How Long Is It OK To Say “Happy New Year”?


I HATE when people say “Happy new year.” What does it mean anyway? That some arbitrary calendar system devised way before I was born suggests that we are now starting some ridiculous new cycle or other? So fucking what? I’d have more respect if people said something like “Happy Life Day” (which was popularized on the immortal Star Wars Holiday Special from the ’70s, the worst two hours of TV until Rosie Live! and the hour we needed to recover from it.)

But as long as we HAVE to say “Happy fucking new year”–and let’s face, it, even I find myself saying it just to fill the air with something–how long do we have to keep doing so? It’s absolutely absurd when people still say it well into January and sometimes even in friggin’ February! Why not say it all goddamned year so that when it comes time to say it again, we won’t even have to remember to restart the practice?

More practically, how about if we all agree to only say it for the first two weeks of the year, deal? How about if anyone who has the audacity to utter it after January 14 gets pelted with mothballs, raped by rabid bats, and forced to watch a Cindy Crawford film festival? Obama, make this your first law, please. And by the way, happy new year.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 5, 2009

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