Hola a todos. As of this writing, people are already talking about Christmas. It’s still Pentecost. It’s not even Advent yet. Advent 2019 begins el 1 diciembre de 2019/1 December 2019. Even in England, London specifically, they have up Holiday Shopping Trees at the end of Pentecost. That seems a bit — what’s the word? — strange or hypocritical(?) to me considering the established church is the CoE (Church of England/Anglican Church), and the City of London doesn’t seem to be following the Liturgical Calendar of their own established church. One might think they would want to be consistent, no?
The word Christmas has its origin in Middle English, Cristemasse specifically, which means Christ’s Mass. That’s what the word Christmas means, something I suspect the far-right is willfully-ignorant of. It has a religious meaning. So my question is the following: Is everyone cool with that who says, “Merry Christmas?” You’re saying a greeting that has its origins in Christianity. And with the word “Merry” spoken or written before the English words “Christ Mass” (or Christmas) it becomes “Merry Christ’s Mass.” Now that’s a damn odd thing to say, don’t you think? What nut came up with “Merry Christ’s Mass” or “Merry Christmas? I’ve never heard of any other Mass that is considered “Merry.” A Mass is usually a rather solemn and or High Church occasion. Which makes Felices Fiestas or Happy Holidays a much more appropriate greeting to say.
Do you say the inclusive “Happy Holidays” or the exclusive “Merry Christmas?” And I must ask: Who uses the outdated word “merry” any other time in their every day life? No one that I can think of or have heard speak. When you’re asked, “How are you?” Do you respond, “I feel merry today. How about you?” No, I’ve never heard that. Whereas the word “happy” — as in “Happy Holidays” — is in most people’s vocabulary today, as in “I’m happy about that” or “Happy Birthday.”
Here in the Conservatory, I overheard some students talking about their plans for the upcoming holiday season. Musicians are often busy during the holiday season, especially Conservatory-trained musicians. I listened to what they were saying and fortunately no one was using the word “Christmas,” except in reference to a particular Liturgy (Christmas Midnight Mass, for example). The students referred to the particular holiday they’re participating in, such as “the Christmas Eve Mass” but their greeting to each other was/is “Happy Holidays everyone,” inclusive of all the holidays.
Someone is likely asking: “You mean there is more than one holiday in December?” Yes mi amor, there are the Jewish holidays, and the secular Kwanzaa holidays (and the many variations of those) as well as Navidad/Christmas. It’s not all about (your) Christmas.
One of the organ majors will be subbing at an Anglican cathedral church for their High Mass so he’s looking forward to that and playing the cathedral’s grand orgue. I was listening outside his practise room the other day and I thought: What is that he’s playing? I love it. I’ve never heard the piece before. It sounds like Herbert Howells but it’s not any Howells I’ve ever heard. So I hesitantly knocked on the organ practise room door — I hate doing that; I hate bothering people and disturbing their concentration when they’re practising, although a part of me says “maybe he needs a break” — and I asked him what he was playing. He told me he was improvising and preparing for a High Anglican Mass he’s been invited to play for. I said: Well keep going, pick up where you left off, if you can. I listened attentively and watched his fluent pedal work and registration changes. His improvisation was glorious. Very High Church and in the style of Herbert Howells (my favourite Anglican composer). This guy is going to go far. As I told him (and he seemed to be very pleased), I could almost smell the incense in his playing and envisioned the Nave being filled with incense and the congregation bowing to the processional crosses and to the thurifer following the censing of the altar. He plays splendidly. I teased him and asked, “How do you feel about Low Church?” He groaned and said “No comment.” I said: You and me both. We’re High Church people here. When he resumed his practise session, he was working on Howells’s Gloucester Service, one of my favourites and which Howells composed for the cathedral acoustics and Choir of Gloucester Anglican Cathedral. He had told me that the Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys were performing the Magnificat from that canticle setting for the anthem.
One of the voice majors from the Conservatory’s superb 150-voice Symphony Chorus is serving as cantor for a Liturgy in another Anglican church.
The Conservatory is fortunately a Messiah-free zone this season. Just the mere mention of Messiah — note that I don’t even need to give the name of the composer it’s so well-known — in the Conservatory generates eye rolls and pained looks due to the oratorio being so over-performed. Seems that we all agree on that.
