Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Unhealthy Democratization of Birthday Celebrations

Not too far back into the past, I had this conversation with a friend in the South Bay, at a mall (where else) - about whether everyone should have the right to celebrate their birthdays. Here's my thoughts on this issue.

The current democratic system of birthday celebration - where anyone who wishes to have their friends take them out for dinner gets their way - is I believe, fundamentally broken. And we all now know, how flawed democracy leads to chaos, violence and destruction...and why Staying The Course is not a good idea (well - most of us know it). So it may make sense to move to a system where celebrating birthdays is a right and a privilege restricted on the basis of how much personality the date actually has. I call it the Birthdays For All (But Only If You Really Deserve It) system. We'd probably just use the short version of the name "Birthdays For All". Experiments by the current administration have shown this works well in driving acceptance of what you're trying to do - as evidenced by the aptly named Clean Air (Ha Ha What a Quaint Concept) and No Child Left Behind(As Long As Your Parents Live in Malibu) Acts.

Let me illustrate how BFA might work. It woud be based on judging whether a date has (any) personality. Its easily done - as I show below with two examples:

For example, March 16 has oodles of personality -
1) The numbers add up to 7 universally acknowledged as a lucky number (the conspiracy theorist in me believes that this was probably a campaign thought up by casinos to get people to bet on it more often instead of diversifying their risk),
2) Its in Spring - the most beautiful time of the year with blooming flowers and fluttering butterflies to add to the festive spirit. (And before the penguins protest, let me say I know this doesn't hold for you guys, but hey I believe in localization of ideas - Nov 16 is the equivalent date for you)
3) It marks the end of a period of evil - the Ides of March that's been known throughout history for having been a time of treachery. Celebrating anything on Mar 16 is the same as celebrating the dawn of a new era of hope, goodness and holy-bookish everlasting joy

Now take another randomly selected date - Nov 22:
1) The numbers add up to 4 - which signifies nothing other than a pretty poor score on a test (and yeah before you bring up the 4.0 GPA system, do consider for a moment, that that system was probably invented by a really bad student...probably of Communism - the logic behind the GPA system SO reeks of "if you can't score a 10 get everyone to score a 4.0"
2) Its a cold dreary time of the year - marks the end of all hope - of summer - for the next several eons - grey skies, cold rain - November Rain was probably composed on nov 22!
3) I can't think of any other facet of this date's dull personality - and that in itself makes the argument abot how utterly lacking in character this date is.

I think any objective, impartial observer would agree that the first date is much more deserving of celebration than the second one...And there are several good reasons for implementing a system that identifies which dates should have birthdays celebrated and which should not - ranging from - its just good aesthetics (the most important one in my blog), to - there are no free lunches umm dinner in this case - if you cant make a good case for the personality of your dob - you shouldn't get a free dinner on that date.

None of this, of course, has anything to do with the marker - of my 1/3rd life crisis - being close at hand. I like birthdays - but as Orkut's options on pets put it - I just like them at the zoo.


spy said...

You are not going through third life crisis; you're just going through the holiday season. This whole holiday thing is meant for pesky little humans called kids and for people living with their families (i.e., soccer moms and their breadwinning servile husbands). For everyone else, its just boring, depressing, and annoying. (In bay area at least Starbucks was open yesterday. In Dallas, even that wasn't possible.)

So glad it's all about to end in a week. But I don't want to back to work... Huhn. Huhn. Huhn. :-(

Uday Chandra said...

I guess you have nothing to talk about other than your birthday which months away. Somebody needs a lot of attention. Stop being a diva and get some work done.

Addicted to Friends said...

Ahem - sounds like someone's birthday is on Nov 22 :)

Uday Chandra said...

That is the not the issue...

We all agree you are the DIVA and u will henceforth get the attention.....atleast from me when I am around. ( thats better hearing more about your stupid B'day)..

worse than a kid....actually thinking about birthday months ahead..

Never thought of you as a kid...
Lets see do u have ADD( attention deficit...) I will be more observing next time

CadeRageous said...

Everyone deserves to feel special on one day of the year--one day that they shouldn't have to share with anyone else. Even those who haven't been as good or deserving deserve this--something sweet and kind like this may turn a poorly behaving person around. You never know...

Plus, 4 is a commonly lucky number too. Granted Nov 22 sounds boring to me, (wait, it's the day before Jennifer's birthday), but it's in the realm of Scorpio. We all know Scorpios are fun (in bed at least).

My lucky number is 129. I see it everywhere.