“…I actually like holidays a bit myself.”
Back in the 2004, as we were relishing in the early-mid-aughties, a song came out that had lyrics we found particularly inspiring. “It’s so much better on holiday/ that’s why we only work/ when we need the money.” These American words, written by Franz Ferdinand (oh shit wait they’re from Glasgow, uh, shit shit uh, how about…) AC/DC really sum up the mindset of a nation that founded by a holiday (the 4th of July) and uses holidays to celebrate everything from the brutal subjugation of asshole natives who were acting like they owned the land they had lived on for generations (Columbus Day) to the brutal subjugation of asshole natives who had the audacity to try to tell us how to grow corn (Thanksgiving). You stick the seed in the ground, we’re pretty sure we can take it from here, now give us New York please.
Yeah that’s about right
Of course, the origins of holidays have very little to do with their American purpose. Cinco De Mayo used to be a mild celebration over a battle that the Mexican army won in 1862, but now it’s a way for us to celebrate getting drunk on Tequila while letting American school children worry school officials by wearing in-your-face American flag paraphernalia. In the long run, if it gets us out of work, or school, we don’t really care too much about the origin of holidays. Non-Christians that complain about the fact that they “have” to take a day off of work on Christmas are the grown-up equivalent of the nerdy kid in school who demands that the teacher give the class a pop quiz. No one has ever liked them, because they’re annoying, now take your free day and like it.
So with that in mind, and in honor of today being the Fourth of July, this week AFFotD will present for you a a week devoted to the discussion of the American qualities of each Holiday. We’re here to start with every Federal (ie, public offices are closed by it) holiday, and rank them in terms of their Americanness, from worst to first.
Inauguration Day: January 20th after an Election
Inauguration Day is technically considered a Federal Holiday in the sense that Chaz Bono is technically a woman. That might have been true in the past, but we weren’t paying close enough attention to know for sure.
“Wait a minute, AFFotD, you’re saying that the naming of a new president is the LEAST American thing to celebrate?” you might ask, possibly while wearing a collage of campaign buttons. And yes, we are saying that. Don’t get us wrong, we love presidents. And Inauguration is a really important event for America. But, ask yourself this. How often does it happen? Every four years? So it’s not even happening every year, so it’s not like it’s something we can celebrate all that often. Plus, the only people who get the day off are people who live in Washington D.C or its adjoining states. The rest of us are lucky if our bosses decide to wheel in a TV for us to watch the damn thing for twenty minutes. So clearly the nation doesn’t even view it as an actual Holiday. In fact, if it happens on a Saturday, federal employees in Washington D.C. don’t even get to take the previous Friday off. This is literally a “holiday” that was declared a holiday in a tiny pocket of the world so that traffic isn’t too bad for the president’s damn motorcade. Seriously.
Basically, the Presidential Inauguration is like the Olympics of Federal Holidays. At first it sounds badass (dude! The Olympics) until you realize that it’s full of smelly foreigners and hasn’t been profitable for decades. Get that shit out of our house.
Columbus Day: Second Monday in October
We don’t care about the whole, “Oh but Columbus didn’t actually discover America, and he killed all those Indians and” blah blah blah, shut it. We don’t care about that, we get a day off for it so we’re happy.
But that’s the thing. Schools might get the day off for Columbus Day, but a surprisingly amount of employers play the “I got your Columbus Day right here *grabs self*” card these days. Some states even straight up stopped calling it a holiday. And really, even before people started taking this holiday away, who really went nuts during Columbus Day? If you have a friend throwing a “Columbus Day Party” there is a 50% chance that the party will center around a spirited game of fucking Trivial Pursuit. Columbus Day is such a half baked holiday that if you took a shot to celebrate it, the liquor would turn to water halfway down your esophagus, which science tells us is literally the worst thing that could ever happen to you.
So whatever, Columbus was stupid, and he wasn’t even American. So we could care less about his holiday.
Labor Day: First Monday in September
Labor Day celebrates the worker or Labor Unions or some bullshit, and trying to find a logo for the day that isn’t obnoxiously glitter–filled gif is practically impossible. So basically it’s a day for teamsters that was designed by people who like to use the word “bedazzle.” On one hand, people at least try to celebrate the damn holiday through barbeques, or one last trip out to the beach. But on the other hand, that’s because it’s used to let us know that summer is ending. Which basically just begins the long death march towards a cold winter where not even the whiskey can warm you… but hey, it brings us to our next sort of underwhelming holiday, which is…
New Year’s Day: January 1st, Duh
“Wait, hold up AFFotD,” you say while spitting a sip full of bourbon onto your computer screens. “How is New Years Day so low? Isn’t that a day that’s entirely about drinking? About drinking and staying out late and unrealistic expectations that can never be met for a night that inevitably will leave you disapointed?”
To that we’d say, nope. You’re thinking of New Year’s Eve, which is a holiday in the same way that curling up in a bathtub with a bottle of whiskey and crying away a Thursday night is a holiday. Which it is. We call it Whisky Tears Day. But we digress.
“Drink to forget…drink to forget…”
Yes, New Years day is the actual day that you get off, which is probably the only occasion where the Federal Government tells its citizens, “We know you’re going to be hungover today. It’s alright. You won’t have to come to work, we understand.” And we support that, as well as supporting the fact that, like with Labor Day, we actually get a day off. But no one does shit on New Year’s Day, they just complain that the only places delivering are Chinese places, and we just had orange chicken for lunch two days ago, goddamn it. New Year’s Day is like the Shakespeare in Love of holidays. Sure, it’s decent, and if you do it right you even get to see some titties, but you still don’t understand what all the hubbub is about.
We’ve got plenty of Holidays to talk about, so stay tuned every day this week to find out the American take on more of those holidays you likely celebrate.