One of the more curious holidays we celebrate in our country has to be Labor Day. It just hangs in there while other holidays search for identity or are continually fighting controversy.
For example, Columbus Day is nothing like Labor Day.
My god, Columbus Day has evolved into a total train wreck. It started out simply enough. A good looking Italian guy who knows how to manage the seas in a floating casket gets a few bucks from the Spaniards to go find new stuff. Everybody was looking for new stuff to trade back then and, regrettably, that included slaves. Today it’s hard to imagine, but that actually was a business 522 years ago.
After three voyages, this bastard was recognized as a pioneer, a brave heart, a real hero for discovering the Americas until the 500 year anniversary of his “accomplishments.” In 1992, he was ostracized for his behavior. The parades were canceled and the Italians were forced to drink in their basements on Oct. 12 from thereafter. (Government, banks and schools would still get the day off, though.)
Christmas gets more than an honorable mention for twisted holidays.
Those poor parents, Mary and Joesph, were trying like hell to mind their own business and what happens? They give birth to this Jesus kid and to their surprise, he becomes savior of the world.
So just about everybody on the planet celebrates this kid’s birthday for several thousand years until somebody that doesn’t believe in anything says, “I’m offended and don’t believe it’s fair that I should be forced to cooperate.” As a result, every season we have to watch the reactionaries react while the majority just enjoy the Christmas holiday for what it’s worth to us. All the while, government, banks and schools get some time off.
Presidents Day holds its own. It’s hard for anyone to dig up bad stuff on George and Abe and not feel traitorous. Those two did a lot of good things while they were being good. It’s probably fortunate we recognize only two presidents on Presidents Day. When someone starts digging up some dirt on the other 41, I predict a boycott of the holiday (although it will always be recognized on a Monday so government, banks and schools will get some extra time off).
There is controversy that surrounds plenty of other holidays. We all know Easter is a mess. People complain about Martin Luther King Day and Memorial Day. Flag Day, Armistice Day, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Rosh Hashanah and Election Day — all subject to criticism by free speaking, no-need-for-brains people.
Then, every year Labor Day rolls around without a lot of fanfare.
In 1882, one of two people named McGuire proposed the holiday for the union workers of our country. Arguably, this was the most and (maybe the only) redeeming contribution the unions of our nation have contributed since. (Other than that editorial comment, I don’t believe anyone has ever implied a negative word about the Labor Day holiday.)
It marks the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year for the kiddies in kindergarten and college alike. If you’re a traditionalist, then you have a final chance to barbecue and then pack your white pants and summer clothes away and prepare a wardrobe for the winter months ahead. And of course don’t forget the Labor Day sales extravaganzas the retailers of our free economy have invented just for this weekend.
Wherever and whoever you are, may this noncontroversial day bring you and yours a pleasant day off.
Greg Ziccardi can be reached at gzvail@ yahoo.com.