The War On Christmas Is Supposed To Start On A Friday

Serving up some cynicism for dinner, trying this again

The Existential Baker

friday

J.T. Hilltop

Despite commercial attempts at decking the halls the day after Halloween the holiday of Christmas is under siege again. Perhaps I shouldn’t call it the holiday of Christmas or I may be accused of being indoctrinated into the war and I am after all a pacifist. But it’s war that has already begun, a bit too early as everything seems to these days. The 2015 War On Christmas. This year the first battle lines were drawn very early and quite decisively with the shot of espresso heard round the world when a plain red cup surreptitiously entered the holiday fray with a social media bang! Excluding snowmen, snowflakes or other such holiday emblems was a clear violation of Geneva Holiday laws not to mention a huge slap in the face to Parson Brown in the meadow who‘s face it was rumored to be the snowman on last years…

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The War On Christmas Is Supposed To Start On A Friday

friday

 

J.T. Hilltop

Despite commercial attempts at decking the halls the day after Halloween the holiday of Christmas is under siege again. Perhaps I shouldn’t call it the holiday of Christmas or I may be accused of being indoctrinated into the war and I am after all a pacifist. But it’s war that has already begun, a bit too early as everything seems to these days. The 2015 War On Christmas. This year the first battle lines were drawn very early and quite decisively with the shot of espresso heard round the world when a plain red cup surreptitiously entered the holiday fray with a social media bang! Excluding snowmen, snowflakes or other such holiday emblems was a clear violation of Geneva Holiday laws not to mention a huge slap in the face to Parson Brown in the meadow who‘s face it was rumored to be the snowman on last years cups. Be that as it may the red cups of coffee have declared war on Christmas on a Tuesday! History dictates the annual war on Christmas is always declared on a Friday. The Friday after Thanksgiving to be more accurate, a day of non denominational salebrations. Rumors of its beginnings in Central America are without merit as is evidenced in the spelling of the rumored cry in and around the Isthmus of Panama, “It’s time to keep the Isthmus in Christmas” So how did the Christmas Wars begin? Did some puppet regime take Christ out of Christmas? Maybe some green monster ripped off all of the Whoville presents under the Christmas/Holiday tree. Or was it far more devious a plot to inject commercialism into Christmas. Let’s let History be the judge..

 

 

It was a cold and breezy day with wind gusts that snickered sarcastically at all the revelers waiting on the eternally long lines. The aggressors had left the comfort of their turkey dinner to cash in on the huge sales. Like the proverbial (not from the book of proverbs) carrot before the horse a promise dangles motivating the troops into leaving behind the safety and love of family to trot happily towards the big screen TV’s advertised all week. Time was ticking down inside the stores as the front lines, the frightened first line of defense prepared for the invasion by making final checks on the store shelves and cashier stations. The manager bellowed out a warning, “Five minutes to opening!” Those four simple words sent shivers across the entire group of employees working this evening. Most if not all had left a traditional gathering of their tribal units to save their low paying jobs which would surly be in jeopardy had they not accepted the challenge of the upper management, to be working on Thanksgiving eve. But a far sinister force had already altered their destinies as they laid out their plan.

General and CEO Grinch surveyed his troops via a closed circuit television inside his very upscale warm and safe abode. His voice reverberated over the expensive audio system, “There is a day of celebration that the little people call “Thanksgiving”. The mass of sales hungry insignificant sheep claim it’s a day of unity in which they offer thanks to all they believe to have given them. Nothing is given to anyone, you have to work for it. Ladies and Gentleman the mindless followers about to invade our store maintain that this holiday is without any religious requirements but you and I both know that is a lie. All they want is to have the best and most presents under their religious tree’s and its up to us not to disappoint. We will prey on their faith in the brotherhood of savings. It is a day in which they wine and dine themselves into a state of numbness after consuming alcohol and tryptophan while watching a brutal display of small armies fighting over the real estate of what they refer to as a “football field”. This only enhances enough testosterone from both male and female viewers to whip them into a feeding frenzy for us, the corporate armies of America. We will tantalize them with the promise of huge sales and insane savings which is the force that drives our enemies, the believers in Christmas presents. We shall put everything in red and green and decorate all the halls from here to Montezuma with festive holiday greetings, bells, holly, and wreaths while calling them holiday decorations which will divide the army. Divide and conquer people! While they bicker and feud between the proper greeting to use we can convert that ridiculous energy into a desire to save. A perfect deception causing them to spend far more than anticipated in a misguided attempt to make this the best Christmas or eh, holiday ever. So be ready, today the war on Christmas will commence on this day of November 27th, Black Friday, a day that will live on in infamy.”

