Columbus Day is coming up guys. It’s time to shop.
The corporate emails from on high are calling it the new post-Labor Day Labor Day, the pre-Black Friday Black Friday, which just happens to fall on a Monday. This is obviously some wishful thinking, fake it ’til you make it bullshit, but whatever. They dreamed hard enough and Black Friday engulfed Thanksgiving (now Black Thursday). Maybe along with Labor Day and Columbus Day and all these fucking sales we’ll be ready for Christmas. I’m so ready. I’m so fucking ready.
American holidays have a few evolutionary tracks. Christmas is the big boy, the apex predator, and it will assimilate or destroy anything that gets near it. By “near” I mean within half a year. After it blows its load and rolls over for a nice nap, everyone spends New Year’s Eve, the rest of winter and the following spring trying to drink themselves to death. Here in the States we have July 4th, and as the fireworks explode the beast stirs and rumbles over the horizon. Hobby Lobby starts putting up Christmas trees. “Beware, I live!”
If there’s an international holiday about death and/or alcoholism and it’s distant enough to avoid getting slaughtered, hollowed out, and worn like a g-string by Christmas, it’ll get soaked in booze and dragged through the streets once a year, relatively safe from absolute destruction. It may become the Doritos Cheesy Gordita Crunch version of your formerly beloved holiday, but at least it will still exist. If it’s a government-sponsored day off, get out your flag and head to the lake. If the weather isn’t cooperating, hit the mall. If it’s Thanksgiving, cancel that shit, we have to stand in line.
Halloween is just weird enough to survive on its own. Nobody gets a day off, it’s about murder and candy and sexy murder candy, and Christmas wouldn’t fuck that with your dick. Don’t get me wrong, Capitalism has its hooks in Halloween as much as anything else, but as long as that dirty vagabond Spirit of Halloween store keeps panhandling in rental spaces across America, Christmas ain’t gonna take it to the prom.
I’m not even going to get into the whole “rape of the New World” part of Columbus Day because you could apply that to a whole shitload of holidays. It’s easy to pick on Columbus but he’s definitely the slowest gazelle. Any ‘MURICA-inducing celebration comes with baggage, which you’ll have a tough time checking because it’s filled with millions of dead people. Labor Day, a bone thrown to workers to keep them from setting shit on fire is now about working, and the mammoth in the room, Christmas, oh Christmas, you motherfucker.
It’s a wonderful time of year when people of all income levels can increase their slavery footprint. Hey man, I don’t blame you if your kid wants a new phone manufactured by children in Vietnam. She probably needs it to video the cops while they murder innocent men, women, and children in the streets. That’s a public service. I just wish we could manufacture those in Texas instead, but as always, shit’s complicated.
When it comes down to it, though, it’s okay to have a feel. I’m going to have a few this Christmas when I spend it with my wife and kids. I’ve got a little one coming and it’s going to be his first. He won’t remember it, but I will.
It’s all about the duality of man or some shit, Private Joker. Maybe I can’t enjoy a goddamned thing until I get all that out of the way. You don’t need me to tell you that it’s okay to have a good time, either, and if you want to chalk this up to “Momma’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Work Retail,” that’s okay too.
When it’s all over it’ll just be Christmas and the cockroaches. Maybe the robots will celebrate it without knowing why. Self-replicating probes will ding at an interval meaningless in interstellar space. Something happened once and now we ding soundlessly into the dark. We ding in the ice. We ding into methane. Ding. Merry Christmas you filthy animal. Ding. Merry Christmas you old savings and loan you.