Halloween was as joyfully uneventful as usual this year.
Brits probably won’t understand this: but the hype and marketing bullshit surrounding Halloween in Britain is not regarded with so much cynicism here; having fun on Halloween is so deeply ingrained, that people tend to see it as “the fun celebration” of the year; much like Christmas in Britain, but without all of the days off. People genuinely want to have fun and do so, with all of the other crap as an aside.
Christmas here is much like Christmas over there too, but without the days off. Same with Thanksgiving. All of the other stuff about spending shitloads of money you don’t own, to buy presents for people you don’t like, who won’t enjoy what you’ve bought them anyway, is exactly the same. But Halloween is not like that – it’s about enjoying yourself.
Outside of Halloween and the fun stuff, days off work are generally frowned upon. If you get sick, obviously you shouldn’t come into work to spread your germs around; but frankly why should your company, or your country, pay for you to be ill?
Thankfully, most companies have dealt with this by combining all holidays/vacation together with sick-days to form the simple, easy-to-understand, concept of “Personal Time Off”. Rather than getting 26 days per year of holiday and around 6 months of paid sick benefit (like I had in the UK), we now have a convenient 20 days of combined holiday and sick-pay entitlement. It’s so much simpler!
As a result of this, whenever a national holiday occurs here, people lose their minds with joy! AN EXTRA DAY! So different from the tragic Bank Holidays that we all know and love.
But let’s not forget that all of the lovely benefits and paid holidays we take for granted are as a direct result of generations of people fighting; fighting though poverty, pain and suffering. That we have weekends, 8-hour work days, and paid holidays, is something we tend to take for granted. Moving to the US also made me notice other things I had previously taken for granted back in Britain: a spectacular national healthcare system, some serious rights for workers and plentiful paid holidays.
It’s not that working people don’t deserve these things – it’s that we need to remember why we have them and keep fighting the motherfuckers who want to take them away.
Yet again this wasn’t what I intended to say. Arses.