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New Holidays

For Immediate Release: New Holidays, Jubilees, & Celebrations

(excerpted from the revised and expanded edition of
Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia)

Global Village Idiot Rob Brezsny has announced his candidacy for a new Cabinet-level post that he hopes the president will create: FOOL CZAR.

Roughly analogous to America's Drug Czar, the Fool Czar would organize and lead an all-out War on Gravity -- not the kind of gravity that keeps us on the ground, but rather the absurdly sober, hyper-dignified literalism that infects every level of society.

Just as the Drug Czar educates the nation on the hazards of drugs, the Fool Czar would work to show how dangerous it is to feed the bad habit of taking everything so seriously. He would also foster an understanding of the threat from simplistic opinion-mongering that turns every issue into fodder for infantile arguments.

To demonstrate his sincerity and commitment, Brezsny has offered to literally kiss the bare asses of the president, vice-president, and Cabinet members. In the event that would compromise their modesty, he has also indicated his willingness merely to smooch their fully clothed butts.

Upon taking office as Fool Czar, Brezsny's inaugural act would be to borrow from two traditions: 1. Among the ancient Romans, work was customarily finished by noon. The rest of the day was spent in pleasure or amusement. More than half the days of the year were holidays. 2. In medieval Europe, as many as 105 days of the year were feast days.

In this spirit, Brezsny would declare a spate of new holidays and ceremonial traditions. Here they are:

UNHAPPY HOUR. During this gala bitch fest, celebrants have license to howl and mutter about everything that hurts their feelings. Having flushed all their venom in one neat ritual spew, they'll be free to enjoy generous thoughts and expansive fantasies the rest of the time.

DARE TO BE BORING DAY. We all deserve a break from the oppressive demands to appear smart and to be entertaining. On Dare to Be Boring Day, it will be socially unacceptable to demonstrate your wit and verve. Long-winded, rambling monologues full of obscure details will be mandatory. The more cliches and buzzwords you use, the better. Tell worn-out stories your friends have already heard many times. Flesh out your disjointed sentences with awkward silences. Discuss at length your plans for switching laundry detergents, the collection of matchbooks you had as a child, and the time you almost traveled to the Wal-Mart in another town, but didn't.

BACCHANALIA. During this week-long extravaganza, work and business will be suspended so that all adults can enjoy sexual play, whether it be solo, dyadic, or in groups. To promote acceptance of the holiday, the Fool Czar will head up a new Federal Bureau of Lust. Served by advisors drawn not from the ranks of porn stars and scientific sex researchers but from tantrically trained poets and musicians, the Bureau will sponsor educational campaigns to help every citizen learn to honor the libido as a sacred gift from the Goddess.

24 HOURS OF GLOBAL ORGASM. What if there came a day when every adult on the planet came at the same time? This will be the climax of Bacchanalia.

DO WHAT YOU FEAR FEESTIVAL. First, you make a list of the 100 things you're most afraid of. Next, you rate them from one to 100 in order of how badly they scare you. Then you agree to stop obsessing about the bottom 97 fears because they distract you from the three really interesting ones. Finally, you conquer those three by doing them.

MARRY YOURSELF. As a government-sanctioned tradition, getting married to yourself will be a rite of passage as common as graduating from high school.

BE YOUR OWN WIFE WEEK. Whether you're male or female or transgendered, straight or gay or both, you can observe Be Your Own Wife Week. Here's how. Renounce all your yearnings to be waited on and cleaned up after. Divest yourself of every last deluded wish that someday a special person will come along to magically understand and attend to your every need. Pledge that from now on you will be a connoisseur of taking care of yourself. (This celebration might immediately follow the "Marry Yourself" holiday.)

DEBUNKING DAY. What shall we debunk? It's easy to direct scorn at targets like Bigfoot, UFOs, and the Face on Mars. On Debunking Day, we'll warm up with witty slams against them, then move on to the real sacred cows, like the cult of science, the cult of materialism, and the cult of pop nihilism.

SPIRITUAL MAKEOVER DAY. Participants build altars celebrating beauty, truth, and love in the ugliest places they know.

PRAISE BINGE. For 24 hours, judgmental criticism will be taboo. Revelers will stretch their imaginations as they strive to praise everything and everyone as sincerely as possible, including themselves.

KOYAANISQATSI. In the language of the Hopi Indians, koyaanisqatsi means "crazy life," "life in turmoil," or "life out of balance." It's usually invoked to describe a culture that's in disarray because of corruption and lack of vision. I'd like to extend its meaning to identify the chaotic states that each of us periodically goes through in our personal life. It's a time when we lose our moorings, when we're out of touch with our moral center. On the one hand, it's uncomfortable and disorienting. On the other hand, the brain-scrambling it stirs up is often a blessing. It flushes out mental habits that no longer serve us. It provokes creative innovations by rearranging the contents of our psyche. Happy Koyaanisqatsi!

POTLATCH. Among certain Native American tribes, the potlatch was a generosity contest. Participants vied to give away the most gifts. In reviving this rite, we will not entirely eliminate the competitive element. Celebrants will strive to push their own largesse to the limits, even as they admire those whose munificence outstrips their own. Contributions of money and material objects will not be the only ways to partake in the Potlatch. Offerings of time, love, energy, help, and kindness will be equally valued.

CHEERY SLEEPY WEEK. Sleep deprivation has reached epidemic proportions, and the results are catastrophic. Dream-cheated somnambulists are responsible for the rise in incompetence, bad manners, and mass hypnosis. During the seven-day and seven-night Cheery Sleepy Week, all Americans will be given the luxury of catching up on their lost ZZZZs. Millions of refreshed citizens will wear buttons that brag, "I slept nine hours last night and I'm not ashamed!"

BREAK BREAD WITH YOUR NEMESIS. To observe this feast day, you simply invite the person who makes you most uncomfortable to an intimate dinner for two.

HALLOWECTION DAY. The American genius for inadvertent surrealism is nowhere better illustrated than in the proximity of Halloween and Election Day. Why not honor the obvious and combine the two into a single festival?

THOUSAND-YEAR PARTY FOR YOU. The Thousand-Year Party in your honor will begin with a ceremony by the Grandchildren of the Hiroshima Bomb Survivors Dance Company, which will consecrate 34,000 gallons of dove dung to you and scatter it in your name over 155 countries of the world.


Dear Readers: Send your ideas for new holidays to
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