Deck the Blah, Blah, Blah....

Here’s the blog post designed to get everyone’s dander up. I can’t help it—it’s December, my least favorite month of the year. It’s cold, the sun sets around 4:20, I’m too damn busy, viruses sprout like mistletoe, and I have to endure holiday music blaring from every speaker in the Western hemisphere. Anything but that! Nothing brings out the Grinch in me like December.

The Grinch before he went wrong!
Speaking of the Grinch, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is one of the saddest tales ever known. It makes me want to cry. It’s the tale of how a perfectly good monster lost his faith. The Grinch had a delightful curmudgeonly misanthropic thing going but by the end, he’s become a sniveling, sentimental fool. How sad it that? In my alt.Grinch, he gobbles Cindy Lou Who for breakfast and then pillages Whoville. It’s the only sane way to cope with the Christmas season.

Yep. I have issues—serious issues—with Christmas. First of all, it’s ahistorical. It’s 99:1 that Jesus was not born in December. (April is a better guess. The Bible tends to be circularly constructed, so odds are that Christmas and Easter are calendrically parallel.) Second, Christmas is a capitalist holiday, not a religious one. Actually, it’s become a communist one. Every time you go to Walmart, you are supporting its China, Inc. supply network, and everything you buy that says “Made in China” anywhere on the product, helps prop up the Reds of Beijing. About the only thing that amuses me in December is listening to conservatives defend the capitalist system, by which they mean the Red Chinese system. The same old crowd of phonies who’d pop a vein if they caught someone helping out Fidel Castro by smoking a Cuban cigar thinks that Wall Street and communism are antithetical. Hilarious!

I know that some Christians claim they spend the Yule season contemplating the Virgin birth and the coming of the Savior. Sure you do. When I drive by the mall, all I see being worshiped is the god of materialism. What I see very little of in the US of A is the daily practice of any major religion. My students associate Christianity with intolerance, bigotry, and an attempt to deny choice to individuals. Are they wrong? And, sorry, I don’t believe that Islam is a religion of peace. Hinduism is often an excuse for sexism and appalling levels of classicist privilege. I like the focus of secular Judaism, but its religious varieties are often knee-jerk defenses of whatever the State of Israel is doing, just as Anti-Semites automatically attack Israel and defend Palestinian terrorism. I’d take down Buddhism as well, though my main experience with it is via the catch phrases tossed out by decidedly Western Yoganistas. (Okay, the Buddhist Tamils have some things to answer for.)  My standard line these days is that I’m not anti-faith, I’m anti-organized religion. So add that to the list of why December is a thorn in my side as organized religions across the globe have hijacked it.  Rohatsu (Buddhist) happens in December, as does Hanukkah. Sometimes Diwali (Hindu) and any of a number of Muslim holidays occur in December. (It depends on whether their lunar calendars coincide with the Western Gregorian calendar.) Back in 1965, we invented Kwanzaa, a sort of pan-African religious/family/heritage celebration because there just weren’t enough religious holidays already. And, of course, there is the granddaddy of them all: Retail Day—sorry—Christmas.

I’d be happy to look the other way and merrily celebrate alternatives such as Moosemas and Festivus, but I can’t. Everywhere I turn it’s fa-la-la this and fa-la-la that. Neo-cons complain about the “War on Christmas,” but damned if I’ve noticed any massed troops seeking to overthrow it. Try not to hear Christmas carols this month. (Conveniently scheduling a one-month coma is the coward’s way out and doesn’t count.) Christmas season hurts my ears. Karaoke is the only thing that’s ever been done to music that is worse than Christmas music. “Jingle Bell Rock:” (a) doesn’t, (b) is as camp as a row of tents, and (c) makes me want to commit violence. Can it get any worse? Yes, I fear that it can. Bob Dylan made a holiday album. That alone is scarier than any slasher film you’ll ever see, but this year there’s a new collection of reggae ­and dub-step carols. I think my brain just melted!

Lord, help me make it through December! I am looking forward to the pagan holiday of Yule on December 21. That’s the Solstice for the uniformed. The days will gradually grow longer after Yule—seconds at a time at first, but in New England we’ll take it. Best of all, it means that December is nearly over!—S. A. Tire


Anonymous said...

Answer to Christmas and it's hideous trappings - take a holiday and go where it's not 'celebrated.'

Anonymous said...

Not a bad idea!