Saturday, December 26, 2009

And a very happy holiday to you all...

Appreciate the time you have...if time you have. I know of at least two instances where people are dying or maybe already dead; said event representing for them the ultimate catastrophe, and for their relatives and friends grounds for sadness.

I won't even mention the millions without reasons for any holiday-cheer whatsoever—and while I'm not one to wallow in guilt at my good fortune and masochistic I-suffer-with-them paroxysms, it appears to me that anybody reading this blog is probably not a member of that group. And so I feel perfectly justified to suggest to them that, should they lose their sense of perspective or get drowned in trivia that aren't worth a second thought, or about matters that aren't going 'right' just-so, to get a damn life.

As I sometimes do, I responded to one of those I-don't-really-give-a-shit-but-I-am-obliged-to-ask queries by a shop checkout-op by saying: "Well, I do have a pulse." I got one of those looks of helplessness from the questioner—you know, like, "WTF do I say now?"—who then decided to comment, very cautiously, that this didn't sound very cheery, I pointed out that it is. It just depends on what you consider important—with a pulse being right up there with...well, right up there at the top. I suspect the next customer in line immediately reverted the bewildered op's thoughts back to matters more germane to the season; like the price of cherries at Christmas, or the rains, which are finally starting to set in; meaning our grass is going green and starting to grow like crazy.

As for me, I decided, and it was easy, that the fact that after three years we finally had a full nuclear-family complement present and accounted for at Christmas day, was what mattered. Presents under the tree these days leave me indifferent, except maybe for the fact that those who give them do actually feel pleasure at giving them, surprises or not. So, my own pleasure was indirect, but that's cool, too, I guess.

Let the likes of Richard Dawkins fester and rot at the notion that Christmas is, as he would have put it, 'a lie', and that the whole damn world seems to buy it. It's not a 'lie', but a narrative that people buy into. Fortunately for many, it's also a narrative they can use for profit, to fleece those who buy into it, but instead end up spending, spending, spending—all of which 'powers', as they say, the economy.

This is, of course true, and yet carries implications that aren't; because it implicitly assumes that economies need to be powered by 'consumerism' of the kind that even those currently not able to afford 'consumption' of fatutous and utterly useless goods would happily indulge in, if only they were given the chance. That, of course, simply isn't so (the necessity, that is); but it is the way things are, and that's that. Trivial consumerism, which gave us the social obscenities known as 'shopping malls', is a direct parallel to the kind of perspective loss I started with.

Of course, it's also possible that I'm just running along a course paralleling that of Richard Dawkins's narrow-gauge railway track. Because one person's 'consumerism' is another's pleasure and indulgence; and that, too, is a part of the great multifaceted canvas that is life and human society. Its consequences, on a personal as well as global level, may be potentially disastrous, but we'll just have ot do our best to muddle through. Neither of the non-existent guides offering themselves—fictitious deities and dumb-ass know-it-alls alike—are available for assistance.

Anyway, I'm certain that by now—with Christmas being over—some of you will recall occasions during the last few days where you wish you hadn't lost perspective over a really, truly, dumb-ass irrelevant issue or two—or three. Well, better luck next time, eh?

Accompanied by that cheery thought, have a happy 2010, and, paraphrasing Yoda: "Don't make New Year's resolutions. Just do better than you did this year."

But why wait until next year? Right now is good, too!

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