Personal Pinpoints of Merry Lights

Merry Very Dada - @jschwartz63 - Jay Schwartz

This post is very personal because life is ultimately about the collection of personal moments we hold so dear. These treasured memorable instances of self-connection and self-awareness are all we have, and all we will ever to take the grave. If we were Christmas trees, such memories would be our twinkling lights that give us color and character.

Step into my background for context. I’m an American; I live in Greece. I’m originally from Miami (Florida), or more specifically Westchester and some temporally conglomerated junction of Bird Road (near the old trains tracks), Coral Way, Galloway Road, South Dixie Highway, Dadeland, Coral Gables and all the old haunts I still visit in my mind from time to time. If you don’t know Miami, these places have nothing to do with Miami Vice, South Beach, Art-Deco or Calle Ocho. I’m from a period time when neon signs flashed brilliantly in the looming darkness along a two-lane corridor of rushing four-wheeled headlights causing horizontal blurring streaks across falling dusky skies of electric blues and burnt oranges.

But this post isn’t about Miami; it’s about Christmas, self-actualization, self-awareness, self-worth and all those personal selfies we hold so dear. It’s not just about the blues and oranges, but also the punctuated reds and greens that grew out of early images of black and white. Continue reading

Ho Ho No: Sleigh Riding Through Dystopia

Dadamas by Jay SchwartzThe founders of a new colony, whatever Utopia of human virtue and happiness they might originally project, have invariably recognized it among their earliest practical necessities to allot a portion of the virgin soil as a cemetery, and another portion as the site of a prison. 
– Nathaniel Hawthorne

 

Reason’s Greetings! Let Freedom Ring! Well, sort of …

The festive season may be upon us, but be careful who you wish Happy Holidays to … especially if you live in the United States of the National Security Agency (USNSA) … or most likely anywhere else in the developed world. But let’s not confuse liberty with the freedoms of privacy or free speech, especially since Santa won’t be filling anyone’s stockings with either anytime soon.

For a society that grandstands for the principles of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and even goes as far as proclaiming them as ‘the American way’, one would imagine that realizing only 1 out of 3 of said principles just doesn’t cut the mustard.

As for ‘life’, consider the following recent news item: Christmas will not come for the murdered 30-year old New Jersey resident, Dustin Friedland, who was shot in the head by carjackers as he opened the door for his wife. The deadly shooting occurred in the parking area of the mall at which the couple had just finished holiday shopping.

So perhaps a new twist on the ideology of ‘American Exceptionalism’ should apply: anything goes EXCEPT life and liberty. Don’t despair, however, because the ‘pursuit of happiness’ can always be found in the arena of consumerism.

Perhaps a new seasonal national anthem is in order to the tune of “Deck The Malls With Boughs Of Folly” (and something about Orwellian visions of ‘aspartame plums’ dancing in our heads). Yes Virgina, INGSOC lives, especially in Anytown, USNSA. Let’s take a sleigh ride through dystopia, shall we? Ho Ho NO …

Continue reading

Reason’s Greetings And The Poop On Festive Poop

Come To Holiday Inn
If you’re burdened down with trouble
If your nerves are wearing thin
Park your load down the road
And come to Holiday Inn
– Irving Berlin
Twas The Day After Christmas …
It’s the day after Christmas and I’m sitting here reflecting on the holidays as John Lee Hooker sings “Blues For Christmas”. In England, today is ‘Goodwill Day’, formerly, ‘Boxing Day’, a day set aside for  ‘boxing up’ money or unwanted gifts to donate them to the less fortunate. Nevertheless, it’s more than likely that for many people, especially back in the ‘States, boxing up unwanted gifts is merely a harbinger of prancing down to the mall to act on the ‘many happy returns’ sentiment, laughing all the way.
Truthfully, it’s all too easy get up on a soap box and rant about the holidays and commercialism. The often heard lament of Christmas and consumerism is echoing like Carol of the Bells, “Alas, the spirit of the holiday has been lost in the the glitter and tinsel laced marketing salvos designed to trigger both economic growth for the country and increased personal debt.” You’ve heard that one, right? Puritans and Christmas zealots admonish us annually that the holiday season should evoke feelings of ‘Peace on Earth’ and ‘Good Will to Men”. Even stories like ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas‘ remind us that “maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store” and that perhaps the holidays mean something more. Yet in reality, the one thing that most people indeed seem to share this time of year, at least the ones still standing following the Black Friday crush, are over-bloated credit cards and indigestion. In light of this, members of the Westboro Baptist Church would like to remind us that Santa Claus will take you to hell.