Funny Business
A Special Edition of The East Village

Tony Towle

Mini-Jeremiad for the Year 2000

Forgive my non-Y2K compliance, so to speak, but
what's all this worldwide Millennium nonsense: tonteria, 
folie, Dummheit, stoltezza, mishegas -- a sequence of a hundred 
starts with one not zero. Why are we so eager to rush 
things along, a year before it's necessary, to the possibility 
of Apocalypse? to see if it's actually going to happen? 
to find out if God is going to split open the sky and 
yell at us, extra loud? to see if Jesus is going to come 
down from the clouds and make us feel really, really 
bad about ourselves? The Greek monk who was given
the job of figuring out Christ's birthday, so an Anno Domini 
date would have a semblance of accuracy, worked back 
from the hundreds of years of his own existence, and was, 
it is now determined, to have been short by a few, 
so the real Millennium probably came and went sometime
in the '90s and nobody even noticed! And math is what
this whole deal is about anyway: the magic of numbers. After 
awhile, 1 becomes 2. That's the way it goes. And the real
bottom line is that it's a good deal -- a bargain: we get a 
whole century for a mere 99 years, an entire millennium 
for nine ninety-nine;  we get two fins de siecle and two fins 
de millennaire instead of one, a two-fer, something for nothing, 
something thrown in, an extra party -- since we know we 
will get to do it all over again next year, the real first year 
of the 21st Century -- except that, a year from today, we can remark: How adolescent 
and impatient we all were a year ago, how so very 20th century we acted back then. 
"Look," someone shouts, "the sky's splitting open! Now this is a Millennium!"