March 9 – Panic Day (or Don't Panic Day?)

Posted on March 9, 2015

Who on earth would create a “holiday” called Panic Day?

I looked around the internet for a while and could not discover the answer to that question. So I assume it was just some non-powerful person declaring a day to celebrate panic, on any random day, for no particular reason...And if someone can do that, perhaps I can just turn the tables and declare today Don't Panic Day!!!

After all, panic is defined as a sudden, extreme, uncontrollable fear or anxiety that often causes unreasonable, irrational, unthinking behavior. And that just is not good!

(By the way, a “panic button” can be a good thing; you would press it to call for help in an emergency. But of course sometimes, when people say something like, “He hit the panic button,” they are speaking metaphorically. In those cases, they just mean that someone panicked—not that there was an actual button to press.)

Here are some of my favorite Panic! / Don't Panic! things:

Panic! At the Disco is a rock band. 

Stephen Colbert used to make fun of the fear-mongering media who tried to get better ratings and bigger audiences by amping up the threat level of news stories. He especially told us to panic over bears! 

Douglas Adams's very funny books describes The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as being wholly remarkable, partly because it has the words “Don't Panic” printed in large friendly letters on its cover.

Keep Calm Posters: There are ALL these clever and often humorous memes that take off from the British attitude of “Keep calm and carry on.” Did you know that the original poster was produced by the British government in 1939? It was an effort to raise the morale of people as they prepared for World War II, in which the Britain expected (and got) mass air attacks from the Nazis.

There is nothing silly about the poster or the morale-boosting saying. And when a British couple found an inspirational wartime poster in a box of old books, and hung it in their bookshop, there is nothing silly about the fact that they sold 40,000 freshly-printed copies of the poster in just nine years. Besides for the original hanging in the bookstore, there are 21 other known posters in museums and private collections.

Now, in addition to the valuable original posters and tens of thousands of replica posters, there are mugs and bags and other items with the original sayings or funny take-offs.

And there are thousands of memes floating around Facebook and other social media with all sorts of parodies and “Keep Calm and ___” sayings.

Also on this date:

Plan ahead:

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