Happy Abysmal New Year

the end of the world as we knew it. Don’t you feel fine?

And so we enter into a new way of thinking – I was hoping to use this day for contemplation, but as it turns out, there’s a more pressing call (see IdleNoMore). There is a lot of overlap between calendar reform and the rights of indigenous peoples – I mean, the Maya are indigenous to the Americas, and their calendar is in no small part what got me thinking about calendar reform in the first place. The imposition of the Julian, and later the Gregorian calendar is a fundamental strategy in the course of colonization. More fundamental than English as the language of business, or Christianity as the imposed religion with its one god who can stand no other. The way in which we experience time is in no small part the cornerstone of our belief, and up until today, the calendar shared by the world (i.e. the Gregorian) is probably the most unhealthy.

How is it unhealthy?

It’s irregular as all hell, doesn’t have anything to do with natural cycles, and instills a linear view of time, which is severely limiting, given all the paradigms that there are. It is named after Roman, Germanic, and European pagan mythologies, although it is a fundamentally Christian calendar, and this, really, is a slight to anyone who believes in something other than Euro-Christianity. So, if we’re going to share a calendar globally, it should be all inclusive, or at least as inclusive as possible, which also means that it includes currently existing calendars.

that, in my ever so (I wish it were) humble opinion, is healthier.

It’s time for a change. Why not?

I’ve found that few people think about the calendar critically. We’ve been taught how it works in our childhood, and have used it ever since, without really questioning why the tenth month is called the eighth month, or why the leap year day falls at the end of the second month, or what June is named for (Juno, as it happens). Why is Saturday named after the Roman god Saturn, and Wednesday after the Norse god Wodin (Odin)? It’s really an incoherent mishmash of belief systems (at least in English), which points to an accumulation of traditions through conquest throughout history.

So, having looked at it more critically, I took the next step of exploring what other calendar systems were out there, their advantages and disadvantages, and more importantly, what they hold in common. In the end, that’s what lead to theAbysmal Calendar, and lead to something specifically designed for the world’s countless cultures.

It’s as all-inclusive as I could make it, and hopefully, with time, will be robust enough to withstand changes to suit those I have overlooked in my research and distraction.

the blog in review

theAbysmal blog has gone through quite some changes since I started in June 2006. The calendar was named the synaptic calendar to begin with, but theAbysmal worked better in the end. I devised a 13 month calendar with a heavier Maya presence, which I later dropped, as the Maya already have a calendar, and why mess with it when it will continue independently?

Here’s a short list of some of the posts or series of which I am most satisfied (given that none of these are particularly final):

how to have fun with it

If nothing else, the calendar should be fun. Really. We use it every day, several times a day, and if we’re going to become so intimately familiar with it, it may as well give us some kind of pleasure in return. So, with that in mind, here are a few suggestions:

  • name the months after things that make you snicker, chortle, or guffaw. change them every year. give them to your friends as new year’s gifts.
  • celebrate your birthday with everyone else born during the same time period (months, houses and/or astronomical zodiac dates are probably the easiest). If you were born during scorpio, there won’t be nearly as many people as virgo. Blame astronomers.
  • demand holidays from work according to theAbysmal Calendar (which, given that it isn’t established, can be considered a sacred tool for some kind of belief system, let’s call it pantheism). That should easily get you a dozen weeks off of work – don’t say I never did anything for you =)
  • whenever anyone mentions a Gregorian date, respond with “is that old time, old timer?” until they give up in frustration.
  • post it on your wall, and let your kids decorate it – or someone else’s kids – or your inner kid – however it works out, definitely do not colour inside the lines
  • remember those folks in the Southern Hemisphere, because they’re living in the opposite season to the northerners, and don’t nearly get enough consideration when it comes to conventions about the year. Find a pen pal (even if it’s via email or FB or some other means). Send them your adoration.
  • stuff like that. suggestions welcome

It’s finally here

So, here’s the great Southern Solstice to kick off theAbysmal Calendar, and hopefully, a new era that does away with such social sicknesses as we’ve endured over the past however many centuries. That’s not to say that such sicknesses (or those like them) will recur, however, if we plan something robust enough to endure it, we will all be the better for it.

Consider theAbysmal Calendar as a means of helping us think about time in a variety of ways, many of which are as old as the hills.

and have a safe, happy, and delightful year.

Chromatic: Year 0 Lunation 0 Day 0
Lunar: Year 0 Lunation 0 Day 8
Annual: Year 0 Month — Day NYD


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