Friday, July 25, 2008

Peace, Harmony, and Cannibalism

July 25, 2008 - When we lived in caves and ate our relatives, did we really understand the future? When there was no technology, and life was marked by the phases of the moon, did we have an appreciation for new developments or improvements in weaponry, or new ways of harvesting firewood? If you haven't experienced cultural and technological changes there would be no reference point for the types of change that would be coming thousands of years later. When life was so much shorter then, did you think about your future or was your future the next day or the next meal?

Today is Act Like a Caveman Day, but perhaps since we no longer live in caves, it may mean that for today, you don't look too far in to your future, but rather enjoy the day for what it is... today. There is no need to hunt for your next meal, or wonder what Cousin Herbert will taste like slow roasted, so instead, you'll just have to enjoy your next meal and maybe worry about what you are going to do for lunch tomorrow.

I wonder at what point Cavemen began marking the passage of time. I would imagine the cycles of the moon made for a good calendar. Thirteen evenly spaced months of 28 days would make for a 364 day year. Pretty close to what we have now - and since life was short, the one day off on the start of the spring hunt wouldn't make much difference.

There is a movement afoot to return to a more natural calendar of 13 months of 28 days. The challenge is that other day... which is solved by a Day Out Of Time. Day out of Time is on July 25th each year and has been celebrated since 1992. The idea is that the calendar of 13 months of 28 days, which makes for a perfect year of 52 weeks has one day that just doesn't count. July 25th was chosen because it was Green Day in Pioneer Square on the Gregorian Calendar. Day out of Time is just that... it is the one day in a year that is out of time. It isn't on this new calendar. It is merely a time to celebrate life, cancel debts, to pardon and forgive.¹ But why change our calendar system in the first place?

The idea was born out of a notion to reclaim the natural rhythms of the earth - to bring peace and harmony back in balance. I have no doubt that changing the calendar would bring little in the way of harmony and peace. Imaging the fights that will inevitably happen when you find out you're in the wrong month, you've missed an appointment, the Oscars were last week? How about when you have to have all your id changed (Yay... DMV lineups) because the new calendar has wiped out your own birthday. You thought you were a Libra? Guess again. Now you have to change your personality too. And what about those of us whose birthdays fall on July 25th? Does this mean I don't exist? Or do I just not have birthdays? Damn. This will not bring about harmony. Cavemen lived by this lunar calendar. Seriously, do you think they lived in peace? They had to live in caves, draw on the walls with ox blood, and hunt for food. Hell, they ate Cousin Herbert. This was not a fun peaceful family dinner (especially for Herbert).

Happy System Administrators Day too! Don't know where I would be without the net - how ever would I have learned that today just doesn't count?

1. Day Out of Time Movement website has all kinds of information on celebrations and festivals.

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