This Christmas time I offer words that will do nothing to solve a problem. Since this Quixote’s word-sword has battled so many ‘windmills’ to a standstill: world hunger, poverty, terrorism, plus cleared up all teenage acne in this here US of A, I am willing to accept this singular failure.
Sarcasm pointed inward aside, here’s my 2018 Christmas edition…
“That Santa, what a loser,” tweeteth our Lord immediately after he was born.
Of course, since Santa the myth, Santa the Madison Avenue creation, nor tweeting had been ‘born’ yet, Mary and Joseph immediately recognized his first miracle, although the lamb: always a skeptic, thought the babe might just have had promise as a fortuneteller.
Mary and Joseph were right. So ever since then his followers squashed all evil using their give em’ un-Holy Hell-based power. People everywhere have been healed through the miracle of judging others with not so clever or interesting insults and invective.
The preceding was just meant to show the absurdity of the very concept of a ‘Christian’ society displaying anything resembling true faith through framing and insult.
“Framing and insult?” Did I just repeat myself? I did! I did! I did!
I would like to reflect upon the message of Christmas we try to pass on to children versus how we treat each other. While Christmas fills little heads and churches honor he who children sing loves them we head our speeding sleighs: unfortunately sometimes ‘slays;’ down the east bound lane of west bound interstate lane called national discourse. We have a bipolar history as a country, and the US certainly isn’t alone in this, historically. I have no doubt some German children were told about “The Prince of Peace” under the light of lamps using shades made of skin.
The child who has a tantrum because he didn’t get everything he wanted, steals what was given to others, puts down other children for what they didn’t get… should any of that be encouraged? Of course not. The child whose brother gets something he wanted who then smashes the toy, or takes it away from him, is not unlike legislators whose party loses an election trying to do through legislation what they couldn’t achieve at the ballot box.
Blame whomever you wish, but society has been heading this way long before both our current president and many past presidents. In the 80s there was a saying that perhaps helped put all this into hyper drive: “greed is good.” I guess we can add name calling, insult and accusing others of what we do.
Yes, we could blame the first on “commercialism,” but that blame would be as poorly placed as Santa trying to climb down the old ‘chimney’ where I partially grew up that only led to the furnace. The commercialism of Christmas started long before I was born in the early 50s, yet we were more civil, more kind, to those we disagree with for first half of my 60 plus years than the second.
This goes way beyond that old parental admonition, “Do as I say, not as I do.” And it goes beyond party or faith. It is a sickness being permanently embedded in the people by those so compromised by their fanaticism they should be ashamed to still be considered civilized, or even just considered to be human.
What’s frightening is they know no shame.
Why do we promote goodness one month out of the year and erase that message the other eleven? Why do we separate out politics as if what we do there doesn’t matter? Kind of like The Purge, sometimes I wonder if we had a holiday one month out of the year where we taught hate instead and the rest of the year we tried to behave as if it were Christmas time we’d be better people, and our children would too.
I know: of course not. I just typed that to point out the absurdity of it all. But if anyone thinks children don’t see us for who we claim to be, yet who we aren’t, I worked with children long enough to know they would be wrong.
None of us are pure. Certainly not me. But as a society we are intentionally heading the wrong way.
Confronted about our own behavior we point at everyone else. Humanity’s history is filled with politicians who find large groups to demonize, to point to, to blame for everything. It usually ends up growing hate in society’s garden like a mega farm where the crop is not unlike a mix of poison ivy and poison oak.
This muse was inspired by reviving a show I wrote and performed for years: The Planet of the Rude Dudes. In Rude Dudes my audience and I land on a planet where creatures are rude. The teaching message of the show is civility: please, thank you, may I help… I began thinking about how this lesson may seem dated these days. I refuse to believe that, however.
Now this Christmas Don Quixote has finished tilting this year’s windmill, I wish you all the grandest of seasons, merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah… and I hope the windmills you tilt give you the challenges and changes you need, offer any lessons needed to be learned, and may the result of your quests present great gifts unto others. I hope mine have.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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