Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Holly Daze

If it were up to me I'd cancel Christmas. I know that sounds, well, kind of Grinchy, but let it never be said I suggested EVERYONE ELSE cancel Christmas. I'd just like an opt-out card, please. This time of year sucks. It's dark, it's cold, it's miserable, lots of people are mopey, but there's this societal expectation that we're all supposed to be happy and jolly because, after all, it's the holidays. In fact, try writing a blog post like this and see what happens. (I'm waiting.)

I don't know where this got started. I'd imagine around 2,000 years ago, but in fact it's probably closer to a couple hundred years ago, and I suspect the motivation was not to celebrate somebody's birthday but to sell products. Certainly that seems to be the primary motivation these days. This is probably the worst economic year in the U.S. since 1991, maybe even since 1929, yet we're all still supposed to charge out there and go Christmas shopping. With what? I'm tapped. I'm doing good to get presents for my closest friends and relatives. My colleagues can forget about it. I might make them cookies if they're very lucky. Most likely it'll be cards all around. If I can find some cards. Maybe I'll make some on the laser printer.

Yes, I have a tree up. Well, more like a bush. It's about 3 feet tall and pre-lit. We're all a little that way. I might get some lights out there. Some lights would be cheery. But I, personally, am not cheery. I'm just not, okay? I'll be cheery when the Solstice passes and it starts getting marginally lighter.

You're getting the picture, right? This season is anywhere but jolly for a lot of folks, whether they're bipolar or not. Suicides go way way up before Christmas. (Take Stuart Adamson, for example, who took his own life on December 16. And he had all the money in the world, could have gotten some help, etc etc.) People drop dead in hospitals, especially the days immediately following Christmas, at a prodigious rate. And lots of us plod around the country to visit relatives we may love but don't like very much, fight a lot with them and crawl back home even more mopey than we were when we left. (And out several hundred dollars, not counting the $40 or so bucks for the privilege of hauling a bag along.) Oh, did I mention I was tapped? Dry tapped, even. Skipping the trip this year.

So anyway, if you know somebody who gets mopey around Christmastime, don't try to cheer them up or wish them a happy fucking holiday. Just pat them on the shoulder and say, "Hey, dude. I'm here." That's worth a lot. Heck, that's more of a merry Christmas than most Merry Christmases.

By the way, for Ann and all my Jewish friends, happy Hanukkah. And if you're not happy, that's just fine and dandy. Wait a few months and have a fine Purim.

Also by the way, if you don't think the death penalty is appropriate for teen "sexting" (that is, kids, usually girls, too young to know any better sending cell phone pictures of themselves sans clothing to people they like, usually boys - apparently a common practice, though illegal, that has occasionally resulted in the kind of extreme adult overreaction of prosecutors charging both under-fifteen parties with disseminating child pornography) you might want to read this.

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