Sunday, November 25, 2018

The holiday season is upon us


     Christmas is a month from today.
     The holiday season.
     Or, if you prefer,
     The Christmas season.
     A month of .... what?
     Stringing lights.
     Against the gathering winter darkness.
     Expressing goodwill toward men.
     And women.
     And, lately, those in between.
     Among some of us, at least.
     Among others, not so much.
     Expressing hostility toward our fellow men.
     And women.
     And those in between.
     And not even knowing it.
     A friend posted one of those memes on Facebook:
     Not just a Facebook friend.
     But a friend friend.
     Someone I know in the living world.
     Or thought I knew anyway
     A good guy, big, effusive
     Someone who, the last time I saw him.
     Expressed sincere gratitude for something I'd written.
     With tears in his eyes.
     What to do?
     Usually I'd just ignore it.
     Life is too short for Facebook spats.
     But someone I knew.
     Or thought I knew.
     So I spoke my mind:
     "C'mon George," I wrote. "Eyes on the big picture."
     "How about, 'It's whatever the fuck you feel like saying'?
     "Isn't that the American way?"
     "I'm surprised at you, dictating to folks what they can say to each other to express their holiday ... whoops, excuse me, CHRISTMAS cheer."
      And moved on.
      Maybe that seems harsh.
      That f-bomb.
      But I think of it as loving.
      As expressing an indomitable hope
      In the perfectibility of my fellow man.
      And woman
      And those in between. 
      Because if these past two years have taught us anything.
      It is not about the jaw-dropping constellation of flaws
      Concentrated in one particular human
      But in how those flaws vibrate sympathetically
      In so many other people.
      How easily they are lead astray from sense.
      From decency
      And our supposed American values
      And the supposed warmth of the holiday...
      Excuse me, Christmas season.
      So that even hello can be 
      Crafted into a weapon.
      The good-hearted holiday greeting
      Recognizing our frequent differences.
      Can be sharpened into a pointed stick
      To shove up somebody's ass.
      Just for the joy of doing so.
      For that little false high of self-superiority
      That all this is about.
      The dominance 
      That some of us need to feel.
      All the year round. 
      Even during the holiday ... .
      Whoops Christmas season
      And all that BS about goodwill
     But so as not to end on that note I will point out
     That though people can be led astray
     They also can be coaxed to return
     To the fold of humanity
     That we all belong to.
     In theory.
     That is what the holiday season is supposedly about.
     Or the Christmas season.
     If you prefer.
     One month out of 12. 
     I don't know about you.
     But I could use one of genuine warmth
     And real fellowship.
     And so speaking solely for myself.
     I prefer to err on the side of 
    And charity.
    And lots of hope
    Hope for the redemption of my fellow men.
    And women.
    And those in between. 



  1. There are times when a properly placed f-bomb is essential to making your point.

  2. That one was a little strange even for you Neil. Always like it and if the Bulgarian nurse yesterday could notice a smile on my face while the dentist removed the silver from my filling to put on a crown. I love you!

  3. Well done. The "pointed stick" reference is very true. You would think after being alive for so many years people would be smart enough to know not everyone celebrates Christmas. Kind of another opportunity to find out who people really are. Great post and well written.

  4. Need to revisit Tom Lehrer's National Brotherhood Week, when everyone can "be nice to people who are inferior to you."

    Although I greatly prefer the sentiment in the last 12 lines of Neil's venture into seasonal poesy.


  5. I hate when people wish me a Merry Xmas. I usually reply "Bah Humbug"
    If they then say Happy Chanukah, I the former Jew & now absolute atheist say "Bah Chumbug"!
    [You need to pronounce it with the "chh" sound.

  6. Facebook has revealed what a lot of people were keeping inside. It's telling, to say the least.

  7. I absolutely agree that declaring that there is a “war on Christmas” is BS.
    That said, “Merry Christmas” is certainly a proper expression, when used during the Christmas season, unless the recipient of the expression is not of the Christian faith and feels offended by it. Which leads to the question of whether “Happy Holidays” should just be our universal greeting throughout the year, during every religious season.


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