Diary of a Mad County

During a commercial break from The Simpsons (not the all-new episode but one of the continually looping repeats), we're repulsed to hear a slow, tortured rendering of the Beatles tune "Taxman" to hawk income-tax services. Thank Krishna George Harrison ain't around to see this.

MONDAY, Jan. 21 It's Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but 75 percent of America's workplaces aren't celebrating. All 50 states now recognize MLK Day, and post offices, the New York Stock Exchange and most schools are closed. However, only one-quarter of the nation's employers offer it as a paid holiday, according to a survey by the Bureau of National Affairs. (Weekly staffers have the option of taking off today or some other day with pay.) The reasons for not giving Dr. King his props range from the cost to the controversy that surrounded the slain civil-rights leader. Scholars point to King's last days, when he was fighting for social justice and the poor, causes that didn't sit well with corporate America. Hypocritically, some businesses now use racial diversity to market themselves. But not all King supporters are peeved over his holiday's sad fate. "With any holiday, you get a three-day ski weekend. Why does that have a significance with respect to honoring Martin Luther King?" history professor Clayborne Carson, director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project at Stanford University, told the Associated Press. "I'm hoping that we can find ways of celebrating that have more meaning."
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