I’m surely traipsing onto hallowed ground by saying so, but honestly, I don’t care much for this holiday. It has nothing to do with the man we’re supposed to be sitting around and remembering today. Whether today was in honor of MLK, Cole Porter, FDR, or Buddha, it’s not the person that rubs me the wrong way: it’s the timing. Hear me out on this.
See, I’m a workaholic. I’m shamelessly addicted to workahol. Yet every year, around November 20th or so, things start to slow down, as we enter the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year’s triumvirate of getting nothing done. Everything slows down. But, hey, I can work with that. I can maybe put together a family vacation. And there’s decorating to be done. There’s family to see. The whole schmear.
But by the time, oh, January 7th or so rolls around, and people are finally getting off their butts about six weeks and are ready to roll up their sleeves again – – – it isn’t but about ten days until we all have to STOP again. The market closes. We have a three day weekend on our hands. And, I’m not sure about you, but I don’t busy myself with decorating the house on this particular holiday. I’m bored out of my freakin’ mind.
Which goes a long way to explain why I’ve been reading so voraciously over the past few days. Indeed, this entire three-day weekend, which is a special form of torture for me, has been about little except books on Slope, be it my own (Panic Prosperity) or the works of Bill Bryson, which I’ve been plowing through.
The latest one is One Summer In America: 1927, which you can see here. It is, as with his other books, an absolute delight. Let me put it to you this way: any writer who can keep me spellbound describing the life and career of Babe Ruth has got to be doing something right. And it isn’t just about Babe Ruth. The year 1927 was cram-packed with seminal events during an era much like our own right now: a booming stock market, politicians able to just coast along with really doing much of anything, and epochal cultural events. It’s a fascinating read, and I heartily recommend it.