Discordian Holydays
Aaron Burr's Birthday (February 6th)
Positively the most ancient Discordian Holyday, Aaron Burr's Birthday was first celebrated in 1957, before there even was a Discordian Society, by Lord Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst, who may have used it as an excuse to ditch school. Of course it was presumably observed long before that by Burr himself, who was born on February 6th of 1756. Described in Volume Five (5) of The Encyclopedia Americana as ``A precocious youth who would rebel against authority throughout his life...,'' Burr is nevertheless classed by many Americans as a notorious traitor, second only in infamy to Benedict Arnold, on whose staff he in fact once served.
      But, in actual truth, Aaron Burr was ``adroit rather than profound,'' according to the same volume (five), ``with a magnetic personality and a quick mind not overburdened with scruples.'' There is, of course, little that is worse than an overburdened mind.
      Everyone, practically, knows about Tammany Hall and Boss Tweed, made famous by political cartoonist Thomas Nast. Few realize that it was originally Aaron Burr who converted the Tammany Society into a political machine. Most people have heard of the Chase Manhattan Bank, headquarters of the Rockefeller-Communist Conspiracy. Few realize that Burr was among its founders. Burr was also Vice President under Thomas Jefferson who, in turn, said that Adam Weishaupt, father of the Bavarian Illuminati, was ``a great humanitarian.'' But enough of these accolades.
      On July 11th of 1804, Aaron Burr shot and killed in a duel Alexander Hamilton. For that alone, he deserves the everlasting gratitude of all but landlords and bankers. Moreover, contrary to what is asserted in school books, Hamilton did not first deliberately fire over Burr's head, in keeping with some gentlemanly custom. As was brought to public attention in the mid-1970's by the curator of the museum where Hamilton's pistol is on display, Hamilton had filed down a trigger mechanism (so the gun would have a hair trigger) in order to gain an unfair advantage over poor Burr! Hoisted, however, on his own petard, Hamilton accidentally fired before taking aim.
      We celebrate Aaron Burr's Birthday secure in the knowledge that the man who shot Alexander Hamilton cannot have been all bad.
Daytime (March 13th)
Back in the old days, the world was on many conflicting systems of keeping time. While three-quarters time might prevail in one area, elsewhere it was spare time or springtime or due time or ragtime.
      So on March 13th of 1884 a bunch of pundits from all over the world met in Washington, DC, and decided everyone should employ Standard Time (used by Standard Oil of New Jersey), based on Greenwich Mean Time (the time I was using in the meantime in Greenwich Village).
      Far from perfect, this solution allows it to be one time in London at the exact moment it is some other time entirely in New York or San Francisco or Moscow.
      So, on March 13th, we Discordians protest this confusing state of affairs by telling anyone who asks, any time, that it is 5 o'clock -- because, somewhere, it is. If they check with another source or, say, note that the sun is directly overhead, we explain we only said that it was 5 o'clock because it is Daytime.
      Discordian Eternal Time solves the whole problem of confusion about time by making it, in fact, 5 o'clock everywhere, always. But, unfortunately, most societies would rather do things the complicated way.
Grover Cleveland's Birthday (March 18th)
No politician besides Grover Cleveland ever won the endorsement of the Orthodox Discordian Society, and we endorse him every four years. Cleveland is well known, highly respected, very experienced and, best of all, completely dead -- a quality assuring that he will not pick Daniel Quayle for his running mate.
      No sex scandals will ever mar any of his campaigns.
      And, besides, what living person can really be trusted with the awesome powers of a nuclear-age presidency?
      Grover Cleveland will break no campaign promises and will never abuse his veto power. Nor will he say anything so idiotic that even those who didn't vote for him will cringe with embarrassment. Cleveland will start no wars, will exact no taxes, will expand no debts, will tell no lies, will keep no secrets in the name of National Security and will not, at any time during his entire term, appoint any morons to high public office.
      Can you honestly hope for that much of any other candidate?
Universal Ordination Day (April 26th)
Upon completing 52 years and 11 days of studying the universe, Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst (under his alias of Kerry Wendell Thornley) became an ordained Minister of the Universal Life Church -- on April 26th of 1990.
      A subtle Buddhist teaching that nobody without the Buddha Mind understands is that when the Buddha was enlightened, the whole universe -- with all its sentient beings, inanimate objects and blunt instruments -- attained Satori with him.
      On April 26th of 1990 the entire cosmos -- people, stars, space rubbish and all -- became an ordained minister and so anyone or anything is now legally qualified in most states to get drunk at weddings and giggle at funerals, spit holy water, christen puppies and preach salvation by fire and brimstone.
      Only an ordained minister, however, can see how this is possible.
      So, on Universal Ordination Day we commemorate the Ordination of the Universe by passing out as many Authorized and Authentic All-Purpose Discordian Society Ordination Certificates as possible.
      Whoever distributes the most of these becomes Pastor Present of the Permanent Universal Tax Strike Universal Life Church of the Permanent Universal Rent Strike and may fly anywhere in the world, for a whole year, free -- if they can figure out how to fly and providing they always first say ``Up, up and away!''