Archive for December, 2012

How Low Can You Go

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Today is a day in limbo. Not the limbo that resides somewhere in the middle of the metaphysical triangle whose corners are Heaven, Hell and Purgatory, but the limbo that exists in the week between Christmas and New Year’s.

Nowhere else in the United States calendar do two holidays exist so close together. Not just any holidays, but two of the biggest, two that each take up at least a day and a half, celebrating not just the days themselves but also their “eves.” And this year it’s particularly acute, since the holidays proper are on Tuesdays, so the Eves are on Mondays, so the holidays make additional grabs to see what of the weekend before they can also eat up. And this year we even tossed in that whole “the world’s going to end” thing on the Friday before Christmas because of an idiotic misunderstanding of the Mayan calendar.

Party like it’s 1999 indeed.

So where am I going with this? Nowhere. Actually God told me I should take the week off. He says practically nobody in the U.S. is getting anything accomplished this week. But I said, hey, I should write something.

So, um, something. Well, Happy New Year!

Babble Sounds

Friday, December 21st, 2012

So last week I was talking about how Christmas tends to take any song with a winter theme and try to claim it as one of its own. I brought up the point that one of the things I like about the Christmas season is it expands the selection and styles of music that I listen to. When I discussed that with God, she actually got kind of wistful on me.

She says that even while languages tended to tear apart the bonds of humanity, breaking us off into little fiefdoms, music still mostly managed to bring us back together.

Then we discovered electricity and electronics. Ever since then music has gone through its own Tower of Babble phase. As a species we’re no longer just listening to music. We’re listening to Rock, or Jazz, or Country, or Hip Hop, or, I don’t know, Zydeco, or any of dozens of other genres and micro-genres. Music now has as much ability to break us apart as it does to bring us together.

She finds that sad. On the other hand, she says you can take away Celt-a-delic Rock’n’Reel only over her dead body.

War Music

Friday, December 14th, 2012

It’s that time of year when I listen to my various Holiday playlists. I have my songs categorized according to various aspects, allowing me to segregate the religious songs from the secular, the traditional Christmas tunes from the fringe, or even songs that are really just winter tunes from ones that owe their allegiance to specific holidays.

One of the things that I like about the seasonal songs is that they help us to branch out from the usual artists and styles and try something different. In my winter selection there’s tunes like Jingle Bells, It’s a Marshmallow World, and Baby It’s Cold Outside. These are great songs all of which I discovered through collections of Christmas music, but none of which have anything actually to do with Christmas.

I suppose you could look at that as just another way that Christmas attempts to absorb everything around it.

War on Christmas, indeed, humph.

War Zone

Friday, December 7th, 2012

No this isn’t a post about Pearl Harbor, it’s about “The War on Christmas.”

God tells me that Christians know a lot about “the war on Christmas.” Well, maybe not most modern Christians. And maybe not from the point of view of the war being “on” Christmas, as opposed to “by” Christmas. Because along with how most modern Christians aren’t really that knowledgeable about what’s in the Bible, they also aren’t terribly knowledgeable about the history of their own religion, let alone other religions.

So a lot like the current flare up over class warfare in the United States, the war between Christmas and other mid-winter celebrations, holidays or their equivalents, isn’t being portrayed honestly. The current battle, in both cases, involves a group that is currently on top, claiming that the group that is trying to get back on top, or at least get back to even, is trying to start a war. The reality of it, and God backs me up on this, is that these “wars” have been ongoing for hundreds of years. Most of the Christmas traditions that have been around seemingly forever, were stolen from earlier, pagan, traditions. The early Christians found it hard to compete with existing celebrations, so they came up with their own. And then they made their own enough like the existing ones that people could transition fairly easily.

So when someone around you complains about “the war on Christmas” or complains that the poor are just trying to start a class war, take heart, those are just signs that they’re starting to realize that their privileged position is finally getting a serious opponent. If they lose a few battles, they may even start to realize the world is a lot bigger than they thought. They might even learn to share.