twas the day before christmas (image borrowed from Fox)
Christmas is here. Parties everywhere. Dinners everywhere. Kids playing everywhere. Television football everywhere. Then there's the other half of the population that's depressed due to something that happened somewhere along the way in their lives. I had a friend from Knoxville, who was depressed at Christmas because when she was a kid her mother and dad got drunk and fought. Another I know had a brother who killed his wife and himself on Christmas Eve. It wrecked his life, not just his Christmases. Then there is the song Carter Stanley sang, The Story of Charlie Lawson, who killed his wife and all his kids but the oldest boy on Christmas. These were men with serious issues. The people who play happy on Christmas think their behavior a normal response to Christmas. Somebody whose entire family died on Christmas does not think happy is normal for such a day.
Like everything else, Christmas is what it is to each individual, no one thing for all. This American thinking that we as a nation ought to be homogenized, in education, in culture, just one culture---white culture---is what the corporate control of our government would do with us, put us into forced homogenization like Stalin and Mao did their people, and rule us under a collective dark cloud. Will that be a happy Christmas? For half the people, yes. Interesting that half the people also choose not to vote. Half the American people are depressed at Christmas and half don't vote. I'm certain the two halves are not composed of the same people. Of course, some would intersect, but probably not most.
We understand why, because half the people are tired of having no one to vote FOR. I only vote because I vote AGAINST. I've never had anyone in my lifetime to vote FOR, but Carter and Clinton, and all others I vote against. I vote against district "representative" Virginia Foxx, whoever is running against her. It's a case of anyone would be better.
I also don't vote with the belief my vote will count. So much fraud is involved in our elections, they've become meaningless. I don't vote because I think my vote matters. I would not vote at all if thinking it mattered were important. I vote as a form of protest, saying: I want democracy. I vote to add my digit to the votes cast as one more vote for democracy. If I vote persistently, it says I dream of some day having democracy in America. It matters to no one, but me. It's my own symbolic gesture to satisfy myself. It has nothing to do with who is running. It has to do with one anti-republican vote. My single digit raised high. The very same gesture back to the republican party that it gives to the working people and now the middle class. I'm a rebel and I'll never ever be any good. I vote to cancel one republican's vote. It's legal. Again, it's not that it matters. Only that it's fun.
In my own childhood I never had any adverse associations with Christmas. It was always a good and festive time. Presents, seeing relatives. In Jr Hi and High School I would come down with the flu first day school was out and recover the day before school started. It was never easy for the young rooster in the chicken house when the big rooster was in. Christmas was big rooster day and little rooster stayed in the background, out of sight of the big rooster as much as possible. If big rooster was inside, little rooster went outside, and the other way around. It was personal safety as much as avoidance. Any time young rooster got some attention, big rooster gave him a look that said, when we're back in the chicken house you better watch out. I call the house with my parents the chicken house because the behavior inside was pure poultry. I mean unconscious all the way back to bird consciousness, like an evolutionary arrested development.
When I grew up and went on my own, I let Christmas go, except as a time to give presents to friends and party. The giving presents is the fun part of Christmas. Much more fun than getting presents. How often does a kid get what he or she wants? I do tend to have a problem with all the get-up with trees and decorations and food and spending too much money. I try not to spend too much money. Always do, but that's ok. It's all in good spirit. It's the spirit of Christmas I like, the spirit of friendliness with friends and family, anyway in my experience. My maternal grandmother made Christmas into a Norman Rockwell time, big family around the table with grandma and grandpa. Since I've lived by myself, I've never had a Christmas tree. For one thing, I've experienced what goes into making a Christmas tree, and I don't want one in my house. An artificial tree would be ok, but not a tree grown in the mountains where the growers poison the ground water with carcinogens, kill all life in the mountain streams, and destroy the soil. I can't partake of that. It's my boycott of one. I don't care if nobody else boycotts it, as long as I do.
Like everything else in our commercial world, Christmas has become absurd. The shopping is absurd with malls and big stores staying open all night. You may be sure they will not be open all night on December 26, the day for returns. Television at Christmas has become absurd. The money some people spend that they don't have is absurd. That Christmas shopping is the bed rock of the Economy is absurd. That Christmas has become meaningless is absurd. Churches pound their members with the reason is the season, or the other way around. Whichever. The marriage of Capitalism and Christendom has made Saturnalia ok, and the holy day of the year means more calories for the fat cats. None of it has to do with anything but money. Like Jesus trumped the pre-Christian festive time, Saturnalia, Mammon trumped Jesus at Christmas. None of it inspires me to any kind of participation, but to visit with friends, give and receive presents, watch football with friends, eat some good food made by friends, wine when out and about, liquor at home. I'm like the George Thoroughgood song, I Drink Alone. It's too much trouble, with drunk driving laws, to drink anyplace but home. I've a feeling that one day during this Saturnalia I may let myself get shit-faced and see what happens. I might pass out in the chair watching a Steven Seagal movie.