Thursday, December 5, 2013

Jon Stewart and Danny Westneat keep me sane...

People are fighting each other in every state over good deals at the Black Friday Sales that really happened on Thursday. Corporate America smiles as it looks on at the crazy throngs of people scooping up their deals and offers of more stuff at low low prices. Not only have people lost complete sight of the holiday with the very word "Thank" in it's name, they forget what it is that keeps those prices low low low. Corporations move their businesses from country to country to exploit one population after another paying them lower and lower wages so that people in developed countries can buy cheap stuff. It's a vicious cycle, people aren't paid well enough for what they do, so they need things to cost less but they cost less because we pay people less to make them. But we fall for it every time and not only do we keep going out and buying the stuff, we beat up our fellow man/woman to do it.

Christmas has lost some meaning for me over the years because I have lost touch with religion, but I do enjoy giving. I love buying gifts for the people I love and seeing or hearing their pleased voices on Christmas morning. What I do not like about Christmas is shopping and it's just gotten worse over the years. More people used to complain about the commercialization of Christmas but now it's touted as "True American" though only by the folks at Fox News and that craziest of people given a microphone, Sarah Palin. Of course they think it's fabulous because it is Capitalism at it's best (or worst depending on your perspective) and they just LOVE capitalism, because they are all hugely benefiting from it, screw all those that aren't or don't. And then, just as they finish telling you how great it is to shop and enjoy the commercialization of Christmas they have the nerve to tell you that it's the non-Christians that are ruining Christmas because we won't say "Merry Christmas" and we've asked that companies stop saying it, because it assumes that we all celebrate it. I suppose if you are just going to throw Christ out of Christmas and call it what it is, an American Holiday with roots of pagan rituals from the Solstice celebrations embodied in our myth, Santa Claus, then I guess we could just all say Merry Christmas to everyone. But not everyone partakes even in the pagan, American ritual of Christmas. So, what is it that Christians are so upset about? Would they like it if we said Happy Ramadan to them? No, I suspect they would correct us and say they do not celebrate that holiday (they might even say it less politely than that).

And so, as you can see from this rant, I get a bit crazy sometimes with frustration. I lack understanding for those who lack understanding for anyone or anything that does not share their exact experience. I see that they are fearful, but their lack of empathy and quickness to judgment leaves me cold and passionate to help them see better, to understand better, to wake up and realize not everyone is them. This is when I need a little Jon and Danny. They keep me sane.

Jon Stewart helps to reveal the hypocrisy of the Fox News and elite, including the politicians and the other news organizations from all sides of the aisle. His team develops an amazing array of comedy that shows the hypocrisy of the common people and all their beautiful glory. I am able to laugh when I see myself in his portrayals and I am able to see that I'm not crazy when I get frustrated by others. It's real, and it's not funny, but sometimes all you can do is laugh.

Danny Westneat is a local columnist for the Seattle Times whom I read diligently every Sunday and Wednesday. He tackles more local craziness, giving insight and clarity to issues, and even some humor at times. He lays it out and often expresses so perfectly just exactly how I feel about something and I am so grateful for that. I am so glad someone is out there saying these things.

I listen, I read, I laugh, I feel better... sanity.

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