The state of the Happy New Year
Let’s face it, the New Year, such as it is mis-called, is neither happy nor new. It’s simply another example of marvelous human invention. Ancient people, in desperate measures designed to give them some feeling on control over the chaos of the local part of the universe they inhabited, designed calendars of various types to help them prepare for planting times and for animal migrations.
These beings from earlier ages, bewildered by the unpredictable nature of the planet under their feet and the skies above their heads, started with the rising and setting of the Sun and Moon. The matching-size objects, very bright and not as bright, were assumed (as Gods) to have rotated around the apparently flat plain of the Earth – a reasonable assumption based on basic observation. Of course, since the Old Ones didn’t have access to Facebook and Two and Half Men, not to mention, the WWE and the NFL, they had to content themselves with watch fires burn out, and with noting the celestial lights hanging and twinkling above them in the dark. They did this in their time- outs from the usual pursuits of killing and raping people from other villages.
This led eventually to the construction of solar and lunar calendars, never mind that man has yet to devise a proper calendar for the prediction of PMS and has present-day calendar system that needs to toss in an extra day every five years and a few seconds now and then. Put on that party hat, sucker, or I’ll punch your lights out!
Still, it appears that some of the great stone works of the past were really calendars. Stonehenge, etc etc etc. What a lot of work. Pillaging must have been really in recession at such times.
Actually, the construction of the great works of ancient Egypt were far more clever than that: they were public works projects designed to keep people reasonable well-fed (and smashed: they drank beer morning, noon, and night) and too tired to think of revolution during the non- farming season When the planting and harvesting times arrived they were flat-out worked to exhaustion.
Still, it’s easy to see how the rebirth of the solar year in the northern hemisphere would lead people to celebrate. The freezing nights would gradually grow shorter and the men could get of the hut (Ooka, quit nagging me!) more and gamble and lie to each other and get back to plundering. It’s no fun to plunder when it’s too cold—all the frozen blood on one’s hands and all that.
Thank Goodness we live In a modern age when we can blast enemies from remote locations using advanced video-game controllers. It gives war a chance to be a year-long pursuit, and chairs are way more comfy than chariots.
So, I hope that you all have a Happy New Year, and will keep it in the back of your minds that we need to plan a little so that future generations will have the opportunity to come up with even easier ways to slaughter each other—even on distant planets!
What a Wonderful World(S) that Would be!
JUST KIDDING!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!