February 20, 2012

"Oh, it's Presidents Day. Some people have the day off."

My outburst, on glancing at my Twitter feed this morning. Excuse me for not sufficiently valuing the generic President of the United States, but I remember when we knew exactly which day Abraham Lincoln was born on and that it was a different day from the one George Washington was born on. We had Lincoln's Birthday and Washington's Birthday, and we paid tribute to them separately and individually. I'm not trying to be an insufferable old fogy here doing a back-in-my-day routine, but without a day off, which I don't have, Presidents Day means nothing to me. It seems to me we talk about Presidents — past, present, and future — every damned day. How about a day when we don't think about the government?

Here's a Talking Heads song: "Don't Worry About the Government."
I see the states, across this big nation
I see the laws made in Washington, D.C.
I think of the ones I consider my favorites
I think of the people that are working for me
Here's a Bob Dylan lyric: "I'm on the pavement, thinking about the government."

30 comments:

Michael said...

How can you be so heartless toward the great sacrifices made for our nation by the likes of Hudson McElroy, Jimmy Goose and Niam K. Spuddig?

Peter said...

I greatly dislike combining the two holidays. Then again, the only holidays I care about at all are Groundhog Day and Arbor Day.

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

From all the newspaper adds, it appears that the traditional way to celebrate Presidents Day is to buy a mattress.

Toy

rhhardin said...

Mark Simone said that on Presidents' Day you raise the deficit and lie to everybody.

rhhardin said...

You have one Presidents' Day because MLK Day took a holiday and it costs money to create a new Federal holiday.

That was back when costing money mattered.

Chase said...

What I hate about "Presidents Day" is that men that were the most important to this nation - Washington, Lincoln - SHARE a day when Martin Luther King Jr - a great man, but no Lincoln or Washington - gets his own day?

Keep MLK Day and give us a Lincoln Day AND a Washington Day.

Some people . . . sheesh!

John said...

This is one that bugs me. Where did the term President's Day even come from? In Virginia, it is George Washington Day. On the federal holiday list it's George Washington Birthday.

Apollo said...

Technically, the holiday is still Washington's Birthday. I have no clue how it has come to be popularly known as "Presidents' Day," but that is not the name of the federal holiday.

edutcher said...

A lot of people remember Lincoln's And Washington's Birthdays and remember them fondly, but that means some teaching of American History and how proud we are of these men.

Can't have that.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm not trying to be an insufferable old fogy here doing a back-in-my-day routine, but without a day off, which I don't have, Presidents Day means nothing to me. It seems to me we talk about Presidents — past, present, and future — every damned day. How about a day when we don't think about the government?

In that, you have a lot of company. Maybe if we had a government that actually worked...

rhhardin said...

You have one Presidents' Day because MLK Day took a holiday and it costs money to create a new Federal holiday.

No, there is a limited number of Monday holidays (the whole Monday holiday thing is a lousy idea, but I digress...) and Pres' Day was always one of them.

Teddy Kennedy de-holidayized Veterans' Day to have MLKDay (so he could call anybody who didn't like a holiday for a specific ethnic group raaacissst). Many states objected and make Veterans' Day a holiday on their own.

YSMV.

Peter said...

Tragic start to the holiday weekend: Prince of Monaco savagely beaten in brawl over $500 bottle of Goose!
What is this world coming to??

Fr Martin Fox said...

The unofficial re-branding of "President's Day" makes the holiday absurd. What's the point?

To say thank you for these guys becoming president? No thanks...

To emphasize their contributions? As opposed to...?

Do we now believe Presidents makes a uniquely important contribution to our country? Sounds vaguely like the Roman worship of the Emperor and all the adulation cultivated for the "first citizens" and "protectors" that have come since.

They get their faces on our money--which so many have helped make worthless (how fitting!). They get stuff we paid for named after them; they are gradually turning our nation's capital into a kind of mausoleum; and then (keeping a straight face), they have libraries!

That's all more than enough.

Darrell said...

Taxeaters get the day off.

purplepenquin said...

The Christian Science Monitor has an interesting lil' article which explains that officially this is Washington's Birthday rather than President's Day.

http://tinyurl.com/8a8bcgr

DADvocate said...

but without a day off, which I don't have, Presidents Day means nothing to me.

Same here. Besides, Washington, Lincoln, et al were just a bunch of old white men.

Bender said...

Enough with those damn Catholics trying to impose their theocracy on us!

George Washington was NOT born on February 22. NOT.

He was born on February 11. February 11, 1732 -- THAT is the day first noted in the records as his birthday!

We only think that his birthday was February 22 because those damn Catholics were able to change the calendar throughout the British Empire in 1752, resulting in the loss of 11 days that those damn Papists stole from us.

We should have had the holiday two weeks ago.

JohnJEnright said...

Here in Illinois, Lincoln's birthday remains a state holiday. The renaming of Washington's birthday goes back somehow to the 1968 law that put it on a Monday, but that *didn't* end up officially renaming it. I'm so confused.
http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2004/winter/gw-birthday-1.html

Kirk Parker said...

"Excuse me for not sufficiently valuing the generic President of the United States..."