Black Friday. That’s how history will retell this tragic day. Technically the corporate armies have pushed back the beginning to Thursday nights, the actual day called Thanksgiving but history will remember it as Black Friday. It will be a brutal battle in which patrons will stampeded, push, punch, and bite each other over sales regardless of their religion. In the name of Christmas sales the Christian soldiers would be licking and nursing their multiple wounds suffered during the mêlée of Christmas sales surreptitiously projected as “Holiday Sales” designed to include non Christians into the time of sharing and giving which will surely infuriate the soldiers of Christianity while lining the pockets of the corporate soldiers of fortune. Many a front line sale hunting warrior has met defeat while screaming “I don’t care what you Say, its Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays before being trampled by sale hungry enthusiasts who care nothing about anything that does not relate to at least 50% off.

Oh sure, others have already waged the war of words on television blaming mainstream media for only reporting on the acts of kindness that need no religious declarations and ignoring the fact that the holiday is the sole possession of just one religion in particular. Tragically it matters not when you take into account it’s not a crime federal or even a misdemeanor to use either Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays as a friendly greeting of choice. To the soldiers poised for hours in front of a store to capitalize, yes that’s right, capitalize as in Capitalism, to beat their once loved neighbor into submission in the name of the final flat screen TV‘s all the niceties can commence at a more convenient time. Any cheek turning during sale battles will get a kicking tonight. Move the fuck over you pagan scum, there is a Christmas sale on! Fuck you you elitist piece of shit, it’s a goddamm holiday sale you moronic nincompoop. Who’s to say? A Chanukah sale? Kwanza spectacular? Christmas present special? Do the sales pertain to Agnostics or Atheists? Or is it exclusively a Christmas sale? Nay say the corporate gods, it’s a holiday sale. And why not? We accept monetary denominations from all denominations.

From a strictly nostalgic point of view a dark day was upon us. A one time spectacular day when the family together watched Macy‘s Parade, March Of The Wooden Soldiers, and the traditional football game while the home filled up on the wafting aroma of roasting turkey flesh had been changed forever. A day in which Dad, the head of the household stood poised with a large carving knife prepared to slice up the treasure, the huge turkey carcass on the only day of the entire year that was a day in which we all called peace on all worlds to merely express gratitude and celebrate family. It has forever been misconstrued to a day when children leave the serenity of a happy nested family dinner immediately after pie for a full contact no holds barred live global conflict of penny pinching uncaring attitudes to find the best sale at the cost of harming if necessary even an elderly grandmother. And why not if she attempted to outwit one in an either holiday or Christmas sale. Sanity broke down and the war on Christmas would escalate the very next Monday, cyber Monday!

Those reading this in the future may find this laughable, an actual war on Christmas which was a single day when it first began, but they would be ill informed not to understand how derisive a simple greeting had become. “I’m unarmed, I come in peace” may seem so common sense it couldn’t possibly have not existed forever, (No you sales nuts, not Forever 21) but there was a time when some asshole Americans actually fought a war over using the greeting Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas. It was a deep philosophical rift, with one side insisting that to say Merry Christmas offended their very existence while others insisted that unless everyone said Merry Christmas it was somehow an insult to an entire religion. If only their Gods, their Jesuses, their prophets (not profits), and Santa Clauses had had the chance to admonish them all for their foolishness we may have been able to get through a holiday (yes that’s right, Christmas is a day, Holidays are group of days in which goodwill used to be the main component) season without hating. But then again, maybe that’s what religion means to some of us, not love one another but to show our hatred to anyone not like us. There are many accounts of people so small they needed to put others down to escalate themselves to match the splendor of their twisted ego‘s. It seem that just like being a Vegan, everyone who insists that it can only be Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays seem to have a driving need to let everyone else in the world know that “I don’t care, I say Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays” or vice versus. Go ahead say whatever, give me a greeting filled with love not words or terms. I’m happy to get any kind of a kind greeting, even a simple Whats up Dude, just don’t laud your choice over me like it somehow makes you superior. It doesn’t. Spread love not anger, and have a great friggen holiday no matter who or what you are…… Love, Peace, and more Love………

