02 December 2008

Holiday follies

I dislike cold weather. During this time of year the chills come to play and the "holiday spirit" renders itself ascendant.

Holidays are excuses for laziness. The whole concept of a holiday is that it is supposed to be a day free from the expenditure of productive effort. But that's another post.

Why do we celebrate the "holidays" to-day? Is it simply the culmination of the spending fiesta orgy which society has devolved to, in a grotesque parody of how capitalism and the economy are supposed to function? Is it a means of pretending and feigning 'family togetherness', though you normally don't see your relatives outside of a few days in late December?

Once there was a religious reason for the season; of course, in this supposedly enlightened age, that justification has gone the way of the dodo. So what keeps us giving gifts and listening to sappy fifty year old jingles each year around this time?

I believe that this activity is rooted in the overall Amerikan preference for artifice and fantasy, and the related preference for self-indulgence which is sadly all too common among the common class to-day. The baby in a manger has been replaced in the eyes of the reverent by Santa Claus, American Express, and the shopping mall.

Not that I am a religious person. Indeed, in truth I am quite the opposite. So much so, in fact, that I often wonder why we view Christmas as so important anymore, given that most people by and large share my religious perspectives.

Cuz don't you know, Santa comes bearing gifts!

As always, the reflections of fantasy is the true preference of a society as to what they wish to have in real life.

Santa can make it all right. Like Bernanke the Christmas Elf bearing gifts for the connected in rapidly depreciating currency, Santa also provides something for nothing. Out of nowhere, great tidings descend upon the earth, just like the cash from Bernanke's Fed helicopters.

But lo! this is the year in which Santa will not come. For Amerika, lo and behold, is on the naughty list. Surprise, surprise there.

He will leave a gigantic lump of coal under the Christmas tree as his present to a wicked and immoral people.

And for a society which has descended to the level of a massive cargo cult, which relies on the Tooth Fairy, Santa, the elves, and all the mythical souls to produce mythical wealth, this will be cold comfort.

Be prepared to starve this winter, with the pantries bare and the imperial granaries filled not with sustenance, but with IOUs.

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