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Dean Whitbread 2013

Dean Whitbread 2020

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Written on November 1, 2012, and categorized as Flip side, Meme, Protest.
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November – the month when, in the north, the skies darken, chill winds howl, frosts harden the ground underfoot, car windscreens are wearily scraped, the days grow shorter and heating bills grow ever larger. In the teeth of this most testing time, with no break in sight for two months, Christmas is a distant island across a sea of expensive shops, disrupted travel and family psychodrama. November, let’s face it, is a challenging month.

In this time of slump and recession, as money disappears even as it is made, those lucky few with work must attend their precious jobs diligently in order to avoid penury and financial despair. So why take on an activity which will lose you sleep, remind you of your limitations, and add to your already overwhelmed stress levels?

It all began with NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – a dubious program for would-be novelists to string a few thousand words together in the knowledge that other people are also writing rushed, derivative tomes that will never be read, thus providing moral support to complete this self-appointed, Herculean task. Did these people never understand the principle of quality not quantity? I’m all for creativity, but this is not creative, it’s a kind of mildly psychotic herd instinct which mostly produces grossly sub-average results. I despair at the predictable NaNoWriMo updates about the number of words produced or not produced, the corresponding sense of triumph, or guilt. The self-indulgence is staggering. I would rather people spent their time writing letters to political prisoners than constructing 100,000 words of unpublishable drivel.

Then the “grow facial hair for charity” bandwagon Movember jumped on the poor month, as if it needed even more humiliation. Even this simple lack of shaving requires that you take a daily mugshot and get sponsored. It doesn’t increase physical fitness, like a sponsored walk or run, it just makes you self-conscious and increases either vanity or embarassment. It doesn’t increase personal beauty, ever. The people who look good with moustaches already have them, men and women. If you want to raise money for charity, stop drinking for a month, and donate the savings. When people offer to buy you a drink, take the money, save it. You will raise far more that way and arrive at December a leaner, fitter human being.

Now I see that hot on the heels of Vlomo, Video Blogging Month, which was responsible for several mental breakdowns and at least one bankruptcy, Audiomo has arrived – a daily audio podcast for the month. Well far be it from me to criticise my dear friends who seem to want to do this, but WHY NOVEMBER? Why the insistence on adding to this already difficult month a new time-sucking vampire?

But, resistance is futile; I am railing against the tide. On day one of this tortuous month, I feel obliged to add to this November glut of pointless crowd-memes. In fact, I shall add a new November meme every day during the month of November. Here are my first four (I’m doing so well! I can sleep and eat now!)

MoMoMo – the Month of Moth Mothers. Every day in November, pretend you are giving birth to babies who are insanely attracted to night light;

MoMoNoNo – Every day in November, invent a new form of circumscribed behaviour for aforesaid Moth Mothers;

MoNoMo – Every day in November to include Moth Fathers, because after all, why should they miss out?

MoGoNaNoWriMoPoGoLoGo – the Moth Mom’s National Novel Writing Month for Branded Punk Dancers. Every day in November, go batshit crazy to distorted three-chord guitar music whilst wearing high-priced, mass-produced clothing made cheaply in appalling, exploitative conditions. Then write about it.

I write from personal experience. My pain is real. In 2010, in November I wrote limericks every day. In fact, InLiWriMo – International Limerick Writing Month – was a huge success.

I still feel the shame.

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