Today marks exactly X year(s) since
something crucial happened.
It is very important that we remember
this vitally significant anniversary.
My apparently inane twittering represented a conscious attempt to poke fun at our collective obsessions with the past. It feels as if every chronological coincidence is pounced upon as an excuse for commemorating something that simply must be recalled.
Proof of this will be in abundant supply in 2012. A cavalcade of all things Dickensian will mark the fact that one of England's greatest writers happened to be born exactly 200 years ago. Charles Dickens will be deployed as a cultural flagbearer during the London Olympics. Yet how members of the sporting fraternity will actually pick up a book by Dickens is far from certain...
Moreover, before we get carried away with what is remembered, it's always a good idea to ferret out those things that have been conveniently forgotten or suppressed. And what better day on which to consider the overlooked than 1st January 2012? This is because exactly ten years ago something truly momentous happened. But no matter how hard you listen, you'll hear no fanfare or fireworks. There are no pageants or celebratory get-togethers. No back-slapping congratulations and high-spirited toasts.
Because the birthday to which I refer is a mournful affair. A decade after its birth this prematurely aged ten-year-old is adrift: "floating without steering or mooring; drifting... [W]ithout purpose; aimless... off course."(1)
Adrift. There could be no better word to describe the Euro. This shiny new currency was introduced shortly after midnight on 1st January 2002. As the clock struck midnight "celebratory fireworks exploded above the European Central Bank headquarters in Frankfurt. The Pont Neuf in Paris was lit up in European Union blue, with 12 rays of light to symbolise the 12 nations circulating the euro."(2)
The skies are dark a decade hence. Our politicians don't have time to get nostalgic about the past. They are too busy fretting about the future.
The tenth anniversary of the Euro is adrift. How terribly appropriate.
(1) Collins Dictionary, London & Glasgow, 1987, p.16.
(2) Nicholas Kulish, "To be franc, after 10 years the euro has failed to make its mark", 02/01/2012, Sydney Morning Herald, accessed 01/01/2012 at, http://www.smh.com.au/world/to-be-franc-after-10-years-the-euro-has-failed-to-make-its-mark-20120101-1ph5x.html.