it’s that time of year. i was doing so well in crawling out from the rock i’ve been under for the last year or so, only to have to retreat again. the world out there is dangerous, with scary flashing lights, terrifying music, rampant consumerism and alcoholism prompted by enforced exposure to family. and it’s all about two imaginary religious figures; one that’s caused trouble for centuries and one that was created by the coca cola company in 1931.
the celebration of religion, and one strand in particular, even by people who have been oppressed by it throughout history. visual pollution and waste of electricity, noise pollution that’s particularly pernicious because i was forced against my will to learn all the tunes and words when i was at school so i can never again tune them out. consumerism, debt and risk of death by crushing in the sales in aid of an exchange of worthless junk and wrapping paper resulting in landfill and abandoned pets. a geographically inappropriate spread of unnecessary food, heavy with hot dead animals on one of the hottest days of the year. religion accepted, and even demanded in the public arena and even in my workplace. cutting down trees to stick in pots and strangle within an inch of their recently lost lives with tinsel. religious ads in public places where atheist messages were refused, reminding me that this festival for everyone is for everyone but me. fake snow in bushfire season. religious music, overt and covert played in public institutions like train stations, making a mockery of the idea of a secular state. emphasis on traditional family structures and values and the neglect of those who don’t fit. preposterous stories that are supposed to be factual and even get taught in schools, discouraging the development of any sense of reason. another reminder that the coca cola corporation has taken over the world. the idea that it’s more important to donate toys once a year than food and money throughout the year. encouraging children to believe utter lies while expecting them to be upset when they discover the truth. the squashing of dissent and typecasting of people who don’t like all this as an unpleasant fictional character who was, bizarrely, most memorably portrayed by a disney duck. the horrific tradition of getting family members who don’t want to see eachother the rest of the year into a room together to have the same old arguments, comment on eachother’s weight and abuse alcohol just to cope, while the women stay in the kitchen and do all the work. the expression of enthusiasm for all this through the wearing of hats with fur or present, bell and wreath earrings.
really, if you smugly tell me that your family doesn’t bake a turkey, does it really make it all ok again?
this made me feel a little better: