I found myself in the middle of events following the September 11th attacks in 2001. My first reaction was to reach out to Muslim friends and neighbors and reaffirm those relationships. The other thing the wife and I did-mostly me-was to collect Santa dolls. The effort was to fill our house with joy and joyous imagery. It was a bittersweet Christmas, given all that had happened. American troops were in Afghanistan seemingly on the hunt for bin Laden. There were the usual complaints about too much commercialism for the holiday. Oh what I would give to have those days back.
If the commercialism of the holiday season was outrageous in 2001, in 2014 it has grown to perversely disgusting levels. In 2001 no retail businesses considered opening on Thanksgiving, now, with friends and family in retail, there is abject terror at the growing specter of Thanksgiving Day Shopping. Incidentally, this year, retail chains that opened on Thanksgiving were also 4 times more likely to be members of ALEC, the Koch brother’s Franken-capitalism, American Legislative Exchange Council; a pro-corporate, stealthily anti-family and anti-American-in my opinion-criminal enterprise.
Re now strangled by a season not of peace and love, but of meanness, selfishness and spite, in which nasty, petty little people who berate others about the use of the words “Happy Holidays.” A store clerk the other day actually, and meanly, corrected my friendly and unassuming salutation of “happy Holidays,” respecting that she might celebrate Yule, Christmas, Kwanza, , that she might be Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or whatever. Instead, what was an innocent and friendly greeting was corrected with a sneering and bitter response, “Christmas. It’s Christmas not Happy Holidays!”
Am I bad that I hoped that when she stood beneath the missiletoe, that it was a real missile?
Did you know that those retailers no longer even refer to Thanksgiving anymore. Increasingly it is called Gray Thursday, erasing any pretense of that non-commercial family day.
There is no Christmas anymore. Santa Claus is merely an employee of greedy corporate marketing departments. Test that by making a Christmas gift for a relative instead of buying something, and watch their expression. We no longer focus on the message of Jesus, and love and family and peace. Instead we pander to the cult of Jesus, which we use to justify war, or use as the political fetal football in the fictitious war on Christmas. I use to grown that every radio station was wall to wall Christmas music all day on the holiday. Now it’s just another day, but with reruns of political talk shows. On television there will be a basketball or football game.
Christmas will be just a day to catch your breath between frantic sojourns to the mall. Most will be zombie-eyed after their morning greed-fest anticipating a fresh run to the malls to buy more and more crap they don’t need. And those who would exhort their fellow man, as some sort of modern day Scrooge, to eschew commercialism for redrawing the ties between friends and brethren, they will incur the disdain and belligerence of a nation hypnotized and fixated upon consumerism.
And so I quit. I want no part of it. 51 years of Christmas and hoping humanity would find its better heart. You will not get a 52nd year celebrating the bastardization of a day that is no longer the focal point of the day, but instead the guilt excuse for Gray Thursday, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Super Saturday and the day after Christmas. Hmm, maybe Ebenezer Scrooge had it right all along. Maybe it is just another work day. At least he was working, rather than at the mall. So long Christmas, I’m tired of mean people, at least for a while you were fun…
Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com
The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting. Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.