Friday 12 June 2015

The International Day of the Day

Things could be worse

Will the day never end?

In a moment of spiritual synchronicity, last Tuesday was World Toilet Day and International Mens Day.
And so it came to pass that the women of the world instructed their hapless males on how to place the toilet seat down when all was done and flushed away. Few are believed to have made the instruction part of a lifestyle change.
The idea of a day for men came from Trinidad and Tobego where Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh noted, ““I realized there was no day for men... some have said that there is Father’s Day, but what about young boys, teenagers and men who are not fathers?”
Well, in the UK there are fewer and fewer adolescents who have not discovered the joys of being a deadbeat dad, but other places may retain some civilised values.  But the day is not about the joys of being manly, whatever they may be, but concentrates on mens health, where blokes are taught about how to give their testicles a grope in the name of checking for lumps. The barrier is set pretty low, but, you know, that’s probably wise.
Thursday was also a double day of celebration. This time it was the glorious blend of World Day of Television and World Philosophy Day. Slightly more incongruously, World Poetry Day shares its 24 hour slot with World Down Syndrome Day, if that’s not complicated enough it’s also International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. And also, International Day of Forests and the Tree.
There’s plenty of days for good and noble causes, but some are for those I call the ‘professionally concerned ’folk and the dead hand of the bureaucrat flows from their dreary minds and their international day of longwinded descriptions, perhaps best demonstrated by the worthy, International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims.
Jazz has an international day, but why not funk? There are two days, without irony, for copyright, World Book and Copyright Day and just three days later, World Intellectual Property Day.
There’s an International Mother Earth Day – although I have no idea how one detect the gender of a planet, where does one look? Probably around Terra del Fuego at a guess. There’s an International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, a category you’d think that every Earthling would qualify for, but no.
Clearly the international days has got too crammed and succumbed to those who have a lobby. These may not be the days we need. It’s not clear why some days are ‘world’ and others ‘international’.
These days achieve little beyond putting all the people who work in the NGOs and such that promoted the day into a complete panic as they have to pretend to the outside and uncaring world that their day is of utterly vital importance to, well, absolutely everything.
The defence is that it ‘raises awareness’ as though this was some sort of panacea. Sometimes its not awareness that’s needed, but action.
There is one day that is different, begun last year, the International Day of Happiness is about a completely different way of living, as individuals and as a society. It’s doomed of course as government and business prefer the model of Gross National Product over Gross National Happiness.
Happiness can be surprisingly cheap and some would say it is the one thing that can’t be bought, but it is also the most valuable and elusive.

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