Monday, December 26, 2005

God's Country

I heard a lot about returning to the "true meaning" of Christmas this last week. Here are the facts: Retailers in the U.S. anticipated over $222 billion in sales for the Winter Holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa) according to the a major retail trade organization (NFR). But the day-after Christmas may top all holiday sales as gift card beneficiaries swarm to the stores to cash in their Christmas presents.

I hear Abba: "Money, Money Money! It's a rich man's world" and to underscore those lyrcis, lines from Wordsworth are welling up:
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Hey! Remember the tsunami? And $50 million in relief? Remember a couple of hurricanes? And no relief? Yes, I know. Nobody like the sound of weariness. Yes I know I'm misplacing blame and responsibility.

So let's change the channel. The Big Event is still flexing its well maintained muscle, and the divide between God and Country is a razor thin line. But at this crazy, iconoclastic forum posters are swinging their digital pens in a frenzy, rapping and warning of King George, of catastrophe and coup. It's called Godlike Productions and it's one of the highest trafficked (is that a word?) sites online. Posts get almost 3000 views in two days' time. Bush gets belittled. Conspiracy theory is status quo. All institutional icons become targets. Nothing is accepted. Bashing is high art or low, depending on your perspective. Topics range from today's Pope Speech Sets Stage for The New World Religion to WHY WOULD BUSH CHANGE ORDER OF SUCCESSION Bill Would Allow Arrests For No Reason In Public Place.

Yet there's something refreshing, a relief, hope even among all the blasphemy and belittling and overextended linking of fact and fancy. If nothing else, it signals minds at work. And this is a good thing in the benumbed Dubya world.

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