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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
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
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
(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)
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
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
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,