It’s Presidents Day in America today, the annual celebration that sees our collective populace vaguely acknowledge the existence of a couple of members of our country’s largely mythical roster of good elected leaders—and the frothing hordes of bad ones that seem ever-more-determined to outnumber and overwhelm them by the decade—in exchange for that most precious of U.S. currencies: A day off from the unceasing grind of work.
As a consequence, we here at The A.V. Club are taking the day off, in the interest of, frankly, not staring directly at the ever-raging political/cultural hellscape that’s engulfing our entire existence for 24 blessed hours. (Thanks, George and Abe!) Don’t fret, though: The site is still ticking along with content, including What’s On Tonight, Podmass, and an interview with the showrunners of Amazon’s new Nazi-fighting series Hunters, just in case you were in the mood to contemplate the exposure and removal of any fascist dickbags today, for some reason, hey, who can say why.
We’ve also got plenty of past presidential material for you to peruse, most of it focused on how well the job has been performed over the years by people who weren’t actually, well, real. We’ve got our Inventory of great fictional female presidents, for instance, or this list of badass Commanders-in-Chief in general. And if you’d like a little more verisimilitude/crapitude in your heads of state, we’ve also got an Inventory of POTUSes comitting various FUBARs and SNAFUs. Meanwhile, if you’re feeling musical, feel free to dig in to this collection of songs about the presidency—even though, as far as we’re concerned, most of them pale in comparison to the scene from Dave where Kevin Kline sings about how he keeps himself so clean.
But if your tastes run to hateful reality, we instead leave you with the following, the only truly educational primer on America’s elected heads of state you really need (despite the fact that it’s now some 26 years out of date, which has honestly begun to seem like more and more of a plus). Allow the Warner Brothers and Sister to remind you that America’s leaders have pretty much always been a bumbling cavalcade of almost uniformly white and privileged men, and hey, it’s gotten us this far, right? Contemplate the foibles of folks like Herbert Hoover or Warren G. Harding—some real unfortunate fucks, to a man—and remind yourself that, when it comes to corruption in the higher echelons of American power, there’s nothing new under the sun. It won’t necessarily make you feel any better, but it might make you feel a different kind of worse.
Happy day off!