Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Boxing Day

Herewith is the text of a letter to the editor of the SB News-Press that I emailed today. I'll update this post if/when it's published.

Dear Sir or Madam:

I wrote this on "Boxing Day," the day after Christmas. You've doubtless heard of Boxing Day, but, perhaps like me, hadn't known its derivation. Well, I've cyber-searched it: Consensus is, it arose in England centuries ago, nickname for servants' "day off" to enjoy the boxed gifts and leftovers their nobles dispensed to them, the servants having labored through Christmas Day to provide their masters with feast and celebration. Over succeeding years it became a secular day of giving – through alms-boxes and the like – celebrated throughout the UK and many Commonwealth countries.

However, Boxing Day has lately devolved from a day of sharing and tribute to workers' labor and service, into a frenetic shopping day – with crowds surging into stores for much-touted discounts. It's also a hallowed – if lethargic – day for televised sport: endless soccer matches, auto racing and such, with leftover Christmas food and drink at hand. 

Sound familiar? Sound like our Black Friday merged with Super Bowl Sunday? And why not? America leads Western Culture nowadays: Our Labor Day no longer celebrates labor in America: It's simply beer-and-burger day. Memorial Day has become beer-and-Indy day, and Independence Day is all about fireworks. Our Thanksgiving is now tryptophan-and-TV day, followed within hours by our annual addictively-intense shopping event.

So – No surprise. Boxing Day has become driven by distraction and commercialism, sullied by crass consumerism, just as have our holidays.

But we still have Christmas, a day of goodness and kindness, without the unseemly commercialism that has consumed other holidays, right?


Friday, September 22, 2017

Bernie's speech on foreign policy. Good stuff, and high time he addressed it.

Monday, September 11, 2017

I note that it's been a year since my last post to this blog. I don't apologize: I've been in such despair that I have found any expression meaningless. However, I have today written another letter to the editor of the Santa Barbara News Press which, if it's published, I'll update this post with the specifics thereof. Herewith (Update: The post was published in the News Press on Sunday, September 17.):

To the editor:

Music to my ears. That was my reaction to Hillary Clinton's response to the question put to her last Sunday by CBS's Jane Pauley on whether her political career was over: "I am done with being a candidate."

For me, a progressive, the prospect of another Clinton candidacy by Bill or Hillary for any office (I don't know enough about Chelsea to include her) has a distinctly zombie-like quality. What, for once and all, can be done to erase from our nation's future these two life-long principle-less office-seekers, these awful consummate politicians? Indeed, I worry that, like Bill's weasel-worded "explanations" of his perjurious denials of sex with Monica, Hillary will later (depending on which way the wind is blowing) retract her announcement and we'll have to waste yet another election cycle driving another stake into her (alleged) heart.

It's my hope that we progressives can now turn to effective, even "radical," solution, not accommodation, of the issues of economic fairness, global peace, environmental sanity. The Clintons and their enablers (I include almost all politicians whom California Democrats have been sending to Washington, including Pelosi, Feinstein, Boxer – and, to my chagrin, Obama) have delayed, distracted and obstructed us long enough. As Bob Dylan enjoined "senators, congressmen" more than a generation ago, "Don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall ... There's a battle outside and it's ragin'...For the times they are a-changin'."