, ,

Bloody Hell, what is it with all these themed months?! First we were expected to write a novel in November (NaNoWriMo), then stop drinking for Dry January. Now it’s expanded until it seems the whole year is full of sponsorable or self-improvementing schemes, with contrived month names.

We can begin the year in Veganuary by giving up animal products for 31 days (fuck me, either give them up for good or, preferably, just don’t!), then probably find something every month, until in ‘Gosober’ we give up the booze again (no way — that’s my birth month!). In ‘Movember’, those of us can do so are enjoined to grow hairy lips for cancer charities, and we end with ‘Dismember’, when the rest of us can hack to pieces all the smug bastards who annoyed us with their abstentions and martyrdoms for the preceding year.

(OK, I made that one up; if it catches on, don’t victim-blame me — except in Blamepril of course).

It’s all a spin off from gig culture and marketing, I guess. A catchy name, a theme, a focus, for folks without the attention span to do anything for a whole lifetime.

So I was thinking of designating the coming month NoBlogEnero (using the Spanish name) and announce a temporary cessation of hostilities.

But sod that. As I really should crack on with Knights in the Gardens of Spayne, I shall just call it MiniBlogEnero and try to confine myself to a few hundred words a week, possibly on topical things. And, like the vegans hope will happen to their victims, maybe I shall continue trying to find wit in brevity thereafter. You can but hope.

For starters:—

Lovely to see all the pedants out again saying it’s not the start of a new decade until Jan 1 2021. Even bouffanted philosopher ACGrayling weighed in on twitter with the question of when the first millennium started and ended, as ‘there wasn’t a year zero’.

As a mathematician (of sorts) I agree with the statements. I agreed back in 1999, when some were saying they were refusing to attend any minnellium celebrations on that basis. But, as this was in the days before I developed Dusty Springfield Syndrome (Going to the movies only makes me sad / Parties make me feel as bad), I said I was going to celebrate on the correct date indeed, but I wasn’t going to miss the parties in 2000 either, especially if booze was flowing. Make pedantry work for you not against, you miserable bastards!

[As it is, my partner dumped me over Yuletide, so ’twas in sad mood I stood atop Parliament Hill to witness the disappointing fireworks along the Thames and snog two Australian lassies who were high on MDMA — drugs are a necessary precondition for kissing me, I’m afraid]

But, as I tweeted on the Grayling thread, words mean what folks uses ’em to mean, as they did for Humpty Dumpty. ‘Billions’ were demoted to the US version, edging out the lovely old word for ten thousand, milliard. Now ‘decade’ means a bunch of years beginning with the same three digits — the Roaring Twenties, the Swinging Sixties, the Naughties, the Bloody Tense Tensies, so it seems silly to be pedantic, except in mathematical discussions.

One guy supported ACG by saying that the first decade started the day after One BCE, ie Son-of Manuary the First, One AD and ended at the end of Ten CE. A Christian tweeter then said, no, it was from the day after 1BC to 10 AD. I pointed out (I cannot be outpedanted) that both were wrong, as those dates weren’t applied until many years later, and the poor fools, yea, even the Magi and shepherds, missed out on the first Hogmanay, through lack of prescience.

I don’t really give a monkey’s what you call it. Happy New Year to all my reader!