I’ve had this one outlined since Independence Day and have been putting it off like crazy; but with a holiday on Monday, I can’t leave it alone any longer. Thus, I present “Holiday Heckling”—or, “Look at the bullshit we celebrate!”
P.S.: This was going to feature commentary on all the major federal holidays, but as long as I don’t have anything against them, what’s the point?
Columbus Day: You know, we should be really proud of ourselves for the Bahamas. Blue skies, crystal waters, pristine beaches…but wait a second. Who does the Governor-General report to? Our President?
Nope. Try Elizabeth II.
Well, who discovered it?
An Italian guy.
But we funded it, though, right?
There was no “we” back then. Cristoforo Colombo got here on Spanish money, as he convinced Isabel and Fernando that he could find a quicker route to Asia.
And the Bahamas wasn’t even his first trip—it was his second. (Which makes the claim that Columbus discovered the Bahamas and not us only half right.)
That little rhyme about Columbus “sailing the ocean blue in fourteen hundred and ninety-two”? Refers to his landing in Cuba and Hispañola1.
The second trip added four of the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. The third found him visiting Trinidad and part of Venezuela before hopping back to Hispañola and then home. Columbus’s final trip would make any veteran cruiser jealous—five Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispañola, Jamaica, Cuba, Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
That’s right. Four trips in twelve years and not once did he set foot in the future United States. Not that I begrudge anybody their holidays, but why do we celebrate a non-American discovering sixteen countries that aren’t us?
I like the trend toward “Indigenous Peoples Day”. Native Americans have actually made contributions to this country, unlike Columbus!
Flag of the Bahamas
Thanksgiving: My notes say, “celebrating giving fatal diseases to the natives and eventually herding them into designated spaces so we could sprawl across the country like the grabby fatcats we were and are”. Which says a lot…I don’t think I need to elaborate.
I hate the Trail of Tears. I hate that the reservations are cesspools of poverty and addiction.
I hate—though it’s not directly related to Thanksgiving—the fact that we barged into Hawaii, said, “Ooo, this is pretty!” and annexed it.
I hate that so many non-essential companies stay open on Thanksgiving. (I mean retail…I thank that gods for the restaurants that cook for us!) Beyond stealing from Native Americans, we have to steal the holiday where we give thanks for food and family and all the things we’re so lucky to have?
How is it that the Chinese/Taiwanese have the idea down better than we do, closing on Thanksgiving and staying open on Christmas? I realize that I live in a largely Christian area, so this might not go over well with some people and businesses, but still…
Admiral Joseph J. Clark, a Cherokee, and the highest-ranking Native American member of the military.
Christmas: good Goddess…where do I start?
Even if we suppose the Christos was an actual demigod and not just a spiritual being who has never come to Earth; he absolutely, positively was NOT BORN IN DECEMBER!
The bible (if you believe that’s non-fiction) says there were shepherds out with the sheep supervising the lambing.
Now I don’t know when lambing season is in Israel, but here in Michigan, lambing is in February! (One of the band moms I used to be friends with on FB posted photos of lambs being bottle-fed—that’s how I know.)
Christmas was invented to cover the massive Roman party known as Saturnalia. Not sure why the church doesn’t just move Christmas to February, unless they think it will cause confusion with Easter.
Too late for that one, though…I spent my whole childhood believing the Christos magically grew up and died in less than a year. >.<
I’d invite you to an egg nog party on Saturnalia, but I think we’d all regret it! 😉
MLK Day: I appreciate what MLK did for this country—calling attention to racism and trying to get both sides to work together, but why are we only celebrating one civil rights leader? What about Rosa Parks? Dred Scott? Nelson Mandela? John Lewis, who is alive and kicking asses all over Congress? MLK Day isn’t stupid, it should just be more inclusive. Why isn’t there any action toward changing it to something like “Civil Rights Day”?
Maybe we should acknowledge the wonderful CRLs still living? (Like John Lewis, who is pictured here.)
Presidents’ Day: up until November 9, 2016, I was completely cool with Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays being merged into Presidents’ Day. But now that it means we’re honoring every president? Nope. Abso-frickin-lutely NOT. Chump should never be honored. Unless someone invents “Asshole of the Year” or something.
Barack and Joe—America’s best friends ♥
Easter: this holiday is honestly just as bad as Christmas—though instead of hiding the relevant Pagan holiday, it schedules itself based on the Pagan holiday. (And yes, I’m trying valiantly to ignore the fact that my ex-muse is staring at me as I type this. Thank you for noticing.)
So why does Easter shift every year if it’s based on a Pagan holiday? Ostara is only part of the calculation of Easter. Whoever plans the calendars each year (or for several years in advance) places the word “Easter” on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the equinox. (We have the geniuses at the Council of Nicea to blame for this one. I think they were also responsible for removing the concept of reincarnation from Christianity, so double thanks, assholes.)
Not to mention all the questions the trial of the Christos raises, like why the Sanhedrin suddenly decided to violate their rules concerning litigation. Why Pontius Pilatus could be cowed by a simple rabble (when Rome is almighty), then slaughters a thousand Samaritans on a mystical pottery hunt not two years later without batting an eyelash. How it’s awfully convenient that Claudia Procula (whose existence is barely more verifiable than the Christos himself, I might add) had a dream about not executing Yeshua, just like when Calpurnia told Julius Caesar not to go to his meeting. But that’s another pile of arguments.
This was a header for a profile I had…I don’t know why PP makes me think of Viva la Vida…
Independence Day: I know I’m not the only one complaining about this…I’ve seen it elsewhere.
Why in the names of all the gods at once do we call it the “Fourth of July”? Christmas is not also referred to as the “Twenty-Fifth of December”! It’s Independence Day, you morons!
Nothing wrong with celebrating our independence; especially since everyone else does it. (Plus it’s still not as stupid as Bastille Day. Ask me about that sometime!)
No, I just think it’s weird that we celebrate freeing ourselves…from a country that has become our good buddies. (Or “mates”, in their parlance.)
Despite being very English (proven with a DNA test!), I’m actually in love with Ireland—this just fit the theme
Labor Day: eh. I believe this holiday is supposed to celebrate the impact of how unions have changed the course of American history, but it’s been lost on the states that have been forced into Right to Work…not to mention everyone else just celebrates it as the end of summer. (Not sure why you want to celebrate that, either, but not my problem!)
I used to ride go karts on Labor Day before going home
(ETA October 2019: pay networks should run labor movies like Matewan and Pride that day, especially the former.)
1Hispañola [Iss-span-yo-la] is the island that makes up Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Do you like my new fleuron? It means “tiger” in Japanese. I’m going to try giving that a whirl instead of the Goddess symbol, as I usually use.