Don’t forget about what really counts

By Bill Schwingel

A sweaty brow, calloused hands, stained brown leather-laced shoes and a shadow of doubt hanging over a man aged by Father Time’s sickle.

This is the least likely image to pop into your mind as the first holiday of the school year is taken advantage of with trips home to hot meals and discussions of unbelievable tasks given to you by torturous teachers.

Perhaps you will celebrate the three day relief with the remaining students on campus by paying tribute to the all-mighty Drinktilyoupukus, worshipping him and his porcelain throne.

Whichever your plans, strenuous work will not be a task you’ll consider conquering.

Well that is exactly what you should be doing! Labor Day is the one day people are allowed to take time off to appreciate the working man or woman.

Nowadays, people probably rarely consider the coal miner chiseling away, not to mention the common company vice president we have come to know so well as our American representative.

Yes, it seems time’s hands have given us a new version of the working man. The coal miner’s pick has become the pen of the businessman.

The short five-mile walk, in shoes worn with holes, to a less than stable mine shaft with slightly deadly fumes has been replaced by a gruelling thirty-mile drive in a brand new BMW to an unpredictable stockmarket and dreary luncheons with prospective clients.

I guess what we’re really celebrating then is fancy cars, the transfer of money and good food.

Sure! This fits right in with the materialism involved in America’s favorite pastime, capitalism, or better known as the “Watch your toes friends and neighbors, I want to make some money” ideology.

So then if we are celebrating the materialism of capitalism, is it safe to say we are actually celebrating capitalism itself?

Let’s see, hmm… capitalism is making money and money is used to buy material things, hence the birth of materialism.

Yes, I think so. Since without money there could be no capitalism and without material things there is no use for money, captialism is the path to materialism.

Are you straight on that? Labor Day has become the celebration of the strive for money.

Have we, the American public, become so interested in power and glory that we have let the mines cave in on the original laborers?

OK, so maybe I’m taking this to a bit of an extreme. Few of us, myself included, consider this weekend anything more than that, a weekend.

This holiday, like many others, has lost its purpose. The deterioration of holidays’ importance has become more and more apparent.

In the not too distant future, I can see Thanksgiving becoming a day off to eat sushi, toasting wine coolers to a recent takeover that ended up destroying some town named Plymouth.

Soon children will know Christmas as the day Santa Claus was born and rename it Clausmas. Easter will become the reincarnation of Santa Claus as a rabbit! Where will it end?

Well it all starts with you, yes you! You don’t need to do a twenty-page research paper to remind yourself of the origin of a holiday.

Pick up a dictionary (I did) and look up any holiday. Christmas is still the day Christ was born, Easter his resurrection and Thanksgiving is still a day of thanks.

Now, what about that Labor Day? Try looking it up! You may learn something, then again maybe you won’t.