No Time for a Christmas Post
I should really write something about Christmas. I mean, I have written something the last couple of years, whether it be just a simple joke post containing YouTube links to songs about Jesus, talking about the true story of Christmas at the hands of evangelicals, or even just posting Tim Minchin’s song about drinking white wine in the sun, but I really just have no time this year. I am so busy getting together the feast I need to serve in 2 days time to my extended family, that sitting down in front of a computer and typing for an hour or so just seems to be in impossibility. So for that, I apologise.
If I were to write something, what would it be though?
Well I could write about how Richard Dawkins has apparently said that the abuse done to children by religion, constantly telling them about the horrors of hell, is worse than child sexual abuse, and the ensuing uproar from Twitter and Facebook followers. But that would just be adding fuel to a fire that I think is probably out of context, possibly a misquote or someone’s vain attempt to discredit him. And besides, that kind of thing bores me these days, since the death of Christopher Hitchens these arguments seem very superficial indeed.
I could write about the infighting within the atheist and skeptic communities, and how I see that affecting the dialogue both within and without the communities. I have some strong opinions about this, but am not sure I really have anything to add to this apart from pointing out specific examples of reaction and overreaction by people on both sides. So I really fail to see why my voice would add to the conversation anything that hasn’t already been said.
I could write about how the Australian government is conducting a Royal Commission into sexual abuse allegations against any group in control of children, and how Cardinal George Pell is claiming that this investigation unfairly targets the Catholic church. Funny that, don’t you think, since it was the claims of abuse by the Catholic church that got the ball rolling on this investigation.
I probably should write an article about gun control in the USA, but that topic is not only polarising, but also quite heated. Besides, who am I to tell Americans what they need? They should know that for themselves.
But if I were to write about Christmas, it should probably be Christmas-specific, rather than whatever happens to be in the news at the moment.
I could write about how Christmas is a time of reflection, when we remember those most dear to us, gather together and eat, drink and be merry. But that kind of trite story doesn’t really suit my mood right now, and besides, you’ve heard it all before.
I could write about how jaded I am over the Christmas season, that the overt consumer-driven buying-frenzy only makes me more jaded, and that most people in the world have less than me, and for that i should be grateful. But again, that is the kind of thing you’d read in an editorial piece in the back pages of the weekend paper’s liftout section about lifestyle, and I’m not sure I have the wit or intelligence to pull that one off either.
No, it seems to me that given the time allotted to me by the trading-hours of certain retailers, the fact that I have to cook 2 turkeys, 5 salads, potatoes and sides for 16 people in 2 days time, and that I have to clean and polish the house so as to make it “respectable” enough to present to them, has made it impossible for me to write anything at all.
I think if I did write a Christmas post, it would be about how this time of year gives me mixed feelings about the world. I would talk about how it is heartening to see people of different belief sets, or lacks thereof, treating each other with respect and kindness, while at the same time trampling over each other to get that Christmas bargain. I would write about how this time of year is not about Jesus as much as it is about seeing my family and friends, about how I don’t care if I get given anything for Christmas, but am hoping I get a PS3 game to waste even more of my time. I would write about how Christmas in Australia is bereft of anything even vaguely wintery, given that the temperature often soars into the high 30s in our summertime, and yet I still see Santa at shopping malls wearing his full winter outfit.
In fact, if I were to write something about Christmas, I fear it would degenerate from attempted humour into a cynical commentary about humanity, about how we continue to consume the planet’s natural resources, and about how more than half the population is unsure about the effects of humanity on global climate change, about how denialism seems rife in these days of illumination. I fear I would write something disrespectful about Christians or Muslims, something snide about agnostics, and something I would regret about people in general.
So, instead, I offer you this, an apology, for my lack of time and motivation, while I get back to the business at hand, and focus instead upon making my Christmas feast something worth eating.
Thanks for your continued support this past year. I will be back after Christmas, and hopefully by then I have something worthwhile to say.