What A Bummer

A popular saying is, “The only things in life that are certain are death and taxes.” This is also the theme of today’s unofficial holiday, “That Sucks Day”. The name of the commemoration is quite unfortunate because it’s an epithet derived from an insult regarding a sexual act. When something unfortunate happens, I prefer to use the older expression, “What a bummer” because it seems wrong to compound something bad by using a crude response.

Why was today chosen to recognize unhappy events? First, April 15th is the usual date when US Income Tax Returns come due. Secondly, this is the anniversary of the death of Abraham Lincoln. Thirdly, It is the anniversary of the sinking of the ocean liner Titanic. Because of the very dire nature of the historical events it seems insulting to dismiss them with a crude sexual innuendo. Since the 15th falls on a Sunday this year, tax day is the 17th, so that bummer will be on Tuesday.

The noun “bummer” is derived from the German word “Bummler” which is a person who is a failure or a flop. Bummer, in that context became popular in the mid 1850s. More recently, in the 20th century, “bummer” became slang for an unpleasant experience such as an unfortunate reaction to an illicit drug. However, most people just think of a bummer as an unhappy result or event.

The ancient Roman Emperor/philosopher Marcus Aurelius wrote to himself, “Here is the rule to remember in the future, When anything tempts you to be bitter, not: ‘This is a misfortune’ but ‘To bear this worthily is good fortune'”

The point of honoring our bummers has been made many times. Mourn your misfortune appropriately, then contemplate it to find an important, helpful lesson you can use to improve yourself.

The Blue Jay of Happiness ponders something from the ancient Roman poet Virgil. “Myself acquainted with misfortune, I learn to help the unfortunate.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, cultural highlights and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What A Bummer

  1. Doug says:

    Another “bummer” occurred the other day. Long time radio talk show host, Art Bell, passed away.
    I listened to his show, faithfully, every night. He threw all the political crap out the window and had discussions about the unusual. Now, he knows for sure if there’s life after death. It’s a bummer he had to leave.

  2. swabby429 says:

    Yes, Bell was certainly an icon and a unique broadcaster.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.