Outside the walls of the Conservatory
It’s a different world out there. Over the past years in the non-United States, the right-wing — better known as the “Christian” frauds — have had their “War on Christmas” which has been intended to force people to say, “Merry Christmas” instead of the inclusive greeting of “Happy Holidays.” Yes, it’s their agenda to take us back to another era (the 1940s), which is happening. On U-toob, I read “Christmas.” Of course if I were to comment and say anything about that I’d be heavily trolled with, “Politically-correct! Politically correct! Stop trying to be so politically-correct. We hate that on here.” It’s as if people can’t go back in time fast enough. We’re in a very draconian political climate now worldwide, in major part due to the current white house occupant.
Since he’s been occupying la casa blanca/the white house, the current white house occupant has been the driving force in leading this “War on Christmas.” This outdated, 73-year old (as of this writing) narcissistic international bully/ignoramus is quite selective as to when and where he charades as a Christian to play to his willfully-ignorant stupid base. He lives his life the exact opposite of the teachings of Cristo Jesús, and the same goes for the “Christian” frauds around him, some of whom are said to keep open bibles on their desks. They must not do much with them! Clearly just for show based on the corrupt, lying and deceitful lives these basura live. I think Cristo Jesús would say to them, “You’re Christian frauds, all of you. Going around the world threatening and bullying people, and that doesn’t even begin to cover your heinous acts. Never again do anything in my name. What superficial, shallow, arrogant and pompous basura you all are.” Yet one sees the flock of mostly white trash standing behind the international bully at his cult rallies with their red “Make Amurrrrrrka Great Again” baseball caps on. Any fool can wear a baseball cap. Their slogan has been updated to “Keep Amurrrrrrka Great.” So if the current white house occupant has already allegedly made the US great again (yet from where I’m sitting things look far worse), why does this piece of basura need an additional four more-plus years? I guess they didn’t think that through. Stupid marketing slogans for stupid people. Just like Obama’s “Hope and Change We Can Believe In” marketing slogan. We saw how well that worked as he greatly expanded the Bush-Cheney right-wing neocon agenda and Mr Nobel Peace Prize ended his terms with 10-12 wars in progress. But that didn’t seem to matter to most “Democrats” because of that D next to his name. And because of his ethnicity many people keep fawning over him as he’s still their messiah figure and can do no wrong. With the current white house occupant, one wonders which Amurrrrrrka they’re referring to? North America, Central America or South America? When I asked some of his cultists which Amurrrrrrka they’re referring to, they told me, “There’s only one Amurrrrrrka.” I responded: Really? Oh, so you don’t believe in maps either, do you? Stupid is in.
What frustrates me is to see people — I’m specifically thinking of people who align with the corrupt “Democratic” Party Cult — who pretend to be a “liberal” or a “progressive” and who fall right in line with the right-wing’s agenda and abandon the inclusive “Happy Holidays” and instead say exclusively, “Merry Christmas.” I’m talking particularly about people who claim to despise the current white house occupant yet they feed right into his fake-“Christian” rhetoric and his “War on Christmas.” People like that disgust me. That’s, in part, why I refer to them as fake-liberals and fake-progressives. There was a time when (genuine) progressives rejected the notion of a Floating Cloud Being. Not these days. Rare to see that. One reads comments from them such as “God Bless.” Sigh. Well, if some god is going to “bless,” s/he will do so whether one requests it or not. Understood? Since “he” makes the rules we’re told, remember your own damn doctrine and beliefs? And stop being so damn greedy asking for this floating cloud being’s constant blessings. There are people in other parts of the world who need those blessings far more so than the self-absorbed and self-entitled fucks in the US.
Aside note but still related to language: Mi amigo/My friend asked me to point out that online he’s seeing more and more of the following: In addition to the far-right, the fake-liberals and fake-progressives are also using words such as “mankind,” “man-made” and “man is….” They’ve completely done a 180 and have gone back to using outdated sexist man-based language. I don’t think women care to be called “man,” do you? During the Civil Rights Movement and beyond, “mankind” was changed to humankind. Does one not remember that; or was that just a short-term fad for the fake-progressives and fake-liberals? In fact, “humankind” is the inclusive language used in the US Episcopal Church’s (part of the worldwide Anglican Communion) last revision of The Book of Common Prayer. Humankind includes both men and women, not just men. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau uses the word “peoplekind.” That avoids the “man” word altogether when referring to females.
