Monday, October 08, 2007

&%$#@#$% Day, Albuquerque: The Holiday That Dare Not Speak Its Name

The Albuquerque Public Schools calendar calls it "Fall Break". A one-day "Fall Break". Nothing about &%$#@#$%.

In looking through the ABQ Journal this morning I find absolutely no mention of &%$#@#$% Day. I only read the thing online, and I'm still looking, but not even a tidbit about whether the mail gets delivered today or not (it doesn't, right?).

The only online local TV mention (and aren't the local TV station websites, uh, awful?) I could find is a report on protests at the Denver &%$#@#$% Day parade.

Yes, &%$#@#$% Day is about as low on the holiday ladder as you can get. Yes, our not-so-good buddy &%$#@#$% might have been a "a slave trader who touched off centuries of genocide and oppression against native peoples" (as noted in the Denver protest story). And yes, having a federal holiday for a slave trading, native people oppressor who didn't really "discover" "America" any more than I "discovered" the Little America Truck Stop in Wyoming a few years ago is a really dumb idea.

And I'm very open to suggestions on who to honor with this day instead of %$#@#$%. How about "Chief Sealth Day"? Or just calling it "Native Peoples' Day"? I'll let all the more pointedly political sort that out.

I'm good just as long as nobody messes with the idea of GETTING RID of this holiday altogether. The more politically pointed can call it "Fred Thompson Day" as far as I'm concerned, just don't be taking my Albuquerque Public Schools holiday away. Nobody touches my day off, and nobody gets hurt or gets "a bucket filled with fake blood and dismembered baby dolls onto the street".

That Denver protest story is a really fun read. Makes you wish we could have a protest like that in ABQ for %$#@#$% Day, instead of simply a complete news moratorium.

Or a diversionary Balloon Fiesta. Because that's what we've done to %$#@#$% Day here, transformed it into "Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Presented by Wells Fargo (trademark/copyright) Day". I don't know my Balloon Fiesta history, an area of research I am very, very unlikely to ever engage in, and wonder if maybe that wasn't the idea all along.

If so, if launching a bunch of balloons to take Burqueans minds off of %$#@#$% was/is a coordinated effort, I have to take my imaginary hat off to whoever came up with the idea.

P.S.: In a macabre corollary, maybe the occasional Balloon Fiesta power outage, death and drama just helps to distract us from %$#@#$% even more. That's going a bit too far, if you ask me, but I've never really understood Pamplona's "Running of the Bulls", either.


Kelsey Atherton said...

To be fair, there is a Darth Vader balloon crewed by stormtroopers (or so I here, through the wires) that could easily be the deadliest thing in the sky.

As for fuck-all day (how else should the symbols be interpreted?), I think I'm fine keeping the name as long as we get to do this -

frannyzoo said...


Burque Babble is a "family" blog, certainly a dysfunctional one, but a "family" shindig nonetheless. So no, the symbols aren't meant to indicate that. Besides, the number of symbols doesn't match with "*&%^ all", if I count correctly.

As for the linked comix...exactly. Use of *&%^ or no use of *%%^.

NewMexiKen said...

Uhm, no Italian-Americans of your acquaintance I gather? They're kind of keen on Columbus Day (the Italian St. Patrick's Day.)

I always figure the more holidays and more ethnic groups we celebrate, the better. American Indians might quit worrying about Columbus and lobby for a holiday (and all those sales that commemorate a holiday in America) of their own.

Though, Columbus was surely an oppressor and symbol of much that was bad.

frannyzoo said...


As one who has a certain percentage of Irish "blood", the quicker St. Patrick's Day is forgotten, the better imho. Columbus is to Italian as Alcohol is to Irish, I guess. Both have their problems.

On the other hand, as for more holidays and ethnic celebrations, you might have an idea there.

Kelsey Atherton said...

Early morning + angst = non family friendly vocab. My apologies.

The nobler intention was trying to incorporate a joke about the naming of Virginia after Queen Elizabeth's lack of sexual experience, and if that was the criterion for naming places, what would have happened if they named it during the reign of Henry VIII. The joke fits in with colonialism, but doesn't go beyond that, leaving me hanging with this entirely irrelevant explanation. And I guess I'm still not family appropriate. Oops.