Earlier today, I was talking to a friend of mine on Google Talk. We were rambling about various things like the Nexus One ($500?! Is it gonna wipe after me? Or something entirely different?), the state of our jobs (it’s still a source of contention and comedy for me, in that order) and the state of other electronic devices…specifically cell phones and HDTVs. Allow me to expound: I’ve been a member of BlackBerry Nation for about three years now; I went from the Pearl to the Curve to the Curve 8900 to the Bold 9700 – all with T-Mobile. I have my complaints about them, but that can wait. As I mentioned up above, the Google Nexus One powered by Android (the *cha-ching* sound you just heard was more money going into George Lucas’ pockets) costs $500. I may be a cell phone nut, but not for $500.
The next topic was HDTVs, and this leads me into the crux of this rant. She had mentioned to me a few months ago that she was looking for an HDTV to go in her living room. I figured enough time had passed, so I asked about it. She said she would wait until Memorial Day, and that’s when the “angry” button got pushed. I normally don’t have a problem with Holiday Sales in and of themselves; the economy is rough, but I understand. However, there are three holidays that should never – NEVER – have a sale linked to it. The sheer fact that these holidays do have sales devoted to it is an insult to the days they “represent.”
The first holiday is Memorial Day. For those who don’t quite understand or weren’t really educated on it, Memorial Day is the day that we set aside to mourn those brave soldiers who died serving our country. It initially started off as a memorial to the Union soldiers who were killed in the Civil War, but it got expanded after World War I. Even the time of year is symbolic; Memorial Day is near the country’s reunification after the Civil War. The day is supposed to be a day of remembrance and respect for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. What the day is NOT supposed to be is a day for people to roll out “White Sales” or some other irreverent shit like that. The fact that this solemn day can be turned into something for trollop corporations like Macy’s or Kohl’s to make an extra buck sickens me.
The second holiday is Veterans Day. Hoo boy. For those who don’t have a firm grasp on this one, pay attention. Veterans Day was proclaimed on November 11, 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson as Armistice Day. Armistice Day was the celebration of the end of World War I, and the date is the actual date when the Allies and Germany signed the treaty to end the war. Well, in 1953, a Kansas shoe store owner decided that it should be for all veterans. Alfred King figured that it should be called “All” Veterans Day, and he took the matter to the Emporia Chamber of Commerce. They took a city-wide poll, and – after a 90% approval rating, approved of it, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into law on May 26, 1954. Two days before Armistice Day, Congress amended that act to call it Veterans Day. When this was proposed, most businesses were closed for the day. Now, there is a trend against being closed, and I don’t agree with that. As a veteran, I think it’s nice that we have a day of respect to us for what we did. We don’t get half as much respect as we deserve; don’t take this away from us, too.
The third holiday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I really shouldn’t have to explain this, but I’m going to do it anyway. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is normally celebrated on the third Monday in January, which is around the time of Dr. King’s actual birthday. President Ronald Regan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later. 14 years after that, it was celebrated in all 50 states, due to some states refusing to acknowledge it (Arizona, New Hampshire and South Carolina, I’m looking at you). Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is also the only holiday that is actually considered a day of service. What that means is you shouldn’t sit on your ass and eat bonbons if you have the day off; you should get out in your community and do something. Now, where does the whole “sale” thing come in? Well, HP sent out an E-Mail around this time touting Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Sale. I’m not making this up. If I could actually post the E-Mail properly, you’d see it for yourself. I think I blew a gasket when I saw that E-Mail. Dr. King Day is not something for you to peddle your wares; this is a day of reverence and respect for a great Civil Rights leader.
Just thinking about how pissed off I was when I first saw that is pissing me off even more. Listen, the economy’s bad; I get it. You’re trying to drum up business to your stores; that’s fine. What’s not fine is using three of the most reverent holidays this country has to sell your crap. Cut it out.
Show some respect.