Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day Meanderings

It's cool, gray, and damp in Streeterville this afternoon, 57 degrees under threatening skies at the Mini. All in all it wasn't a bad day at the Outpost, however. Large numbers of students were gone on a field trip. Another chunk of Latino students were in non-attendance because of a "May Day Immigrants Rights Rally" at Union Park. The only question in my mind is, "When huge numbers of students are not at school, why is it that the clowns you want to go somewhere else are still in attendance and getting on your last nerve?" Drawing and quartering has been outlawed, so what's a guy to do?

It appears that, as special days go, I've hit a hat trick today. (Notice how I slip in that hockey terminology, even though I've never been to a hockey game in my life. Makes me sound more well-rounded. No, not my belly. We know that's well-rounded.) At any rate, It's Friday (TGIF). It's May Day (Bring on the May flowers.). It's (Insert trumpet blast here.) payday. Woo! Hoo! Does life get any better than this? I think not. Well maybe add a little sex to the mix. Then we're talking Eden, okay?

Babs went to the doctor yesterday and found out that she definitely does not have swine flu, or H1N1 virus, or whatever the current designation is. She does have a bronchial infection, but a stint with some antibiotics and that is taken care of. My nose still runs a little (Better go catch it.). Feeling better though. Magnus and I are due to run 10 miles in the morning. Invest in GU ladies and gentlemen.

Been thinking about May Day. The pagans celebrated Springtime and Fertility on May Day. Danced around a Maypole. Did other things as well, in all likelihood. You know those pagans. Can't trust em as far as you can pitch em. For a good party, though, pagans rock. Beat the hell out of Christians, Muslims, and Zoroastrians all put together when it comes to a good May Day party. Rumor has it that the Reverend R.D. was a practicing pagan (Had to keep practicing to get good at it.) before he became the titular (I love that word. Just love to say it. Titular, titular, titular.) head of the Church of There Ain't No God, But There Sure As Hell Is Morality.

But back to the point. At some point, somewhere after the Industrial Revolution I'd surmise, the laborers of the world went and usurped May Day. Forget about celebrating spring and fertility and having a good party and drinking some wine and maybe getting laid. Doggone laborers had to make something serious out of May Day. "This is a day when we celebrate the dignity of labor and plot the death of the bourgeoisie," or something like that. The Soviets knew how to make a bit of a Super Bowl type spectacular out of it, though. Remember the big May Day parades through Moscow's Red Square. Tanks and soldiers and ICBM's. They just don't make May Day parades like that anymore.

Now don't get me wrong. I respect labor as much as the next guy. I was not born rich, just good-looking, and I have performed my share of hard labor at low wages. I've been a union delegate for my school. I voted Socialist in my younger days, before I realized that those dudes were just unelectable and I was throwing my vote away. I miss the party, however. Not the Socialist Party, Nimnal. The May Day party. May Day marches and rallies are just so darned serious. Kind of like when the Christians took away Saturnalia and went with the Christmas holiday. Gifts are cool, but Saturnalia rocked.

In the latest local incarnation of May Day in Chicago, the Latino community has taken it over. They take advantage of every May Day to stage a rally in Union Park and then march over to Daley Plaza, or is it the Thompson Building or the Federal Building. Well it's one of those government buildings, whether it's local, state, or Federal. Anyway, it's become an opportunity to protest immigration policies and deportations. That, friends, is a real issue in the Latino community. Frankly, I think they may have a point. Most Latino immigrants are hard-working people. They take jobs no one else wants, just for the opportunity to have employment (Not often available in the countries they come from). They work. They pay taxes. They strive for the American dream, a big SUV and a house in the suburbs.

Even the illegal ones are paying taxes in some form. Some have fake social security numbers, and that means they are paying social security and income tax. Some are paid in cash, under the table, so to speak, but they still pay sales taxes, gas taxes, etc., etc., etc. If you're illegal you don't get government services at taxpayer expense, despite what the Xenophobes would have you believe. If the government finds out they're here illegally, they get deported. Duh! If you're working and paying taxes, and you're not a burden on society, why shouldn't you be given a green card and allowed to stay? Why can't we deport some of the native born no-goods? Exchange them for some hard-working immigrants. That's a reform I could get behind.

Now if we could just bring back the good May Day parties. Hmmm. Maybe that's what the function of Cinco de Mayo is these days. It's just a few days late. Trouble is they seem to be trying to put the kabash on that too, this year. The Navy Pier Cinco de Mayo celebration, replete with Mariachi bands and all has been canceled. Why? Swine Flu originated in Mexico. It's a plot to take away the good parties and make us all serious, I tell you. Hey, and all of those anti-immigrant sorts, you know who I mean. Now they can point to Mexico and have one more reason to keep the immigrants out. "They're all carriers!" Just one more point, and then I'll go. Speaking of carriers, it's U.S. drug users that keep Mexican Drug Cartels in the business of carrying a really serious pandemic into our country. Now leave the poor busboys and yard maintenance guys and maids and house cleaning ladies alone, and let's all go have a margarita.


  1. For a good party, though, pagans rock. Beat the hell out of Christians, Muslims, and Zoroastrians all put together when it comes to a good May Day party.

    All the good party ideas came from the pagans... that's why they were all stolen by the rest.

    FYI- my verification word is "stedly"... makes me want to say... "No! STEDLY! Stedly Lamar!"

  2. I find it difficult to dismiss any particular group when it comes to party habits, I too have particiapted with the party panjandrums from many sects and if you are there for the fun they each have something to offer. You must remember to keep your head above he water and all wil be ok.


  3. Keeping one's head above water can be treading water, or it can be swimming. I prefer the latter, whatever that means.