Santa and Reindeer by ~TroyJunior on deviantART
Is it too early to start hating the enforced merriment and jollity of "the holiday season"? Usually, I don't start hating the holidays until the middle of November, but I am in a particularly sour mood this year. Maybe it's because we're in a recession and the unemployment rate is so high. Maybe it's because politicians are actively trying to make it more costly to hire new workers. Maybe it's because it's so difficult to keep track of all that "stimulus" that is so increasing our debt. Maybe it's that the current president is behaving disconcertingly like the previous one.
Daylight saving's time didn't help matters, either.
I genuinely hate DST. The daylight is not "saved." There is still the same amount of daylight. What changes is the motherf*cking clocks. Which means for half the year I have to get up an hour "earlier." And we keep DST around through November so that the children can have more daylight time to go begging for Halloween candy.
So the decorations start to go up, and my mood starts to come down. Those horrible, atonal nightmare songs about winter wonderlands (snow is terrible, ice is dangerous, the cold causes frostbite) silent nights (they're actually quite loud with "revelry," and if you're not reveling then what the f*ck is wrong with you, anyway?), and rockin' around the tree (fire hazards, smelly, ugly, wasteful) start to play. Everywhere you go. All I want is to go to the grocery store to buy some milk for crying out loud. I don't want to have to look at images of the fat man in red admonishing me to CELEBRATE THE SEASON, all the while suffering under the aural oppression of Christmas carols, the most annoying subgenre of music ever conceived.
Except, of course, for "Fairytale of New York."
That is a rare bright light in the shimmering morass of crap that constitutes the Christmas songbook. But how often do you hear that in the grocery stores in America? And even that song is smothered by an extra layer of melancholy, over the fate of the divine Kirsty MacColl.
And what is the most popular Christmas-related story of all time? "A Christmas Carol." The only truly awful thing (and it is awful, so awful it's downright hateful) that Charles Dickens ever wrote is the thing for which he's most remembered, and a story which continues to inflict itself upon us every year in the form of endless television and film remakes (including this year-- opening this Friday, in fact). That story is fascism in literary form, as Scrooge is terrorized into accepting conformity to the masses' idea of proper behavior at that dreaded time of year. As Harlan Ellison has put it,
Did you ever notice, the only one in 'A Christmas Carol' with any character is Scrooge? Marley is a whiner who f*&^ed over the world and then hadn't the spine to pay his dues quietly; Belle, Scrooge's ex-girlfriend, deserted him when he needed her most; Bob Cratchit is a gutless toady without enough get-up-and-go to assert himself; and the less said about that little treacle-mouth, Tiny Tim, the better.
One of the greatest writers in the English language is cursed to be primarily remembered for a story that has caused more tooth-decay and diabetes than all the fruitcakes ever made.
That's right-- fruitcake. The traditional Christmas dessert that takes two perfectly acceptable, even delightful food items-- cakes and fruit-- and mixes them together into something that is somehow worse than the sum of its parts. Then there is the traditional Christmas drink, eggnog. Egg, cream, sugar, and milk are all fine ingredients in a food dish, I suppose, but is there a less palatable idea than to mix those items together into a glass and then drink them? Perhaps if you're in training for a boxing match, or participating on a reality show test of who can ingest the most disgusting, viscous "fluid," with the promise of a large monetary award at the end. And the only way to make it palatable is to spike it with rum or brandy, but you have to add so much rum or brandy that you end up getting sh*tfaced halfway through the first glass.
But getting people sh*tfaced is the best way to ensure their compliance with your ridiculous traditions.
Traditions like "kissing under mistletoe." First of all, it's fitting that mistletoe is so closely associated with this poisonous holiday season. This is a parasitic plant that in some forms can cause diarrhea if it's ingested. But you don't have to ingest it to feel its misery. No, because if you're caught standing under it, you will be kissed. It's tradition and you're just a party pooper if you don't play along, by allowing some stranger (or, even worse, an acquaintance) to put her lips anywhere on your person. You do not know where she has been. You do not know how much eggnog she has ingested. You do not know how near to vomiting she is.
And I haven't even gotten to the exchanging of gifts. Seriously, if I want something, I will get it myself. And whoever you are, I do not know you well enough to pick something out that you might like. I'm sorry if you feel obligated to buy me something, but why then should I feel obligated to pretend to like it? And please don't get me a motherf*cking gift card. All you're doing is shifting your (imagined) responsibility back onto me. Now I have to take your gift card and go buy myself something that I think you might want me to get, but that you couldn't think of on your own, and then I have to report back to you what I got, and I have to tell you how much I love it. Gift cards are more like punishment, because the pain of them lasts beyond just the gift exchange.
But it's not "Christmas" anymore. Because, you see, there are people like me who don't want to celebrate Christmas. And because not everyone wants to celebrate Christmas, they are forced to celebrate "the holidays," which includes a host of other things I do not want to celebrate. I do not want to celebrate Hanukkah, or Chanukah, or Kwanzaa either. I don't want to celebrate the winter solstice. The need to be "politically correct" and "inclusive" is a worthless, parodic gesture to those of us who do not want to be forced to deal with any of this bulls hit.
And I do not like Santa Claus. First off, he apparently has an unhealthy interest in the most private activities of children ("he sees you when you're sleeping/he knows when you're awake"). Seriously, this is not a figure we should be welcoming into our homes-- this guy should be on a f*cking sex offender registry. Second, he's a bully who demands children conform to some nebulous idea of what is "good" before he will reward them (shouldn't virtue be its own reward?) for their behavior. But what exactly is "good," anyway? And why is that the richest kids get the best gifts-- are they by their natures more "good" than poor kids?
And why exactly is Santa such a shameless corporate shill? I certainly prefer Coca-Cola to f*cking eggnog, but does Santa need the money? And Coca-Cola-- seriously, do you really want a giant fat man as the face of your product?
Oh how depressed I am! Oh agony! Oh holy night!
Santa Coca Cola pic source.