To the right-wing, the only holiday on the calendar in December is the 25th of December, Christmas Day. But what about the eleven other days of Christmas according to the Liturgical Calendar (25 December – 5 January) that these “Christian” frauds ignore? Don’t these people sing the carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas?” If so, do they not know what they’re singing about? The Twelve Days of Christmas are not some nebulous time during Advent.
Saying or writing “Merry Christmas” is not inclusive of the other holidays in December. Saying or writing “Happy Holidays” is inclusive.
And why do many people — some who are not even religious — promote Christianity by mindlessly saying “Merry Christmas?” Because “Merry Christmas” was brainwashed into most people as a child. That’s why they continue to say or write it. It’s because of tradition. But try pointing this out to some fake-progressives and fake-liberals and one hits another wall of resistance because they too want to conform to tradition, something they once opposed years ago.
It boils down to brainwashing.
With the “Merry Christmas” greeting that the masses, the sheeple have been brainwashed with, what annoys me is for people who know little or nothing about someone else to make baseless assumptions about them and assume that the person is just like them and shares their beliefs. So, for example, I get annoyed when someone assumes that I celebrate the holidays or Navidad and says to me, “Merry Christmas,” when the more appropriate thing to say — if one has to say anything — is “Happy Holidays” because that makes no assumptions about me and what I celebrate. It’s merely wishing me a nice December.
Personally, I’m not into any of it. But if someone says to me, “Merry Christmas” I cringe inside but I respond with a polite “Gracias” or “Thank you, you too.” I realise that the person is just trying to be nice to me and I really don’t care to get into this topic anywhere but online and in an article such as this, because it’s not likely to change any, or many, minds. I don’t live under such delusions that it will change anybody’s mind. This is a very different and regressive time now than during the progressive Civil Rights Movement years.
I looked forward to Navidad as a child and when I was in high school and I enjoyed Navidad. Mainly the pretty coloured lights, the decorations, the holiday music broadcasts (some Anglican cathedral music as well as the Boston Pops Orchestra and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus from Boston’s Symphony Hall, for example) and I enjoyed my mother’s holiday food. But as an adult I see it for what it is, especially in the non-United States: rank capitalistic commercialism. It’s also a time where many people are forced to be with people they can’t stand quite frankly or they would just as soon not be with. But because of precious tradition, they have to get together with these people once or twice a year and hope that no arguments, disagreements, fights, brawls or dysfunctions take place in the family on this “special occasion.” The common question asked is often, “Who all is coming?” When the list of names is rattled off one hears, “Oh s/he’s going to be there? Oh good lord help me get through this day/dinner!”
Elsewhere in the world I sense this holiday has different meanings and is less about dinero/money. And each year that it comes around, I think: Didn’t we just do this? It seems to come around faster and faster each year. Well, some of the major television shopping networks in the US roll out their holiday shopping trees and decorations at the beginning of September.
I’ve also noticed that with some English language networks in other parts of the world, they’re using the word “Christmas” as well instead of “the holidays.” The use of the word “Christmas” seems to be a global campaign/agenda of regression.
Revisiting this topic:
Is it Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas?
(Sigh) You know, I thought “we” as a society had already worked through this long ago. But as the world is heading back to the draconian attitudes of the 1940s and 1950s, I suppose it’s to be expected.
Again, Happy Holidays is more inclusive. Why would one want to be exclusive?
A refresher course: It’s more inclusive to say Happy Holidays than Merry Christmas (which promotes Christianity) because Happy Holidays includes all the holidays in December, such as the holidays I mentioned near the beginning of this article.
The fake-“Christians” among us — in their brainwashed minds — do not acknowledge the existence of any other holiday other than their Christmas, so that’s why they refuse to say “Happy Holidays.” Their intent is to shove their version, their (twisted) interpretation of Christianity and “Christmas” down ours throats.
