Friday, November 26, 2010
Holiday season is an annual source of amazement & dismay. Yesterday I was reading & wondering why the hell we're still defending an economic & military powerhouse like South Korea 60 years after the Korean "police action." North Korea doesn't have China & the Soviet Union propping it up anymore. South Korea, thanks to us, has its own large, well-equipped armed forces. Why are we spending billions "protecting" nations that can protect themselves, are in better or at least no worse economic condition than us, but give us The Finger when we ask for mildly favorable trade & monetary policy concessions? We shouldn't be whipping President Obama for it, but rather asking why those nations are screwing us when it ought to be as obvious to us as it is to them that our "empire" is hollow & collapsing & we need to redirect our resources back home & stop wasting lives & treasure overseas when millions are jobless or underemployed here & our infrastructure is falling apart around us. Those other countries will use us until we're all used up. They're driving ahead, while our eyes are fixed on the rear view mirror. We just handed over the House of Representives to politicians who think it's 1955 - or ought to be, when plate tectonics were a fanciful idea & it was inconceivable for priests to molest children, & the two big Commie nations had their own empires. But back then, President Ike was successfully promoting a grand system of interstate highways. Now we treat a needed & long-overdue new rail tunnel under the Hudson like a bridge-to-nowhere.
So we ignore all that & line up outside Best Buy & Walmart for hypnotic 3D HDTVs. On the way home we stop to buy powerball lottery tickets, which allow us to dream right along with the bankers & war profiteers who are ripping us off.
This isn't a bah humbug post. I have no problem separating the beautiful & meaningful religious observances from the secular craziness that has become so important a "holiday" to our economy. I don't like it. But I don't think generic "Happy Holidays" sales signs in big box stores constitute a "War on Christmas." We invented this month-long festival. Real war is the War on Christmas.