Bah Humbug, Scrooge, The Ghosts Lied to You!
I truly hate this time of year. All the forced jollity, the commercial bonhomme, the insipidness of the music, and the false once-a-year concern for "Christian" values all combine to make me ill. I am filled with so much bile against my fellow humans, I fear for the health of my liver at Xmas time.
I am what I would describe as a secular Taoist, a observer of the lifestyle of Taoism without any belief in the supernatural aspects thereof. I haven't been a Christian for many years now. I left the faith in my teens after an argument over evolution with the minister of my family's church. Can't say that I've missed it much, nor do I spend much time looking over my shoulder for the iron fist of God out to smite my sinful ass.
But the dominant culture of these United States, being largely derived from a candy-ass bizarro version of Protestant Christianity, insists on inflicting this Xmas stuff on me.
If I have to hear the blasted Little Drummer Boy one more time while out shopping for a book I swear that I'll tear out my own eardrums. And who out there can deny that the playing of the Barking Dogs doing Jingle Bells should be a crime punishable under the Geneva Convention? Or that the wanton infliction of 24/7 Xmas music warrants the mass fire bombing of radio stations all across the country? And please, please, won't someone kill Troy before he can skreech again?
And what's with this insanity of every show on TV being some sort of Xmas special, beginning right after Halloween and continuing on for the next 8 weeks? What happened to Chaunukah, Yule, Solstice, and Kwanzaa? Suddenly everyone in in America is expected to be interested in the artificially fixed date of birth of the 'miraculously' conceived child of the God of some of the Americans. It is a puzzle.
I mean the idea of most of the folks on sitcoms commenting on (Ch)Xmas is obscene to begin with. Raymond, whom everyone DOES NOT love, by the way, is even more obnoxious when he remembers that this is the time of year that he's supposed to be nice and for some reason goes out of character and is. Right. Or the folks on Will and Grace will smirkingly remind us to be happy and Gay. It is to retch. Or the kids on South Park will ask Santa NOT to kill Kenny. All in the spirit of the season.
And how many times do we have to save bloody Bedford Falls, find the missing Rudolph, and listen to Bing Crosby dream of a White (preferably segregated) Christmas? Or, horror of horrors, why must we glimpse, even briefly, the spectacle of Jim Carrey in Grinch drag gnawing on every piece of scenery in sight? It's only a short while until we'll have Survivor: Arctic Ice Cap to suffer through as well, I predict.
We also have the all singing all dancing parade of the International Has-Been Pop-Stars Xmas Specials to live through. I daresay that most of them wouldn't know a good old fashioned Christian ethic if the damned thing bit them on the bum. Kenny G playing the love theme from Handel's Messiah. Andy (I Left My Talent in Sheboygan) Williams tottering across the stage and singing I'll Be Home for Christmas.
Now there's a threat that will keep me up nights.
Don't get me wrong. I do know people for whom Christmas is a source of genuine joy and religious wonder. To them I say good for you. Enjoy the season.
My former Mother-in-Law was one such person. It was great to see the happiness Christmas brought to her life. Her faith had not been buried by the excesses of the American Xmas celebration. Yes she bought gifts for everyone, often going to great lengths to find something special, but to her this was just a part of the observance of a day most holy.
Which makes the overall cultural Xmas even more offensive in my eyes.
Give me a good Yule log, a nice drum circle and a ritual sacrifice or two. Ah, that would be a Solstice gift to remember!
Till then thankfully, we have the antics of the killer Robot Santa on Futurama or there would be no hope at all during this season.
Cool Yule to you all.