It’s the holiday season, they say. Well for me, it’s always holiday season – holiday ranking season, that is. Let’s do this.
5. Monday, December 12: International Day of Neutrality
I’m sick of neutrality. Pick a side, you darn fencesitter!
Well in this case, neutrality is a good thing. The International Day of Neutrality was selected by the UN to enhance public awareness of the value of neutrality in international relations. Putin must not have seen this on his calendar.
So, when it comes to global conflict, neutrality can be cool. But generally, pick a side, seriously. Let it be known what movie you want to see. Tell me what food you’re hungry for. I really don’t mind either way and it’s helpful in the decision-making process. Neutrality helps no one in this context.
[ed. Motif has no strong feelings about this holiday. The opinions expressed by Mr. VanDerStad do not necessarily represent those of the magazine.]
4. Sunday, December 4: International Day of Banks
Why are banks the worst? Why are banks only open when I’m at work? Why do we have to pay to take money out of the bank at an ATM? Why do banks charge us fees for not having enough money in our accounts, at exactly the time we can least afford them? Banks stink.
I feel like if I were evil I’d definitely work at a bank. Just charge people money for making money on their money. Just jack up the fees and interest rates and bury people in confusing bank jargon. “Sorry sir, I wish I could refund that fee, but Loanmortgagestockbondoptiontradingmarketinterestfederalreservecurrency prevents me from doing that.” It’s crazy how much we accept being bullied. Plus, all the bank holidays off!
I’ll go so far as to concede that banks provide an essential service. And I mean no offense to the friendly team at Washington Trust on Waterman – those folks are so nice! But generally, banks are the worst (lookin’ at you, Bank of America).
3. Thursday, December 15: Wear Your Pearls Day
Wear Your Pearls Day? What is this, out-of-touch-holiday month?
A jewelry store in Kansas tells us that National Wear Your Pearls Day was begun by DeAnna Bookert, an author and motivational speaker. Bookert says that just like irritants create pearls, the difficulties we face in life only serve to make us more beautiful. Basically, you’re the pearl in this story.
This is, undeniably, a beautiful sentiment. In these sorts of conversations, I’d probably use a symbol that’s less exclusive and dependent on economic status than a pearl, but I’ll bet jewelry stores love this. They’d love to have you believe that expensive jewelry is the only way to show how tough you are. “Yasss, pearls are a personal celebration of the resilient and beautiful individual that is you!” That same jewelry store in Kansas says that on their site, minus the “yass.”
“This December 15 consider what you’ve overcome and what you’re most proud of yourself for. Wear your pearls to recognize the journey you’ve been on and to honor how far you’ve come. And, if you decide to post your story on social media, please tag us – we’d love to read your story and celebrate along with you!”
2. Thursday, December 29: Wounded Knee Massacre
This isn’t a holiday per se, but I thought it was important.
On December 29, 1890, the US Army slaughtered 300 Lakota Native Americans at Wounded Knee Creek, then got medals of honor for it. It was basically like when a white person calls the police on people of color for having a barbecue, but in this case, it was something called the “Ghost Dance.”
According to National Geographic, the Ghost Dance movement was based on a series of teachings by medicine men who predicted that an upheaval would lead to the eradication of white men from the Earth. They were neither the first nor the last group to hope for this. They also believed that a particular ritual — the Ghost Dance — would help hasten this upheaval.
Well, the Army had been taught that the Ghost Dance ceremony was a prelude to war. So when 500 troops under the direction of Col. James Forsyth witnessed one of the dancers take dirt from the ground and fling it into the air, they thought that was a signal of some kind and started firing, resulting in a bloodbath.
White people. Will we ever just mind our own damn business? Probably not.
- Wednesday, December 14: Monkey Day
I feel like this may have been a fever dream, but does anyone else remember the movie
“Funky Monkey” from the early 2000s? It’s basically the story of a monkey that becomes a secret agent of some kind and – spoiler alert – saves the day.
For some reason, I have a really hard time empathizing with protagonists who are monkeys. Like actual monkeys. I’m down with Curious George, that old show My Gym Partner’s A Monkey, Camp Lazlo, Planet of the Apes, etc., but this one was annoying because he was an actual trained monkey who couldn’t talk (actual monkeys cannot speak English) and it felt like his character was pretty forced. I imagine the writer had a hard time getting the monkey to convey his human motivations naturally.
I just looked it up. It was a chimpanzee, and apparently the antagonists wanted to create chimp soldiers. And it got terrible ratings. Called it.
Did we miss any of your favorite Days this month? We hope so! Feel free to let us know in the comments!