Well,you voted for Barack "Blank Slate" Obama--so when did you have this change of heart?

Roger J. said...

Its all about a holiday for federal, state and local government workers.

Gary Rosen said...

"I'm not trying to be an insufferable old fogy here doing a back-in-my-day routine, but without a day off, which I don't have"

Useta have two days off, now you got none. Life's a bitch, ain't it?

ricpic said...

That congress conflated the birthdays of Washington and Lincoln into Presidents' Day doesn't tell me that our representatives deliberately contrived to weaken the bonds of the nation to its past and its two supreme models (though they did); it tells me that the political class is simply lacking when it comes to an understanding of what makes a people a people. Heck, they don't even give the subject a thought, they just unconsciously hack away.

Saint Croix said...

slightly off topic, but they are running for President...

Why is Mitt Romney avoiding the Tea Party"? I can't say that's very smart. Maybe 28% of Republicans have disdain for the Tea Party. And the other 62% are members.

And Romney's politics are utterly compatible with the Tea Party, as far as I can tell. He just doesn't want to be seen with us.

I'm used to millionaires talking about eating pork rinds or shooting ducks or going to Nascar races. It's always kind of embarrassing, but at least it's in the democratic spirit. Romney's embarrassing moments are when he talks about the fun in firing people, or making $10,000 bets.

Freeman Hunt said...

My job offers no days off. Ever. But that's fine because it rules.

We went out for donuts, and we're going to read a biography of Washington. Our Presidents' Day observance.

Ann Althouse said...

"What I hate about "Presidents Day" is that men that were the most important to this nation - Washington, Lincoln - SHARE a day when Martin Luther King Jr - a great man, but no Lincoln or Washington - gets his own day?"

The day doesn't belong to the dead. The day is for those who are alive now.

"It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced."

That's why MLK has a day. It's about his unfinished work. It's a specific matter to be reflected on annually.

Chip S. said...

That's why MLK has a day. It's about his unfinished work.

Someday we'll have a black president who's competent. Will MLK day expire then?

DaveW said...

Oh bah president's day? No mail service today I guess.

Michael said...

I love these bogus holidays. I was on the 6:00 a.m. flight to drum up more business, to create an even greater economic divide while the 99% slept in. Ah, the income gap. Ah, the income inequality.

Be aware you doubters. The plane was full. Enjoy your day off.

dreams said...

I don't like the name, Obviously not all presidents are equal.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Pick up up my guitar and lay the message down
About the crazy kind of things that make the world go around
Like the money, the power , the Glory on High
Everybody's living with the big, big lie

C'mon

The Profiteering Corporation's Party Line
Says, "Trust in us people, everything will be fine."
But that's a big lie
Baby, that's a big lie
The disappearing forests should be no cause for alarm
The "Greenhouse Effect" won't do us any harm
It's all a big lie
They're selling us a big lie
It's the age old game of supply and demand
We're eating up the planet just as fast as we can
And it's a big lie
Getting bigger all the time
It's a big lie
Yeah the truth is hard to find
In the big lie
Ooo, Yeah
It's a big, big...big, big...big, big lie
Such a big, big lie

Taxes going up...Like a hot air balloon
The rich keep getting richer while the poor keep getting screwed
In the big lie
Welcome to the big lie
The politics and power out of reach and out of touch
And all their fancy talking...never did account for much
In the big lie
Only in the big, big lie
The deficit grows like Pinocchio's nose
While we gaze in admiration at the Emperor's new clothes
[ From : http://www.elyrics.net/read/r/rik-emmett-lyrics/big-lie-lyrics.html ]
It's a big lie
Getting bigger all the time
It's a big lie
The truth is hard to find
In the big lie
Ooo, Yeah
Big, big...big, big...big, big lie
Huh

Old Time religion on the TV everyday
Selling tickets to heaven in the fundamental way
The media tells it like it is...without a doubt
But for a rating point or two
They'll sell you short, then sell you out
Broadway to Hollywood it's on with the show
But it's the burned out myth of sex and drugs and Rock 'n' Roll
The cheque is in the mail and God is on our side
Don't worry...be happy
LIVE THE BIG LIE
Yeah yeah yeah...wooohooo

No matter how you slice it, it's always the same
The big lie seems to be the name of the game
And you can play it if you want to but you get what you deserve
I guess it just depends upon which master you serve
Does my song ring true, well you get to decide
Or is it just another chapter
In the big, big...big, big...big, big...big, big...big, big...big, big...
Ah come on help me out here
(Crowd Voices)
big, big...big, big...big
big, big...big, big...big
(Rik alone)
Big, big lie

- Rik Emmett

gpm said...

Darn it.

I was all set to be the you don't know your Julian from your Gregorian calendar guy, but Bender beat me to it.

Though, being the lapsed Catholic that I am, I wouldn't have adapted quite the same anti-papist take . . .

--gpm

Paul said...

Day off?

I hear Michelle Obama is now skiing at some fancy resort.. right after THREE WEEKS in Hawaii!

They have been on SIXTEEN vacations in THREE years. Hell, I havn't been on SIXTEEN vacations in my LIFE (and I'm older than Obama!)

President's day my foot. It's Putz day.