Christmas. That much used and abused date in everyones calendar that means what you want it to mean. A gluttony of commercialised excess for the consumer age spawned by coca cola? The picture postcard snapshot of Victoriana forged of Dickensian imagination? A celebration of the birth of a religious VIP according to a book selectively composed of bits of scripture dug up in a desert and reinterpreted centuries later by canonised warmongerers in funny hats? A pagan festival to celebrate the winter solstice? Or maybe an excuse to take a few days off work, see friends & family while reminding oneself just how bad Dick van Dyke’s cockney accent was.
Take your pick (I’m firmly in the latter camp) but unless you are mentally unstable there is something every year waiting to test your nerves. This year it’s Simon Cowell – a man frantically burying choice fragments of his autobiography in the hope he may be “rediscovered” as the messiah in 2000 years – again trying to steal the Christmas number one slot with his latest formula dirge. At least Joe Public is fighting back by getting RATM to the top slot. I struggle to think of a more potent statement of public opinion in recent years, a combined hatred for SC and everything he stands for that would drive millions of people to pay to download a track they weren’t even going to listed to. It is utterly futile of course. These people are just lining Sony’s corporate coffers and rewarding SC’s faceless business buddies, but that’s not the point.
The point is that despite all of the despair people presently feel about our world – unsanctioned wars and the victims on all sides, the corruption of our elected (and unelected) politicians, the threat of global warming and our clueless approach to tackling it, the loss of jobs as employers go to the wall while morally/financially bankrupt bankers are allowed to take tax payers money in one hand and bonuses in the other – the RATM episode proves that there is hope. It proves that while the voice of a man in the street cannot be heard (or is not listened to) when lots of men in lots of streets shout together then they have the unstoppable power to swing the balance. Today’s “victory” is a trivial one. Perhaps next time the common voice will speak decisively about politics, the environment or conflict. Maybe we are learning that the silent majority do hold the power after all if they just know how to collectively mobilise themselves.
Sorry for allowing my blog to slip knee deep into the murky depths of serious social commentary but it feels appropriate to look to signs of hope at this time of year and this might be as good as it gets.
I’ve just finished decorating the artificial tree and proven to myself that you can always eak out one more year from a threadbare wire frame with enough bling and sufficiently dim lighting. Most of the presents are accounted for and wrapped so next on my tick-list is the business of enjoying myself for the next couple of weeks. For me this will mean seeing family/friends, getting busy in the kitchen and attempting to smile more than I frown. Nothing I shouldn’t be doing every week of the year really.
Here are a few seasonal related things that have made me smile this week
Finally – I’m donating to charity this year rather than sending out many of the cards I would normally write so the photos in this blog are my alternative offering to you.