Sunday, December 22, 2013

Good Sunday morning. Thoughts on our commercial holiday season.

I don't know how much I will read, write or do.  Sunday's are usually a bit lazy--or lazier than usual.  Mostly we plan the week coming up.  Winter is the season when we keep our plans somewhat fluid.  Much depends on the weather.  Right now we are still under an alert for freezing rain and falling temps.

We don't celebrate many holidays any more.  Too much commercial hype and the family situations have changed.  My siblings are older and don't have the energy for the massive gatherings they used to host.  Their kids now have families of their own and juggling the combined families is a complicated dance.  Our local TV affiliate posts short video messages from troops serving overseas to their families over here each Christmas.  One caught me in a snippy mood after a stretch of particularly obnoxious commercials.  He said "remember the reason for the season."   Which reason, dear?  I know.  He meant the religious reason--the Christian reason.  But I of have noted before that Christians lost the war for Christmas over a hundred years ago when I became a commercial holiday.

For me--I prefer to quietly and privately acknowledge the changes of the season.  Spring I celebrate getting my new gardens in and anticipating what I hope will come out of them.  Summer I celebrate the sun, the warmth, my growing gardens and the early fruits of the planting.  Fall I celebrate the rest of the harvest, glory in what went right, and assess what went wrong.  Winter I celebrate the rest from the gardens, the shift to inside work, and begin planning for spring.  I like these quiet celebrations through out the year which don't depend on spending more money than we should on gifts that may or may not be well received.

And on the matter of faith, Huffington Post noted this poll on how much faith people have in science, scientists, and science journalists.  Evidently not much.  I can agree on the matter of political influence though most people expressing that objection are probably very far from my political orientation.  I see more pressure from right wingers and Christianists to trim scientific results to match preconceived belief systems.  But I have a concern which isn't included in the poll:  the pressure from commercial interests to trim the results (or manipulate the research protocols) to  financial benefit of some company or industry.

Found this interesting piece this morning.  We have all read stories of people who decide to walk across the U.S. for any of a number of causes.  Or, as the story notes, sometimes just because.

Through the various budget battles in the Federal government over the last couple of years, I have experienced a bit of foreboding.   It seemed that one of the two constants in the debates was that Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare would be on the chopping block as an inducement to get the Repthuglican agreements on other matters the Damnocrats valued more.  (The other constant was that, as soon as the parties appeared to be on the brink of agreement, the Repthuglicans would change their demands.  This story from Forbes makes me even more uneasy.

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