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Friday, November 13, 2009


Day of Reckoning

DC Comics' Calendar Man fights Batman and RobinToday is International Bowie Day! Woo!

Normally, when I make one of these pronouncements in front of my students, usually accompanied by an ad hoc assemblage of thematically-related books, I usually get one of two responses:
  1. That's ridiculous.
  2. Says who?
Granted, this is in part because I've foisted off some pretty unusual days on them before. International Pancake Day (Feb. 16, 2010), Wonder Woman Day (Oct. 25), and Unicorn Independence Day (Sept. 25) have all be met with narrowed eyes and varying degrees of skepticism. And with the last one, well, the skepticism was well-founded as it was unilaterally declared by a friend of mine from his computer terminal in Vancouver.

When the library has displayed various calendars of unusual holidays, the question of how one gets a Day declared usually comes up. For a day to be nationally recognized, it requires a declaration of Congress, but mayors and governors can do so on a city or state level, so I suppose the national executive branch may also have journally declarative powers. Then again, tomorrow was designated National Gaming Day by the American Library Association, and they don't have any official ratifying power to speak of.

Flickr: Mr. Russell in City of HeroesWhich brings us to the power of the internet. Most of these so-called National Days I've encountered and displayed? Found on the internet. No ability to trace them, ratify them, prove them. But it also gives people the power to create a movement on a local level, spreading the word through blogs and forwards and the like. National Novel Writing Month started as a very local phenomenon, and had 119,301 registered participants last year. Neither Rabbit Hole Day (Jan. 27) nor National Gorilla Suit Day (Jan. 31) have taken off in quite the same electric manner, but they could... they could.

All of which is to say: my friend Jamie has decided that today is International Bowie Day. So call up the Laughing Gnome, Major Tom, and the Goblin King and celebrate, or simply join in the fun on Twitter. Me, I'm going to be limbering up in order to properly participate tomorrow, as I'll likely bust out some superheroics in City of Heroes. Zap! Pow! BAM!

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