Well Said!

This used to be a blog dedicated to my graduate studies. Now I see that the answers do not lie in perpetual higher education, but there is still plenty of wisdom to be had in the words of others.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Harlan Ellison on Christmas

Christmas is an awulness that compares favorably with the great London plague and fire of 1665-66. No one escapes the feelings of mortal dejection, inadequacy, frustration, loneliness, guilt, and pity. No one escapes feeling used by society, by religion, by friends and relatives, by the utterly artificial responsibilities of extending false greetings, sending banal cards, reciprocating unsolicited gifts, going to dull parties, putting up with acquaintances and family one avoids all the rest of the year...in short, of being brutalized by a "holiday" that has lost virtually all of its original meanings and has become a merchandising ploy for color tv set manufacturers and ravagers of the woodlands.

Christmas is constructed and promulgated in such a way that to defy it or ignore it makes one a monster. To refuse to send cards, to toss the ones received in the wastebasket, to refuse to accept gifts and to refuse to give them, to walk untouched through the consumer-crowds and never feel the urge to buy Aunt Martha that lovely combination rotisserie-&-bidet, to maintain one's sanity staunchly through the beserk days of year's end makes one, in the eyes of those who lack the courage to eschew hypocrisy, an awful heretic, a slug, a vile and contemptible thug.

--from "No Offense Intended, But Fuck Xmas!" (Los Angeles Free Press, 12/28/72); collected with other excellent essays in The Harlan Ellison Hornbook (1990)


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