Sunday, December 21, 2008
Warren Christmas and the Solstice Armistice
What's the fuss about war on Christmas? Is it always a bad thing? When I was growing up in the Sixties and early Seventies, we always had war on Christmas.
As a child of The Nam, we had war(on the news) every single day... we had war on Easter, we had war on Halloween , on birthdays, Thanksgiving and even on Veteran's Day. On leap years we were dealt one extra day to have war on. Did we complain?
Do you know what George Washington got for Christmas in 1776?
He and his troops got to march for hours through the cold, dark snow, is what.
It's a good thing that they did, because if they hadn't done so, the small but pivotal Battle of Trenton might never have occurred and the rebellious American colonies may well have failed in their attempt to separate from British rule - if that had happened, I'd be writing this post in English instead of in American. In a sense, it was literally "war on Christmas" that made America a free country.
One magical childhood day, we saw pictures of helicopters on the TV news. The helicopters looked very busy and after their work was done, it seemed as if the War on Everyday had ended.
It hadn't. The only thing that stopped was the TV news' nightly tabulation of casualties- there were still plenty of bodies, but no 'body count'.
Some called this 'Peace'.
Meanwhile, the WoE continued, with covert, clandestine operations in geo-politically significant locales including, but not limited to, Afghanistan, Palestine, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and most of Central America. Sound familiar?
The WoE has always been dreadfully expensive to operate. In the 1980's, resourceful WoE warriors (notably Lt. Col. Oliver North) discovered a new and nearly endless revenue source: cocaine, trafficked into the USA under the watchful eye of the Company Men. Cocaine was converted into currency which was then converted into guns which were then given to our allies, many of whom are our enemies now...it was meant to be confusing and it is.
Before long, America's urban centers were flooded with cheap, plentiful cocaine, which in turn created new jobs in the then-unknown Crack Industry. This cornucopic new cocaine supply helped spark a national burst of self-destructive productivity- it gave rise to new, powerful Drug Gangs such as the Bloods and the Crips; the activities of these gangs spurred overwhelmed Law Enforcement agencies to declare a New War, this time they declared it on Drugs. They had to be on Drugs, because no sober person would consider such a war to be winnable.
As is always the case, this war had casualties. The most numerous victims of the War on Drugs were referred to as 'prisoners'. They were considered dangerous and were meant to be stored behind walls, safely away from citizens who hadn't been caught yet.
As more citizens were captured, the Law quickly ran out storage space, so deals were struck between the Public and Private sector to create a for-profit Prison Industry that could accommodate the tsunami-like influx of new prisoners.
The War on Drugs created a lot of jobs. Prison guards, contractors, clinic personnel, therapists, morticians... many members of these trades benefited directly or indirectly from the WoD. Retroactively legalizing drugs would free a significant percentage of prisoners, which would cause a similar decline in the need for prison guards and staff...you would have laid-off prison guards competing against newly-released felons for increasingly scarce jobs.
Simply put, the price of one man's freedom could be another man's livelihood, and while that might sound like an easy choice, it's a matter of priorities and ours, as a nation, are screwed.
We'd be lucky if the only war we had was on Christmas. It would make the rest of the year much more bearable. This week's radio show was a sort of solstice armistice, my way of making peace with Christmas.
The New Breakfast Snob:1pm-3pm, Dec. 20th
When I arrived at the station, I was informed that our internet stream was down. I had eight minutes to fix it. I traced the problem to a PC-looking thingie that had somehow become unplugged from it's electric outlet. I plugged it in and we were back on-line with five minutes to spare. I adjusted my set list accordingly.
The Beatles- Let It Be
Damien Dempsey- It's All Good
Clannad- Why Worry?
After that set, I got the first of three phone calls from 'K', my new #1 local fan. K told me that my show was her favorite...I blushed.
Cursive- Hymns For Heathens
Inner Gypsies- We Three Kings
Green Man- The Shiny Penny
XTC- Countdown To Christmas Party Time
Lord Weatherby- Santa Claus Is Freaking Me Out
Melissa Cox- My Magdelene
Loreena McKinnett - God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman
K called again. OK, she said, you got me. I'm actually enjoying Christmas music.
Wow, I thought, is this an 'accomplishment moment'?
The Pogues- Fairytale Of New York
Damien Dempsey- Celtic Tiger
Those Dreaded Gnats- Merry F*cking Christmas
Vercce- That's Why I Hate The Holidays
The Beatles- Across The Universe
ATU was for Jackie Sue, who just happened to tune in as it was playing. Nice!
The Pigs- I've Got Santa Claus
Robert Mirabel- Green Chile Christmas
The Boxhounds- Jingle Bells
Trailer Park Troubadors- Trailer Park Christmas
Those Dreaded Gnats- Down With Christmas
Jean Lamp- I Scare Myself To Death
I dedicated this song to my #1 fan. They were asleep but I didn't know that.
Mystery Cowboy- Rudolph The Redneck Reindeer
Jethro Tull- Hunting Girl
K on the phone again. I get the impression that she likes my sense of humor. I decide that I'm in love with K.
Get her phone number, you idiot!
I suddenly get confused by all of the buttons in front of me...get her phone number, you idiot!
Disoriented, I run out of music before I can muster my courage.
The Service Industry- Bellringer's Christmas
The Guiltless Cult- Supernatural Sun
Rare Earth- War
'War on Christmas'...get it? Haha.
Kevin Cahoon- Fashionista
Leo Kottke- Pink Christmas
Trailer Park Troubadors- King of Christmas
I sure hope K calls next week.