Peace on Earth, Good Something or Other
Recorded on December 23rd, 2016
I became a Scrooge about Christmas long before Trump was a glimmer in the GOP’s eye. True, he has definitely put the nail in the coffin of whatever Christmas spirit I had left, but it was already petering out year after year anyway. I used to enjoy it a lot more — the whole production of the familiar music, the presents, the food, and the friends and family. I even made it past the middle adulthood hump to where we had radically dialed back the amount of present-buying to the point where it wasn’t an endless marathon of feverish shopping. It should have gotten better than ever, but at this point I’d rather we skip the entire thing.
As a child I believed in the whole Christmas story. I don’t anymore. It’s a story, and sort of a nice one except for the Herod/refugee/persecution parts, and the sci-if virgin birth stuff. The idea of religion seems more foreign to me with every passing year, and the more I learn about the cosmos, the more ridiculous it sounds that an all-knowing God would send a son to one tiny speck of a planet, when other forms of life are most likely plentiful out there. And then the idea that all that happened so he could die for our past and future sins… I have no idea what that’s all about.
Christmas started to feel like a holiday all about the rituals and the show. Tolerate the same tired songs, take your life into your hands as you venture out anywhere near a mall, and show up at the same million obligatory events as last year.
With the astoundingly bad choice of Trump for our next president, whether by an uninformed population, foreign disinformation, or both, I have almost zero hope for the country and for humanity. I don’t think that’s being hyperbolic, either. We can #resist all we want, but there is actually precious little the common person can do now to stop any of the destruction we’re headed for. If Trump wants to align our nuclear weapons with Russia in opposition to China, all we can do is hope we’re close enough to the initial blast that we don’t feel a thing when the end comes. If we avoid that, the best we can hope for is an authoritarian kleptocracy, a phrase I only learned about a couple of months ago. I haven’t seen any evidence to make me believe the contrary.
All that aside, assuming we get at least this Christmas, here are the parts I still like:
- It’s A Wonderful Life
- Lessons & Carols service from King’s College
- Egg nog
- Holiday Inn
- The lights in Can-Can in Carytown
- A Christmas Story
- Christmas in Connecticut
- A Christmas Carol with Basil Rathbone
- Peppermint ice cream
- The annual, fleeting idea that we could possibly be decent to each other