We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow the Office will be Closed

by David Benoit

The most magical words one may ever hear/read on a Sunday evening after weathering a family filled weekend that wasn’t long enough. Perhaps Atlanta learned its lesson after last year’s monstrous clusterf*ck. Case in point:

January 28, 2014

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This allows me the wonderful opportunity to dive into the reason for the 40-hour work week. If you don’t know, and you should, it was Henry Ford who first decided that the 24-hour day should be broken into thirds. One eight-hour third will be for work, the second third will be for family and personal time, and the final third will be for sleep. As we know this formula has been bastardized and taken for granted by modern communication and the omnipresent, manufactured capitalistic need for consumption. Consume what, you ask? Every-f*cking-thing.

But I don’t blame Henry Ford. I don’t even blame the self-styled-Gordon-Gecko-Master-of-the-Universe Wall Street wanna be jerk-offs that want to rip every hard working American off for a buck. No. You want to know who I blame? As always, I blame the British. Better yet, I particularly blame the colonial monarch British. If they hadn’t won the French-Indian War, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

Think of it: when the French colonized, they indoctrinated the culture with wine and song and a love for all things French. An appreciation for the arts and for the long days of enriching our personal lives. Why do you think there are so many musicians in New Orleans and West Africa?

When the British colonized they executed blunt force. They take and when you get in their way, they kill. I’m not saying the French are without sin, but at least their former colonies still like them. I’ve lived in East Africa and seen the continued domination of British rule upon a people in which the crown thinks less of. It’s not pretty. Their classism and imperial notions of civility are everything we think we aren’t, but strive to be. The irony is so rich you can put it on a cupcake.

So, what my point? Well, it’s a little convoluted, but I will say this: Mardi Gras is happening next week and the people of Louisiana, a former French colony, have been given the days off for celebration regardless of any inclement weather they may have. Here in the original 13 colonies, it has to snow for us to get the day off to spend time with our families.

And don’t get me started on Columbus Day. If you ask me the Atlanta government is prejudiced against Italian-Americans for not allowing the people of Atlanta to observe the day without work. Regardless of what is now known about the man, we used to get the day off. Now all we get is bupkis and more time not spent with our families.

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Atlanta

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  1. Not to nitpick, but organized labor movements had picked up the eight hour work day cause long before Henry Ford got a hold of it.

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