I’ve never gotten used to the MLK holiday. Newspapers are famously stingy about granting holidays in the first place, and this one falls in with Columbus, Presidents’ and Groundhog as one you might write about, but never get to enjoy. Schools are famously generous with holidays, so for working parents who must make arrangements for child care so soon after the end-of-year holiday child-care headaches, MLK Day is just more exasperation.
When it was instituted, J.C. wondered how long before we’d see “I have a dream” mattress sales on the long weekend. Haven’t seen that yet, but I did get a few e-mails from my retail favorites promising “three-day holiday sales” that don’t actually mention which holiday. It does coincide nicely with January clearance.
Martin Luther King Jr. couldn’t control when he was born, but it is interesting that he was born in a month that we all agree could use a few more paid days off. February would bump up against the presidents, March/April has spring break/Easter complications, May is Memorial, June is…well, it’s June. July has Independence, August vacation, September Labor and the start of a million new things. October? That would work. November no way, December ditto.
In Columbus, Columbus Day is a holiday, of course. (But not at the newspaper.) At least it was when I was growing up. The subsequent shoving of Chris into the Dead White Male, O.G. division, may have put a stop to that. As a daughter of the city that bears his name, I retain a stubborn affection for the guy. He had an idea, and he didn’t give up: He kept on sailing toward the west and never thought of taking rest. To our great land at last he caaaaaame, and so we sing his famous name.
I like him enough that it didn’t even bother me when I grew up enough to learn that he actually landed in the Bahamas, not our great land. The point is, he crossed the ocean. During hurricane season. I’d buy that man a drink.
But we’re getting off track here, which was? I forget. Let’s go to the bloggage:
Say what you will — “What you will!” — but for an entertaining fight, you really can’t beat the hard left. From a weekend NYT story on board meetings at WBAI, the public radio station:
Mr. Steinberg held the microphone on Wednesday evening, a bemused smile frozen in place. He waited out the hecklers, not a few of whom were his fellow board members, and turned to the next order of business: whether to seat a newly elected member, Lynne F. Stewart. Ms. Stewart is a well-known radical lawyer — or rather was a lawyer until she was convicted of material support for terrorism, disbarred and packed off to a federal prison. Such credentials are like catnip to WBAI voters, who elected her last autumn before she began serving her sentence. Some board members worry that for WBAI, which is forever on the edge of insolvency, not to mention anarchy, an imprisoned member is of little utility.
For Stewart partisans, however, such talk is profoundly counter-revolutionary. So Nia Bediako, a board member, dressed down the chairman, Mitchel Cohen, who opposed seating Ms. Stewart. “You very insensitively, very unprogressively, said perhaps we could meet in prison,” said Ms. Bediako, her voice dipped in an inkwell of disdain. “This from a so-called revolutionary!”
The right likes to talk in code words (family, values, confirmed bachelor), but the left prefers the translated phrases of communist martyrs (running dog, corrupt troika and many iterations of -ist). A hilarious read.
Mariah Carey played down her beauty in “Precious, with the rest of the title an awkward tribute to the ego of the original story’s author.” So, of course, she had to bring the girls all the way out for the Golden Globes. In case anyone forgot they were there, I guess. Maybe she misunderstood the term “golden globes.”
Funny: The director of “Downfall” — i.e., the source of all those Hitler-finds-out-X mashups — reveals what he thinks of ’em. He likey, and includes links to a couple I hadn’t seen before. The latest: Hitler finds out about the Tonight Show disaster.
Monday, Monday. Can’t trust that government offices will be open. Better go find out.