Monday, September 06, 2010

An Extra Day Off

I'm currently enjoying corned beef hash with eggs cooked atop it, so "enlivened" by little hot peppers from next door that I'm eating mine on toast. And I slept in!

Still, it seems a funny way to celebrate workin' for a living. Would it not make more sense to go in early and skip lunch, too?

Labor Day in the U.S. has come more to mean another excuse for holiday sales; most folks couldn't tell you why it's in September -- and even fewer would know Labor Day for most other nations is the first of May and of that number, well, they probably would know the event that workers -- and shirkers, who sometimes outnumber them -- are commemorating happened here.

Interestingly, the bomb-throwing person (possibly assisted by others) who initiated force at that event was one of the workers (unless he was a Pinkerton man or provocateur); withal, one of the more prominent speakers (and one of the men later hanged for a death caused by the bomb) didn't want anyone shot or bombed;* when fliers were printed up for the Haymarket rally/riot, "...the first batch of fliers contain[ed] the words Workingmen Arm Yourselves and Appear in Full Force! When [August] Spies saw the line, he said he would not speak at the rally unless the words were removed from the flier. All but a few hundred of the fliers were destroyed, and new fliers were printed without the offending words."[from here]

History: it's a lot more complicated than they ever told ya. (For instance: "During the late 20th century, scholars doing research into the Haymarket affair were surprised to learn that much of the primary source documentation relating to the incident [beside materials concerning the trial] was not in Chicago, but had been transferred to then-communist East Berlin." --from Wikipedia, previously linked). All we see are shadows on the wall. And it only takes one idiot with a lit fuse to start the avalanche that makes it a lot more complicated and bloody.
* Or did he? The linked bio cites a different and highly inflammatory pamphlet he wrote and published the very day of the Haymarket Riot, exhorting, "If you are men, if you are the sons of your grand sires, who have shed their blood to free you, then you will rise in your might, Hercules, and destroy the hideous monster that seeks to destroy you. To arms we call you, to arms." What is Truth? asked Pilate; History answers not.


John B said...

I was just talking about this with my Dad. His focus is the Civil War, and he can speak with intelligence regarding WW2 to the current day, but gets a little fuzzy prior to Pearl Harbor. He was 9 when the Japanese "Awakened the Sleeping Giant." I wished I had paid more attention in those interminable internments called social studies.

perlhaqr said...

If the "Chicago Anarchists" were looking to get a lashback reaction from the state, well, it sure worked. Chicago is nearly synonymous with rampant statism.

Oakenheart said...

Not to break the serious nature of this post, but I just can't seem to see the words "first of may" without thinking of this - CAUTION - NSFW, kids, or people offended by (humerous) vulgarity.

BONUS- verification word = funsish
- I hope you take this post in the fun-sish spirit it was made in ;P

Firehand said...

In one of his books David Drake had a bit about how 'the way history is taught("A did B which caused C") just doesn't give the total mess an airing; you wind up thinking A did B in order to cause C, when in fact A may have been doing something with an entirely different end purpose, B got in the way and C may have been something he didn't give a damn about.' So if you don't go digging into it, you can miss the actual story.

JC said...

Careful with the peppers. An old friend of mine cultivated some of the first habeneros locally. His neighbor asked if she could have a few. Permission being granted, she tucked them into her shirt pocket.
She was later spotted attempting to remove (evidently) her left nipple. Muy ouch.