Each year, April breathes the warmth of life among inhabitants of the United States of America. Drab hues of brown and grey give way to a rebirth of greens, reds, whites, and pastels, signaling an end to frost-laden hibernation and a return of sprawling natural vibrancy. Ancient pagans believed this rebirth was due to the return of the Green Man from his winter’s slumber, when trees and flowers begin bloom.
In modern America, the promise of spring has evolved into visions of fire-spewing barbecue grills with sizzling meats alongside friends and families begin to fill the hollow void in our souls after enduring what seems to be an eternity of frozen misery–all of which was compounded by Award Season on TV and political stalemate resulting in Democrats transforming into Republicans.
Most importantly, baseball is back.
Two weeks have passed in this year’s six-month slog to the World Series and the Gods of Baseball have treated us to a delightful assortment of springtime sunshine that gives one hope that things may really be alright with the world. My favorite stories so far? Angelic Aces on the mound in Anaheim, the Red Sox mightily struggling out of the gates, and the ceremonious exit of Manny Ramirez from the game of baseball.
Between crass consumerism, headaches from participating in crass consumerism, news about another bailout to the nation’s richest 1%, and another baseball off-season dominated by reckless spending by the Yankees and Red Sox, there are plenty of reasons to greet this season with a resounding “bah humbug.”
It’s that time of year again. No, I’m not talking about Super Bowl, summer, or Shark Week. I’m talking about Christmas – the most horrible time of the year. Why, you ask? It’s a rare opportunity for the collective greed and gluttony in America to openly feast upon the less fortunate, laying bare the myth of the so-called American Dream directly before our television-glazed eyes in a move of audacious hypocrisy.
In light of recent events unfolding on several fronts, this year’s orgy has been rendered even bitterer than years past. The wealthy just received their Christmas gift a few weeks early by one of the most unlikely St. Nicks—alleged champion of the middle class, “Democratic” President Barack Obama—in the form of continued tax cuts (unpaid for, over the next two years). Couple that with impending budgetary cuts to services upon which poor, working and middle class families rely, the Ebenezer Scrooge contingent have much to celebrate this hallowed holiday season. Working class slobs will be called upon yet again to shoulder the burden, make sacrifices, and continue to spend money at Christmas to “keep the economy afloat.” That’s code language for “keep the rich wealthy.”
I don’t want to delve too much into the politics of the Bush-Obama Tax Holiday for the richest 1 percent of Americans. I should have known better than to think Mr. Hope and Mr. Yes We Can was anything but another in a long line of smooth-talking politicians willing to disregard the populace who assisted in putting him into office in favor of those that truly punched his ticket to the White House—the ultra-wealthy campaign donors. No, this was beyond the realm of reason or explanation for a guy with his supposed reform agenda. But to avoid going off on a tangent of dumbfounded rage, let’s move on. There are plenty of other examples that occur each year to sufficiently quash the holiday spirit.