Holiday Or Gollyday? Deep Thoughts On Martin Luther King, Jr Day

MLKOne of the perks of being a writer, Modern Philosophers, is that you can make up words anytime you want just to fit your needs.

You might think I’m joking, but I do it all the time, and when people question me on it, I explain that I’m a writer, so it’s allowed.  This is why I never lose at Scrabble!

Today’s word is “Gollyday“, as in “Golly, I wish today was a holiday for me like it is for so many other people in this country”.

It’s Martin Luther King, Jr Day, Modern Philosophers, but you’d hardly know it up here in Maine.  I had to work today, which is my main barometer for judging whether or not a day is a holiday.

There was no mail delivery, it was a school holiday, I’m pretty sure the banks were closed, and several of the offices I deal with at work were shuttered for the holiday, but a majority of Mainers had to report for desk duty if they wanted to get paid.

You probably think I’m whining about today being a gollyday because I just want the day off, and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong (Mondays…blah!).   However, I’ve always thought that the MLK Holiday has gotten shortchanged over time (case in point: I abbreviated it to MLK, which seems be be what many people do).

MLK DayMartin Luther King, Jr was an amazing, inspiring man.  If we’re going to honor him with a Holiday, let’s do it right.  Let’s give everyone the day off.  Let’s make sure people understand why we celebrate this day.  We need to make Martin Luther King, Jr Day a full-fledged, all-American Holiday, and not just some half-assed gollyday.

Aside from writing this blog post to raise awareness of the Holiday, I made sure to listen to U2’s classic “Pride (In The Name Of Love)”, which is an incredibly moving song about the man being honored today.  Did you did anything to commemorate the day?

What do you think, Modern Philosophers?  Has this Holiday turned into a gollyday?  Do you wish the day were celebrated more, or do you think it’s handled at the proper levels right now?  Did you have today off?

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr Day!  Never forget the power of one person with a dream…

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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13 Responses to Holiday Or Gollyday? Deep Thoughts On Martin Luther King, Jr Day

  1. HERE-HERE! (or is it…HEAR-HEAR!—-?) 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

  3. words4jp says:

    What a lovely post. I believe this holiday is as important as the others – Labor, Memorial, Independence. I worked today but I spent much time reading articles about him. And I listened to a song – If I Can Dream by Elvis Presley which was written in tribute to MLK and his ideals. 🙂

  4. ksbeth says:

    i wish that everyone had the day off and a chance to remember him and celebrate it in any way they wish –

  5. jfreelancer1 says:

    Hi Austin,

    I recall King’s march into a prematurely setting sun. For the most part it took place during the formative years of my youth – I still have experience nights of lost sleep (mostly round the holiday in question here) sparked by memories of the rampant hypocrisy of the mostly white nation of the day in its collective relationships to the experiences of black folk; and broadcast news that barged into our home over a new-fangled device called the television, of black folk being whipped, beaten, hosed by powerful water cannons, attacked by police dogs and much worse. I recall several black kids who were my friends when we were kids, who grew up in the neighborhood behind mine in the Deep South (ok, it was Southern Illinois, but it was still the south). They were my friends until one day everything had changed and nothing I could say or do had any value to them – many of them or so it seemed at the time. I understand now that they had greater things to accomplish than to make me feel good. I wasn’t until years later – after military service overseas in the earliest years of the 1970s in places where I understood nothing, followed by many months in college that I was able to put the Black movement into perspective. I wish more people could understand the amazing spiritual legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. left for us to explore, learn about or recall. Dr. King was – or remains – an American Gandhi. I make it a point to mark the holiday, and golly, I wish it was a day everyone could enjoy. Maybe the government should pass a law mandating that everyone take a quiz about King and his legacy – if they pass the test, they get the day off. If not – they get to work overtime without the benefit of any bonus overtime remuneration. The masses should be made to bow a knee in homage to this great American or be punished for not remembering how far our nation has come because of his oratory. For our elected, those who propose changes to laws that ignore the successes achieved by Dr. King, (voter ID cards and the like); spending the day in the stocks in town squares across America is a punishment I could advocate. These days, I sit on my porch in the woods in California, chewing and spitting; sipping Kentucky bourbon, Texas sour mash, North Bay gin, Sonoma brandy and fake Russian vodka and writing memoire that does little more than scratch some nostalgic itch; a longing for any perceived value from my experience that will settle my own dust-in-the-wind acceptance of all that I have known. I had the day off, but then, I’m off most days. That the day is set aside by our nation’s lawmakers is appropriate – how Americans mark the day is up to them. I would find comfort knowing that they actually take the time to understand the man and how his unselfish crusade purchased so much for everyone – not just little black boys and little black girls, little white boys and little white girls.

    John Waters Jr. Calistoga,CA

  6. Greg Mischio says:

    I echo John’s point. Go see the movie Selma today, at the very least.

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