The question is innocent. The coworker asks, “So, what are your plans for #MayTheFourth?”
I don’t have any special plans. I did start wondering, though.
Do people make plans for #MayTheFourth? Do people care that much?
Do I consider it a harmless, fun joke that’s been co-opted by marketing departments to cynically plumb the emotional wells which run deep within fans? I sure do. I see a lot of things marketed in that way, though. Everything is about leverage, and blind spots.
I think that any sense of the irksome stems from the fact that I can see it as a manipulative attempt to leverage consumers by attacking their weakest points. That’s a daily thing, I guess, but when it hits a point that you consider “reserved” from the normal flow of things – like your personal connection to something – it exposes the manipulation in a very raw fashion.
Doesn’t every single holiday go down that road, though? Isn’t that the basis for the greeting card industry as a whole, or why we’re going out to dinner every February 14?
I don’t hate #MayTheFourth, as much as I’ve played up being a curmudgeon when it comes up in conversation. I’ve leaned really hard into being a curmudgeon about it, too. I’m typically playing the role of The Grinch Who Hates #MayTheFourth.
But it’s just playing a role.
The truth is, though, that I don’t care either way. It’s just another harmless joke that’s become “a thing.” It can seem sometimes like an intrusion on a special space that exists deep within not just my psyche, but other fans’.
I used to lean really hard into that joke, though. Then I guess over time I realized that it wasn’t worth the effort. It was rooted in a cyncism that takes more energy than I have anymore.
I’ve also realized that we’ve lost our collective senses of humor. People get upset about everything instead of just relaxing. In light of that paradigm, the cynic seeks a lighter outlook.
If I’m going to rail against #MayTheFourth, I may as well rail against the “Alien Day” of April 26, when fans of that franchise come together and pretend there are only two movies in the series. I may as well rail against “First Contact Day,” which is whenever Star Trek fans come together to sacrifice the first tweet of the day to commemorate the great Sybok.
Honestly, why would it ever bother anyone that #MayTheFourth exists? You may as well get upset about #HotDogDay, #GrilledCheeseSandwichDay, or #TheFeastOfCraigula.
They are what they are. They’re forgettable things designed for economic benefit.
I’m really just waiting for #NationalPeanutButterAndMayonnaiseSandwich day, aka #NPBMayo Day. Somehow that’s not a thing yet, but a boy can dream.
A boy can dream.