Wrote this a bit ago, but never really got around to posting it. So why not now that it’s in the middle?
While I do enjoy time that I am not forced to put my interests aside and produce some kind of “practical work”, during this time of the year it all seems to come at a price. And often that price is not even a direct benefit of the kind previously mentioned. I am talking about the fall to early winter holiday gauntlet.
This is of course a problem that is unique to my situation, but that does not make it any less irritating. There are four main offenders which I will briefly account as to why I would rather them be kept out of my awareness.
So this one is the extremely irritating because such a big deal is made out of it, and there aren’t even days off associated with it. The primary problem is one of personal identity. It seems the main allure to Halloween is to be given a time period where one can assume the identity of something they are not. It seems such a focus on this would suggest that the identity that one has the rest of the year around has not been explored thoroughly enough to deter the needs for being something else. Even in the argument of curiosity, that could be reserved for meaningful thought experiments. On a secondary note this sanctioned assumed identity also comes with the principle that as being not ones true identity there is an exemption from following standard manners that most set for themselves. No need to elaborate but during this time, chaos ensues out of disorder. Which I suppose as a nihilist I can slightly endorse.
Let’s be literal here. It is a time to give things to all that has been given to individuals in their current existence. But there are all kinds of problems with this. Who is one giving thanks to, if it’s a deity then those objections are self-evident coming from the kind of person I am known to be. However, is it just thankfulness in general? Does this thankfulness imply some kind of world where everything could be worse? The problem is there is not a world where things are worse. The misery that is conscious human awareness aside, what proof is there to show that some other world exists where an individual’s existence has not resulted in the aggregate toward the best outcomes? Though I will excuse, in the name of selfishness that this thankfulness really can only extend to the individual without considering the consequences of their actions upon society as a whole. By this I mean, in environments of limited resources (kind of like natives against explorers on conquest…hint hint), perhaps the things that have been bestowed upon an individual or their community is at the detriment of those excluded from the circle of thanks. That being said, and going back to the earlier point the thankfulness of those realities that are not this one.
Christ, suspect. Christ’s birthday, not even canonical. Let’s move on to the spirit and the consumerism. The spirit is to help bring joy to humanity. I am not responsible for humanities joy, any more than it is responsible for mine. Society is a framework for allowing survival and development. So the gift giving, that doesn’t even make sense from a resource stand point. Unless all of it were financially and emotionally equal, and at that point what is even the need for the exchange (unless it was a purely emotional exchange, which brings back the angle of responsibility). Of course there is the supposed fun that is associated with the whole lore of various cobbled cultural icons. Speaking frankly and specifically about Santa Clause, how could one not want to depart from any kind of adoration of how this magical being comes to be known? Particularly, as it is introduced as children through basically a ubiquitously agreed on principle that is acceptable to lie to children until they reach an age where they can discover the fiction of their own devices. Though it is an interesting case sometimes of who is fooling whom. As it often eventually comes to the cross road of those being deceived are now being the deceivers, because they want to indulge those that were deceiving in the first place.
It’s not about the possible arbitrary decision as to which day specifically constitutes the New Year. Or even at this point the fact that our society, as driven by capital as it is, seems like it should follow the fiscal division of the year. No, it’s about it being a time of celebration and wiping the slate clean. As much as this society is seems to thrive on nostalgia, it’s no wonder everyone cannot wait to put things behind them so that they can live in the memory, edited away from reality. While I do embrace what will be I am in no hurry to brush what has been under the rug. There are also pockets of just utter disdain for previous events, with the horrific lie to oneself “It will get better next year.” It never gets better, nothing gets better. Individuals just find different things to be upset about. New Year’s should be the one time that everyone is given a week off, to mourn and reflect upon the previous events of the year, so perhaps they can ready themselves for the unseen terrors to come.