Deleted Scenes: Wishing You An Unwearied Labor Day

You ever notice how there are no Labor Day cards? Hallmark has cards for Grandparents Day—which I didn’t even know was a thing—and National Boss Day, a whole bunch of other made-up capital-‘d’ Days and of course all the other holidays people have actually heard of, but no Labor Day.

I’m not a big holiday guy to start with. If you need a day off, I think you should be able to take it—I’m all for that—but in general I think most holidays are bunk, and Labor Day is right up there near the top of the heap.

What the hell does a country that’s tricked its populace into thinking that someday they’ll be the boss care about labor? Why don’t you ask a teacher’s union what they think about Labor Day? Or a late-night parking lot meeting of WalMart employees, or Whole Foods employees, not allowed to form a union to better represent their interests for fear of losing their jobs?

They might as well just move the holiday to Sept. 11 and give the day off for Patriot Day instead, for all the people who are saying, “Remember the workers who built our roads and buildings.” Shit, the hyper-privileged whiteboy dickheads who run our lives have made “We Built It” a republican talking point for the 2012 presidential election! They didn’t build a damn thing. At most, all they did was invest.

I also hate how Labor Day becomes a kind of second Memorial Day, like it’s a day when Americans put on our serious face for two seconds and be like, “Hey, how ‘bout those troops, huh?” as we barbecue and drink ourselves into oblivion. Yeah, how ‘bout ‘em. Maybe if Labor Day was specifically dedicated to the workers who make tanks and anti-IED armored vehicles, the holiday would mean more, but probably not. It’s just a joke. A vague, nagging reminder that there once was a whispering counterpoint to the rampaging corporate greed that has raped our land of its natural resources and rendered our government irrelevant. Like most holidays, it means nothing. Labor lost, management won. Happy National Boss Day!

Won’t you get your CEO flowers this National Boss Day?

But you’ve gotta give it to them. They played it pretty smart. I mean, the whole education system, the whole culture of American exceptionalism is based around the idea that the U.S. is great just because it’s the U.S. It’s not like there’s any math to back that up—it just is. So why should the greatest country in the world have to support its workers? Someday all those workers will be bosses? That kid’s gonna work his way up from the mailroom and run this place. Not a chance now if there ever was, and I’m considerably less convinced now that there ever was than I’ve ever been. Social mobility. Work hard, go far. Nice idea. Sounds like a good way to placate a populace.

Whatever. I have no solution that isn’t violent. By the time you read this, Labor Day will be over and done and forgotten until next year when I have to deal with another early deadline for it, and the Democratic National Convention will be well underway with its pseudo-populist message that’s only going to lose votes and waste time. I said last week when it was the RNC that I was going to bury my head in the sand, and I did. It was splendid. I think I’ll give that another shot for Labor Day while I wait for my card to come in the mail.

Prosperous Labor Day, Fellow Employees!

JJ Koczan