In San Francisco — I’m thinking of the Old City before the millionaire-billionaire Tech and greed-based Real Estate Industrial Complex raped San Francisco and turned The City into a lobotomised, culture-less, playground for the super-wealthy — Happy Holidays was the only greeting I ever heard for years. Most residents of the Old City that I had contact with — especially queer boys — were very sensitive to not making any assumptions about what people celebrate, or not. That was when The City was considered “alternative, progressive and anything goes San Francisco.” That City is dead. Gone. Many of the residents of that City were forced out through evictions and real estate and homeowner greed. Since then, San Francisco has shifted to the right over the past years. The City is really quite conservative today. The conservatives should be delighted with the state of things today in San Francisco. One example: Most queers seem to be back in the closet — the ones that are still here — and the conservatives sanitised/ruined The Castro which today is a uninviting dying neighbourhood. It’s a Breeder Mecca on weekends when it’s warm out. So depending upon where I am in San Francisco, I still hear Happy Holidays on the odd occasion from some people, but unfortunately I now expect to hear “Merry Christmas.” Things are quickly going back to the way they were decades ago, again, reminiscent of the 1940s-50s. That’s because of these new breeder residents (him-tall/her-short) who have moved in and taken over San Francisco. I don’t know what conservative hell-hole or outback cesspool some of these breeder basura came from who moved here but some of them let their homophobia show and their draconian thinking by the disapproving and nasty looks they give some of us longtime queer residents. It’s as if these breeders moved to a City (San Francisco) that they knew absolutely nothing about, or they moved here to change The City to their anti-queer, right-wing agenda. When they first started moving in, some of these breeders were heard saying, “There are too many gay people here.” To that I said: Well no one invited you here or asked you to move here to begin with, so you can get your homophobic ass back on the same plane to where you came from. Fuck off! Do we understand each other, Mr and Ms Bigot? I also remember years ago hearing the newly-arrived breeders — who have since taken over The Castro (the former Gay Mecca) forcing queers out — say, “Merry Christmas.” I remember being shocked to hear that in The Castro because I hadn’t heard that in years. But these breeders were trying to brainwash their children into saying the outdated saying, “Merry Christmas” just as they as children were brainwashed to mindlessly say that.
A relative of mine who used to say “Happy Holidays” is back to saying “Merry Christmas.” (Sigh, roll eyes) Why? She’s not at all religious. She’s become much more conservative because of where she moved and the influence of the people she knows. When I delicately challenged her on saying “Merry Christmas,” she didn’t remember ever saying “Happy Holidays.” Loca. I explained to her the reason for saying “Happy Holidays” but that didn’t seem to take or to matter to her. I think she used to pretend to be a “progressive.” Now that she lives in a more rural area she’s become more conservative and holds to more conservative views. So she’s back to saying the conservative greeting, “Merry Christmas.” She’s gone from being a traveler who enjoyed visiting places throughout las Américas to now wanting to live in some gated community. Loca. More of The Century of Insanity. People becoming the opposite of who they were.
It is true that Christmas has mostly lost any sacred meaning these days, except with the most devout as well as those who only go to church two times a year: for Christmas and Easter. (I refer to them as “the Christmas and Easter “Christians”). Parishes and cathedral churches are packed for the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Liturgies, and usually for the Advent Procession of Lessons and Carols given by Anglican parish and Cathedral Choirs. Some cathedral churches have been requiring tickets for admittance into the Cathedral for the Christmas Eve Mass. But these days, Christmas is all about retail sales, “Black Friday,” capitalistic corporate greed, Holiday Shopping Trees and “Buy, buy, buy and hit the stores.” That’s what is heard in San Francisco’s Castro from the conservative merchants, most of whom I avoid. When I give someone a gift, it’s something I’ve baked myself “from scratch.” And people seem to enjoy it much more.
