This weekend marks the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in most states even though some call it "Civil Rights Day" (I'm looking at you Arizona and New Hampshire), some add Gen. Robert E. Lee's birthday to the mix (Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Virginia sure know the meaning of irony, huh?) and one even calls it "Human Rights Day" (What the hell are you doing Idaho? Is it because you have no black people that live there?). For me, it is nice time to reflect on the accomplishments of a great American while recognizing and appreciating his courage to remain true to his non-violent principles in the face of a vast and violent opposition. It is, however for many, a day of hassle.
It is one of those federal holidays that a lot companies don't recognize, but the bank, post office and your kids schools are closed. That makes it a day of inconvenience because you can't deposit a check, you can't get your mail and you are scrambling to find child care. This causes animosity toward the day because rather than enjoying or reflecting, you just end up questioning. "Why do we have this damned holiday anyway?"
I just want to say, don't be mad at the holiday it is a great day that should be celebrated by all Americans. Be mad at the crap organization you work for. They are the ones keeping you from enjoying a nice Monday where you can sleep in.
Personally, I am all about a holiday. If a company recognized Nathan Bedford Forest Day I would take it off gladly because, well... a day off. Columbus Day is the other one that people lose it, but I bet if your company recognizes it as a paid holiday you love it! And you know Columbus was a real douchebag! That SOB never set foot on proper American shores, convinced to his dying day that he navigated to India and every year cities hold parades for this cretin.
One thing the MLK holiday is good for is at least one news, sports or weather personality slipping up and saying, "Martin Luther Coon Holiday" which is piss the bed funny because "coon" is so comical. Like Alec Baldwin said, "I haven’t heard coon since Rod Steiger was in In the Heat of the Night.” Who is using that word? Probably some jive "Honky."
Speaking of pissing the bed, I was wondering why not any "White Sales" during MLK weekend? (And no, not as reparations for slavery where black people are allowed to sell White people, I mean actual MLK Day White Sales for towels and bedding.) Is it because of the KKK and the white sheet imagery? I would think that retailers would be able to work around that, right? Also, when is a better time to get new sheets than the beginning of the new year, right? (Or after you piss the bed listening to all the "Martin Luther Coon" references.)
Finally, since I will be at the mall looking for MLK sales why not watch a movie with my boys since they are out of school, right? The Oscar nominations came out yesterday and while I am definitely rooting for "Dick Poop" in the cinematography category, I don't really know what movie to go check out this weekend. I have 2 Oscar nominated choices in mind, but can't seem to decide. The logical choice, of course, is "Selma" since it is about Dr. King and the Voting Rights Marches of 1965, however "American Sniper" is out there and while it is not really my cup of tea, it has gotten so much press that I may want to see what the hype is about.
I have some definite issues with both movies. As it relates to "Selma," all of the speeches are paraphrased because the MLK estate has already licensed the film rights of those speeches to DreamWorks and Warner Bros. for a Steven Spielberg movie and there has been discussion that the movie is historically inaccurate which I am not crazy about. But, it does star David Oyelowo who me and the family were fortunate enough to meet in London. Intact, he introduced us from the stage at the "Red Tails" premiere in London. (More about that in later blogs.)
As for "American Sniper" I want to see what is doing, but after reading about some of Chris Kyle's fabrications and arguable prejudices I am less enthusiastic. However, that this movie has the opportunity to show juxtaposition of being "the man" in combat and war with coming back to normal civilian life is of interest. Another angle I consider is that I am not a big fan of Clint Eastwood since his 2012 RNC Chair Speech to the President, but I do like Bradley Cooper who suggested the President do "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis" to promote the Affordable Care Act. So by that measure... Dammit, they cancel each other out! The big question is I guess, is this movie 2015's answer to 1978's "Coming Home," which I want to see or is it "Team America: World Police The Drama," which I have no interest in?
Wait, hold up! Decision made. "American Sniper" is rated R and "Selma" is PG-13 so by default "Selma" is the winner because I am taking the boys. Besides, you rarely go wrong if you just ask yourself, WWOD? ("What would Oprah do?" She is one of the producers of "Selma" and she has a role in it.) Case closed.
HAPPY MLK DAY WEEKEND!