We can be proud of creating a lot of changes to the world in which we live. With modern times, we’ve seen cds and mp3s, colour television and dvds, water filters, washing machines, unleaded fuel, laptop computers, the internet and so many more positive changes too numerous to mention (let’s not mention the bad ones or alternatively, see other writings here or) read on?
There is one thing however, that I’m finding it quite hard to digest, and it revolves around the commodification of months. – For me, it all started in November one year, or perhaps slightly before. Some witty genius wanting to raise awareness and charity for the plight of the many men who suffer from prostate cancer, decided that we should all grow moustaches for the eleventh month, and hence named it ‘Mowvember’. Calendars haven’t been the same since.
Now, in the UK, it’s the month of ‘Stoptober’. – That’s right, it’s time to stop (smoking that is), and some clever dick has worked out that this month (its October, in case you’ve forgotten) is probably the catchiest time to make it happen. And just in case you’re a drunk, Stoptober might also be called ‘Octsober’. Could even appeal to all the junkies out there trying to turn over a new leaf?
I have no problem with motivating people, but I can’t help but think that the only reason why this phenomenon is occurring is because greedy men and women are sitting in marketing meetings, trying to come up with the next catchy new name for our once-untouchable months, as even they become a commodity to be sold and profited from. Is someone copyrighting these names? Registering them?
Soon enough, we may even be able to anticipate a change in the days of the week – Rumday anyone? – Or how about the hours in the day – is it crime o’clock? – Better get those alarms installed!
The mind boggles at the possibilities – those of greedy marketing consumptionwhores, even more so than mine. Soon, nothing we know will be even remotely safe from being bastardized, twisted, refashioned, and renamed or upstyled in the name of mass appeal and income generation, consumption and trend.
Here are some other scary possibilities:
- January – aka ‘Fanuary’: A month marketed in countries where summer lies during this time, as the month to go out and purchase a fan.
- February – aka ‘Celebruary: Something for all the advertising geniuses at Grazia, Oh Hello! And Ok magazines etc, to pitch more sales to the public.
- March – aka ‘Starch’: A celebration of all things potato, corn, barely, arrowroot and so forth – a veritable bonanza for the food industry in this month!
- April – aka ‘Gaypril’: A month for all homosexuals out there (and why not) that could easily see sales of sextoys, booze, amyl nitrate and tickets to clubnights reaching all new heights (amongst many other things).
- May – aka ‘Ray’: Helping Ray Martin make a comeback. Or Ray Charles. Or Ray Liotta. – How about a Ray Romano fest in the month of ‘Ray’? …
- June – aka ‘Moon’ (or ‘the month of the moon’): This could be a month in the making, but I heard that spacetourism is the next big thing.
- July – aka ‘Dry July’: Already being coined to help with all those alcoholics out there who want to pander to the latest in fancy liver-cleansing detox diets (for only 4 easy payments of 49.99)
- August – aka ‘Cokelust’: Surely Coke has already got this one in the pipeline. Maybe they’re just waiting to see if the world ends on December 21st?
- September – aka ‘Necktember’: One for all the chiropractors, physiotherapists and massage therapists out there. The makers of Dencorub and Deep Heat etc. might also cash in on this one: Been a hard year? Feeling the pinch – don’t let Necktember get the better of you…
- October – clearly already taken and ran with, but how about ‘Ploptober’ – to raise awareness of our stools, and perhaps coax you into considering paying for a colon cleansing?
- November (commodified, and perhaps the benchmark for everyone trying to sell off a month)
- December – aka ‘Remember’: A time in the not-too-distant future to attempt to remember what our calendars used to look like.
Nothing is sacred any more. Soon someone will be knocking at your door telling you that they’ve bought your name, or the name of your pet, and you owe them money. That’s why I’m changing my name to the sound of the wind – it’s impossible to spell.