A Black Man's View of U.S. Holidays

Saturday, 27 December 2008


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Ogres, gargoyles, sorcerers, fairies, gremlins, trolls, elves, goblins, leprechauns, vampires, ghosts, unicorns, centaurs, werewolves, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Frankenstein, the Easter Bunny, the Hamburglar, wicked witches, Martians, the Grinch, the Sand Man and the Grim Reaper. All are bunk creations, but no worse than fortunetellers, radio psychologists, TV Evangelists, numerologists, Tarot card readers, palmists, phrenologists, astrologers and animal psychiatrists.

From the Brothers Grimm to United States Senators who think every other day ought to be a holiday; to these so-called "grown ups" who re-enact Civil War battles (the "adult" version of Dungeons and Dragons), white people are firmly entrenched in their worship of bullshit. This is especially true around the holidays, which in this country is approximately every five weeks or so. These are days that ought to be filled with more leisure time, but in turn, do just the opposite. (More on this in a few.)

Speaking of the Brother's Grimm, I think they were on something. Who the hell writes a story about kids walking into a dark forest, and running across a witch whose home is made of junk food? This story sounds more like a Tommy Chong creation.

Okay, I ran off-course. Back to holidays. The meaning of the word "holiday" is "holy day." What Holy days do we have left? Here's a hint--NONE. Christmas and Easter, supposedly Christian events originated to pay homage to Christ, are merely marketing opportunities for greedy Wall Street and Madison Avenue pimps and tricksters who are hell-bent on sucking everything out of your pockets, including the lint.

One thing you won't find in the ghettoes of America are brothas and sistas caught up in all this holiday hoopla and hogwash. While whites talk up Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and gold-hiding leprechauns, you can bet black folks will never conjure up similar beings. There are no tales of "Pookie, the Magic Kwanzaa Zebra," "The Juneteenth Giraffe," or "the Martin Luther King Day Civil Rights Squirrel."

Now you see why black parents feel uneasy trying to convince their children that some obese, unarmed white guy is going to come through the `hood with a sleigh full of toys and survive. Can you say, "sleigh-jacking"? What's more, No black father is going to put in all that overtime to bury his tree in presents, only to give credit to a man that doesn't exist.

Even more whack is the idea of an Easter Bunny. After all, children are taught that birds lay eggs. Now they're supposed to believe that during one week of the year, among
the millions of bunnies on Earth, there is a chosen one who lays psychedelic eggs then hides them in people's yards? I was taught that Easter is a day that represents the resurrection of Jesus Christ. What does a bunny have to do with that? Was Jesus carrying
his lucky rabbit's foot with him when he rose from the dead?

And let's not forget Groundhog's Day. How this was concocted beyond me, but I'm sure it started out with some large quantities of liquor and/or drugs. Get this: An overweight rat, essentially that's all a groundhog is, pokes his head out of a hole in the ground, sees his shadow and this supposedly determines how long winter will last. You turn on the TV and see hundreds of so-called adults gathered in eager anticipation, as of Springsteen's coming to town. By the way, there's a condition for people who name their fictional friends: dementia.

We also celebrate President's Day, that is the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and how do we do this? By having "White Sales." How ironic since both of these men had a lot to do with "Black Sales." One was a customer at slave auctions. The other sought to have slavery abolished lest the Union be torn apart.
Furthermore, the only linen some folks are interested in is bed sheets. They can be slept on or worn as clothing at those three a.m. "fireside chats" they seem to be so fond of.

New Year's day is merely the beginning of another 365-day cycle of racism and bullshit stories. Another thing, you bring in the year by getting drunk and firing off guns. That ought to give you some idea as to what's in store.

Holidays are nothing more than Madison Avenue run amok. Sales pitches designed to get you to spend your extra day off at the mall buying the overpriced merchandise of big business. Iceberg Slim never had game that strong. Case and point, Valentine's Day, when Cupid's arrow hits the American consumer right in his wallet. Florists, greeting card manufacturer's and chocolate companies guilt trip you into "proving" your love for your sweetheart by purchasing their products. Whatever happened to surprising your mate with a bubble bath and an entire night of no-holds-barred (and cost-free) sex?

April Fools and Columbus Day should be one and the same. Here was a guy searching for India and he missed by half the Earth. This is like leaving from Oakland to San Francisco and winding up in Argentina. Now historians are blaming this maritime misadventure on the navigator, who was supposedly a black man. That's another bullshit tale. How could a brotha in the fifteenth century have enough juice to get a gig like
that? Hell, just thirty-five years ago we had to enact Civil Rights legislation just so brothas could become railroad porters!

Veteran's Day and Memorial Day should be combined and called Dead Folks' Day. No parades, no barbecues; just crying and getting liquored up. In fact, we can kill three birds with one stone and add St. Patrick's Day to the mix.

Following this is the spring-summer quartet of Easter, Mother's day, Father's Day, and now get this: Grandparent's Day. The latter is another phony occasion spawned by corporate greed. Florists hit it big by selling you the same stuff that you can pick free off the side of the road. The only difference is, they gift wrap it and charge you fifty bucks.

Oh, I almost forgot-Grad's Day. You know, the moment your child graduates high school. That use to be a day of celebration for parents, because they knew the kid was moving the hell out. Let me say this: If your son or daughter's graduation gets you that pumped up, you must not have expected much from him. Think about it, on that day there are millions of other kids doing the same thing! What's so big about that?

