My Work

Friday, August 2, 2013

Silly, Silly August

In the world of journalism, the month of August used to be known for silly times.  Rarely did anything of consequence take place, and those pages with advertising had to be filled with something.  Man bites dog type stories flourished in the days before CNN and FOX news and their pandering.

From the world of entertainment, the first thing that comes to mind is the wonderful Marlon Brando performance in “Teahouse of the August Moon.”  In the world of music, can’t think of any song, off the top of my thick head dealing with August.  Help me out with this one, if you can.

In history?  Oh, nothing silly here.  It was in August that the First World War began, which ended with the deaths of more than forty million people, brought the United States to a level of world prominence it has never left, and some say, led to the disintegration of the British Empire.  It certainly did lead to the destruction of the Ottoman Empire.

How did all this come about.  Well, it started in Rome many years ago.  Julius Caesar had the month of July named after him, and some felt Augustus, his nephew was given short shrift.  After all, it was Augustus that defeated Marc Antony and Cleopatra.

There was a month called Sextillus, and the Roman Senate felt no qualms in changing its name to August.  They did it with a simple proclamation or resolution.  To wit”

Whereas the Emperor Augustus Caesar, in the month of Sextillis . . . thrice entered the city in triumph . . . and in the same month Egypt was brought under the authority of the Roman people, and in the same month an end was put to the civil wars; and whereas for these reasons the said month is, and has been, most fortunate to this empire, it is hereby decreed by the senate that the said month shall be called Augustus.

Of course all that messed up the calendar and days had to be added, then months had to be moved around, and then chaos, followed a couple of thousand years late by having people refer to it as the silly month.

One thing, though, only Julius and Augustus, of all the Roman Emperors and generals, have months named in their honor.  What would they have called the month if one had been named in honor of Nero?  Neromus?  Nerember?  Neroly?  Stop.  Enough already.

In northern Nevada you have Hot August Nights, a grand showing of a life style that few remember.  Coupled between the Korean War and Haight Ashbury, a deuce coup would obviously come out second best.  See?  Silly month.

At least we have ribs to think about next.  Have a great day, read good books, and stay regular.

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