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Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case. > F. Nick Michaels > Proposal 3 (12-30-03)
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Proposal 3

F. Nick Michaels
12.30.03-Pullman, WA

My distaste for New Year’s is a simple matter of principle. The celebration of New Year’s Eve and Day sweep hour by hour westward across the globe, repeatedly marking an arbitrary symbolic point in the Earth’s orbit. The arbitrary nature of the celebration serves to remind human beings (some of which are already well aware)of their slavery to clock and calendar. Since the Earth’s orbit lasts about six hours longer than 365 neatly divided 24 hour days, the celebration occurs at a different point in the orbit every year, stripping the celebration of any relevant symbolism.

To change this situation, to restore the symbolic relevance of New Year’s, and to add to the general fun of the world, I propose a new structure for the celebration of the New Year.

I propose that those extra six hours per year not be saved until lumped together as February 29 every four years, but rather celebrated as they pass. At a given time in a given time zone (perhaps midnight in the most centrally located time zone) all clocks worldwide should be stopped for six hours. A new clock, officially moderated by Dick Clark in Times Square, would start to count down the six unclocked hours. Any and all New Year’s celebrations should take place during this six hour window, and all clocks will resume their normal schedule at its conclusion.

By stopping the clock only once each year, world wide rather than in a per time zone fashion, we can step away from the clock and colander to celebrate the passage of the Earth through a consistent, symbolic portion of the its orbit. It also offers a wider variety of New Year’s experiences, as certain places will celebrate during daylight hours. There may possibly emerge an alternative celebration to drinking until puking. It is true that this six hour window will be as arbitrary as the current method for determining the start of the New Year, but by maintaining the same period each year, the particular space in the Earth’s orbit that constitutes this six hour space will become significant. Choosing the same time each year will restore the relevance of the symbolism of the celebration of the New Year.

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