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Monday, January 16, 2006

Martin Luther Texas Ranger Day

Today, in the U.S.A., is Martin Luther King Day.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot dead by a lone nut in the 1960's.

Your chances of getting shot by a lone nut in the 1960's were about equal to your chances of dying in a car accident.

So the fact that that Martin Luther King, Jr. began his rise to prominence during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, is really quite ironic.

But why does Dr. King get a special day to himself, and all of the Great American Presidents of America all have to share a day betwixt them? I ask this not because I care that deeply about justice and fairness and all that, but because I keep hearing other people ask the question. When they ask it, their voices get all huffy, and they start to sound like sixth graders who've just lost a dodgeball game. But I just didn't want to feel left out. I wanted to be part of the group. I'll do anything to be part of the group, you know. Anything. Put a hood on my head and hand me a torch. I'll do anything. Just please, please don't hate me as much as I hate them. Please.

Martin Luther King Day is a nice little koan of a holiday. It's worth ten minutes or so of quiet contemplation. It's worth taking a moment to compare and contrast the day with other American national holidays past and present. For instance:

- Presidents' (originally Lincoln's - Civil War - Birthday and Washington's - War of Independence - Birthday) Day
- Memorial (originally "Decoration" - for War service) Day
- Independence (War of Independence) Day
- Veterans (originally "Armistice" - of World War I) Day
- Thanksgiving (War against the Turkish, as I recall) Day


- Martin Luther King (a man who systematically and thoroughly rejected War and violence in all its forms and, as a result, was shot dead) Day

Yes. It's possible that the observance of Martin Luther King Day might be...well...unpatriotic. Unless, you're celebrating James Earl Ray Day today.

And - get your heads out of the sand, kids - someone somewhere is doing that right now.

On a lighter note, Wikipedia's Featured Article Of The Day today is about...

...the Texas Rangers! And not the baseball team.


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