Archives for posts with tag: christmas

The “Christian Right” is starting into its annual festive tizzy about how Baby Jesus is being dissed due to people uttering words other than “Merry Christmas” during the period of time between Halloween and New Year’s Eve. In reality, of course, there is no such “war on Christmas”, and has never been. You want the real story on the annual celebration? Here ya go:

When the weather gets cold and the days get short, people like to have a party, to lift their spirits. It’s been going on for, literally, thousands of years, all over the planet. Vis. and to wit:

In ancient Rome, it was called Saturnalia (or Dies Natalis Solis Invicti).
Modern American Hindus celebrate Pancha Ganapati.
Vainakhs celebrated Malkh.
Saxons celebrated Mōdraniht.
European-descended Pagans have a Yule holiday.
Persian-descended Pagans celebrate Shabe Yaldā.
Christians, of course, have Christmas.
The jewish people celebrate Hanukkah.
Slavic folk have been known to observe Malanka.

To name but a few. Get the idea? When all around is dark and dreary, we humans like to have some light and merriment.

So just because Christian missionairies in the British Isles decided to adapt some Celtic Pagan observances by inventing a birthday celebration for Rebbe Yeshuah Bar Joseph (AKA Jesus), and just because we Christian types happen to be in the majority in contemporary America, doesn’t mean other people in and from other cultures don’t have a right to party in the manner of their own choosing. We all need a bit of a pick-me-up when nature has us feeling down.

It’s gotten worse since Fundagelicals have decided to repurpose the celebratory holiday of Christmas into yet another evangelical outlet; because when religious people are looking for converts, they can get pretty militant. (See the Albigensian Crusade for another example besides the current ones.) Songs like “Mary, Did You Know” are perfect examples of this phenomenon. It’s no longer enough to wish the Savior a happy birthday and give gifts and charity to others: no, these proselytizeing latter-day Puritans are after your very souls. Damn your fun, they are on a mission!

Everybody, just take a breath and smile. Drive away the chill and dark with warmth and light. It’s what humans do. All of us. For all of our history. This writer loves the opportunity to liven up the blah days of a blah season, and doesn’t care what you call your party.

Call it “Bob”, if you want. It might prevent a few wars, or a few Fox News editorials at the very least. The reason for the season is: to help ourselves and those around us to be a wee bit happier.

So Happy Bob to one and all.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

The company claims it wasn’t retaliation. Yeah, right. Most of the Snarf’s Subs employees who got s***-canned were among those who were out advocating for an increased minimum wage a few weeks ago. And in response, they got fired by email, right before Christmas Eve.

Here’s a bit of the email:

1. Due to increased competition and losses, ownership has decided to consider remodeling and reconcepting the store at 600 West Chicago Ave.

2. The store is closing, effective tomorrow, December 23, 2013 for an unknown period of time for this remodeling and reconcepting.

3. All staff is terminated, effective Monday, December 23, 2013.

Notice the words “consider remodeling and reconcepting”. They aren’t even sure they will do anything , or what they would do if they did. Nobody in business axes an entire location with less than 24 hours’ notice and no plan for the future. This is not a normal part of a long-term business plan; this is a bitch-slap to the workers who asked for a raise, and a warning to anyone else who is thinking about making a similar request.

And that is why your job sucks, fellow Americans. Because your employer can do whatever they want to you, whenever they want, and for any reason they dream up. We have no protection, very few rights, and no one to stand up for us.

And even if you don’t get fired, you get to pay via your tax dollars for the few remaining social safety-net items for the workers who DID get fired. The employer pays almost nothing. We pay almost everything.

All of our jobs suck. We have let them suck, by electing politicians who enable the increased suck. We have turned our backs on the unions and other agents who helped to decrease the suck.

And we now must re-fight the battles of old, to decrease the suck once again. Unless we all want our jobs to be Snarfed up.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Even though we were never told to celebrate His birthday,

Even though there is scant evidence to prove that Rebbe Yeshua Bar Joseph even existed,

Even though the Christmas holiday was created to help wipe out the pagan religions that competed with the new faith of Christianity,

And even though it has become a crass, obnoxious, commercialized and manipulative season that starts months before and exhausts us all by the time it is done with,

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas because for a while, people pay attention to their families, and friends.

Merry Christmas because for a while, people give a bit more to those who need help.

Merry Christmas because in today’s America, we really need something positive to celebrate.

Merry Christmas, because even the crankiest among us needs to lighten up for a day or so.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Greetings to all Cranky readers, gentle and otherwise. As many of you know, “Mr. Blunt and Cranky” is the non de blog of a songwriter who earns part of his unfortunately-not-all-that-considerable income by selling his songs. If you’re looking for a last-minute gift that does not include getting trampled in a store, we suggest you consider a download or five of songs from the Rumbleman:

Samples are there for your evaluation, so you can decide which tunes to purchase, at Google, Apple, Amazon, or eMusic.

Making such a purchase would be a gift to your song collection, AND this humble blogger. Whatever you decide, thanks for reading.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky, AKA RumblemanLogo_black

P.S. The Rumbleman moniker was the “gift” of a sound engineer who disagreed with me on how my bass should sound in the mix at a long-ago charity concert. I wanted it to sound very heavy and, well, like a bass; he wanted it to sound like a banjo,as far as I could tell. We argued during soundcheck, until he called me “that godd*** rumbleman up there”. Since many friends were in attendance, the nickname stuck like a flypaper. What the hell, I’ve been called a lot worse things over the past half-century. B&C