Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Awful August

Temperatures soar high in a down month.
My regular readers, both of you, may recall my rant earlier this year regarding my lack of affinity for Tuesdays, the worst day of the week.  Similarly, I think that August is the worst month of the year.  One could therefore deduce that Tuesdays in August must be extraordinarily bad.  And if you subscribe to the notion that thirteen is an unlucky number, then it further stands to reason that August 13th of 2013 may well be the absolute worst day of the entire fucking year if not the entire decade.

I can't say for sure what this day will bring - or take away - but from a historical perspective, August has had plenty of bad press.  Why is this, I wonder?  Why doesn't anyone get excited about the month of August the way they might about December, October or even April?

I'll tell you why.  December has Christmas and New Year's Eve, October has fall and Halloween, and April shares the first day of spring and sometimes has Easter.  These are all calendar events that get you through the month.  But what commemorative event or holiday does August have? It doesn't have shit. August is the only month in the entire year that doesn't have some sort of a national holiday or celestial event.  Know what August has in it as any sort of noteworthy event?  Here's a list.  A pathetic, forgettable list:
  • Friendship Day
  • Women's Equality Day
  • National Catfish Month
  • Harvest Month
  • National Water Quality Month
  • Peach Month
  • National Immunization Awareness Month
Yeah, that is some exciting shit.  See?  August sucks.

August is oppressively hot and typically dry.  The days are long and the heat has been building for months.  Hurricane season is in full swing.  Kids are depressed because they know they'll be back in school soon.  Parents are sick of their kids being home all summer and know they've got to go all or most of the month before they get rid of them.  Financial institutions take hiatus in August.  Some factories shut down in August.  Congress is in recess in August and while that might be generally considered a good thing, all of the fucking legislators schedule meaningless "town halls" sessions to reconnect with their constituencies, and we have to endure a constant barrage of news stories about who said what and to whom, what the press reaction was, what the White House said in response, who protested or got the best You Tube video of some schmuck delivering the better sound bite.  It's all just so much meaningless, worthless bullshit in an otherwise unremarkable month, save for how absolutely fucking horrible it is. And everyone is in a bad mood.

Don't take my word for it.  Look at all the bad shit that has happened in August over the years.  This is evidence of a cosmic conspiracy to make the month of August the shittiest time of any year - every year, year in and year out. Did you know that almost every major armed conflict in the twentieth century started in August?
  • Word War I began in August 1914;
  • Hitler invaded Poland in August 1939, effectively starting WWII in which 30 million people died;
  • The world's only nuclear bombs ever used against mankind in an act of war were detonated in August of 1945.  While that effectively ended WWII, it also started us on our way to the Cold War and put us on the brink of world annihilation that lasts to this day;
  • The Viet Nam war began in August 1964;
  • The Russians invaded Czechoslovakia in August 1968, ratcheting up the Cold War to a dangerous tempo;
  • The Iraqis invaded and annexed Kuwait in 1990 starting the Gulf War, which continued in a second iteration well into this century.
And other crappy political shit has happened in August, too:
  • The Berlin Wall as build in 1961;
  • China's Cultural Revolution started in 1966;
  • Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Fidel Castro were all born in August;
  • Abraham Lincoln signed the first Federal Income Tax law in August 1861, marching us forever down the path toward big government, redistribution of wealth and endless taxation by a federal bureaucracy that can never be satiated;
  • Franklin Roosevelt similarly signed into law the Social Security Act in August 1935, marching us forever forward toward a nanny state, more taxation and a corresponding and disproportionate sense of entitlement;
  • In August 1998, Clinton admitted he was a liar while undergoing an investigation of perjury and sexual harassment, which led ultimately to his impeachment - none of which fucking mattered to the citizens of this country who elected him, forever marching us down a path of King Presidents who will never be challenged by the press or held accountable for their outlandish lies, out of control hubris and outrageous behavior.
There also has been significant number of  physical upheavals and climate calamities in the month of August:
  • The southern Italians towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum were covered under mountains of ash, and 15,000 people were buried alive when Mount Vesuvius erupted in August, 79 A.D.;
  • One of the most catastrophic volcanic eruptions in recorded history occurred on the Indonesian island of Krakatoa in August 1883. Tidal waves 120 feet high killed 36,000 people in surrounding islands;
  • There is an average of 2.3 hurricanes every August with 49% of them making US landfall;
  • Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005 as the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States, killing 1,833 people.
And top all of that off with the facts that Elvis Presley died in August; the Manson murders were an August event in 1968; Steve Jobs resigned from Apple in the month of August; the Ford Edsel, arguably the biggest flop in automotive history, was launched in August 1958; Pluto was demoted from a plant to a "dwarf planet" in the month of August; the British brewery Bass bought Holiday Inn in August 1989, marking the decline of an iconic American brand; Lizzie Borden brutally murdered her parents with an axe in August 1892; U.S.sovereign debt was downgraded in August 2011 by Standard and Poor, the first such downgrade in the history of the United States; Nixon resigned the presidency in August 1974; Babe Ruth died in the month of August; Michael Jackson, in August 1985, bought the copyright to every Beatles song ever written and recorded; Hitler was elected F├╝hrer of Germany in August 1934; and Jack the Ripper's first victim was murdered in August 1888. 

See? All manner of bad shit happens in August, every August, which by the way, was a month so named after a ruthless Roman dictator, Augustus Caesar.  Go figure.

Good god, we have 18 more days to go!  Somebody, please fucking help me.

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