726 The Holiday Crank
Whose bright idea was this, anyway? This post was put up on Monday, July 5, 2010. It's a holiday. WHAT holiday? Independence Day. Wait a minute. Isn't that supposed to be July fourth? Well, yeah, technically. But it's become yet another of those one-day-fits all celebrations that happens on the nearest Monday. Brilliant. A three day weekend. For... what?
Those among us who dislike holidays or who worked every New Year's eve, New Year's Day, President's Day, Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Good Friday, Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Maslenitsa, Elvis' birthday, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Columbus Day, Pulaski Day, St. Patrick's Day, Valentine's Day and so on, would just as soon forget that Monday holiday thing.
Holidays are great for "normal" people. Family fun, celebrations, picnics, orgies, big meals in Norman Rockwell settings. Drinking, carousing, reviving old grievances. Wonderful stuff. On THIS holiday, the shoot off fireworks, get sunburned, barbecue mystery food, and celebrate the birth of America. Great idea. But why, then, do it on a Monday? And does anyone remember with any accuracy what "independence" really means? Or a lack of it?
We have all these mistaken ideas about what the founders wanted, and all these mistaken ideas about how a country of our original size compares with a country as large as we've become. It's impossible to govern a vast nation like this one the way they governed a country that was 13 colonies with a population smaller than some of today's ZIP codes.
Today, the banks are closed. Municipal offices are closed. Courts are closed. The post office is closed. But not much else. They should give the holiday cultists a day of their own choosing to celebrate whatever it is they celebrate and let the people who want to work work.
--Residents of Pennsylvania are not allowed to buy major league fireworks, but every temporary tent and regular fireworks store sells them, along with the big box stores. You have to prove you're not a resident of the state or they won't take your money. Which is why we have so many tourists from NJ and WV and OH on days like this.
--With a high speed computer, the videos on You Tube pause every ten seconds, and the "video accelerator" software isn't much help. On the cheap, old and crummy little Linux computer with 10% of the power and speed, the videos sail through uninterrupted. Anyone want to sell a "Packard Bell" that runs Windows 3.2?
--The great blues man, The Rev. Gary Davis had a banjo for which he paid about 50 bucks and which is now for sale, asking price: $13,000.00. It wasn't much of a banjo and Gary didn't much like it, nor did he play it much when he was alive. And he paid less than 13 grand for his house in Queens.
(Thanks to John Gibson, author of "To Hell With Conservatism" for the concept behind the reference to the founders of America.)
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®