Metroblog

A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

24 December 2007

Merry Christmas 2007, From Metro

Metro probably qualifies as a curmudgeon. I'm cynical by experience rather than temperament.

But I didn't want to leave the post below as my final thought on the season.

I've had a hard time plugging in this Christmas. Christmas is a tough time for an atheist. I felt a spark of what might be called Christmas spirit even as I stood on stage mumbling "and god bless us every one"--syllables that are, in their lexical simplicity, meaningless to me.

The question I am forced to ask myself is, as Scrooge once phrased it: "And what reason have you to be merry?"

Why should I feel that Christmas is any damn different from the rest of the year?

Chinese toy companies still use slave labour to flood the market with dangerous, sometimes poisonous crap that most of us don't need yet buy for friends because we don't know them well enough to get them something meaningful.

Donations wash in to charities in smaller amounts as the largest economy in the world lists heavily to port, while governments refuse to provide even the basic neccesities to their citizens, much less basic human rights.

Many of you will receive clothing and goods this year that are worth a month's salary or more for the people who are ruining their eyesight and health making them, as the "economic engines" roar on, fouling land, air and sea in an effort to ensure that North Americans can still buy useless crap for next-to-nothing with their shrinking dollars.

Governments the world over continue to maraud, torture, and kill. Usually in the name of some cause we can all support ... access to oil ranks highly.

What hope is there in any of this?

People.

Quite simply, I tend to believe that there are very few actually evil people in the world. Most of what passes for evil is simply the result of a cascade of decisions beginning with one or more people who make the selfish choice rather than one their hearts or consciences tell them they should.

And there's always hope that that will change. There's always the odd selfless act from the unexpected source.

Think about it, the wallet returned with $3000 still in it. The anonymous donor who offers an organ for transplant. The sudden change of heart on the part of a town council that leaves a low-income housing building renovated instead of demolished.

And that's something that can happen year round.

I believe that we are improved by the selfless choices we make, and that the selfish ones don't always diminish us.

If I had one wish, apart from the world peace thing, it would, I think, be that each of us might make one less selfish decision this year.

Failing that, I'll settle for decisions based in the long-term or rooted in enlightened self-interest.

Deep down, I love people, bless their black, greedy wee hearts, and I believe that enlightened self interest is a force for good.

So merry Christmas to us, to the bastards and bitches, to the mean, the vile, the low, the cunning, and all the other rotten devils with whom we share this planet.

And God bless us, every one.

15 Comments:

At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I still haven't firmly decided on my particular religious stance, I still love celebrating Christmas. I enjoy the contact with friends and family and the excuse to give the people I care about gifts. I really like that for one short time most folks will try to embrace the "goodwill to all" spirit of the season. There are exceptions of course, but I still like seeing that side of people and it gives me hope.
So blessings on you and yours, whether they come from Gods or any other place.
I consider myself VERY fortunate to have had your friendship for all these years and look forward to may more.

IH

 
At 12:44 PM, Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

Bonjour Monsieur Metro et la Kindly Mdm Lori

WHERE EAGLES dare

Please forgive mon impertinence mais j'ai tres enjoyé les vestres postes en 2007 - you have something important et interessant to say and I look forward to reading it in 2008

Can we hope to see you both en Ingleterra in 2008 ?

Alles Gute

G Eagle

 
At 8:00 PM, OpenID azahar said...

I think it's lovely to remember the good in the world and celebrate it, so I try not to let the humbugs get me down.

Merry Christmas!

Oh, and if you make it to Inglaterra I hope you'll also stop by Sevilla.

 
At 8:43 PM, Anonymous PJ said...

Keep in mind that violent crime in North America has gone DOWN about 25% in the past bunch of years, but media reporting of it has gone UP about 700%. It's not a terrible world we live in; it's just portrayed that way for ratings, for money. Azahar is right; focus on the good. It's everywhere.

Like Anonymous, I love Christmas even though I'm not Christian, as an excuse to celebrate the joy of having the people we love in our lives. Not always family, though.

Roger Ebert, writing of the movie "Home for the Holidays", wrote, "Have we not all, on our ways to family gatherings, parked the car a block away, taken several deep breaths, rubbed our eyes and massaged our temples, and driven on, gritting our teeth? That is not because we do not love our families, but because we know them so very, very well."

Sometimes friends are more rewarding to be with than family.

Meantime, watch the Alien Bunnies' 30-second reenactment of "It's a Wonderful Life", here.

 
At 12:51 AM, Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

BUNNIES - WELL DONE, PJ !!!

 
At 8:58 AM, OpenID azahar said...

oooh, I love those Bunnies - and I also really love It's a Wonderful Life. Might watch it later today... to be followed by Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (so as not to implode from sentimental overload - last night it was Love Actually - like, enough already!).

 
At 9:16 PM, Anonymous Stilettp said...

Merry Christmas, Metro. Sorry I've been a stranger but know you're in my thoughts.

 
At 1:59 PM, Blogger Slave to the dogs said...

Happy New Year, Metro! Thanks for the intelligent debate.

 
At 2:40 PM, Blogger Metro said...

@IH:
Thank you. I am also fortunate in having the calibre of friends that I do. Thanks for the gift as well.

@G EaGle:
It is, I hope, a truth universally acknowledged that an eagle in Ingleterra must not be in want of a merry Yuletide solstice-type thingy.

As to travel plans--we must first undertake a far more harrowing journey, to the shores of Ottawa, sometime next year. After that, we intend on a longer trip, whether to the continong or the Antipodes we are yet uncertain.

@Az:
Ditto. And if we make it to the continent we shall surely pay a visit to the cats of Seville.

@PJ:
The only family we had here was my mum-in-law (as ye may well know), with whom I get along quite well.

As to the bunnies--I found them through their "Titanic" parody. What a tremendous concept.

@Stilleto:
{sings}You'll be home for Chr-is-tmas, if on-leee in my dreams ;-)

Dinner, as provided by Mme Metro, was delicious--the only better turkey I've ever eaten was cooked by the person who taught Mme the trick of it (sorry, Mum).

 
At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Metro-Mudgeon;

Am I a bastard, too? Crikey, that hurts.

EK

 
At 12:50 PM, Blogger Philipa said...

Hope you had a great xmas Metro, happy new year :-)

 
At 7:24 PM, Blogger Metro said...

@EK:
Actually, I had you in mind specifically while composing this entry :-)

Hope you had a terrific Christmas. Go anywhere?

@Philipa:
I did so, will too, and you do so too. We're doing up our little bar downstairs a la tropical beach.

 
At 11:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sand is just so hard to get out of the carpet.

IH

 
At 1:03 PM, Blogger Philipa said...

Metro - a tropical beach? Full of mozzies and rats? No I don't believe you - you're aiming for a Hollywood tropical beach aren't you?! You've shipped in Raincoaster and she's wearing a sarong? Grass skirt? Playing Elvis songs on a guitar? Harmonica? Paper and comb? Armpit? But no, I guess you'll be doing something more traditional and refined. Whatever you do, have a good evening and happy wossname :-)

 
At 10:27 AM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Great post, Metro, and I agree with you about most of it.

Happy New Year, though. I'm just starting to emerge from hiatus, so I know it's a bit late. Nonetheless, here's to another year of great blogging.

 

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