Bah! Humbug! Bite Me!
By Number Six
Saturday, November 12, 2005 at 02:48 AM
I think it time I addressed something, and as one might could guess, yep, Christmas, or whatever it's come to be called....I hate Christmas, there, I said it. Quote me on it. I hate it. I despise it. Send me to my room without supper for all I care. Worse, send me three spirits as I slumber, and trust me, before daybreak, I will have the ghosts of Christmas past, present and probability (technically, no such thing as "future") all seeing it my way:
I don't need the lectures.
All this shit started the other day. Someone made the comment that, being a rather portly man of five-zero, (translation: an old fat fuck), I should play Santa at some upcoming party, right?
"Sure.", I smirk, "When the river Styx becomes composed solely of Freon."
Certain holidays do not work for those of us who are not of the many Judeo-Christian cults. Being more into Gnosticism-mysticism-Hindu, no, the "Jesus Story" then becomes a mismanaged variant of Osiris-Dionysus-Mithras, a legend mythos taught ages past to aspiring students of mysticism, a way to show them what the process of finding one's self entails, not something for someone to transform into a bumper sticker. And if one more closer studies the teachings of mystic Yeshua-ben-Nazareth from the Gnostic Gospels, well, the holiday then loses any more usage.
In my studies long ago, I discovered that the holiday itself is more based on the ages-old practice of The Winter Solstice, and wasn't based on religion that much: It's an astronomy deal. The two solstices are when the days and nights start trading off in length; the summer one represents the longest day, the winter, the shortest day. The winter date floats, according to gravity, orbital mechanics and planetary wobbling, thus 21 or 22 December, depending.
Thus, to those of the past, it was celebrated as our way of knowing that spring and summer...the rebirth of life...was on the way. Knowing, yes, one can see the metaphor that would one day become Christianity, eh? Yes.
Of course, when the Vatican became incorporated under Constantine-The-Anal-Retentive, a date for the birth of you-know-who had to be set into stone, but which? Well, according to the researchers, they wanted, too, to incorporate certain elements of another Roman holiday....Saturnalia. So, 25 December it became, which tends to explain the total unliklihood of shepherds tending their flocks meeting extra-universal beings when it should be ass-chilling cold!!
Meaning? Well, over time, add in the "mushroom" stuff, Saturnalia, the Jewish Hannuka, a little this, a little that.....and why is it even called Christmas?
Christmas means, literally "The Mass celebrating the arrival of Lord Jesus." Okay, as titles go, that works if you're a devout Christian. Yet, the holiday, as celebrated? What does Santa have to do with the deal? Adding lights to your home and thus speeding up global warming, or as one lady does to this day, distract pilots on VFR approach to the local airport?
Ah, now to my spin. As I tell friends who are, indeed, devout Christians, if one faithfully reads one's KJV, seems the holiday as we have before is....well, it ain't even close, now is it?
Long, long ago, as a child, I was a huge fan of Mad magazine, and the late Dave Berg, who often satirized in his "The Lighter Side" stories, those things we often take for granted, and yet, if we stopped and thought it out, are so damned dumb of us, are they not?
A schoolmate of mine, Mary, read one of Berg's panels and rocketed into apoplexia. She was appalled no end. Which one, I inquire?
You may well recall it, as it said so much: The camera pulls back to a shot of three homes in a row in some suburb, the two on each end are garnished out the anus with plastic Santas, snowmen, lights, horns, sirens, teleport tubes, warp engines, the kitchen sink. In the middle, between them? An unadorned domicile, with but a simple wreath to the door.
"What's with them, why don't they decorate?", one man asked his companion.
"Dunno.", the other shrugs, "Maybe they're not religious!"
I fell over laughing my ass off. Oh, Berg, you wit! You sharp! CLEVER! Excellent! Kudos! Oh, what a profound skewering, indeed, worthy of Cleese and Chapman! Loverly! Ooooo, I think I came, too.
