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In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Saturday, December 22, 2007

jesus christ, superstar...

"After Halloween, more or less, you can't go into a shop, or across a railway-station concourse, or even an airport, without this crap. And I'm serious: To me, it does feel like living in a one-party state."- Christopher Hitchens

I'm pretty pleased to hear way less of that 'War on Christmas' shit this year. It furthered my impression that right-wingers are truly some of the biggest crybabies on Earth, and for that matter, what had spawned it was a perfectly valid argument on the part of liberals: not everyone is a Christian, there are other holidays that fall around this time of year, Christmas is inherently a religious celebration as well, so government buildings should stay out of it, with the exception of individual employee's displays at their desks, say...And there's absolutely nothing wrong with the phrase 'happy holidays'.
Okay, so the problem as usual is that the liberal argument is a fucking paragraph, and the conservative one is a bumper sticker. But even so; if their world can be ripped apart by a greeter at Wal-Mart who fails to mention Christ as you walk in the door, then are they deeply offended by the Bing Crosby classic, "Happy Holidays", as being too ecumenical?

The only people who have yet to wax seriously offended by this whole debate are the people whose holiday this originally was: pagans. I have occasionally seen the bumper sticker, "The solstice is the reason for the season", but it probably wasn't stuck on said bumper with rage in the heart. But it really is The Feast of the Unconquered Sun we're celebrating here, with some interesting Norse touches administered far later. This Jesus guy was sort of tacked on there by the early Catholic church.
And do ya' blame 'em? I mean, here they are trying for a temporal/spiritual stranglehold on the lives of all people, and the people keep on celebrating the days getting longer, for fuck's sake. I have heard at least one theologian who knew his history suggest that perhaps what we are celebrating in these latter days is the Feast of the Unconquered Son.

Meanwhile, your better church historians will often try to remind their audiences that nowhere in the Bible does it say that Jesus was born on December Twenty-Fifth. But no matter.
By the way, I know that modern pagans have no real connection to the ancient, animistic worshippers of sun, mud, animals, insects, sea and sky, etc. Their religion, such as it is, was crafted by a lot of folks like Crowley and others, fairly recently in history. This brings us to the Kwanzaa problem.

Kwanzaa, I needn't remind you, is perhaps fifteen years old, and created entirely by a Black Studies teacher. And from what I get, dude's a jackass, but that's not the point. The complaint, and I think it's pretty valid, is that it's a completely made up holiday, but as Bee pointed out the other day, so is Christmas. Christmas just happens to have several hundred more years under its belt.

I don't even really have all that much of a problem with the whole 'commercialization' thing, which seems to be most people's problem with it. I don't care because the thing has been about moving product for as long as there's been stores, friends, it's not something that started in the Sixties or whatever. It's also not besmirching some highly sacred thing for me, either.

I like this time of year because I like the smell of pine, and people getting together, whether they like each other or not. I enjoy feasting, and a buncha near strangers getting drunk with each other.
And if you think about it, the reason for the season-i.e. the solstice-is a pretty profound time of year. If you wanted to think about it simply in terms of light- how it affects mood, which has an overwhelming, often unmentioned effect of how the world will be on any given day- the winter solstice is you, and the entire world, hitting rock bottom. Nowhere to go but up, from here...True hope, and the perfect holiday for those of us who like a little darkness with our light.

Last couple o' days, the touring version of "Jesus Christ Superstar" was here, and I was doing some carpentry work on it. It's Ted Neely, from the movie: still doin' it thirty years on. Well, Ted wasn't Jesus in the movie, nor was he Jesus in the original Broadway production (that, you may remember, was Deep Purple's Ian Gillian), but he was there, man, and uh...
Bee pointed out that it's not exactly a Christmas show, but an Easter show.
As with any touring show, the roadies are a bunch of degenerates. The carpentry head is a big dude who screams everything he says, ala: "PEOPLE NEED TO GET OVER THIS WHOLE 'I'M A PIRATE' THING! CUZ IF YA THINK ABOUT IT, THAT MEANS YER A FAG!"
"I cannot argue this point with you," I said.

The stage set was a lot of steel, latticework and arches...And a big cross on a hydraulic pump lift that made a sinister whining noise as it painstakingly set itself upright.
I'm gonna do my usual on the 25th, which is to say that it's Ex-pat's Xmas. People who either cannot or will not be with their families can come to my house. It's the way I like it.

Have fun.



Blogger Erudite Redneck said...

Merry Christmas, dude.

10:09 PM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

Thanks, ER, and as we Finns like to say, Hauskaa Joula.

12:17 PM  
Blogger George Popham said...

Hey, love this post. MAinly because it saves me a lot of work. I was going to do my own, "hey, look, I like Christmas/Solstice/whateveski and the arguments I always have about Christmas are part of what I like about it." Post but now I can simple send people here. Well said.

Also, Jim Harrison's new book *Returning To Earth* is just fulla interesting Finns.

8:39 AM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

Thanks. I liked yours, too. But now I'm wondering why I didn't title this one 'Sol Invictus, superstar'.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Aunty Christ said...

Now that the mystery of what happened to George's blog is cleared up, can someone explain whatever happened to our friend Camilla-Jane's blog? Please?

Or, well: "The man may be afraid to let their romantic. This is especially when his woman, he has often criticized. In such circumstances, he might think that 'what is the use? I can never please her. Why even give it a try?' "

That does sound an awful lot like yer tall white cousin. Never mind.

5:34 AM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

It's probably my fault that I didn't understand that at all. 'Ask Amy'?

11:01 AM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

Oh, okay. Got it now:
"and secretly retained in the fashionable restaurants", indeed.

Yes, Camilla-Jane hasn't published in so long, it now awkwardly shares space with a couple of spamblogs that don't seem to have been written by humans, but randomly generating content from indifferent input. This leads to sentences like:

"The poly ethylene oxide, also known as
Employee leasing companies," and "Don't hire someone to steal your joy!"

This is wonderful. I sense another in-depth blog post comin' up.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Ah, yes. Jesus Christ, super model. Work it. Work it. I especially love the comments from people that think it's satanic to say "Feliz Navidad" because it takes "our lord" out of the holidays.

8:24 PM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

Yes, that is nice, isn't it?

10:20 AM  

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