This will definitely be my most blog-influenced post yet. Most of my posts so far have been more journal-y, or more reflective. However, this one, just based on how I wrote the title alone, already feels like some sort of click-bate. I hope it worked, because I have had this idea written down in my notebook since our lessons on calendars. The note said that I would revisit one of my own modern calendars as if I were discovering it 2000 years in the future. For this experiment, I knew I only wanted to look at one calendar: my magnetic New York Mets calendar that my dad and I get every year in the mail through some kind of Mets mailing list we’re on. Another way to receive this calendar is by attending any one of the first three games at their home ballpark in a given year. This calendar has very limited purpose as far as calendars go, and if you’re a baseball fan, or at least have a general awareness for professional sports, it is pretty easy to read as it is mostly written in short hand. But, if we were to take this 2000 years in the future, let’s see if we can begin to break down the meaning of this calendar from the perspective of future historians.
In any other kind of hypothetical experiments I do, I always like to first lay down some rules. Rules are especially important here because they are the basis for our deduction later on, as well as place us all on equal playing fields in what will become a more solidified (yet hypothetical) future. In this, the year 4029, we will
- still be on Earth.
- Generalizations and common knowledge will remain the same, for the sake of getting too deeply invested in the story of the future.
- assume the calendar has evolved.
- assume Major League Baseball, and other sports like it, no longer exist in the organized sense.
- all existing records of our history continue to exist, and continued to be recorded throughout the 2000 years.
So, let’s begin. A class at Fordham University 4019 is shown this:
Immediately the most eye-catching aspect of this calendar is the car on the front. In my personal studies of design, given that the car and the “Mets” logo are the two largest items on the front of the page, I would venture to assume that they are tied to one another– or that this car brand is “Mets 2019”. One of the reasons this calendar first popped into my head was because of our mentioning of businesses giving out calendars as promotion. This calendar is clearly meant to be Mets promotion. However, the brand of the New York Mets is so strong and reliable, that other brands wish to associate themselves along side it. So, here we have a calendar that seeks to deliver us a constant presence of two brands: The Mets, a brand people mostly choose to have around them (choose to allow to dominate their calendars), and Hyundai, a brand that has to try a little harder to stay at the forefront of the people’s minds, but would like to be recognized by the same people who associate themselves with the Mets.
All that aside, as someone from 4019, I will begin to start ignoring the Mets 2019, the large car, the word Hyundai paired with the matching symbol from the car, and the other year in the corner: the 2020 Palisade. The listing of two different years would be confusing when attempting to decode this calendar, and a historian could come into some trouble deciding which year this was meant to display.
Next, we should begin diving in to the content in the calendar. There is no denying that this calendar seems to be denoting some sort of ritualistic activity. Nearly every day has some type of writing on it. Most of the days without writing are Mondays, however there does not seem to be much of a pattern aside from that these rituals have many different names and occur 3-4 days in a row at a time. The calendar is marking off events such with either a symbol, or three letters.
A good historian would notice pretty early on that their is a key in the bottom right hand corner. The grey boxes denote “away” and the blue boxes denote “home”. Near by, the “mets.com/tickets” marker could begin to point to the fact that this calendar was reporting on when and where the mets would be. The calendar does not offer ways of getting tickets, just the reminder of when games will be and when your opportunities are. Notice how the home games are much more desirable in their design, where as away games are much more informational. This calendar is designed to make you want to align your own personal calendar with that of the Mets. The grey boxes, times when the Mets are away, are almost as bleak as the white boxes. These are the dates and times where the Mets are inviting you to assume that you are free. The blue boxes are almost marking your calendar for you, telling you that you have obligations on this day, and that those obligations involve the Mets and whatever opponent they might have on that given day.
A lot is assumed by this calendar. This calendar assumes that you know the symbol for all of the opposing teams. As far as the away games, 3-letter notations for each city and club are pretty common and could be decoded, but for someone who is unfamiliar with the professional sports, the symbols could be mostly challenging to decode.
You might think these are fairly useless calendars that hold too narrow of a purchase, but I will tell you that every year a version of this calendar goes up on my fridge, and I would reference it most days. It is not the most practical calendar, and historians could probably not figure out much from it, but for baseball fans looking for a quick look at both a short-term and a long-term Mets schedule, nothing it better.