may not be a cause for celebration. 1
- The fall is when movie studios roll out their “serious”, Oscar-worthy films as opposed to the loud, over budget, special effect heavy crap they offer in the summer.2
- Today is the first day of the Christmas selling season. Maybe that’s stretching things – a little – but Hallmark stores already have their ornaments out and I’ve seen Christmas displays in several other stores.
- Finally, the weather is better for celebrating. Wouldn’t you rather be standing outside celebrating at midnight on August 31 than December 31?
So, wish everyone you see today a happy new year and let’s see if we can get this movement rolling! But please don’t tell me how crazy I am. The family and friends, who have heard this rant for many years, have already let me know. :-)3
That reference to the UPN and WB, along with the rise of cable networks that don’t follow that traditional TV schedule, demonstrates how quickly things in media have been changing.↩
Since that was written, the movie “summer” seems to begin earlier every year with some of that crap released before Easter.↩
These days, they just ignore me.↩