“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be;
and that which is done is that which shall be done:
and there is no new thing under the sun.”
– Ecclesiastes 1:9

“If the music’s gotten boring
It’s because of the people
Who want everyone to sound the same”
– Chickenshit Conformist, Dead Kennedys

The holiday season is upon us. Typing that phrase, incidentally, put me in mind of swarms of locusts pouring down onto a field. I may be a bit of a curmudgeon. Generally, I really do enjoy this time of year. The weather is cold, the air is crisp, and life feels fresh, with every snowfall comes a new chance to make tracks. People seem friendlier, and as much as I hate to admit it, some of those carols are a sleigh full of fun. I’ve got several stuck in my head right now, jostling around for my attention; so far, “White Christmas” seems to be in the lead. But with the holiday season comes constant commercials aimed at making your family love you through toys, cars, and gift cards. We get O’Reily screaming about the secular War on Christmas (an argument that loses legs when you realize that Sam Harris has a Christmas tree). We are inundated by tacky store displays and threats from talking heads that we can either go deeper into credit card debt and buy more presents, or let the economy slip further down the hole. And, to kick the whole thing off, we get a wildly expensive parade on Thanksgiving, when the Macy’s store marches beloved corporate icons down the street while horrible pop groups lip sync along to abbreviated standards on floats sponsored by candy companies and tooth paste brands.
Read the rest of this entry »