By Jim Lee
Saturday was a holiday of sorts, I suppose. Do kids still do the Maypole thing?
I remember as a child in elementary school (yes, there were schools back then) we were supposed to grab the ends of long ribbons (crepe paper?) and dance around a pole. Now there’s the thrill of a lifetime.
The memories have mostly faded into the deep caverns of times gone by (ain’t that poetic, though?), but one thing remains crystal clear: It didn’t make any sense.
And why did those New England Puritans take it so seriously that they made it a crime almost as heinous as public giggling in Helsinki?
May Day became a real big deal in the Soviet Union. They staged huge parades showing off the latest nuclear weapons they would never use. If they had spent the money on things they could have used, maybe the empire wouldn’t have disintegrated like it did.
In this context, I suppose we can credit May Day with ending the Cold War.
May Day doesn’t seem like such a big thing anymore, and the Cold War isn’t around to blame for everything. We no longer use news footage of May Day parades in Red Square or the Cold War conspiracies, both real and imagined, to bond us together in that good-guy/bad-guy standoff.
But we have to have a “them and us.” So we’re forced to come up with other conspiracies to feel like a unified society.
We have legions of extraterrestrials heading out of Roswell to every corner of the nation. The Illuminati have been around since ancient times conspiring to bring the world under their evil power.
Of course the Trilateral Commission tells all the world leaders what to do. And what about the Bilderberg Group? World Bank and International Monetary Fund? Interpol?
Let’s face it, even children’s TV falls into a conspiracy to poison the minds of our young with evil personages posing as cute characters. It was all conveniently covered up when that purple dinosaur mugged that seven-foot canary — only an informed few know the truth about that.
Maybe not all of us have taken it that far, but conspiracy theory seems more popular than a cocker spaniel at a flea convention. It has even caused talk of evil intentions in the design of the green side of the dollar bill. That design has been around a long time without causing a revolution or governmental collapse. The Seal of the Treasury Department is older than our Constitution.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the pyramid and what many see as the evil eye simply represent an all-seeing deity, spiritual over material values, permanence, and strength. The pyramid is shown unfinished to represent growth. Its base has the Roman numeral for the year of the Declaration of Independence.
The Latin expressions are not evil secret messages. E Pluribus Unum means one from many. Annuit Coeptis means he (God) has favored our undertakings. Novus Ordo Seclorum signifies the new American era by saying new order of the ages.
What’s the point of all this? How about not taking ourselves quite so seriously? Maybe we should have a May Pole just for an excuse to enjoy ourselves while not hurting anyone else. We can celebrate May Day by taking life as it comes for one day and refusing to worry about anything.
Now about that Munchkin conspiracy in Elida …
Jim Lee is news director for KENW-FM radio. He also is an English instructor. He can be contacted at 359-2204. His e-mail: