Amy Tries Again

An Odd Thought
August 7, 2012, 2:07 PM
Filed under: Miscellanea

So.  I have a bee in my bonnet.  Bear with me here, people.

I’m presuming everyone’s familiar with the oldschool representation of the new year as a baby, replacing the old man that the previous year has become by the end of December.  Circle of life and all that.  Out with the old, in with the new.  This is relevant, because a few minutes ago (as part of my constant quest to distract myself from reality) I was looking at the archives of Married To The Sea.  It’s pretty funny.  I encountered this.  Have a look.  I’ll wait.

Back?  Okay.  It made me chuckle.  Sadly, it also made me think.  Hmm, thought I, I guess that means that if a year was to be personified at around the July point, it’d be a middle aged man (I can’t be bothered with the Y NOT A LADY stuff today).  Fair enough.  That’s not my point, don’t worry.  No, it inspired far more specific nitpicking based on one thing: the new year baby is never a newborn.  Never.  Don’t believe me?  Let’s ask Google Images.  Again, I’ll wait.

As you can see, it’s always depicted as…well, I don’t know much about babies, but I’d say that kid, on average, is at least 6 months old.  I’m taking it as read that this is when new year baby (that’s boring, let’s give him a name.  Eric.  His name is Eric) is at his freshest – just after midnight on New Years Day.  It’d have to be then, it’s the only time that Eric could high-five the old year (I don’t care enough about him to give him a name) as it departs on the stroke of midnight, presumably in the process of dying.  Therefore…shouldn’t Eric be a newborn?  What’s he been doing for six months?

Of course, if a personified year’s whole life takes place in 12 months, Eric would age much, much faster than an average baby.  Let’s see.  If the average Australian male lifespan is 78.9 (which it IS because I LOOKED IT UP), then the personified year would appear to age 6.575 human years each calendar month.  That’s 1.64375 years per week, which means, if my tortured calculations are correct, that it would take roughly 2.5 days for the year to gain the appearance of a six month old baby.

My brain hurts.

People of earth: we have been robbed.  The new year clearly starts on the 29th of December.  What’s Eric DOING for those two days?  What’s keeping the old year going for those two days when his number was clearly up beforehand? I’ve never seen him move.  Perhaps there’s a weekend at Bernie’s style thing happening.  Either way: something is wrong.

We’re through the looking-glass here, people.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to reapply my tinfoil hat, cut out newspaper articles to stick them to my wall and ponder who the new guy is when baby Eric grows up and turns into the old year.  Whoa.

*(I should probably also add that when this whole thing became tradition, men wouldn’t, on average, have lived that long.  However, as the old year is depicted as being very ancient indeed, I think it still kind of works if you consider it an example of extreme old age and impending death as opposed to the average lifespan.  Obviously, it also didn’t originate in Australia, but that’s another kettle of fish.)


6 Comments so far
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Because realistic images would be yucky:

And newborns are useless little creatures, incapable of high-fiving anyone.

Comment by Martin

Okay. Perhaps an extremely newly-born baby would not be a good representation, what with all the…unpleasantness. But why not a cartoony sort of tiny baby instead of a cartoony not-so-tiny baby? Old dude isn’t depicted as being on life support, or drooling, despite his impending doom.

I am not convinced that newborns cannot high five. Sure, the other participant in the high five would have to do most of the work, but that would just render it more adorable. Actually, a baby and an old-man in freeze frame as the credits roll after a victorious high-five might well be one of the cutest things I can think of, particularly so if an ugly puppy is involved somehow.

Comment by Amy

..I have never heard of the new year being called a baby. Ever. You have brought me new and confusing news!

Comment by Megan

Megan, I like to think of myself as a guardian of tradition. A tradition communicator, if you will. You’re welcome.

Comment by Amy

It’s actually quite sad if you think of the year as a one year old with a horrible aging disease… Maybe being forced to perform in some sort of sideshow, till it’s tossed away and replaced with the next poor deformed kid.

Comment by aarondoyle

There’s a Pixar film in that. A horrible, horrible Pixar film.

Comment by Amy

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