Alright then, what the fuck is up with this shit?
I’m pulling out of the grocery store on to the main highway, and across the street at the public park I see where the city has wisely chosen to spend my hard-earned tax dollars on a rig they’ve furnished and installed, there on the park grass that fronts the main road.
“Season’s Greetings,” it says in five-foot high letters.
Well ok. That makes all the difference in the world, right there. Now I know that everything is going to be alright.
I’d been wandering through an emotional desert for forty years, alone with no one to care for me, and I’d even gone so far as to purchase the gun I was going to commit suicide with. Had it sitting right there on the seat next to me in fact. But when I saw the sign that said “Season’s Greetings,” a flood of warmth, kindness, and Holiday Good Cheer filled my aching heart, and I suddenly realized I was dearly loved, and that I could save the pistol for shooting somebody else instead of myself.
How very fucking heartwarming.
This crap is so pervasive, you don’t even see it. Encrustations of red and green plastic that sprout from every light pole, hang from every doorway, every roof eave, and stare at you from tract-home lawns, no matter where you go.
Individuals, groups, businesses and governments all jockeying for position with one another to see who can waste the most time and energy on a stupefyingly bogus display of fake camaraderie.
And it seems to be getting worse, with every passing year.
Everybody wants to turn their little domain into a goddamned special-effects set for some sappy, one-hundred percent content-free, Hollywood Movie or perhaps maybe a fucking theme park or something.
It’s clearly weather related, but beyond that I cannot see any rhyme, any reason, to any of it.
Summer’s over, cold fronts start coming down from the north, and all of a sudden, you’re awash in a sea of ghosts, monsters, tombstones, and a million other unpleasant things. Your head spins, attempting to fathom why stuff as nasty as all of that might wind up as the Feature Item on Display, but before you have time to figure it out, the bats and spiders and all the rest of it come down and are replaced by turkeys, Pilgrims wearing hats with belt buckles on them (What the FUCK is up with belt buckles on hats anyway?), weird curled baskets filled with a pile of fruits and vegetables (What’s up with them curled baskets, too.), and Indians stupidly giving their food, their women, and in the end, their lives, to a bunch of White Invaders with nothing more going for them than a murderous intent to smother the land beneath a poisonous carpet of shopping malls. Fuck, I’m still trying to figure out the bats and spiders, and all of a sudden the Pilgrims and turkeys disappear, so as to make room for the Grand Finale.
“SEASON’S GREETINGS,” it all dementedly screams at me.
Fuck you. I don’t want your goddamned greetings, with or without seasoning on ‘em.
But I am a lone voice in the wilderness, and the Storm of Bullshit that rages all around me not only drowns out every word I say, but also causes everyone else to view me with suspicion, like I was some kind of Communist, or Terrorist, or even a Communist Terrorist, for daring to so much as question the mass psychosis that has engulfed the land.
Neighborhoods erupt in a colossal waste of kilowatts as strings and swarms of electric lights seek to bury every available surface beneath their crazed glimmerings. Inflatable snowmen and Santa Clauses sprout from front yards. Plywood reindeer, frozen in place much like the smiles on unpleasant people’s faces, appear upon patches of well-clipped grass.
Just down the street from where I’m sitting, one of the inflatable Santa Clauses has come to a bad end. Somebody let the all the air out of him and his withered corpse ghoulishly flaps and writhes in the cold wind as he lies face down in somebody’s yard.
No one seems to mind or care, and he’s been there for several days now, and it looks like he’s going to be there for several more yet, or perhaps even till next July.
Who can know?
People remain just as unhappy as they always were. Snapping at one another. Jabbing elbows at work trying to shove coworkers aside in a desperate scrabble to get to “The Top,” whatever that might really mean. Cutting each other off and jumping ahead ruthlessly into that prime parking spot at the mall, or just simply pulling into the handicap parking spot and then running into the store. Pissing and moaning about all the money they’re going to have to spend acquiring useless, pointless, and ultimately worthless, material objects to be given away to people they don’t even know or like. Drunkenly smashing in to each other on roadways that are groaning beneath the weight of a river of chrome and steel, which endlessly swooshes to and fro, carrying its human cargo in a vain search for the least bit of comfort, love, or even simple peace and quiet. Fighting with family members that come calling, drawn like moths to a flame, in a deranged spiral of doom, ending, as often as not, in a drink-bespattered shouting match, or worse.
“SEASON’S GREETINGS!,” the world roars to itself, but no one seems to be listening despite the waterfall of decibels. No one comprehends. No one understands. And, when you really start to look into it closely, “season’s greetings” is revealed as one of those bizarre items that ALMOST makes sense. Almost. But in the end, it never quite breaks the surface and rises into that realm of consciousness and light where things have actual meaning. Where things make sense. Which of course, causes it to fit in perfectly with its cultural surroundings, none of the rest of which make any sense either.
Eventually the spasm must run its course and things must come to a halt.
All of the work invested in putting up the carnival ride must then be reinvested in taking down the carnival ride.
And when it’s over, the carnival leaves town and everyone gets back to the lives they were living before the mass psychosis descended upon all of them.
And no one seems to question the least of it.
Except maybe me, and a few other outliers.
Ah well, so it must be, I suppose.