does anybody have a reason to celebrate which is NOT related to tradition or #drumpf, which would actually make a difference to most people?
didn’t think so. 😒
does anybody have a reason to celebrate which is NOT related to tradition or #drumpf, which would actually make a difference to most people?
didn’t think so. 😒
VEWPRF was made only a little bit more tolerable this year because the pandemic has made everything else so awful that there didn’t seem to be as much energy put into the decorations and the public displays of “christianity” that there usually are…
but, because of the pandemic, we did NOT have things like the profusion of money-making gigs for performers, and the big, lavish dinner parties, and the exchange of massive quantities of commercial products, and the mass, forced, fake “love for all” like we usually have, either, so it all, sort of, evens out into a generic awful that has been, more or less, constant, since… oh, i don’t know… march? january?
so they’ve discovered a vaccine for COVID19… at the same time that they’ve discovered a new varient of the COVID19 virus. at this point, they’re pretty sure that the vaccine will work for the new varient as well, because of the fact that it’s a mRNA vaccine, rather than one based on dead or disabled virii, but, in part, because of the fact that it’s a new vaccine technology, the anti-vaxxers are even more suspicious of it, and quite a large number of them have already said they won’t get it…
what i’ve heard is that people who know seem to think that, if we can achieve masking, social distancing, and vaccines for 100 days, we MIGHT be able to “open up the economy” again around june of 2021… but, with the republican’ts and other assorted “christians”, anti-vaxxer/anti-masker idiots who will fight anything they don’t understand, and deliberately refuse to understand anything that’s not in the bible, i sincerely doubt that we’re going to see ENOUGH masking, social distancing, and vaccines to accomplish much of anything other than the opportunity for the idiots to say “see, it didn’t work”…
and the more “important” you are seems to be the determining factor in who gets the vaccine first. #drumpf got it, in spite of the fact that he’s already had it, and he’s (allegedly) already taken hydroxychloroquine as a “prophylaxis” (which it’s not, despite all the hype he gave it). my brother, who is a RN, got his last week. i don’t know IF i’m going to get it, let alone WHEN… maybe when i turn 65…
thailand has had 4 deaths from COVID19… FOUR! 😒
today is my blog’s birthday. 13 this year, which is strangely appropriate. 😒
yep, these are for the year 2018…
and people hope 2020 is going to be better… i’m still waiting for 2019 to be better, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen… 😒
what is going to happen to these orphaned christmas trees? are they going to be chipped? turned into toilet paper? certainly they’re not going to be decorating the inside of someone’s home this holiday season… yet they are still for sale… 😒
oh yeah… this is my blog-birthday. on this day, twelve years ago, i retired from LiveJournal and began my tenure on my own, personal server:
now would also be a good time to mention the reason behind my blog, on my own server, Bacchus’ First Law Of Internet, which is “Anything worth doing on internet, is worth doing at your own domain, on your own server, which you control.”
for a long time, i was one of the people that they came to when they wanted to organise music for the community “Solstice Grand Dance” ritual in bellingham. it’s likely that i did this, pretty much every year, from the early 1980s until i moved back to seattle in 1998. it ended about 5 years after i left bellingham, because the person who motivated the whole thing, my very good friend and mentor, Kenyth Freeman, decided that he was tired of being the motivating force behind it, and tried to give the responsibility to someone else, which didn’t work out so well. it was a “synthetic” ritual, in that it took elements from a number of disparate spiritual traditions. it was not presented, specifically, as a spiritual ritual, but it very definitely had very spiritual overtones, which got louder if you were actually aware of the spiritual traditions out of which they were taken. the music was usually improvised, with various flutes, guitars and percussion being the main instruments. for people who “knew”, it was a spiritual ritual of the highest order, but for most of the people who attended, it was a community dance, with sort of ritual elements… and the stated goal (at the start of the ritual) that, after the dance was over, the participants were to get together with whomever they were sexually attracted to, and fuck like crazy bunnies.
actually, that was a big part of the solstice grand dance for everyone that i knew, whether or not they were “in the know” about the “secret origins” of the grand dance.
and, it may be that the command to “go out and fuck like crazy bunnies” was one of the attractions for “the community” — 90% of whom were completely unknown to me — but that may be just conjecture on my part. there may have been more people than me, who were doing it for the ritual part, and not for “other reasons”…
anyway, there’s this:
Before There Was Christmas, There Was the Solstice, and Hope
By William Rivers Pitt
December 25, 2018
The kindergarten teachers I know each tell the same story: Roundabout the middle of December, all the kids who celebrate Christmas transform into voracious little three-foot monsters bereft of morality or self-control. All the behaviors parents worked so diligently to instill in them collapse under the long duress of waiting for Santa.
Alas, my own daughter fell victim to the phenomenon this year. It was a jarring revelation to watch my sweet, caring, sharing, loving little girl decompensate into this ruthless feral capitalist, a frothing cauldron of I want who sees herself as the only being in all of existence. Matters did not improve at school; as it turned out, putting 15 feral capitalists in a room where they could spend all day rubbing their I want woes together exacerbated the situation dramatically.
