This Week's Attitude
By Neil S.Friedman
Today is February 28, the last day of the month - 75 percent of the time. But every four years - coincidentally when there's a presidential election - it's also a Leap Year, so this February has an additional day, tomorrow.
Remember that memorable elementary school ditty that taught us to remember the days in the months? It goes something like, "Thirty days has September, etc., etc., except February, which has 28 and 29 in Leap Year."
Furthermore, for the last few decades, February has been, among other things, Black History Month. A noble gesture, but, as some prominent African-Ame-ricans contend, unnecessary. I studied Black History in college, years before it was trendy because it drew my in-terest. Nevertheless, if all levels of education sufficiently focused on that segment of American History, the distinctive designation would be unnecessary.
By the way, for those who didn't know, Black History Month started in 1976 and evolved out of Negro His-tory Week that began fifty years earlier and was created by a man named Carter Goodwin Woodson.
While there are single days, other than specific holidays, denoted through-out the year, (i.e. Mother's and Father's days, Flag Day, Earth Day, etc.) be-lieve it or not, dozens of groups and organizations designate certain months for their causes or issues. Some are worthwhile with honorable intentions (i.e., Black and Women's History) while others are utterly ludicrous.
After surfing the Web, I came up with the following pointless monthly designations:
• January is Poverty in America Awareness Month. After emptying your bank account on holiday gifts in December, many of us feel a little poorer.
• Besides Black History, February is also National Care About Your Indoor Air Month, as well Pet Dental Care Month. (A pet with halitosis is very unpleasant!)
• March is Women's History Month, as well as National Collision Aware-ness Month. Does this simultaneous designation have anything to do with the unjustified cliché that women are worse drivers than men? (Relax, feministas, that's sarcasm. My mother was one of the best drivers I've ever known well into her 70s!).
• In April, the designations, like spring flowers, start to blossom. Among other things it's Holocaust Month , Na-tional Poetry Month , Jazz Appreciation Month and Be Vigilant Against Child Abuse Month . (Should we ignore child abuse and under appreciate jazz the other 11 months?)
The Holocaust, like Black History, should be part of world history curriculums, not a separate entity.
• May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, so you can clearly hear those with speech impediments.
• June celebrates the cultures of Portugal and Brazil - probably just in those countries! It's also Celibacy Awareness Month, as well as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. Hmm. Ya think there's a subliminal connection there? Not that there's anything wrong with that!
• July is Cell Phone Courtesy Month, Family Reunion Month, National Bikini Month and Bioterrorism/Disaster Edu-cation Awareness Month. On July 4th, you're at a family reunion picnic when a friend in a bikini calls on your cell phone to tell you there's been a nearby bioterrorist attack and a hurricane's comin'. That covers all the bases in one fell swoop!
• August is National Immunization Awareness Month, which, undoubtedly, coincides with kids getting shots before they go back to school - and get shot.
• September is Be Kind to Editors and Writers Month. I expect faithful readers, who enjoy this newspaper and this column, to send gifts and gratuities to the Courier's editorial staff beginning after Labor Day.
• The most allocations seem to be in October, which is Hispanic Heritage Month, which is actually from Sep-tember 15-Oct. 15, no doubt to coincide with Columbus Day (Oct. 12). That holiday, especially in New York City, is traditionally more widely recognized by Italian-Americans because Christopher Columbus, who discovered America under a Spanish flag, hailed from Italy. A nice co-mingling of two cultures. It's also Disability Aware-ness Month , which probably gets little notice when Hispanics and Italians are whooping it up.
Observances tend to diminish to-ward the end of the year, though there are a few appropriate ones.
• November, in which Thanksgiv-ing Day falls on the fourth Thursday, is I Am So Thankful Month, as well as Native American Indian Heritage Month. Somehow, I don't think long-oppressed Native Americans have much to be thankful for this or any other month, except tribes that profit handsomely from gambling losses of Caucasians looking to hit the jackpot.
• December, suitably, is Safe Toys and Gifts Month. Harmful toys and hazardous gifts get recalled in January - after the damage is done.
Some minor observances should forever be abolished, particularly Clown Month, Beauty Pageant Month, Cable TV Month and Junk Food Month.
Another designation that deserves cancellation is Pessimistic Day . That group never had the confidence for a month's worth of attention and likely worries about too much of it, so they should just dump it entirely.
It's obvious that most observances are nothing more than gimmicks for particular organizations, associations and sponsors merely to promote themselves, their agendas or specific products.
But I wonder which month should be observed as No More Designated Months Month.