Saturday, April 28, 2012

Celebrating, observing, and drinking

One week from today, two worlds will collide. The first Saturday in May is The Kentucky Derby, and it will fall on Cinco De Mayo.

On second thought, I don't think the two worlds will collide, they will be too busy drinking. Thanks to American beer and liquor companies, both events have been converted into drinking parties. Just as most of the younger crowd at Churchill Downs will have no idea about the horses running in the derby, most people "celebrating" Cinco De Mayo will have no idea what they are celebrating. Who won the race? Who cares, give me another mint julep with a Bud Light chaser. What Mexican military victory are we celebrating? No kidding, we beat the French? Get me another shot of tequila and a cerveza.

I swear, in ten years, the government will be so broke it will sell Anheuser-Busch the rights to the next war. "This drone strike brought to you by new Bud Light Lime" I have no ground to stand on here, I was as bad as anyone. In the past I have celebrated Tuesday by drinking with my friends because, well, it was Tuesday.

I'm not sure it has always been this way, but I suspect this phenomenon of turning a day of somber reflection into a drunken festival is a more recent trend. Memorial Day will soon be upon us and many young people, and not so young people, will head to the hills, the lake or their backyards to "celebrate" a three day weekend by getting hammered. Good job America, way to go.

 In 1968 the federal government moved four holidays from their traditional dates to a specific Monday to create three day weekends. Memorial day used to be May 30th, but now it's the last Monday in May. I believe the Veterans of Foreign Wars had it right when they said, "Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed a lot to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day."

Look, I guess I am casting stones here, and feel free to cast right back at me, but don't you think we should try to phase out the booze from our celebrations? I still enjoy an occasional cold Dos Equis with my dinner at Vince's, but when we starting "celebrating" at 9:00AM and are in the bag by 3:00PM, we as a nation, and as a culture, have a problem my friend.

No comments: