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Another Holy Consumer day

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Holidays are religious in origin honoring God(s) and Heroes

The Civil war brought us Memorial Day.

Our forefathers brought forth a new nation

Our forefathers brought forth a new nation

WWI brought us Veteran’s day.

"The bayonet isn't as important as it used to be" - All Quiet on The Western Front

“The bayonet isn’t as important as it used to be” – All Quiet on The Western Front

Washington’s Birthday and Lincoln’s birthday merged to form the Supersized President’s Day!

"On reconsidering the uniform for the Commander-in-Chief as it respects myself personally, I was against all embroidery. Do not conceive that fine clothes make fine men any more than fine feathers make fine birds. A plain genteel dress is more admired, and obtains more credit than lace and embroidery, in the Eyes of the judicious and sensible." - Letter to James McHenry, January 27, 1799

“On reconsidering the uniform for the Commander-in-Chief as it respects myself personally, I was against all embroidery. Do not conceive that fine clothes make fine men any more than fine feathers make fine birds. A plain genteel dress is more admired, and obtains more credit than lace and embroidery, in the Eyes of the judicious and sensible.” – Letter to James McHenry,  – G. Washington, January 27, 1799

There’s Martin Luther King Day

Let us be dissatisfied until the tragic walls that separate the outer city of wealth and comfort from the inner city of poverty and despair shall be crushed by the battering rams of the forces of justice. -  - MLK, Where Do We Go From Here? (1967)

Let us be dissatisfied until the tragic walls that separate the outer city of wealth and comfort from the inner city of poverty and despair shall be crushed by the battering rams of the forces of justice. –
– MLK, Where Do We Go From Here? (1967)

The 4th of July

A statistician made a few calculations and discovered that since the birth of our nation more lives had been lost in celebrating independence than in winning it.  ~Curtis Billings

A statistician made a few calculations and discovered that since the birth of our nation more lives had been lost in celebrating independence than in winning it. ~Curtis Billings(actor)

Let’s not even get into Christmas and Easter, Valentine’s, Mother’s and Dad’s day.

It may look like the way we honor people is to shop, but I think not. I believe shopping and the blockbuster films which come out on holidays are not just part of American consumerism. Buying things is of course a show of faith in our economy. Shopping and entertainment are also a way to avoid thinking about death which is what all these holidays have in common.

I feel strangely alienated from death. People used to have many children because a certain percentage of them would die. Now  many people only have one or none. The teenage pregnancy rates have dropped with the overall number of children born during the recent recession.  The purchase of chocolate has gone up.

I like visiting cemeteries, walking in them, running through them.  I like to visit my own mortality.  It appears to put me in the power position which I certainly am not. I stalk death, it doesn’t stalk me.

I went to some yard sales, to Nordstroms, JC Penney’s, and Lowes this weekend.  They did not make me happy.  I bought some plants to keep me busy gardening. I tried on some hats and got some shoes for a wedding.  But what I want is something deeper.  Not a memory of a trip or a cookout, not a bargain but  some guidance as to the purpose of life and acceptance of death.

My mother died on Memorial Day weekend 30 years ago. My father was a World War II veteran who died 44 years ago.  I remember Memorial Day as being a solemn ritual involving  prayers, flowers, tributes in graveyards. Tomorrow I will observe the 150th anniversary of this Civil War holiday.  I will try to understand why I struggle against my own family, against my self, against things and people I can’t change. I will take stock of how far I can go to change something important without becoming a perpetrator of violence myself.  I will listen to what the dead have to say.  That may sound scary but most of the quotes above are from those who have passed on while the ads were most likely produced by the living.  Not that all dead people are wise, but they probably have better things to do than shop and party. Or maybe not?

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About polarflares

My head is so big because it has so many holes and air gets in.

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