Monthly Archives: December 2012

THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT?

It could have its advantages…

According to the Mayan calendar, tomorrow – December 21, 2012 – the world will end. What form will this “end” take? Will it come as a humongous galactic catastrophe? As an attack from aliens? Or as the day when, because of humankind’s profligate production of carbon dioxide, the earth will run out of oxygen to breath and we will all faint dead away? Or will some force somewhere simply flip a switch and we will be no more?

It seems our species has always had and always will need to dream up scenarios for the end of the world, perhaps as the logical conclusion to the thought that: All good things must come to an end.

Or will tomorrow turn out to be just another date for the apocalypse that will come and go without anything really…apocalyptic…happening?

Not that I wish to cause pain to anyone, but there could be a lot of useful side effects from the end of life as we know it. For example, if it were really to end tomorrow, I could completely forget all this nonsensical preparation for Christmas. No more shopping, no more card writing, menu planning,gift wrapping. I could even eat an entire chocolate cake this afternoon (I’ll be visiting my friend Suz who has a bakery, so this is a real option!) without having to suffer the consequences to my diet.

Seen on a level beyond my own little life, Angela Merkel wouldn’t have to worry about saving Greece and the Euro; Mario Monti could give Silvio B. the finger and tell the rest of Italy to go to hell in a hand basket. David Cameron wouldn’t have to worry about how to cut Britain loose from the EU without causing…the end of life as Brits know it.

Nor would Barak Obama have any need to fight the Republicans and save the USA from plummeting over the Fiscal Cliff. But even more important than that, he wouldn’t need to battle Congress and the National Rifle Association to change the f—–g gun laws in the USA.

A poster shared via Facebook displays the following incongruity:  Kinder Surprise (illegal) versus assault rifles (legal).  A chocolate egg containing a small toy for a child to assemble is banned by the FDA in the USA because it could pose a danger to small children. Let me run that through my head one more time… Kinder chocolate is illegal; assault rifles are… legal.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.[60]

That’s it, the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution that allows Americans the right to bear arms, a basic human right.  Of course, we all know that was conceived in the late 18th century; it seems the country and the rule of law have not progressed since then.

All that remains is to wish everyone a Merry Christmas…just in case we are still here. And as merry as any holiday can be after the events in New Town, Connecticut.

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Filed under Endings, Politics, Seasonal Reflections

REFLECTIONS ON THE YEAR’S END – The Christmas Rush

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   The Christmas Effect

In Germany towards the end of the year, you’re told by articles in the newspaper that you should take time out to be “besinnlich”.  “Sich besinnen” means to contemplate, to reflect on…something.  Wouldn’t it be more sensible to preach that in the summer when we’re all off on vacation? As Christmas approaches, who has time  to reflect on anything?

Both working men and women are hassled as the year draws to a close. There’s that project to complete, those sales projections to meet – or even better, exceed, and will the year-end results pacify corporate HQ?

But do the men have to worry about creating that special Christmas effect for their loved ones at home? I’m going to risk sounding sexist here. In most hetero families the woman gets stuck with the long to-do list: Xmas shopping and grocery shopping, home decorations, card writing, not to mention organizing the social calendar for one and all – inviting friends around, involving more work –  and then that ever-present necessity: food preparation. The only thing she has time to reflect on is what in the hell she should cook that night.

I’ve never heard a man sigh and complain about all the preparations yuletide demands. No, they have been wordlessly delegated to his partner. The men even leave their gift shopping until Christmas Eve. Then they can maintain they looked everywhere for just the right present but couldn’t find anything good enough. Of course not. The stores were all picked clean. So they drive home on the 24th in need of sympathy and a bottle of red. With glass in hand they settle in front of the television while their wives are zipping around, multi-tasking their way through the final countdown.

Or am I completely off-base here? It’s time for you men to defend yourselves. Or if you agree with me, you could submit a laudatio for your significant other half, praising her amazing organizational talents.

Oh yes, I remember now: reflections. You see how easy it is to forget them this time of year. I should be contemplating all the blessings bestowed on me: our health and wealth, our beautiful family and dear friends. But sorry, I’m pushed for time today. I’ve got to get the Xmas cards for Australia to the post office before it closes!

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Filed under Seasonal Reflections