Have Yourself an Ambivalent Little Christmas


The Golden Age of Spam

Will the Real Renaissance Please Stand Up?

My Life of Crime

My Life of Crime, Pt. 2: The War of the Dandelions

Black (and Blue) Friday

Going Home

How Not to Celebrate a Holiday

Traffic Report Fall Down
and Go Boom

O, Holy Weekend

You Mean My Vote Actually Means Something?

Side Disorders

Lessons for Hurricane Preparedness as Taught By Example in Raleigh, North Carolina

You Mean My Vote Actually Means Something?, Pt. 2: Are They Gone Yet?

The Last Reality Show

It Builds Character

Sink the Flu

WTF (in C Major)

Intruder Alert

Kneel before Za

I Got Your Breaking News Right Here, Pal

Christmas in July...or April...or maybe even December


Why I Hate "The Little Drummer Boy"

How Not to Celebrate a Holiday

You've heard of lead poisoning, no doubt. Less commonly known, but just as real, is iron poisoning. Is there such thing as irony poisoning? If so, I may have ingested a fatal dose.

I'm on a mailing list with general interest stuff for the Raleigh area. A lot of the posts are calendar entries about upcoming events (I'm about to drop the group for that reason, but that's another story). Most of the stuff is fairly straightforward — special events at museums, performances by various choirs and chamber groups, etc.

But a few days ago a real gem of a post came into my mailbox. I'll include it in a minute, but first, a brief history quiz.

1. Sum up Martin Luther King's message in two words or less.

No, I don't need you to send me your answer; you can grade this one yourself. The point is that many of you probably came up with "no discrimination" as your answer. Even if you didn't, I'm sure you would agree it's a reasonable summation of his message.

Okay, are we ready for the post? Good. Here it is. I am omitting details about the location so that no one can say I helped advertise this idiocy:

MLK Party on Sunday
[Location omitted]
[Address omitted]
January 20, 2008
Downtown Raleigh
10 pm - 2 AM
Ladies Free until 11 PM

I want you to think about that one for a minute. A man dedicates his life to the notion that there should be no discrimination, and someone wants to celebrate this by discriminating against half the population.

Now, I realize that "Ladies Night" is a fairly common practice, and it doesn't exactly compare to some of the things that were done to blacks before (or after, for that matter) various civil rights laws were enacted. But isn't this nonetheless a step backwards, no matter how small? For that matter, do the people behind this realize that "Ladies' Night" promotions are being challenged all over the country by men claiming discrimination, and the courts almost invariably side with the men? Clearly I'm not the only one who thinks this is discriminatory.

There's a part of me that feels I should be offended by this. But in all honesty, I'm too busy being amused by the irony to feel much outrage. And let's face it: at least the place is doing something in honor of the man, even if it is hopelessly misguided. That's more than most places around here (and probably in your city as well) are doing. Ask yourself what is being done in your hometown and how much coverage is going on. Let's just face facts: Most people don't really celebrate it at all. It's one of those "federal non-holidays": days that the government offices close but everyone else works. It's like Washington's birthday without the furniture sales.

So at least this place is doing something to commemorate this man. And it's certainly a novel way to celebrate it. I can't wait to see what else this place has in store for us. In fact, let me make a few suggestions:

LABOR DAY — Bosses Free until 11 PM!

VETERANS DAY — Free parking for anyone with an "I'M ALREADY AGAINST THE NEXT WAR" bumper sticker!

INDEPENDENCE DAY — Newcastle Brown for only $1!

Actually, that last one sounds like a good idea when you consider how much better English beer is than American beer.

I did a Google search for MLK celebrations in the area to see just what was being done. There actually are a few things going on: a couple of miscellaneous celebrations, a wreath laying, a voter's registration drive, and so forth. A skating rink is having a "gospel skate" that day (this strikes me as odd, but it's still better than the Ladies' Night...and besides, what else is a skating rink going to do to celebrate the day?). In fact, there is a website devoted to letting people know about the various celebrations in honor of the man.

In the spirit of equality, the site is specifically designed for Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

This page Copyright ©2008 Scott D. Rhodes. All rights reserved