May Day

May 1, 2014 Proof the magnolia tree is a socialist and pagan.

(just feel like ranting today. nothing to see. move along.)

magnolia

Why did it choose May Day to open its first blossom? Now Pat Robertson has the perfect excuse to describe her as a “rebellious child.” If she were married, he might even tell her husband to beat her into submitting to his authority. Damn, girl.

Oh well, Happy Beltane, Walpurgis and May Day to the pagans.

May 1 is also International Workers’ Day which celebrates the institution of the 8 hour work day, a public holiday celebrated in more than 80 countries though not in the U.S. or Canada. In the U.S., May 1st is “Loyalty Day” — a time for people to ponder the meaning of the you either stand with us or against us ethos of people like the younger George Bush.

The irony of course is that International Workers’ Day commemorates the activism of American workers. In 1886, Chicago was the center of the movement agitating for an eight hour work day. By early May of that year, 80 000 workers were already on strike. On May 4th, there was a smaller but deadly protest that has come to be known as the Haymarket Massacre. International Workers’ Day commemorates the martyrs who died as a result of the events at Haymarket as well as those persecuted and killed by the judicial corruption which followed.

I think probably most people know the story and if not it is readily available.

The World’s Most Despised Monument?

Source: Chicago Historical Society (public domain)
Source: Chicago Historical Society (public domain)

But did you know about the world’s most despised monument? Ok there are a few up for that award but Johannes Gelert’s statue of a Chicago policeman is definitely a strong contender.

It was originally placed at Haymarket Square in 1889 but it was a magnet for discontent. It has been splashed with black paint and even bombed! Twice! There was a time when it even had a full time guard to protect it. All for naught. Never safe, the sculpture endlessly wanders: from the lobby of the Central Police Headquarters to an enclosed courtyard at the Chicago Police Academy then back again to the Chicago Police Headquarters. When will it finally find a home?

I almost feel sorry for it.

Almost. The Chicago PD does have a reputation for brutality so I can see why people dislike this statue. In fact, police misconduct and violence does seem on the rise across the country. In 2013 lethal force was used 309 times. I don’t think there is any country in the global North that can compare.

On the surface, police officers in America just don’t seem to have any restraint. The cases of sheer rudeness are beyond count. I dare you to follow ‘officer kills dog’ on google news. The results ought to shock you. I finally stopped one day because I was just sickened at seeing yet another arthritic pet being killed by a smirking #$%^&*@.

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12 thoughts on “May Day

  1. I have seen the police monument. We also have a museum here in Chicago dedicated to justifying the police response to the 1968 Democratic Convention protesters. But don’t be too harsh on the average Chicago policemen. They are not the problem, and they perform a needed public service. They’re also on the block now to have their pensions cut. The real problem are the political leaders and the billionaires they serve.

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    1. I am certain there are some people who decide to do police work who care about others and are wonderful problem solvers.

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  2. Your socialist pagan is a beauty. Just this one time I’m not going to get started on police brutality or Chicago, or police in Chicago, or Loyalty Day or any of that. It is gorgeous outside – way too pretty to get riled up (though hats off to your energy – that post A-Z nap must have really worked!). I’m going out and looking for butterflies.

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    1. Yeah. Next time I feel like ranting I think I will just drink some coffee first and decide if I really want to go there. heh

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      1. Rant or no rant – always your call. Mostly my blood gets stirred right along with you. Occasionally for some reason I get all Zenny rather than Zinn-y and am reduced to nodding and saying “yes-yes – you are quite right” and letting it stop there. I didn’t mean my comment to read as criticism at all because you address valid issues (and do so intelligently!).

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  3. Perhaps she is sending you a message : ) I prefer to think she is saying everyday is worth celebrating without words or comment your flower simply is! I think she is a zen Buddhist actually : )

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