Happy Holiday Conglomeration

The holiday season is an amazing mishmash of ancient and contemporary traditions: Greek, Roman, Turkish, Norse, Germanic, Dutch, English, American and undoubtedly others, each adding their local and cultural influence. It’s rather like a potluck holiday, don’t you think?

  • Happy Saturnalia, may your servants and slaves wear your best finery. May your gift exchange provide you with humor and honor. And may your sacrifices be slight, may the blood spill—only a little.
  • May Saint Nicholas help you spread gifts, kindness and hope to all the children of the world.
  • May your Yule log burn throughout the night. May the mistletoe remain vibrantly green in your doorway and its associated fertility seep into your familial line.
  • May Frau Holle (Holly?), Old Mother Frost, shake her quilt to dust your lands with snow.
  • May the Twelve Days count up with your true love’s strange taste in gifts and the arrival of the Three Wise Men.
  • May your midnight mass be filled with solemn song and humble hymns.
  • May Sinterklaas ride his fine white horse, delivering treats to kids in need of an early morning sugar rush.
  • May Santa Claus and his trusty caribou break the laws of physics and geolocate your home and the deserving souls within.
  • May you dismiss your servants to box with their families on Boxing Day.
  • May the oil feed your lamp with guiding light during your eight crazy Hanukkah nights.
  • May your first fruits of Kwanzaa be as tasty as those delicious Texas ruby grapefruit.
  • May the miles of your twinkling lights blink all night to your neighbor’s chagrin, and may your pets avoid nibbling the poison poinsettias.
  • May you enjoy grandma’s fruitcake, despite its pickled fruit and leaden chew.
  • May the chocolate prizes behind each numbered door not taste of wax or plastic.
  • May your gingerbread house turn to stone, the gumdrop path escape theft and the candycane lamp post not droop to a sad, bent peppermint puddle.
  • May your stack of holiday cards grow each day, may your wreath avoid being blown down the street and may your tannenbaum retain its needles until you begin the nerve-wracking task of dragging its desiccated corpse from your living room.
  • But mostly, and I believe this is the primary reason we even celebrate this time of year, may the death of the old year and the birth of the new bring closure and the promise of better things to come.

Happy Holidays,
‘Mole

Holiday Addendum:

May your KFC be crisp and your Christmas Cakes be light and fluffy and available throughout the holiday.

May your Christmas Eve fondue bubble like molten gold and your lobster, oyster or favorite stew be as tasty as it was in your youth.

May your stockings burst with a cornucopia of treats and tokens of gratitude.

May the repetition of a thousand holiday carols drill their insidious ear-worms such that even when you’re away from their constant drone you continue to hum them beneath your breath.

May your Nativity Scene remain aglow despite the weather or vandals.

May your candles flicker, their wicks grown long and their wax not drip into the carpet.

May you find your hidden broom when the snow builds on your doorstep.

Regardless of your traditions may they bring you joy and contentment. If you know of others that you’d like to share…

And the village was saved

The pall has lifted.
The ugly shroud of Orangina has peel away.
The sword of rationality has pierced the hideous beast and left it golfing in denial.

About Damn Time!

I’m reminded of the lyrics from a Jim Stafford song, one I memorized as a teenager.
 
Here are the pertinent parts:
One day brought the rain and the rain stayed on
And the swamp water overflowed
Skeeters and the fever grabbed the town like a fist
(The swam overflowed indeed! Fully of criminals hired by Drumpf)

There came an unseen caller on a town where hope run dry
(Biden)

And the whole town took a sip
(of sanity)

Fever went away and the very next day the skies again were blue
(As well as the rest of the country. Yay, Democracy!)

Said don’t come lookin’ again.
(Oh, they will. The Rabid-Right can’t help itself.)

Yay Us! Mudge, @fifteencurmudgeon, you get to keep on livin’, aren’t you happy? Jesse, give the team a woof!

Rabies: Vampires and Werewolves

Rabies, HIV, Hepatitis, Tetanus can all be spread through bites, animal or human. There are of course insect bites that will give you all kinds of diseases: yellow fever, dengue fever, Lyme disease, plague, malaria, etc. But I’ll focus on Rabies, for now.

The discovery of the cause of rabies didn’t occur until the early 1800’s and didn’t get a vaccine until Louis Pasteur figured things out later that century.

I have to wonder about the disease, Lyssavirus (named after Lyssa, the Greek goddess of insanity and rage) and its symptoms, in one variant, madness and an odd psychological fear called hydrophobia.

So, you, a carrier, bite someone and your victim becomes infected, insane with madness, and cringes from the sight of some mundane substance. Sound familiar?

(Seems that Lyssa and Lycaon, the Greek king who was cursed by Zeus to become the first werewolf, could have made the perfect couple.)

Hey, Bram Stoker, did you read about rabies in the London libraries around the 1890’s? Two legends, vampires and werewolves, both being vectored by saliva (viral infection) passed during a bite. Hmm, a curious coincidence.

Image courtesy: http://www.horror.land

A mind filled with crap

During the first half of my life I valued experiences far more than things. Get out into the world and engage. Hike the mountains, run the rivers, drive the highways, swim the oceans and eat, drink and dance the cultures of the country.

Fatherhood supplanted that trend, but only in practice not in spirit. Now it was my kids who needed the experiences: beach combing, berry picking, lizard catching, exploring, experimenting, creating.

And then that phase, too, passed.

Sure, I watched my share of TV, enjoyed a movie now and then and read a ton of novels. But time spent passively consuming life paled in comparison to actual participation.

This is no longer the case.

Even without a pandemic constricting real-life involvement, the trend has been to fill one’s time with other’s experiences. Binging episodic entertainment has replaced empirical existence, hands-on living. I find myself turned into a submissive slug, my mind filled with inane garbage pumped from the likes of my media masters.

Years ago I predicted that humanity would never reach the stars, never travel to other worlds. Why? Because a virtual life was so much easier to endure. Let the “influencers” (organic or AI) risk life and limb. I’ll just jack in and let my mind be fooled into thinking I’m actually living a life well lived.

This morning I woke up, not thinking of my own existence, but that of the characters I’d been mainlining—an insidious entertainment epidural—my mind filled with crap, no room for my own thoughts.

Courtesy: Pixabay.com

Beyond Surreal

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“Oh, did you see that? That foul ball took the head right off that cardboard dummy standing in for a real fan. Brutal!”

…And their mouths hung open for a minute or two. Then all the Muds down in Mudville, the tall and the small, all cried ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

Is this like some alter-universe baseball version of Brazil?

Cardboard-fucking-cutouts? As fans? I… I have no words for this.

Geezus, go play ball in an Iowan corn field. Find some goddamned high school that’s got no high schoolers in it due to, you know, pan-fucking-demic, and play at their field.

To stick cut-outs of people into seats—not just behind the plate, no, behind the outfielders too—is beyond surreal. It’s sick. This is a sign of sickness.

(And I don’t care HOW much those idiots—whose faces coat those cut-outs—paid to get their dopey faces onto those half-assed dime store mannequins. Nothing could be worth the SHAME of playing before a pantheon of paper people. Nothing.)