Thanks to Mac for letting me post this to my Blog.
My two cents: Christmas is way to force fed to us as a society. I hate to hear
Christmas music and see Christmas stuff next to Halloween stuff in late September
And early October every year. A pumpkin and Santa Clause sitting next to a Witch…
Makes Me SICK.
Encountering The Third World
The week of Thanksgiving was one of horror, with televised images of terrorism, horror, panic, murder, and blood. And that was just the first few days of Christmas shopping in America.
Like The Religion of Peace-That-May-Not-be-Named, America is beginning to mark its holy days with body counts: one employee trampled to death (though not eaten) by shoppers in a big-box store in Long Island, New York, two dead by gunfire in a toy store in Palm Desert, California, and miscellaneous robberies in parking lots during the start of this festive season.
When the Long Island police closed the big-box store briefly to establish a crime scene for investigation, the murderers were angered that their shopping was interrupted. After a few hours the Arkansas-based chain, in their compassion for an employee murdered while on the job, reopened the store because, after all, this is The Christmas Season.
Perhaps a foreign newspaper will write something like this about us: The really frightening thing is that America, populated by such backward, irresponsible inhabitants, is a nuclear nation. Spain, France, England, Japan, and China have in turn tried to colonize America, but with little residual effect. Americans remain a simple people, easily amused by gifts of shiny but worthless trifles. They delight in adorning themselves as perpetual children; even among the elderly grown-up clothing is as little known as thrift and self-restraint. If such child-like primitives cannot be trusted not to kill each other over made-in-China baubles, how much danger might they be to civilized nations? One fears that the nuclear trigger is in reach of a text-messaging forty-something Yank wearing head-phones, sneakers, knee-pants, and a tee-shirt bearing the iconic message of America in the 21st century: "Whasssssssssssssssss-Upppppppppppppppp?"
President Bush has offered help to India because of the latest mass murders committed by what some are pleased to call youths, but perhaps India could help us first because of murders committed by Christmas shoppers. We point a patronizing finger at other dysfunctional cultures only at the risk of having an equally disapproving finger pointed back at our own.
Every year one reads how commercialized Christmas has become, but Christmas has not become commercialized at all: we have. And commercialization is fine in its place; the buying and selling of goods mean jobs and prosperity. Commerce is good, up until the point where shopping becomes not simply foolishness, like the silly woman who camps out in front of a store for days before a sale, but an act of terrorism.
We can do better.