The same brainwashing that gave us “Merry Christmas” also brainwashes many people into saying that overused and tiresome “God bless” rubbish. And of course they are most often referring to the Christian floating cloud being. Because the floating cloud being (the Christian fellow) we are told is “omnipotent, and all-powerful — it seems to me that “he” will bless one when he so chooses, or not. So the “God bless” meme would seem to be a waste of time for one to say. Why would someone say “God Bless” to someone when they don’t know that the person believes in their deity, or in any god? Or are they of the thinking that “everybody believes in my god.” I think what they’re really trying to do is to proselytise as they have been brainwashed to do by their clergy. For some, it’s a way of trying to convert others to their religious cult and its belief system and shove their version, their interpretation of Christianity and that bible down other people’s throats.
As for the fake “Christians,” the current white house occupant who loves to “play military” — but went out of his way to never serve a day in his life (due to bone spurs) in the US Military Industrial Complex — is a perfect example of hypocrisy when it comes to the way he lives his life and his despicable policies. The same goes for the basura around him. He spends Domingo/Sunday on the golf course. The golf course is his church. He doesn’t even go to church. He’s a photo-op so-called “Christian.” He’s a fake. A fraud. What do his stupid and ignorant disciples think about that, including his evangelical clergy? He plays/works his fundamentalist fake-“Christian” redneck trash base and evangelicals into thinking he’s one of them: A Believer. In reality, he’s nothing of the sort. He’s a fraud. His god is dinero/money. Period. He doesn’t care about anything other than money aside from getting constant attention as the most narcissistic creature on the planet, and he’s made that abundantly clear. It doesn’t matter what it is, everything in the world he makes it all about him. He hides behind the label “businessman.” In my experience one needs to look at most “businessmen” with a jaundiced, highly skeptical eye. What one usually see is immense corruption, deceit and lies. Not the life of Cristo Jesús. Mr Bone Spurs does photo-ops with himself sitting in the oval office with some of these hypocritical fundamentalist trash preachers around him engaged in the holding of hands and the laying on of hands in prayer. It’s all caca. Just another photo-op for some overweight empty vessel who’s never known who the hell he is as a person. All he’s doing is playing his cultist base and they’re too gullible and naïve to see his act for what it is. Since Day One, he’s presented himself as anti-Establishment. Yet where does he go to church when he goes to church? He goes to The Establishment’s church, Washington National Cathedral (a cathedral church of the Anglican Communion). Why does he go there when he pretends to be anti-Establishment? He knows nothing about the Anglican liturgy and he’s not there for that. He’s there for attention — camera time from the cathedral’s production crew and or corporate media network cameras on High Holy days — which is why he sits in the front pew so they get a good view of the ignorant blimp. He doesn’t take part in any of the Liturgy other than to stand and sit at the appropriate time based on what everybody else is doing. He doesn’t bless himself, he doesn’t bow to the processional crosses, he doesn’t bow to the thurifer, or to specific words in the Liturgy, because he knows nothing about any of that. He does take Communion, but only the “bread” wafer part. I suspect he sees that as “just something to eat.” So how does his far-right fundamentalist base feel about him going to an Anglican cathedral when that group of fake-“Christians” despise Anglicans/Episcopalians. Most fundamentalists don’t even consider Anglicans to be Christians. Or does his base not know that he goes to Washington National Cathedral? One would think for his photo-op church visits that he would go to an evangelical fundamentalist mega-church or the like or to the church of one of his fundamentalist preachers, although there are no corporate media network cameras there. Again, his hypocrisy is that he goes to The Establishment’s church while claiming to be anti-establishment and while claiming to have “drained the swamp” when in reality “the swamp” is far more septic now with corruption than it was when he arrived. His hypocrisy is duly noted. The overweight, bloated basura with the most fragile of narcissistic egos, which constantly needs stroking.
If the fake-“Christians” spent as much time trying to model their lives after the life of Cristo Jesús as they do brainwashing people into saying “Merry Christmas,” they might eventually be viewed with some credibility. But often they’re focused on purely symbolic caca like the pledge of allegiance or the US flag or fake-patriotism or ugly US nationalism and making sure everyone says “Merry Christmas” at the expense of important things to enrich the lives of millions of people.
Contrary to the fake-“Christians,” from the discussions I’ve overheard in the Conservatory, many of the musicians will be enriching thousands of people’s lives with their fine performances during the holidays, whether they personally celebrate any of the holidays or not. Their gifts of music will mean a lot to many. Chau.—el barrio rosa