Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I suppose I just look at many things with a jaundiced eye in light of my life experience and the choices I've made…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:46 AM Permalink

…but slowly, through the years, Christmas and those so-called, "Spirit of the holidays…" that prompts people to go out and spend more than they can afford to try and bring a little semblance of peace, happiness, and celebrate the birth of their Savior by partying, going further into debt to buy gifts, and who think not at all of what Christmas is supposed to really be about.

Even I participated in the charade and parade of decadence in the past, especially when my son, Jesse, was just a youngster. We never went to church (I haven't been inside a church since 1966), but I always wanted my son to participate in the fun of a Christmas morning, the hugh trees, tons of presents (I never used credit cards then, didn't have any. If you can't afford to pay cash, you can't afford it), and the fun and camaraderie of his peers as they showed off their gifts, played with their toys, and just had nothing but fun on Christmas Day. I have to admit I enjoyed that part of the holiday.

Another benefit of the holidays were the personal visits or the calls home to momma made by my bail skips. Mother's Day, Father's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas, the quartet that would allow me to make money hand over fist from just pulling phone bills in the days after and chasing down the collect calls.

Through the years it slowly dawned on me that I wasn't really that much different than the retailers that have so bastardized all the holidays, but especially Christmas, as I recognized that these holidays weren't to celebrate the birth of Christ. Christ would have wanted people to love ALL the other people, peace on earth, and to see that the very least amongst us had the means to join in the celebration.

I used to imagine Jesus, if he exists, watching from above, weeping that the tenants for which he gave his mortal life had disappeared, swallowed by greed, avarice, and the giving among people the gifts that would just turn into a mantlepiece, a broken toy never played with, bountiful foods served to people who didn't need it and blessing only those who sacrificed in their personal life to work distributing food to the poor, cooking for the poor, donating to the poor.

And I guess that's when I stopped believing in Jesus, God, and the Holy Ghost (did they ever find a name for him?). There can be no omnipotent God overlooking this planet filled with disease, famine, millions killed and displaced in illegal wars, the aids academic in Africa, and all the children living in poverty here, in the richest country on earth (although I don't believe we're th richest to be true anymore either) much less elswhere, the ill and infirm, the poor having to chose between opening a fresh can of dog or cat food or breaking in half one of the pills vital to their health and maybe doing a half-dose which only serves to prolong their suffering instead of making them well.

No one will ever convince me that there is a kind and merciful god overlooking humanity that could possibly like what he sees, his creation, the evil running rampant in the world that will sooner or later end all life on this planet and, after a few hundred million years from now have passed, maybe then the god that so many people worship under various names and differing religions would give humanity another chance.

I'm betting that the reptiles would come back and rule the earth for another 125,000,000 years or so, or maybe just permanently. Mankind has sure turned out to be a bust.

But for our readers who believe in Christ, I do wish you a happy holiday; I just wish everyone lived as they know they should, share as they know they should, and cared for the least of us as they should.

As to me, I, too, completely lost sight of what the celebration of Christmas was for and used this holiday, among others, to make money. I guess the main difference between me and retailers was that retailers were trying to make their nut for the whole year, while I used it to return scumbags, fugitives, absconds, bail skips, ascribe whatever appellation to them you will, to return them to custody where many, many of them deserved to be.

So while I am in no position to judge anyone else for the beliefs they hold, I feel they should be equally respectful of the belief I hold as to there being absolutely no all powerful, all knowing deity, whose praises are sung while evil men with evil intent work ever harder to marginalize even more of society, close the doors to education, health care, feeding the poor whose numbers grow greater each and every year, and improving anyone's quality of life and enriching even more the lives of those already rich.

As unemployment keeps increasing, does anyone doubt that we will eventually be seeing food riots? Anyone doubt our Emergency Rooms will only grow further swamped by people with no insurance, driving up health care costs to the point only the very, very wealthy will have their own physicians to monitor and extend their lives? Any doubt more and more homeless, thousands of them war veterans unable to readjust, will die from exposure to the elements, starvation, ill-health and a raft of other reasons?

I used to stop almost every time I'd see one of these poor people living in the street, and if I had $5 on me I'd give it to them with the admonition to go eat and not spend it on booze. C'mon people, can it really hurt you that much to give a lousy five dollars to a food kitchen, charitable organizations, those churches that actually do get out there and do good works. Or drop off a bag of food, a turkey or a ham, lots of canned nonperishables, distribute jackets, blankets and clothing? That, to me, is what Christmas should be about. Take the other 364 days to gorge yourself, spoil yourself, spoil others, and spread wealth to people who don't need it, don't use it in vain of him whom you worship. That's hypocrisy walking a tightrope at 100,000 feet without a net, or at least more net than the rest of us can afford.

This is a country of over 300,000,000, a donation of five dollars per person in a household would pay for so much with the 1.5 billion dollars resulting paying for our direst needs. Health care for every American from cradle to grave. Infrastructure repair that the government could order started tomorrow would provide hundreds of thousands of jobs. Banks snivel that they can't fill positions without $500,000 salaries and millions in bonuses. Bullshit! Tell that to all the college students that can't find a job. They'll find plenty of people more than willing to work for that kind of money. if they would look for employees instead of government handouts.

Aw, that's enough. I'm telling you things you already know now, and with less eloquence than many who came before me.

If you celebrate Christmas, please take just a few minutes to contemplate how Jesus would really like to see his birth celebrated. If he ever existed at all. And remember, there will be lots and lots of people, like I used to be, out making arrests, gathering intel for future busts, and those that don't necessarily serve man as a whole, but whose benefit to society in general cannot be denied.


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At 9:29 PM, Blogger jae said...

Haven't seen a better monologue on what Christmas should be.



At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did they ever find a name for the "Holy Ghost?"

Yeah, they called him the "Spook."
(ref. R.A. Heinlein, Job)


At 11:40 AM, Blogger Bill Arnett said...

Thank you for your kind words, Jae. It's a lot easier to speak from the heart than filter things through the processes imposed or instilled in us by the government and so-called "holy people" among us that do not at all live by the precepts espoused by Jesus, which is why I'm convinced he/she doesn't exist on some ethereal plane.

At 11:49 AM, Blogger Bill Arnett said...

I/ve read a lot of Heinlein through and anytime anyone asks what my favorite book is I reflexively say, "A Stranger in a Strange Land"…, a book that so touched me that a lot of my philosophies and thoughts on things, especially religion.

But I hav to admit I haven't "Job." Is it a novel or short story. I'd love to read it.

Spook is very befitting. Thanx!

At 12:00 PM, Blogger Bill Arnett said...

Uh, please forgive all the typos. My left has never known what my right was doing, but lately my left arm and hand have been cantankerous lately. It disturbs me when I'm in so much pain that the morphine and half-dozen other meds don't even touch it or ameliorate it in any way. Did ya see how I snuck in that ten dollar word?)

I ment to say,""A Stranger in a Strange Land"…, a book that so touched me that a lot of my philosophies and thoughts on things more than any other single factor than anything 'cept the Summer of Love in 1968. (I got touched a lot then.)

At 5:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After Heinlein died, his wife Virginia (I think) republished his original SiaSL novel in its original verse. That made it almost half again longer.

Even so, I think that the final published version (circa early sixties) was a tighter and easier-read version.

Heinlein's book "Job, A Comedy of Justice" was very clever in many ways, though it also bogged down sometimes.

Here's a Google take:

It is a fairly enjoyable read.



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