The problem is, Madison Avenue is turning every event-no matter how small, into a special day; meaning you'll have to either go out and buy cards, food, rings, cars, flowers, candles, liquor, or special clothing for the occasion.

It wouldn't surprise me to see us one day celebrating "Return From Prison Day," when your pedophilic Uncle Herb gets out of San Quentin. Or what about "The End of Virginity Jubilee," which would take place during "Birth Control Week." The florists, dildo makers. cork and inflatable doll manufacturers will reap big booty--no pun intended.

On the other hand, we have the most wonderful holiday of all in November. Thanksgiving.

The premise behind this is rooted in such idealism that it should be celebrated twice a year. It's a marketing executives dream and creates a prime opportunity to bring the family together to break bread. Or as it is at most family gatherings, heads, hearts and spirits. This is a day that is better suited for Halloween decorations because the skeletons will definitely be coming out of the closet; and the distilled spirits will certainly aid in
that. The ghosts of mistakes past will be unearthed, as people are goblin up food. Long hidden rumors and resentments will surface. Festering childhood hurts--real and imagined--will be unshackled...Talk about a haunted house.

Christmas is the ultimate nightmare. Once again Madison Avenue takes a dump on our heads and tries to convince us we got caught in a mudslide. We are hypnotized into overspending on a bunch of crap that will invariably break, wear out, malfunction, get shelved or flat out fail within three days of purchase. More important, it will probably be operated by battery, and require four or more, at a time when battery prices double.

And to hell with Christmas caroling. People who perform this corny act are a bunch of fruity morons who have way too much idle time on their hands. Listening to them sing is like hearing the non-stop baying of wolves while listening to a Slim Whitman album. I already know all the words to these songs, and to be honest, I didn't like them the first time I heard them. They lyrics are lame, outdated, and the music's too damn hard to dance to.

However, my children like them, so one year I bought a CD with every Christmas song ever sang, rapped, hummed, scatted, chanted, whistled, burped, barked or yodeled. I don't need to hear the a capella version, especially right outside my door during the dinner hour. Plus, these piping panhandlers expect to get a donation for their effort, like they're the Temptations.

Furthermore, Christmas was once known as the season of "Good will toward your fellow man." Now if you tell someone "Merry Christmas," you could get sued. Department stores have dehumanized this once heartfelt greeting, to the lifeless "happy holidays." In reality, only business owners are happy about it, because the season is now just one long advertising campaign that begins three seconds after the last trick-or-treater gets home, and it doesn't end until late January--which is marked by an "After Christmas Sale."

I prefer Kwanzaa to Christmas. No radio or television ads, no sales, no Macy's or Gottschalk's flyers arriving in the mail every other day. Just cheap, handmade gifts, some candles and a little fruit. This is a good time to get rid of the stuff you no longer use. I once gave my nephew an alarm clock with the minute hand missing and said, "Don't worry son, the cord's still good." Plus, he could have still used it to tell time: He could have turned the thing on its back, bent the hour hand, set it in his bedroom window and used it as a sun dial.

You see, during Kwanzaa, it's the thought that counts.

Sweeping aside all phony sentiment and advertising pitches, I offer the following holiday suggestions:

Limiting our celebrating to five holidays. That's roughly one every ten weeks, more than enough opportunities for parasitic businessmen to suck us dry. It also allows us sufficient time to recover from the guilt if we don't buy anything. The holidays we'll celebrate are: New Year's Day--as it signifies the spirit of rebirth, forgiveness and second chances. The Fourth of July--as it celebrates the birth of our country. The aforementioned Dead Folks' Day--August 1st, because August was the one month that did not have a holiday; Thanksgiving and Christmas. As for the latter, advertising would be limited from December 18th to the 24th ONLY. This might allow us time to acknowledge the religious origins of that holiday.

This means eliminating St. Patrick's Day (which is an Irish holiday, so let the Irish celebrate it in Ireland), Labor Day, Flag Day, Arbor Day, Groundhog's Day, President's Day, Martin Luther King Day, The Super Bowl, Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, Cinco De Mayo, May Day, Halloween (a euphemism for National Panhandler's Day), Valentine's Day, Mother's, Dad's, Grad's and Grandparent's Day. That leaves more than enough gift-giving days--Birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas.

Since Congress loves the three-day holiday weekend, we could make the first Monday of every other month a day of celebration and call it, "three-fer." Abolish all holidays observing the birthdays of dead heroes. The definition of "hero" is arbitrarily bandied about and is usually controversial. Otherwise, Wilt Chamberlain's birthday could
become a national day of sex and shooting hoops. No more George Washington cherry tree stories, or "Honest Abe" fiction fests. If this means giving Martin Luther King the boot, too, so be it. I thought Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael were more deserving of holidays anyway.

And finally, let's completely abolish the fairy tales and myths behind the holidays. No more gift-giving fatboys, reindeer, elves, talking snowmen, arrow-shooting sprites, New Year's babies, egg-laying rabbits, leprechauns, witches, goblins, ghosts, corporate logos, marketing tie-ins, special sales or other forms of corporate deception. Let's keep our holidays and celebrations special by keeping them honest, simple and to a minimum.

If I want to waste my time listening to far-fetched stories and phony images, I'll watch WWF Smackdown, American Idol, or C-Span. At least that won't cost me week's pay

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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