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Down With Columbus Day


How is Super Bowl Monday not a holiday and Columbus Day still is? As far as things we do as a nation, observing the Super Bowl might be the most unifying event drawing people from all walks and creeds that occurs each year. Don't get me wrong, Columbus sailing the ocean blue in 1492 was great and all, but it has become just another reason to sell discount furniture.

Even despite the economy being in ruin, they were estimating as much as a 35% INCREASE in consumer spending at the supermarkets across America for yesterday's festivities. How about instead of forking over billions of dollars to the banks so they can pay bonuses to their dbag CEO's, they reward the ballsy excess that is Super Bowl weekend with a day to recover? Barring Father's Day, Americans are granted holidays on the top 8 beer-selling events on the calendar. Fourth of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Father's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas/New Year's, Easter and the Super Bowl are the events that result in the highest amount of beer sales in the year. (Ummm...America...Easter? Really? Chocolate bunnies, hard-boiled eggs and 12-packs? Respect.)

People with limited interest in the game itself tune in for the commercials, which draws big business even closer to an already super-corporate event. Those who aren't concerned necessarily with the outcome still join in the festivities. Kids and parents alike stay up later than an average Sunday night. And let's not even go down the gambling road here. The amount of financial interest in this game extends well beyond our national borders.

And yet Columbus Day remains on all of our calendars doesn't it. If there was a vote on this, it would not be close. Markets should be closed. Schools should be closed. Alarm clocks should be turned off. Do you really think the significance of a man coming ashore 500 years ago and claiming land for his own that was already inhabited by native peoples will be lost if we can't get a half-off sale at Mattress Discounters? Of course not. The Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria will still be great trivia answers on quiz shows for decades to come. Italian cuisine isn't going anywhere. And aren't we trying to shake the imperialist perception the world has of us right now? What better way than to downgrade a holiday based on taking over a country? We'd be telling the world, this is the new America: we like to party, we like to spend our money frivolously, and we need a day off to recover from both.

Let's start out slowly. Corporate America needs to lead the way by incorporating Super Bowl Monday onto its Floating Holiday list with Columbus Day and President's Day. Let the working man decide. If Barack Obama is serious about change, this one is long overdue. Football is officially America's pastime, and Super Bowl Monday is officially America's hangover. Instead of 50% off leather sofas, America would require 50% off Bloody Mary's, as well as 50% less light and noise until at least noonish.