Authority, Controversial Topics, Historical, Social Role, World of Tomorrow

A New Protest Erupts: Now, the Calendar Wants to Be Free

Downtown Santa Cruz, California from Mission Hill

Downtown Santa Cruz, California from Mission Hill (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Santa Cruz, CA) — Protests against the Fools of April are raging in this Monterey Bay municipality, as the Fools of every other month have charged the Aprils with cultural hegemony. One placard, carried by a bearded man in a toga, proclaimed:  “Don’t fool with the fools.” The police arrested over 200 demonstrators, representing every month of the year. They were locked up pending a hearing in a bayside tacqueria, where they continued their protest with a Jimmy Buffett singalong.

The seeds of the protests began last June, when the June Fools, closely aligned with the open access (OA) movement, declared that the calendar wants to be free and began to agitate for equal access to the dates and the media coverage thereof. Spokesperson Natasha Kalashnikov noted that because of media indifference, “most days on the calendar are locked up, with no one getting access to them.” She added that there is now evidence that “an open calendar results in a higher level of meetings.” Kalashnikov spat on a Santa Cruz Peace Officer while being carried away to share a Corona.

The June Fools participated in a desperate street fight with the Julys, who oppose the open calendar and argue that without proper standards, “any day could be a day of the week,” in the words of the group’s designated representative, Edward Gibbon. “We have a tradition to uphold, ” Gibbon said, “or it’s all downhill from here.”

Agitation over the calendar is nothing new in this progressive community. Just a few months ago, the November Fools, noting an incipient drought to the region, immediately circulated a petition to stop development of a desalinization plant. Not to be outdone, the December Fools pressed the city council to pass an ordinance against the cultivation and sale of genetically modified foods and demanded that the local branch of the University of California shut down its department of genetics. A tipping point occurred when the Januarys managed to tear down a cell phone tower that was believed to be sending out subliminal signals that manipulated people to adopt neoliberal ideas. The results? This Silicon Valley suburb is now without water, medical care, and communications services. Not to be left out, the February Fools have targeted transportation, planting redwood trees in the middle of most of the county’s roadways. The August Fools ritually burn Thomas Friedman in effigy every Thursday night.

Reached by a reporter, local resident and digital media consultant Joe Esposito said that he hoped cooler heads would prevail and that people should focus on what they agree about, not on their differences. “Everybody agrees that there are plenty days of the year,” he said, “and more than enough Fools to fill them.” He would have preferred, he said, for people to adopt a “more strategic view and revert to the Julian calendar.”

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About Joseph Esposito

I am a management consultant working primarily in the world of digital media, software, and publishing. My clients include both for-profits and not-for-profits. A good deal of my activity concerns research publishing, especially when the matter at issue has to do with the migration to digital services from a print background. Prior to setting up my consulting business, I served as CEO of three companies (Encyclopaedia Britannica, Tribal Voice, and SRI Consulting), all of which I led to successful exits. Typically I work on strategy issues, advising CEOs and Boards of Directors on direction; I also have managed a number of sticky turnarounds. Among other things, I have been the recipient of grants from the Mellon, MacArthur, and Hewlett Foundations, all concerning research into new aspects of publishing.

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