With the advent of Christmas upon us, or, as our American cousins prefer to call it, the “Holiday Season”, absurdity shines all around, much as did the “glory” in that well known Christmas carol.
Nowhere is this more evident than outside the multitude of churches dotted all over the American heartlands. Two, that I pass each day, are particularly nonsensical.
Jesus Is The Reason For The Season.”
If you live anywhere within the area proudly designated as ‘America’s Bible Belt’, you’ll be familiar with this one. It’s as common as a Chicago street corner Santa on Christmas Eve.
Of course, it’s utterly inaccurate. The season is winter; the festival Yuletide; the reason is the Equinox. Jesus is no more the reason for the season than Tiger’s antics in the whore parlor form the basis of his golfing prowess.
Further down the road is another neon-illuminated bit of religious nonsense that declares:
The Most Precious Gift To Mankind Was Wrapped In A Manger.”
Now I’m aware that Joseph was billed as a carpenter, and would probably have been artistic with wood. But, given that Miriam-Webster defines a “Manger” as: ‘a trough or open box in a stable designed to hold feed or fodder for livestock’, I doubt even he could have successfully redesigned a feed trough as a wrap-around cot for his new infant in the time available.
Perhaps ‘swaddling clothes’ was just too many words to fit on the billboard?
Seasonal absurdity is not, however, confined to the religious institutions of this great country. While making one of my less-and-less frequent visits to our local Walmart this week, I remembered the need to purchase Christmas cards, for friends and relatives back in the old country.
Fighting my way through all the trite religious crap on the shelf, a rather pleasant looking pack was noted, with male and female Red Cardinals not too distastefully displayed on the front. Eighteen cards for five dollars seemed a fair price, so eager to escape this depressing superstore, I threw the box in the cart and headed for the checkout.
Yesterday, I sat down to write my cards only to find they were totally unsuitable for the purpose.
The cards themselves were fine. The envelopes were dark green. In artificial light they looked black. It was impossible to address them with a normal pen. The whole box went in the fire.
They weren’t even “Great Value!”
I suppose some people would think them ‘cool’, or ‘fashionable’. No doubt, somewhere in the depths of its display cabinets, Walmart sells a pen containing white ink.
It is depressing to consider that, if the human species weren’t so gullible, we wouldn’t have to put up with all this absurdity designed to relieve us of our hard earned cash. Marketing ploys only last so long as they work.
Filed under: The conman cometh