A case might be made that January is named after the various American demigods of tax calculation computer programs, weight-loss schemes, resolution daydreams, and instant makeovers of home, family, friends, wardrobes, exercise equipment, cars, relationships -- you name it.
All it takes is a little champagne and the turn of a calendar page: Presto, there goes another resolution. One year gone, here comes another. Up one minute, out the next. Now you see it, now you don't. It's the ultimate in on-demand convenience, good intentions, and the sort of regretful, pawing, nagging lapsed morality we've perfected hereabouts -- a real natural for Life in These Here Benighted, You-nited States.
Somewhere in here, in January's brittle fidgeting, is also the routine recategorizing of accepted presents from the joyful and effervescent into the ho-hum, yawning tedium of regiftable status. Here are stored captured holiday items once received with smiles, originally swathed in shiny paper, and are now framed with flat-lined lips and are swaddled in odious, future benevolence and stale, self-centered philanthropy to come.
January also means laughing at, and cheering on, gargantuan gladiators who bash each others brains out. It's a fine, high-spirited return to the Colosseum, where the display of a certain thumb toward the battlefield, from a cushioned throne, meant swift and instant death.
Today, instead of the stone amphitheater, we have the cushy home theater, where the display of middle fingers to big-screen teevees, from couches, Barcaloungers, and La-Z-Boys has no impact whatever on the inevitable outcome, let alone sudden death of any sort. (Talk about a demoralizing loss of power!)