Sadly, Mary got pissed, but those do who are, without realizing, the butt of the very joke within the reaming satire offers. She could not understand....Christmas has zilch to do with lights, Santa, crap presents, going to the mall, spending your way into Chapter 13....but, according to the more devout...is supposed to be a celebration, and a quiet one...of the incoming approach of one messiah.
The Marys still abound, I offer my plate of "Bah, Fuck it!" and they cringe in horror, thinking me awaiting my plate of gruel and Marley's spectre, true?
Not this duck.
"Jake, dude, I already celebrate what Christmas is supposed to be all about, the oldest meaning of the deal, dude, you knew that of me and have always known that of me. I pause and reflect on my own life, and what more I can do to help others, to inspire, teach or, if need be, rip the shirt off my back as did the Samaritan, isn't that what all the teachings...Sufi, Sumerian, Hindu, Gnostic, even old-school Christianity....are all about?"
Thus, to me, Christmas should be dealt with quietly, we should gather friends, family and loved ones around us and thank our creator we have such wonder around us. Soon will come the longer days, the warmth of summer, and with that, the classic rebirth, that's what. Roast us a nice fat pig, dripping in my uncle's U238-hot sauce, talk about old stuff, good stuff and remember those gone, and how it's got to get better.
Aka, the rebirth of the human spirit.
But, it is not, to me, a fucking excuse for malls parking decorations, sales, sales, sales, making the Dow go up, making the bottom line better. I don't need to hear the 84,271 songs, nor need I ever AGAIN watch "It's A Wonderful Life" without projectile vomiting, nor do I need my VISA payments to get worse.
That ain't Christmas, that's money, the real "messiah" of America, the god of the neocons, their warped religion which teaches Unless One Is Worth A Cool Million, You Ain't Shit. That Christmas, we could all live without, true?
I offer no offense to my devout Christian friends in that, trust me, I explain all this to them and their eyes widen so hard: Six knows what the story means, that it's not bullshit excuses to spend, spend, spend and spend even more, no, it's about attending to those less fortunate, to remember a simple man whose ministry was spent healing those not just sick in the body, but sick...in their souls.
Oh yes, that rabbi taught us: Money means nothing, the real riches are from life, from the spirit, from just being yourself and living in peace amongst your kinfolk. I got in the face of a pastor, my parent's pastor, and I asked him hard and sharp: What does this garbage we do these days, what does any of it have to do with, well, the "real" meaning of Christmas?
He nodded. "Sir, you just read my message that I always read every Christmas day, that it's not about money or sales, but about the birth of a man who would tilt the Earth."
Agreed. Forgotten is the mystic teacher who told his followers, "Unless one sees as does the child, Heaven is unaccessable.", who believed forgiveness worked and still works, and the real goal in life? Balance your wants and needs versus those of the world about, that's the real balance, indeed.
So, lemme alone. I want no part of Scrooge, Rudolph, Miracle on 34th, nor Jimmy Stewart, nor Wal-Mart, the mall, carols, and those insipid parties where we get drunk and then say crap that gets us canned. Some Christmas, eh?
I want a moment's silence. Soon, the spring will come back, life returns, and we should then be deeply grateful to He We Dare Not Imagine, But Really Is Among Us, a little note of thanks for friends, loved ones, and a warm little ball of blue. Then, the cold becomes a little more tolerable, and we think more towards the future.
I then tell my friends who are devout: Remember what Jesus said, and meant, it ain't about spending, parties, crap. It's about us getting our souls lifted and made more special, a time for hugging, kissing, and the fire of closeness.
Thus, the lights burn in the soul, not on the gutter. What we offer each other comes from the heart, and not the charge card. Screw the TV stuff, the songs, that ain't what it really means. Keep the decor put away, leave the trees alone in God's wood, celebrate with being you!
Yeah, dudes, ladies, bah humbug. And said with my warm grin, too.