 

Les Poetes Ont Ete Reduits Au Silence

silence

 

 

A storm so profound it was felt cross the ocean

 

 

The prophet stared as the flames burnt his words

The poets ink running dry

A mother stood weary holding teardrops of blue

As the fathers wept to the sky

 

And the children screamed the name of the king

Who answered dressed as a mime

The laughter dried up and shriveled with age

It seems we have run out of time

 

An event so profound it challenged the bards

Who cried free of nary a word

The lion of treason roared out to the lambs

A evil growl that all the world heard

 

Say

Have you heard the news

The president died

As people hung out their clothes

How could that happen

Who shot the king

Shrugging shoulders nobody knows

 

 

Turned our ears to the voice of the one who made sense

Of every bit of life’s drama small and immense

 

But Bobby stayed silent

Nothing more to be told

Fear grows much younger

And the world looks so old

 

So we turned to our prophet begging a sign

No oracle answered we’ve now crossed a line

What’s gonna happen

What where and when

When like the rising sun

The poet picked up his pen

 

No longer standing silent the tellers took back their stage

Told us all stand together wash away vengeful rage

 

With the power of love You write your own story

Fill you heart with belief for hate has no glory

Get back to your life

Don’t yield your power to a coward who preys on your strife

 

 

 

 

Hear the toll from the cloisters

And the laughter of children

Don’t let the world tremble and crack

Your just one in a million

Sing with the stars

And dance with the moon

The poets and prophets

Are singing your tune

I have words to share

I’m ready to show it

I’ll not let the terrorist

Silence this poet

Live free, love free, and stand tall and proud

PEACE

 

Terminal Freedom

terminal

 

 

Internal apocalypse

Stage four

Or five

Anger rising in the moon

Eclipsed in confusion

She smiled to hide the fear

I stared blankly

Winter bitten eyes

No stars on the ceiling

No hope on the walls

Only tubes and comfort

Take me out of this Holiday Inn

I want to go home

 

Frightened at first

Covered in a quilt of panic

So tired but not ready to sleep

Then the moment came

Serenity

Clarity

Finality

She held my gaze

Mine placid in a pool of acceptance

Her eye’s filled with fear

Her world so cloudy

But I could see clearly

For the first time

For the last time

I smiled

It was over

I had finally found what I’ve always wanted

Freedom

 

DIVIDED HOME

divide

 

 

My mom always hoped I’d make something of myself and had her “list of idea’s” of what I could be. I doubt being an inmate at Rikers Island was even on the list yet it was a remarkably easy goal to achieve. Sorry Mom. But anyway I’m a product of my old boy, my Dad, a working class martini drinking, advice giving, home owner with a white picket fence and a two car garage used for storage. Most families had 2.5 kids which, if my algebra and biology lessons are correct is actually impossible, but my old man bucked the odds by having six kids all of which it turned out were boys. The starting lineup for a hockey team if we could skate. However, I would never make it in any sport. I guess you could say I’m the typical suburban failure. I was the youngest off those boys and my destiny was laid out at birth. I was mom and dads last hope at having a daughter so I came out of my womb a prepaid disappointment. An unwanted middle class kid in a town built on the hopes of a generation that survived World Wars and the great depression and were required to remind us about that at every opportunity. They fled the concrete jungles for a promise of a utopian society. Suburbia, the enchanted land just outside the reach of urban decay my parents grew up in where they could dream of an ideal future. They dreamed of having a girl and I totally fucked up their dream.

