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WND Commentary
Holidays keep happening in Hardyville

By Claire Wolfe
© 1999 Claire Wolfe

Blah. The Official Holidays are over (for us Americans, at least). Now begins the cabin-feverish doldrums of winter. Unless you're a bureaucrat, banker, or school kid who observes Political Correctness Day on January 18, or Dead Politicians Day on February 15, there ain't nothin' -- nothin' -- to relieve the workday blues from now until spring.

In fact, holidays in general have an annoying habit of coming in clumps and leaving gaps. But we in the small mid-nowhere town of Hardyville have -- as with so many other things -- taken the problem into our own hands and forged an independent solution.

Each New Year, we meet and select one holiday per month of our own choosing to spend in local carousals or commemorations, as appropriate. That way, we always have something to look forward to. Hardyville Holidays change from year to year, and in the cozy past they've included such pleasant diversions as Take Your Horse an Apple Day and Liars vs. Lawyers Day. But somehow, the tenor of this year's holidays is more serious.

See for yourself (and come join us) as we launch the Hardyville Holiday Calendar for 1999.

Improving the Head of State Day: January 30. This day we commemorate the January 1649 fate of England's King Charles I. Chuck was accused by Parliament of "...devising a wicked design to erect and uphold in himself an unlimited and tyrannical power to rule according to his Will, and to overthrow the Rights and Liberties of the People." Did they mess with censure? Heck, no! Off with his head! We spend this day cultivating a healthy Attitude toward Authority.

On February 14 we celebrate For the Ones You Love Day. Naw, it's not about silly-fuzzy valentines. It's a day for sitting down with a mug of mulled apple cider, a fire in the hearth, a pen, paper, and the folks who matter in your life -- and making a list of things you might need in that deadly winter storm, earthquake or Y2-Katastrophe. Big things, little things, doesn't matter -- as long as you then make a serious effort to get those things and practice what to do with them. Consider it the best kind of insurance for your loved ones.

On March 12, we celebrate Hot Plot to commemorate the date in 1773 when the Virginia House of Burgesses established the first Committee of Correspondence -- a crucial step toward American freedom. One thing we often forget is that the Committees of Correspondence were largely made up of colonial legislators, not merely talking with each other, but actively planning the best ways to protect colonial authority and the people's liberties. These days, of course, when state legislators get together, the only topic is how they can get more taxpayers' loot by rushing to implement any "federal mandate" that comes down the sewage pipe. This is a good day for reminding your state legislators to get some spine.

On April 13 we honor The Patron Saint of the Internet. April 13, 1743 brought us one of the greatest freedom writers and most brilliant minds of all time -- Thomas Jefferson. Frankly, he embraced new technologies more readily than some Hardyvillians, but we're working on that. The Internet is our Committee of Correspondence. This day reminds us to do something effective with this powerful tool, and not merely to think that, because we're yammering our heads off on e-mail lists and newsgroups, we're accomplishing something. Talk ain't the same as action. Learn -- then DO. Like TJ.

On May 19, known as THINK! Day, we salute Malik El-Shabazz, born on this day in 1925. Old Malik wasn't always the most likeable or open-minded guy, but he had a vast commitment to personal integrity. He also had the guts to look around, realize much of his life had been dedicated to falsehood -- and to change. After his discovery, Malik wrote, "I am still traveling, trying to broaden my mind, for I've seen too much of the damage narrow-mindedness can make of things, and when I return home to America, I will devote what energies I have to repairing the damage." (Gee, no wonder both knee-jerk liberals and iron-bar conservatives hated the guy. An open mind -- the cardinal sin to those who prefer slogans and dogma to thought.)

Unfortunately, Malik was murdered as he began what would have been a great work. You probably know him better by the name he used before his transformation: Malcolm X.

On June 14, we actually stuck with a traditional American celebration, Flag Day. But the 50-star flag of USA, Inc. has become a symbol some of us can't salute. For you, fly a Gadsden or a 13-star Old Glory. Or hang Mr. Clinton's flag upside down to signal your distress.

(I know we're being rather Ameri-centric this year. Well, since we're a politically incorrect bunch, that's just fine with us. Anyhow, if you're from France or Antarctica or someplace like that, you're perfectly free to make up your own holidays, just as we do. But what the heck, here's another one for you Brits: June 15 (1215) Magna Carta Day, when a mob of barons informed England's nastiest king -- at swordpoint -- that they had rights he'd better not mess with. By the way, are swords still legal in England?)

On July 16, 1794, some ticked-off westerners (which in those days meant western Pennsylvanians) rebelled against paying a federal whiskey tax. George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, in the first great show of eastern-federal brutality, put down this rebellion of "uneducated hicks." The Big Government side won, as it has ever since -- but not before the western rubes tarred and feathered a few tax collectors. Some of us descendants of rubes have been twitting "the revenooers" ever since. On Whiskey Day we hoist the beverage of our choice in salute to tax rebels and independent cusses everywhere.

August 23 is a day of silent contemplation. On that day, the British hanged, drew and quartered one of the world's great freedom fighters, William Wallace -- Braveheart. Wallace was a rube, too, you know. Because he was the son of a "mere" knight, the nobles of Scotland refused to fight under his leadership -- the only principled and capable leadership they had. Kinda makes you wonder if freedom fighters will always shoot themselves in the foot over foolish, factional disputes.

Happier times return September 12. That's Curmudgeons' Day, in honor of H.L. Mencken, born on that date in 1880. Among his accurately grouchy insights count this one: "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

And yes, you really can be happy on Curmudgeons' Day. After all, who's happier than a man who looks at reality for what it is and stands tall before it, even when he doesn't particularly like the sight (or the smell) of it?

On October 1, we hold community readings of freedom literature -- children especially invited -- in honor of Thomas Paine, who published that great work of the American Revolution, Common Sense, on this day in 1776.

Then, on the evening of November 9, and into the morning of November 10, we stop our work and silently remember Kristallnacht -- Germany's 1938 "Night of Broken Glass." That night, Nazi thugs, in what attorney/scholar David Kopel called "a nationwide race riot," shattered and looted Jewish shops. Then, on November 11, Hitler issued a decree forbidding Jews to own firearms or any other weapons. My, my. And they say there's no connection between gun control and racism.

Oh, after spending the evening in quiet remembrance, we head for the shooting range blast the heck out of thug-shaped, ski-masked targets.

Finally, on December 15, all of Hardy County celebrates Bill of Rights Day. "ALL the Bill of Rights, for ALL Citizens" (and all non-citizens, too, I might add). There ain't much left of that particular "grand old rag," but some of us aren't about to let the last shreds of it go into the government dumpster. Some of us are mucking around in that dumpster, trying to retrieve the scraps and rebuild the document.

And after that, it's on to The Year Zero. What an adventure that might be...


Many of the occasions on the Hardyville Holiday Calendar were mined from two wise and witty sources: Charles Curley's Wyoming Libertarian Party Calendar and Leon Felkins' Almanac of Political History. Dead Politicians Day is also Charles' coinage. Thanks, Charles!

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