Holiday Dilemma: Giving Thanks, Fielding Tanks, Gorging on Techno and Turkey

I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it harder and harder to get all smiley for the Holidays when people are being slaughtered in the street, sometimes by the very people we pay to protect us. And the fact that I’m white makes me feel no better about it, that theoretically I can legally ‘stand my ground’ to protect myself from the raging mobs, each one with a knife ready to stab me, a gun ready to shoot me, BUT… I don’t buy it, and I don’t want it. I’d rather walk down the street naked with a bulls-eye on my buttocks than crouch in the shadows with an Uzi and a pocket full of tissues…

We Americans have lost our way badly, what with our hatreds and our fears and our once good manners now long gone and our bad habits apparently here to stay. There was a time not so long ago when you didn’t even have to lock your doors. I wouldn’t advise trying that now. Anger is the new normal. Fear is the order of the day, and anxiety is the glue that holds it all together…

We Americans talk about ‘freedom’ as if it were a commodity for sale on the supermarket shelf, but is it really something so simple to define and distribute, for sale to the highest bidder? Freedom is a feeling, a good one, and without it life is wretched. Freedom is that patch of blue in the upper corner of your prison-cell wall, the hole that will never be big enough to crawl out of, but it doesn’t really matter as long as it lets light in…

That is what we need right now, bright golden light on a blue background, love on a background of wisdom, shielded by a coat of heavenly muscular arms. But look around and what do you see? American citizens dumpster diving in department stores from coast to coast buying trinkets and junk, bling and baubles, shiny objects and negligees that have never been neglected, people from all over the world performing Internet sex acts for tips, so as to buy more consumer electronics…

Where does it all end? I just saw a little feel-good blurb on Facebook from one of my favorite writers urging readers to “fall madly in love with your lives,” so if that were true, then I’d have to drop that writer from my list, EXCEPT… he probably never said that at all. Social media is full of crap like that designed to promote their own agenda, more than that of Einstein or Kerouac of any of the others they purport to be quoting. Social media is all about being social, not saving the planet or even yourself…

The ‘carpe diem’ ersatz ‘philosophy’ so popular now reaps chaos as its own reward, rewarding our self-indulgence, rather than the rationality that got us to this high level of development in the first place. I prefer philosophies that urge common ground and sharing or maybe even some slight diminution of our Western emphasis on individualism as the be-all and end-all of civilization. We were the Goths at the gates of Rome, you know, a fact little emphasized in teaching the subject. It doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s get it right before it’s too late, for ourselves and the species…

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