This week, the Heave staff was asked:
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, which famous figure should have their own holiday, and why?
Joan of Arc. Not so much due to the talking to God thing, which they think may have been a delusion brought on by a brain tumor, but because I’m already thinking of Joan of Arc/Kindergarten Cop (“it’s not a tumor!”) holiday cards. Yeah, being inside my head is pretty weird…
I’d like to be “that nerd” and say Chuck Norris, but he has some pretty conservative views that I don’t agree with. America doesn’t need another right-wing, half-educated hero. So what about somebody who isn’t American at all? Alan Turing, without whom you would not be reading this post, is sorely without the recognition he deserves. What about Dennis Richie? He’s responsible for the code languages that spawned Windows, Mac OS and Linux. The man is pretty much responsible for modern computing. Nobody cried when he passed, probably because they were busy wailing over Steve Jobs kicking the bucket. Give the nerds their day, America/Canada/Wherever. They deserve it.
In reality, Cesar Chavez and Harvey Milk Days should be celebrated outside of California; even there, they aren’t exactly celebrated or even remembered. But in my dream world, we celebrate George Takei Day on his birthday, and we all post snarky yet optimistic things on the internet.
Ray Davies. According to Robert Christgau, “Waterloo Sunset” is “the most beautiful song in the English language.” I’d have to agree with him.
For all that Thomas Edison has contributed to this world, we seem to have taken him for granted whenever we flick on a light switch. We should honor him for all of his patents and ideas, but especially for his contribution to film with his studio production house, Black Maria, and patents on motion picture technology at the end of the 19th century. On Thomas Edison’s future holiday, everybody will be able to watch as many movies for free as they’d like to, both in theaters and through Netflix streaming. Box offices will take into account “sales” and include them in ticket numbers (but obviously not grosses) and therefore films still get to pat themselves on the back and say, “People came to see our movie.” Even if those people were out of ideas and it was simply a free option.
Can we just change Talk Like a Pirate Day to Johnny Depp Day, since that guy hasn’t stopped talking like a pirate since 2003? Also, can we have Daniel Day Lewis Day, where we spend the year prior just relentlessly studying another person in the world, and then kill them and take their place?
Frederick Douglass. It’s bad enough that Lincoln didn’t bother to acknowledge that he was kind of important to the whole ending slavery thing, but he should be honored right alongside Lincoln and his contemporaries.