I didn’t have to be a constant source of disappointment if they just let me be who I was from the beginning. I’m a cook at a restaurant and love it which the folks could never understand. I did far better in school than my dumb ass older brothers so mom decided I would be a doctor or a lawyer. Dad wanted me to be a football star because I played with the older kids on account of my brothers but I hated sports. Maybe I hated them on purpose to further add to pops disillusionments for me but I would never attain any of the goals they set for me. I wanted to be a romantic, a poet, maybe an actor, or even just a chef. But I fell in with a crowd of buddies who only wanted to be rebel outlaw bikers so all the hopes and dreams mommy and daddy had for me went floating down the sewer system on two wheels where rats are king. That’s me, King Rat, the badass boy from Levittown. I earned my street stripes from shoplifting at the mall, smoking cigarettes and drinking beer, and being ready to rumble at the drop of a hat. Ready to fight over just about anything, even making up reasons to kick some ass. If you looked up teenage angst in the dictionary you’d find a picture of me and my crew. Suburban heroes, rebels without causes. But in truth we were suburban hoods, wannabes, not bona fide outlaws, just angry young teens looking to make sense of this so called utopian land that treated us so unfair. The suburbs, the new frontier of the fifties. Land of conformity. So all I can say is why me? Why the fuck am I sitting in a cell at Rikers Island feeling sorry for myself just because I grew up in a divided home?

Let me clear that up a bit, when I say divided home I don’t mean my parents split up, no no no. They had a fine marriage, but we had little money and one shitty loaf of bread and a pound of bologna had to be divided up between six kids and two parents. Yea, Pops wasn’t the thickest branch on his family tree, probably because he spent more time screwing mom and having kids than climbing any corporate ladders, so he only brought home enough bacon for a family of four that Moms had to stretch for a family of eight. So with Dad’s mediocre salary and a bunch of hungry kids we had to divide absolutely everything. There was never any seconds at dinner, sometimes I didn’t even get firsts. Being the youngest of six overactive boys I was at the bottom of the food chain. The wildebeest of the dinner table hoping to have enough time to graze a few morsels before the stampede. That’s how shit got divided. I ate dinner in like five minutes, wolfing it down before any of the older wolves finished and started to pick from my plate. We weren’t poor, just divided. I lived in a room divided by imaginary boundary lines set up by three older brothers, leaving me trapped in the crappiest real estate of a four bed suite the same size as a normal kids single room. Maybe that helped me cope with my current situation of sharing tight quarters with three other guys. Or maybe Mom and Dad were preparing me for my destiny but that’s what I mean by divided family.

Doesn’t matter, you play the hand your dealt and make the best of it. I was dealt the lowest card on the totem pole so I did whatever I had to do to get noticed, to be heard over the raging hormones of my big brothers. Johnny was the oldest so he got the benefit of being first in line. The newest clothes, the biggest dinner portions, and a monopoly on Dads time. Brian, or Legs was the next in line, the tall athletic son who used up whatever pride Pops had leftover from Johnny because he played sports. Jimmy, Bob, and Danny shared the middle child status where they existed in relative obscurity and devoted much of their time to teasing me or kicking my ass just for kicks. And holy shit could they kick! They happily and democratically divided that chore up pretty evenly. And then at the end of the line, at the bottom of the barrel came me, a virtual omnipresent bruise. Apparently when I was born the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck so I came out of the womb all blue. It earned me the envious nickname “Blueboy” which everyone called me for so long I’m not sure if anyone remembered my real name, Thomas. But that’s me with a nickname that stuck like Beaver Cleaver. Blueboy O’Brian, destined to a life of crime for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just glad they didn’t call me O’Blueboy.

 

Levittown wasn’t a particularly tough town as far as suburban towns go, but it was a town where appearance was everything. Parents spent more money on giving the appearance of being well off than they did feeding or clothing their kids. Like half the kids around town we starved so the family could drive around in a new big Chrysler and dress in high suburb fashion. Us angry teens on the other hand didn’t give a shit about looking rich we only cared about how tough we were, like the street gangs of the big city. Another disadvantage for me, Blueboy was not the toughest nickname around but what could I do, it has always stuck. One benefit was having a nickname, because everyone who was anyone had a nickname. My best friends were Red, Snots, and Digger. Red with a full head of bright orange curls, Snots with his ever runny nose, and Digger, the braniac who tried top dig a whole in his back yard all the way to China so he could run away. When I really think about it none of them that much better than Blueboy, but no matter, we were who we were and we were four young lads with tough ass nicknames preparing for an island adventure. Rikers Island.

