As this is written we celebrate Martin Luther King’s Birthday as a Federal holiday. That means federal employees (other than those in the military) have the day off with pay. Now, because I’ve invoked the name of the patron saint of progressive politicians seeking to secure specific voter blocs, I stand ready to be clobbered for what comes next.
Why are we celebrating this?
Why do people celebrate the lives (and allegedly, reflectively mourn the deaths) of any and all personal heroes while assuring they get the benefits without really attending to the memorial aspects of the day? I mean; just because you spend thirty minutes at a MLK (or President’s Day or Labor Day or any of the other dozen or so holidays) ceremony why should you be allowed to get paid to do nothing? The Federal government is effectively shut-down by the loss of (for no good reason) millions of daily man-hours. And we do this by Congressional acclamation. (Is that a clue?)
The most ironic declaration is Labor Day. All labor stops and the sacrifice of miscellaneous animal lifeforms, supported by the consumption of millions of gallons of potent potables (alcoholic beverages) become the bacchanalian festival of the masses. Okay – for the people who DON’T want to run to a dictionary: we all get stuffed with hot-dogs, burgers, beer and booze and forget the solemnity of the holiday du jour.
Holiday comes from the words: HOLY and DAY. These were days of religiously mandated solemnity to observe some form of sacrifice made by some ancient guy or gal who was snuffed by a barbarian or such nastiness. Maybe they performed some miracles or something. Whatever.
The time was meant to be an earnest recognition of the sacrifice of the dead guy/gal and a time to make offerings to God to keep their credit lines as well as those of the good people offering the sacrifices. Today we sacrifice the flesh of the heated dog in lieu of Isaac’s effort to please his god by Isaac killing his son. Instead of praising a deity for delivery to a land of milk and honey we offer a mountain of dead soldiers (booze bottles) and beer can caskets filled with the belchy odor of stale brew.
Instead of sitting in solitude and reading, then contemplating and reflecting on the word of our personal deity, we watch TV sports, Cable TV game shows and pass gas in recognition of the feast we’ve enjoyed. I think God must be shaking his head at times wondering if he really wants to return on the eighth day. If he does I fear it won’t be for “beer n’ brats”.
So; for you people thinking I’m being a jerk because I asked about Martin Luther King Day, please rest assured I hold equivalent disdain for the manner we “celebrate” all of our national holidays. We waste our time while we’re on the job (American productivity is suffering the same malaise as the economy. Funny how that works out isn’t it? It’s seems like they’re almost connected doesn’t it?) then jump at the chance to spend more time away from work so we can medicate our depressing inertia.
Nobody ever lost an election because they supported a new national holiday. We already know Congress can mismanage their time better than any other body in the universe. If the Big Bang was controlled by Congress we’d still be waiting for the fuze to burn down because they postponed the bang in favor of a congressional recess. They grandiosely promote the size of the coming explosion but always put it off as long as they can; then it’s like a muted popcorn putz in a full bathtub. You don’t get much bang for the buck.
So in an effort to understand better what we’re doing I ask again: why do we do this? I don’t believe we need: Inauguration Day, Presidents’ Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day (I am one so cool it! We already have Memorial Day) and any other specific State Holidays designed to capture and assuage undisclosed, undiscovered voter prejudices either.
This country has enough problems without legalizing sloth, gluttony and laziness.
Thanks for listening.