Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Sunday, December 24, 2006

What a freaky story. I suppose all religious myths are.

Angel comes to a young woman. Young womans freaks out. Angel says, “Hey -- don
t be afraid. God favors you. You’re having his baby.”

Woman has baby, but she’s on the road with her husband, and the inns are full, so they stay in a stable with the animals, and after the baby arrives they lay him in a feed trough. You have to picture it tenderly, like any new parent.

That feed trough, that beautiful feed trough. In this religion, the baby grows up to be the Son of God, and He identifies himself with the All -- the edible world is his body, he tells us; the potable world is his blood. We are beasts in the stable, he’s our feed in the feed trough.

Hundreds of years after he dies, the Emperor takes up his worship, and somewhere along the way they decide to equate his birth with the Winter Solstice, the rebirth of the sun. The people of the north need a winter festival of lights; the church figures, might as well line it up with the celebration of the birth and the feed trough.

And in the old story the feed-trough celebration is also the moment of utopian hopes of peace and good will -- that angel comes again, only this time to some shepherds, and the shepherds freak out -- who wouldn
’t? -- and the angel again has to calm them down -- in the Bible, angels spend a good quarter of their stage time telling people to stop freaking out -- and the angel tells the shepherds about the baby, and then a great crowd of the heavenly host appears and adds something about, And on Earth, Peace, and Good Will Among All People.

Peace and good will, peace and good will, peace and good will. Sounds good.

The Light Festival and Feed Trough Celebration drags a lot of people down -- it’s a powerful force, this holiday, deep expectations of familial happiness which just ain’t there for everybody, it’s also a time of consumer madness. And it
s a time of memories of irrevocable losses.

No matter where you are on the continuum -- I love Christmas, but if you hate Christmas, I’m with you, it’s a heavy trip, Christmas -- and if you aren’t Christian, it can be oppressive, and if you are, it can still be too much, too gawdy, too too many things.

In the cosmic barroom, I’ll get this round -- peace, good will, and love for the house. I got taken care of today, and I’m flush.

You can get the next one -- but only if you feel like it.

Thanks for the photo: David M. Converse
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