The other day Someone Immeasurably Dumb, also known as Sid and Da Blob, called Newsspin specifically to lecture Timothy Poleon on how best to host his show, then grabbed the opportunity to suggest Tim should quit using the term Silly Season. Why? Well, said Sid (depending on his location also referred to as The Stalking Pain and the Stain That Talks—yes, I know, I know. So many confusing sobriquets!), it tended to give people not quite as educated as himself (although only by association) the wrong impression of party hacks; especially party hacks who are proud to be party hacks. (Peter Josie also doesn’t like the phrase, although for a different reason: the twice bitten Peter figures election time is too important a period to be casually dismissed as the Silly Season—to which I say, chacun a son gout.)
Well, since I must take full responsibility for popularizing the term as used on this Rock of Sages, perhaps I should offer a little elucidation as to the history of the Silly Season, so relished by the “one or two” especially Silly Little People “in our midst.”
In the UK the Silly Season is the period when nothing really exciting is going on and newspapers tend to feature frivolous news stories about the superfluous denizens of Hyde Park Corner, London’s burnished version of flea-afflicted William Peter Boulevard and that other location near St. Louis Street, Castries.
Interestingly enough, in the UK the Silly Season is also often referred to as Cucumber Time—doubtless for concupiscent reasons dating back to Queen Victoria who in her day famously advised icy British wives, when required to fulfill their conjugal duties, to “lie down and think of England!”
The term Silly Season was first coined in an 1861 Saturday Review article and was listed in the second edition (1894) of Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. The 15th edition of Brewer’s expands on the second, defining the Silly Season as the part of the year when the UK Parliament and the law courts are not sitting, usually August to September.
Believe it or not in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, the Silly Season has come to refer to the Christmas/New Year festive period—on account of the unusual number of social engagements where mass consumption of alcohol is typical.
In US politics the Silly Season is a period from early summer until the first week of October in election years. Primary elections are over at this time, but formal debates have not started, and the general election is still many weeks away. Issues raised during this period are likely to be forgotten by the electorate, so candidates tend to rely on frivolous political posturing and hyperbole to get media attention and raise money.
For instance, instead of giving due attention to unemployment, the economy, taxes and so, campaigning American politicians might talk about the relationship between the size of a man’s hands and other body parts not normally on open display.
On the Rock of Sages, instead of addressing the rampant rapes, murders and attempted murders, gross human rights violations, children producing children, and the endless butchering of our Constitution by its front-line protectors, campaigning politicians will instead shout at the top of their lungs about lajablesse, boloms, voodoo and frivolous lawsuits centered on who is or is not a rapist—and whether it should be permitted room in the most important house in the land!
Needless to say, on this Rock of Sages—birthplace of one or two Nobel laureates— the Silly Season is a year-round thing. A time for spewing unending nonsense from elevated perches while flying on donated Grey Goose. In much the same way that Carnival allows the obese to flaunt dangerously their unrestrained swinging assets without a care, so the endless Silly Season permits inexplicably proud Silly Little People to advertise egregious stupidity from January to January, year in year out, without shame or embarrassment—as deliriously demonstrated every lunch hour by the earlier cited Sid whose greatest achievement is his reputation as Someone Immeasurably Dumb!