Friday, November 24, 2006

Let the madness begin!

No, not the war or the secret plot for all Republicans ousted from office to come in and stage a coup to dispose those nasty decadent Democrats who drink champagne directly from the shoes of Warren Beatty and Annette Benning. (Blech....) No, I am taking about the annual madness called Christmas Shopping.

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and I am already tired of the barrage of television commercials that imply that you can’t really have a Merry Christmas or even Being of Good Cheer, and some go more than just “imply”. Ads for jewelry are particularly noxious. All ads (unless they are of the “cute” variety such as the ad for Aflac where Santa gets stuck in the chimney) are aimed at making the audience believe that the MUST participate in this orgy of spending and buying in order to have yourself a perfect Christmas.

What is amazing about all of this is how at least ¾ of Christmas has become this non-secular “end of the year” holiday and have very little to do with the religious holiday. I am not a Christian, but I can see why Christians are upset. They have had their holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus hijacked by Madison Avenue. There is a bit of a problem with the political correctness of not being able to say “Merry Christmas” during the Christmas season. However, I figure this is probably just karma getting back at them, since most scholars believe that Jesus was not born on December 25th, but sometime in July. The holiday was set on the date it currently has by Constantine, the first Pope, who was hoping to hijack a pagan holiday celebrating the winter solstice. That certainly happened, so maybe a second hijacking is some sort of revenge by the Earth Mother. She’s still annoyed.

Anyway, back to shopping. The amount of focus and energy that people devote to getting that “perfect gift” for their loved ones, or related by unloved ones. Stores are now open at 5 a.m. on Thanksgiving for people who just can’t wait for that traditional day of orgasmic consumerism. That is today. There is no way that I am going to go anywhere near a mall this weekend. These people who brave the elements and the huge crowd of savage shoppers don’t fool around. Even if you find a parking place and make it inside the mall safely, that is no guarantee of your continued safety. People will walk right out in front of you like you aren’t even there. They will run over your foot with their shopping cart. In fact, they don’t even seem to be aware that there are any other people in the mall besides themselves, unless it comes to the point where they are both competing for the same product. And I do mean “competing”. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there today and it would be best for you to keep your puppies safely in the confines of your own home.

It’s days like today, and actually the rest of the Christmas shopping season, that people revert to their true selves that hide under the very thin veneer of a polite society. We will no longer starve if we are on the losing end of a competition for food or will be homeless if some brute with a bigger club than we have chases us out of our cave. But that mechanism is still there, buried in our primal psyche, waiting to make itself known. And this is the time. The urge to obtain and retain your “possessions”, whatever those might be, is right out there for all to see.

Heaven help the person who gets in the way. Of course, Heaven may not hear you, as everyone there is currently trying to figure out how to get their holiday back.

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