Yesterday was Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday (observed). I was summoned to work, as were the rest of the UN staff, because it is not considered a UN holiday. This is not a campaign to get the day off so I can sleep late. I just wanted to point out, in case you didn't hear me before, that the UN's problems are so deep-seated, they even extend to the schedule of holidays around these parts.
First of all, MLK, one of history's foremost leaders in promoting civil and human rights, is not honored. Not only did we not get the holiday, there were no activities, no presentations, no vigils, no nothing to commemorate the day, even though the UN consistently preaches civil and human rights. Needless to say (although I'm saying it now), these cannot be promoted in such a half-assed way. Let me give you an even more aggravating example of the UN's fault in this particular area: in my old office, the Director will not speak to the human rights advisor, because the advisor had the nerve to make some suggestions, and then, um, emphasize them, because the Director seemed a bit reluctant to implement the suggestions, or so I heard. Rather than take human rights into consideration, since one of the resolutions that mandates that office is a human rights resolution, the Director got his knickers in a bunch because the advisor had not shown enough respect. That's the other thing about the UN that may one day help to bring it down: the "professional" category staff (aka, those with a masters in bullshit) are so busy making sure they have windows in their offices, slaves to arrange their desks for them and that they never have to get their hands dirty, they almost forget that they actually have a job to do. Mo' money, mo' complaining. Cry me a river. As for the "support staff", we are relegated to dark cubicles where we do not have access to the fundamental human rights of quasi-fresh air and daylight. I know this is an omnipresent situation, and I keep trying to get the General Assembly to pass a resolution on that, but they just won't listen.
Back to the holiday issue....We are having a President's day this year. In past years, the Sundance channel has shown anti-Bush documentaries, which is a great way to commemorate the day. You know, showing what a president ought NOT to do. Despite this, why in hell do we celebrate a couple of dead American presidents and not MLK? Because whatever the US mission wants, it has to get, and they're not big on human rights and MLK either.
Eid is meant to mark the beginning and end of Ramadan. I can respect this, as they are days of religious significance, and I will welcome the day off so I can go to the DMV and wait all day to have my ID renewed (and a new photo taken, thank the Lord). In terms of religious holidays, why is it that we only have Catholic and Muslim holidays off? What about the Jewish high holidays? In the interest of equality among races, religions and creeds, another principle the UN injects into everything it does, or says it will do, we should at least rotate religions yearly. But no. Every year, we can count on the Eid's and Good Friday, or at least one Eid and a President's Day.
But there is one day out of the year I am so glad the UN does not consider a holiday: Columbus Day. And if you haven't read far back enough in my posts to know why I hate that day, I'd be more than happy to repeat myself. Why should I observe a holiday which falls around the time some Italian guy turned his back on his country and went to work for Spain made a right at the Canary Islands instead of a left and "discovered" an already populated island, thereby kicking off decades of mass murder and conquest? Like I always say, the conquest was the decimation of a culture by a group of heathens done for no other reason than that culture far surpassed their own. Oh, but they gave us the Spanish language, people say. How big of them. I would be just as happy speaking Nahuatl or Tzutujil Maya.