V: Donkey

An admiration of the donkey's anti-work ethic.

V: Donkey
A happy coastal donkey. Photo by Ansgar Scheffold / Unsplash

Good morning. Today is quinditi, the 15th of Vendémiaire, Year CCXXXI. Today we celebrate l'âne, our avatar for stubbornness.

Nobody likes to be called a donkey. There's a reason "ass" became a naughty word. But in the U.S. presidential election of Year XXXVII (1828 in the vulgar calendar), Andrew Jackson had his surname turned to "jackass" so often, he decided to own it, adopting the donkey as his party's symbol. Given that he's credited with founding the Democratic coalition, it's stuck ever since. Leaving aside the historical fact that Jackson was, indeed, a jackass, there's still a good amount of Americans who don't mind, in politics at least, being called donkeys.

You can't move a burro that doesn't want to move, and yet, their utility outweighs their trouble, and donkeys are only slightly less popular than horses on farms and ranches everywhere. I like to think this is because we admire their anti-work ethic.

Who doesn't have a silent cheer in their hearts when watching a donkey on a lead put all its weight into not moving, no matter how hard its owner tugs or shoves? That ass is an asshole, but in an admirable way, somehow.

It's like Bartleby the Scrivener.