Thursday, November 8, 2018

Microstory 969: Holidays

This one’s is going to be a bit negative, which is not all that surprising, because I’ve gone there before with this series, and I’m kind of a negative person. To be clear, I’m not just angry and cynical; in fact, I’m pretty optimistic. I see the Trump era as the last-ditch effort of a dying race of racists and other pieces of crap, and I see a lot of good coming right after it. After the democrats take the White House in 2020, that will be it for the Republican party. Seriously, January 19, 2021 will be the last day conservatives have any real control in this country, and I legitimately believe that. I’ve not come to this out of nothing. 2024 will mark a shift of power from the old guard, to the younger millennials, and Generation Z. There will be more of us voting than them, and the disparity will only grow over time. Despite the horrific images of college students with tiki torches, the world is maturing, and we will not let it regress. The midterms—which have traditionally not been taken so seriously—proved that we are ready to fix what’s broken, and the people we elected will ensure more enfranchisement than the nation has ever seen. I got off on a bit of a tangent, because I don’t have much to say about holidays. Truth be told, I’m not entirely sure how it got itself on this list, except maybe because most people love holidays. I generally don’t, because I generally don’t observe them. Valentine’s Day, Saint Patrick’s Day, and Halloween all involve arbitrary traditions promoted primarily by the profit-bearing organizations which benefit from them most. Easter and Christmas are religious holidays for religions I’m not part of, so I don’t care about them. “Oh, but Nick, Christmas is all about family and love.” I don’t need a day to love my family; I love them all the time, what about you? You can’t both say the true meaning of Christmas is Jesus, while claiming I should celebrate even if I’m not Christian. That’s insincere. Thanksgiving is a lie, and I think we all know that by now. I accept New Year’s, but my critical mind agrees with Neil deGrasse Tyson that the year could start at any point—but should maybe change, because it’s weird our calendar doesn’t match up with the seasons. I might get into that tomorrow. I also support Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day, though again, I love my parents all the time. Independence Day is when all white land-owning men declared themselves to be free from tyranny, and excluded everybody else, so there’s no way I’m celebrating that bullshit. For this reason, the closest approximation I would respect is Juneteenth, but even that misses some of the mark, because freedom from slavery is not the same thing as true equality. It’s been over a century and a half since abolition began, and black people are still treated poorly. The reality is that no single day can truly encapsulate the complexities of anything that matters. The point of the story of Jesus was his life; not his birth, or his death. Even I know that, and I’m about as Christian as a stack of wood is a pipe. Look, I like time off from work as much as the next guy, but if you ever catch me observing a particular holiday—be it Arbor Day, or Boxing Day—just know that I’m doing it for someone else. 

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