We started out our lives of crime on a small scale, just selling a little weed here and there and reselling some stolen items from the mall. But we were hungry for more. Digger had a BB gun and Red had an idea. We planned to rob a Dairy Barn Store in Bayside Queens. It sounded brilliant, Dairy Barns were isolated drive up stores that sold basically dairy items, but you could also buy cigarettes, soda’s, just about anything you might find at a 7/11 store. We would drive up in Slots Rambler and Red would hold the BB gun on the dude inside the store. Me and Digger would run into the store and grab anything we could sell while the unsuspecting cashier would relieve the cash register of its contents into a bag and casually hand it to Red. I sensed trouble right at the start. The Cashier looked at Red and said, “That ain’t nothing but a damn BB gun boy.” Red was quick on his feet, “Oh yea? You want I should shoot out one of your eyes with this high powered BB gun? Why don’t you just shut the fuck up and put the money from the cash register in a bag there and hand it over.” The cashier didn’t look very impressed as he pointed to a sign that said “Store under surveillance” about the same time Slott’s Rambler stalled out. I tripped as I entered the store and Digger fell on top of me. “There’s a camera right here you assholes. Who the fuck thinks robbing a Dairy Barn is a smart idea? You assholes are going down.”

Slotts tried in vain to get his car running, Digger and I scrambled to our feet and the dark of evening soon became drenched in flashing red and blue lighting. About that time I thought I probably shouldn’t have brought the bag of weed with me while committing a crime. “Put your weapon down and your hands up!” Red dropped the BB gun to the ground, Digger peed his pants, and Slotts finally got his car started and in a panic hit the accelerator while putting it in drive slamming into the fence four feet in front of him. We would eventually be tagged as “The gang that couldn’t drive straight” by the local newspapers but for now we just learned a few new legal terms. Intent, transference, and armed robbery

 

So anyway, that’s how I landed this all expense paid trip to the Island to include housing. I have three roommates. They look mean and nasty but I think they’re all nice guys deep down. Theres Shredder here who I assume works in an office, and Knuckles, who I’m a bit unsure of. The real big guy over there calls himself “Hammer” and he calls me Blue Balls instead of Blueboy which he thinks is hilarious. Tell you the truth I don’t really mind that…..”YO BLUE BALLS. GET ON OVER HERE ITS HAMMER TIME!”…oh, gotta go, that’s Hammer now. My culinary knowledge and training suggests he wants me to teach him how to make pie crust. Why else would he have brought such a large jar of Crisco with him? Until next time guys, peace out.

Blueboy O’Brian

 

 

 

 

ORDINARY

ordinary

 

 

Follow your dreams…Great advice but ridiculously vague. You shouldn’t just choose your dreams in reckless abandon but peruse them with calculated passion. Otherwise you may wake up one day to realize the most you’ve made of yourself is to become excruciatingly ordinary. Being ordinary cam be a malignant tumor on your creativity preventing you from expressing the most beautiful statement in the world. That you are you!!

Ordinary

 

Just like everyone else

I’m nothing special

Not even close

My life is boring

My existence morose

I’m so damn ordinary its not worth my breath

I’m so damn ordinary I even bore me to death

 

Typical

Just another mouse in a maze

Just run of the mill

A part of the herd

Aimlessly wandering

Like a flightless bird

I’m so damn typical I’m not worth my breath

I’m so damn typical I’ll bore you death

 

Irrelevant

Just plankton in the ocean

Part of the machine

Another cog in the wheel

Live in my fantasy

Cause I hate what is real

Not a well respected man of the town

I’m so irrelevant I look up to see down

 

Cause that’s me

I’m ordinary

Just basic stock on the shelf

A humdrum existence

Who’s bored by himself

Pounding down potions

Going through motions

Numbing my brain

To ease the pain

Of being plain

Different day same shit

Endless cycle

In an endless pit

that’s my fate

But wait?!

 

What if I could change?

My life rearranged

I’m kinda interesting

In an ordinary way

Well…

I can dream anyway

 

I’m an astronaut spy

On a cosmic safari

A suave handsome winner

Who never says “sorry”

Could be a sexual player

Whose oh so enduring

Or in a rock star hotel

While I’m out touring

But I’m not

I’m just boring

Ordinary

But I’m me