Monday, October 10, 2011

Columbus Day, Redirected

I spent some time during my lunch this afternoon trying to come up with something to post for Columbus Day, which is without a doubt my least favorite holiday on the US calendar (I even like xmas better). But I didn't have much luck. Everyone who cares already knows that Columbus was no hero and that he doesn't deserve to be honored with a holiday (he instead deserved to be locked up for his crimes).

I realized that my commentary where Columbus Day is concerned probably peaked last year, when Columbus Day and Coming Out Day both fell on the same date, and I encouraged my friends on facebook to "Be gay, not genocidal!" (my favorite followup was from a neighbor: "I thought that I was the only one constantly reminding myself to be gay and not genocidal. One is fabulous and the other is not.").

But back to today's post. As I navigated the labyrinthine warren that is the internet while nibbling on last night's leftovers, I was distracted from my quest by this awesome video of Widespread Panic opening their 25th Anniversary Party earlier this year with Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth," just as they had at their first show in 1986.

And then as I listened, I realized that this is a perfect song to put up here today. For, even now, thousands of people are out in the streets, all over the world, protesting the ongoing oppression that continues to this day, which is still (and ever) motivated by greed and enabled by corruption.

So, instead of honoring a cruel, genocidal terrorist, I'd like to redirect our attention to the great, brave people who are standing up to the powerful, worldwide. One of the many places where this is happening is in New York, where the Occupy Wall Street protests have morphed into a movement that is spreading across the country (including Chattanooga). It's a relief to see that the sleeping giant has finally (re)awakened here in the US. Our leaders and the media would be wise to pay attention. I don't think these people are going to go home quietly.

photo of Occupy Wall Street on the Brooklyn Bridge by Mat McDermott

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