Friday, December 23, 2011
It's hard sometimes, I know, to understand how anyone could be against Christmas. It's so sparkly and lit up, with bows and shiny paper and pretty dresses. Everyone goes around telling people how much they love them. Even if you don't believe in god or America, how can you be against people having a good time, right?
But listen, Randall Park Mall is how. This is the dark aftermath of Christmas, like the morning after a coke binge where even though you haven't slept at all, something in your brain clears and you wake up and realize you can't feel anything in the middle of your face but you feel the rest of your body with intensity, and you have no cigarettes left, and check out time in this hotel is in 5 minutes so you don't even have time to take a very hot shower and try to rehydrate the channels of dried snot in your sinuses. This is what consumerism has done to us, left us hollowed out wrecks of past booms sitting in the nonexistent sun, the Ohio December afternoon gloom.
Also, and I can't stress this enough, malls are the worst places to go if there is a zombie attack. There are too many entrances to defend.
Of course, the other annoying thing is if you are a white middle aged girl named Bridget, every stranger you talk to assumes you are a christian with their constant Merry Christmases, and it just reminds you over and over how racist we all are, how if you were a Turkish girl, or an Indian Girl no one would feel comfortably making that assumption. Then they ask you if you have kids, and there's a whole nother stereotype/expectation/disappointment to slam against, rubbing like onion skin against your already raw "I don't believe in god thanks" nerves.
Usually this rolls off my back like water, but this year I've had two customers at work so far get audibly mad at me for saying Happy Holidays to them instead of Merry Christmas, and seriously, fuck off then. As John Stewart said, if you want a War on Christmas, fine, it's War. You've planted the seed of bitterness in my chest, and the roots push up into my eyes every time someone says anything Christmas related to me now.
I wonder if people who aren't white but are christian get upset because people assume they can't say Merry Christmas to them?
I know if I was more militant about it to my own friends, if I actively railed against it to them, they would try to remember and keep it non-christian. But I love them more than strangers, so I forgive them their trespasses.
The Mayans came up a lot yesterday. There was some half truth internet based story about a pyramid in Georgia being identified as Mayan. It probably wasn't. But it probably is a pyramid, or something. It is lodged against the side of hill, a 1000 yr old pile of broken rubble underneath centuries of earth. Or course, it came out right around the pre-anniversary of the expected date of the end of the world, which is 12/21/2012. I feel like they could have done better with the symmetry of that number. 12/20/2012 for instance, or if you want to keep it simple, 12/12/12. Mayans are the new Y2K, or the new Leprechauns, the new Bigfoots. Someday we will hear rumours about hidden leftover Mayan tribes, somewhere in the wilds of Montana, with the secret to everlasting life hidden in a cave. Not that the Mayans didn't actually exist at some point, but not these Mayans. These Mayans are citizens of Atlantis. They invented the telephone. They could turn dirt to gold. Their women were better at head. They were the first punk rockers. And now they are coming to destroy us all, out of revenge. Or because God told them to.
If I allow the side of me inclined to spiritual belief, the side that used to be obsessed with how Saints died, and who knew all the astrological personalities my particular Sign should have sex with, then here is what I think about the Mayan Calendar, bearing in mind no actual knowledge about the calendar other than what I've gleaned from numerous New Age crap over the past 20 years (the calendar, like the pyramid, does exist, but only as a scientific object, a relic, like an abacus or macbook). If the world resets on that date, then it will be a metaphorically End of the World, because it will be the Beginning of a New One, only in the sense that how time is measured will be different. If the very thing that creates our structured universe is how we quantify that imaginary force Time, then the end of the known calendar will be a New Universe. I like that idea, mostly because I think we could all use being reminded of the arbitrary nature of our laws every few hundred years.
Of course, if you all want to live like the world is going to burn in one year, I really encourage that. Do it. I want to see what happens. I think even if the End of the World was a government sanctioned event, verified and plotted and expected by the entire population as a thing as real as the Superbowl, I suspect most people would do nothing different. I suspect, in fact and for real, most people are already living like they assume it doesn't matter. They are still ringing up bills they can't pay for pleasures same day, and they still sleep with people they shouldn't. We tell ourselves all the time how much we are holding back because of convention, but frankly, I don't think you are. Humans are selfish and hedonistic, and inclined to getting what we want regardless. But we are also cowards, afraid of things touching our very fragile skins. So I think modern society has basically balanced out our desire versus our fear to exactly what limit we are willing to take our irresponsibilities. Which, the world is really really fucked up, right? Don't we talk about that all the time, how fucked up everything is? So why are we so loathe to believe we are at rock bottom now? We cling to the idea there is still time to stop the train before it gets there. Some people see that as "still time to save us", but with my perspective, it's more like "only way to go is up". Both ways are wrong. There is no more time left to save us, and there are plenty of other directions to go in that aren't up. Some of those directions are more fun than others though.
Which is pretty much how you can tell the people who are really into New Years.