August sucks. Need proof? Look around you. Liquids are being banned from airliners. Californians are dropping dead from heat. Princeton professor Bernard Lewis has predicted the apocalypse for Aug. 22. What’s not to hate?
In 2001, Slate’s David Plotz gave August the drubbing it deserves: “August is when the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when Anne Frank was arrested, when the first income tax was collected, when Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe died. Wings and Jefferson Airplane were formed in August. The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour debuted in August. (No August, no Sonny and Cher!)”
Plotz’s solution: Cut August back to 10 days: “Purists will insist that we shouldn’t tinker with the months, that August should be left alone because it has done workmanlike service for 2,000 years. That’s nonsense.”
Recent history has only made the need for August reform more urgent. August 2003 saw the New York blackouts. August 2004 took Rick James from us. Then, August 2005 did its worst with Hurricane Katrina. It may be too late to salvage 2006. But there is still time to prevent an August 2007 from ever happening.