In 'honor' of August, a month it despises, Slate has re-run an evil David Plotz column of (presumably, August) 2001, advocating the reduction of the third summer month to a rump ten-day period.
Of all the insipid things that supposedly chalk August up for dismemberment (uh, it's hot? It's boring? Get a pool, dude, and if you can't find one, don't blame me because you don't live in California), by far the worst is the cavalcade of contempt poured on August birthdays, followed up cruelly by the chipper reminder that a truncated August would make the school year "run longer."
Ah, yes, just what I and every other August birthday of all times have been hoping and praying for. Not quite marginalizing and discrediting enough was it to see 'back to school' ads proclaiming the death of summer before we even had a chance to party. Not enough an indignity was it to suffer the 'group birthday' celebration on that last day of school. Sure, ceding the last ten days of August to September would save a few token refugees from rank humiliation, but think of the poor little bastards stuck in the middle-ten dog days -- still no birthday, school coming on like a gigolo, and this godforsaken birthday -- August 17th, for example -- languishing in gimpy purgation. Don't worry that that's my birthday. I'm only one person. How can I hope to become a change agent?
But you might worry on other grounds, because Aug. 17th is also Robert De Niro's birthday, and if you play even a small and ancillary role in messing with August, he will take you down, people. He will take you down to Chinatown.