Friday, 14 December 2012

Fuck You, I Won't Do What You Tell Me

There are only three things in the world that I hate, and one of them is Christmas.

And don't call me Grinch, you're wasting your time. I don't own a dog and I don't speak in rhyme. So here are the 5 worst things about Christmas:

5. The songs: "I don't want a lot for Christmas", sang Mariah Carey, before going on to demand an actual human. That is "a lot", not to mention the legal and moral implications. And then there's the issue of wrapping. If she really doesn't want a lot for Christmas, she should sing: "All I want for Christmas is socks." But Mariah Carey's advocacy of slavery aside, Christmas songs serve only to make the already thoroughly depressing task of Christmas shopping even worse; grudging consumerism to the sound of sleigh bells. There's a reason you don't get sleigh bells in normal songs... they're fucking awful. And the worst thing about Christmas songs is that we have to listen to them. No other time of the year brings such rigidly enforced rules about music. In the interest of fairness, around Halloween the radio and shops and television should exclusively play unlistenable black metal. I'd hate it as much as everyone else, but it'd still be better than Mariah fucking Carey.

4. The adverts: Adverts are bad enough the rest of the year, but they're particularly loathsome at Christmas. It's all creepy supermarket parties, and manipulative sentimentality, and insidious sexism, and dicks being festive dicks, and more fucking sleigh bells.

3. The charity: Wait, hear me out. Charity, obviously, is great. In fact it's one of the best things. It's up there with The Simpsons and Jamiroquai and food. But on the tube I saw a Shelter advert (appeal, whatever) that said: "75,000 children will be homeless this Christmas." What a weird statistic. Presumably those children are homeless the rest of the year as well. That advert makes it sound like these children all have homes normally, but on Christmas day they're all thrown out into the street. Then on Boxing Day they're allowed back inside again. Of course it's really just emotional manipulation; the thought of children being homeless on Christmas seems worse than on any other day of the year. If you're an idiot. 
"Wait, these kids are going to be homeless on Christmas?! That's terrible!"
"Well they're homeless all year round."
"Yeah but... Christmas!"
By invoking Christmas, we're made to feel heartbroken at the thought of these children missing out on all the turkey and presents and the Queen. This emotive message, appealing to our strange cultural values, is more effective than explaining the grim reality of it all. We don't want to hear about all that nastiness, we just want every kid to have the right to eat until they're sick just like Jesus intended. It's this bizarre implication that one day of festive fun makes up for a year spent starving on the street. But obviously this approach works so I'm not complaining. Well, I am... It's just interesting, that we're compelled less by the idea that everyone deserves a roof over their heads and more by the idea that everyone deserves a "Christmas".

2. The homeless: Kidding.

1. The lights: At the beginning of the year, St Albans council decided that 80% of the city's streetlights should be switched off at midnight to save money. It sounds like the start of the most boring horror film ever made. But it does make the walk home from the pub slightly Blair Witch and terrifying. And yet, we still have Christmas lights in the city; what a festive load of fucking joy. Obviously, the important and practical Christmas lights are a much better use of money than the silly, frivolous streetlights with their stupid, trivial way of making sure that people can fucking get home safely. Oh well, hopefully the obnoxiously bright Christmas decorations on the sides of houses can light up the roads.

Thanks for reading, I'll leave you with the festive Rage Against The Machine song from which this blog takes its title. Enjoy!

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