Celebrate Blackout Day

This is a good idea.  J. Sinopoli suggests that we make the anniversary of the 2003 Northeast US blackout a voluntary holiday from electricity.  Excerpt from an article at Interactivist Info Exchange:

[We] call to formalize, as a holiday, the August 14 Blackout.

It could be our version of Carnival, and we could use one. It requires no municipal support. We as a people could simply do it. A harmless ritual: You come home from work, or wherever, switch off your circuit breakers, and that’s all, it begins. It is not a debauchery, not a wild night, but perhaps a free one. Free of the system, free of the machine, free of the exhaustive burdens of ambition. Free of electricity, and the 24 hours a day you-don’t-stop that goes with it. There was a time, before electricity, when people simply retired at night. What else could you do? It was dark. Not anymore. Progress has its compromise. The blackout took us back to the basics, of who we are as human beings, with none of this shine and polish to distract us from the truth.

As with anything good, the blackout as a holiday would be optional; none of the hospitals must shut down, no vital services would close. No one must do anything. But for those who can do it, and wish to, the blackout offers a pre-existing holiday so simple to celebrate there is almost no reason not to. Every August 14 we could easily stage a re-enactment of the largest-known naturally-occurring party in the history of the human race. The city went dark that night and 10 million people did not flip out or riot, or conduct themselves in any way sinister or foul. Newscasters were amazed at how peaceful it was.

Link: Interactivist Info Exchange | J. Sinopoli, "A Proposal for the Adoption of the Blackout as a Holiday".

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