Sunday, December 7, 2008

New Year's Resolution (and the Rant to End 2008...Possibly)

My New Year's Resolution is to get back on track with this blog!

Until then, I wish you the happiest of Happy Holidays, whichever holy days (or mundane party days) are applicable to you. Like some people, some days get to be holier than thou days. I'm pretty sure the regular days think the holier-than-thou days are mostly douchebags of days, with few exceptions. Moving on...

By virtue of birth and culture, I'm a "Merry Christmas" guy by default. However, I am also open to the greeting "Io, Saturnalia!" between the 17th and 23rd, and a Brumalia party on the 25th, in addition to the usual Christmas festivities. Or I will accept whatever vibes you can send my way, as long as they're positive ones, and I'll try to do the same.

If anything, please avoid any debate on "The War Against Christmas" if at all possible. The concern of consumerism trumping the "meaning" of the holiday season is generally moot because of the sluggish economy (although everything is on sale now!). A society built on liberty demands we celebrate our private holidays however our conscience dictates - as long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of others. Who cares if your Walmart greeter says "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas"? The hypothetical "free market" rewards those who are more inclusive of consumers than those who exclude people with money to spend. Walmart (or any other retailer) is not supposed to be a religious missionary; it could if their Board of Directors declared it so, but again, basic market principles and the drive to profit are at work.

Also remember (or learn) that in the abbreviation Xmas, the letter X is derived from the Greek letter chi (X), which is the first letter in Χριστός, or Christ, the life-death-rebirth deity that many know the name few really know the viewpoint. The X is also in the Christogram Chi-Rho, or XP. I'm not talking about Windows XP, although reverting to that operating system will save you from the current sins of 64-bit Vista. The X in Apple OS X is actually the Roman numeral for the number ten (10), and even Apple's operating system gave up its claim for messiahship after it released Leopard, which was incompatible with Pro Tools (and other artsy programs) for months. Persuading users to change over from Pro Tools to its in-house program Logic isn't very Christlike, indeed. It's actually very Gateslike (as in monopolistic Bill Gates in the 1990s), but I digress (and must disclose that I invest in Microsoft and Apple and Avid, which owns Digidesign, which makes Pro Tools)...

If you want to preach about a war against your specific holy day, and be the squeaky wheel that upsets people, do so if you feel that it's the right thing to do. Then again, preaching like a holier-than-thou loudmouth is not as effective an example as living one's life well. It's an even worse example if the squeaky wheel is caught in hypocrisy. Let us all be an active example of our ideal worldview/cosmology/mythology/ideology (whatever that may be) and keep the loudmouth-ery at a minimum...say, once a day or less on a blog. (I had to absolve myself somehow, obviously).

Last thing to rant about holidays: They're all made up. All holidays are fabricated, by humans, to be celebrated on a specific day every year. From Yule to Kwanzaa to your own birthday...all are invented by one or more humans to celebrate something astronomical, cultural, or spiritual. It's not a bad thing that your specific holiday is made-up because humans without stories are like songbirds without song. I think that's what makes us human - telling stories. All herbivores can gather (varying degrees of eating immediately to storing for a season), and all carnivores can hunt. Some can recall what they just hunted and/or gathered and tell the others. Even fewer can predict how to do so in the future (i.e., track) and tell the others. It takes a special class of life to fabricate or exaggerate what just transpired - primates and dolphins, maybe. It probably takes a human to celebrate all of the above, cover it in tinsel, and give it as a gift. Finally, it takes a civilized human to pay sales taxes and ask for a gift receipt - and that's just a step too far, if you ask me.

Happy Holidays, and I'll be back January 1st-ish, 2009, if not before then!

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