My wife and I eventually got her past this crisis of materialism, but it was remarkable nonetheless. It was as if a virus got passed from kid to kid to kid until they were all infected with an insatiable lust for more stuff.
Neither of us blamed our daughter for her behavior. In retrospect, it was thoroughly unsurprising: Here is this wee child, possessed of a moral code still in formation, gripping the live wire of Maximum Capitalism that was engineered specifically for people in her age group. It was an extension of the Consumerist Boot Camp that begins the day after Thanksgiving, her first real lesson in what is expected of her in the hollow, soulless economy she was born into.
Many of her adult contemporaries did not seem to be faring much better as the season ground to a conclusion. My wife works retail and came home every night with tales of wrath and fury spewed by customers ostensibly seeking to purchase items intended to make someone happy. Instead, their exposure to Maximum Capitalism, with its attendant insipid music score played on an endless loop, brought out the werewolf in almost all of them.
It would require a crackerjack team of sociologists, historians and economists to properly explain how the dominant methods for celebrating this holiday came to be the pluperfect mess it is today, so here’s the short version:
The Roman Emperor Constantine co-opted a wide variety of ancient pagan holidays in the name of Christianity in order to cement his rule, and the winter solstice celebration was foremost among them. Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations — his treatise on free-trade capitalism — in 1776, the same year a bunch of wealthy businessmen decided they wanted to plunder the North American continent free from British interference (read: taxes). By then, Constantine’s solstice-inspired Christmas was the biggest day on the Christian calendar, and once it was stapled to US-style free-trade capitalism, door-busters and Walmart riots were all but inevitable in the fullness of time.
Like I said, it’s the short version.
The wanton garishness at the heart of the modern consumerist Christmas season serves to vividly underscore the emptiness of soul and spirit felt by so many today. Like the holiday itself, mere life has become an exhausting, overwhelming grind bereft of meaning beyond immediate, inert gratification. Trust in longstanding institutions is collapsing, the climate itself is collapsing, the specter of actual doom hangs low over us all, and the proffered solution – Buy more stuff! – is a lie as vast as the problems themselves. “Buy more stuff” is, in point of fact, a massive part of what has gone so starkly wrong in the first place.
It is difficult to imagine a more important time than right now to refocus our spiritual energy toward the vast clockwork of the natural world.
For many, myself included, there is refuge and profound meaning found in a celebration of the winter solstice that Constantine absconded with 17 centuries ago. Celebration of the solstice is as old as the stones; Stonehenge and Newgrange, the Bronze Age monuments in England and Ireland, are both aligned with the winter solstice sunrise. Stone arrangements left by the Anasazi people in New Mexico around 200 BC are likewise attuned to the movement of the sun.
Celebration of the longest night of the year is everywhere. The Hopi descendants of the Anasazi celebrate Soyal at the setting of the solstice sun with a ceremony of fires and dancing that lasts all night. In Iran, the winter solstice is celebrated as Shab-e Yalda, which means “Night of Birth,” in which families and friends gather to read poems and feast. It is called Dong Zhi in China and Inti Raymi in Peru, and these celebrations are striking in their similarities.
Wiccans and other practitioners of ancient witchcraft (a word they proudly own) celebrate the winter solstice as an affirmation of life itself as being sacred and interconnected. People celebrate solstice individually and collectively by dancing, feeding animals to help them through the winter, or by communing with nature in an act of deliberate release, spending negative energy into the darkness of the longest night on the promise of the sunrise to come.
It is difficult to imagine a more important time than right now to refocus our spiritual energy toward the vast clockwork of the natural world. The bill for generations of pollution and greed has finally come due, in the guise of rising seas, murderous storms, permanent droughts and towering fires, and this is merely the beginning.
“In this age of ecological collapse,” counsels Truthout journalist Dahr Jamail, “I believe an Earth-based spirituality with roots as strong as the deepest keel is as necessary as water and food, if not even more so. Nothing less than a practice based on remaining attuned to the wisdom of the Earth herself will provide the daily grounding each of us needs to stay balanced and centered as portions of the biosphere collapse around us.”
Life, renewal, rejuvenation: These lay at the beating heart of every winter solstice celebration. Though they differ in root and practice, they all respond to the same reality: The winter solstice is the longest night of the year. Its passing means the days will grow longer, and the Earth will soon give birth to itself once again in a spectacle of warmth, splendor and bounty. The winter solstice is the first step toward the healing light.
In the beginning and at the end, it is about hope.
Amid the consumerist Christmas that corporations are pushing upon us, we can still reach for the spiritual renewal at the center of the ancient solstice holiday.
Today is Christmas and the solstice has passed, but amid the consumerist Christmas that corporations are pushing upon us, we can still step back and reach for the spiritual renewal at the center of the ancient solstice holiday. The wonder of the turning Earth and the life-giving sun is still with us today. Christmas consumerism may have paved it over and smothered it in advertisements, but it is still there, bright green and gold, waiting to be bathed in the coming dawn.
“The solstice is an astronomical fact we can all agree upon,” my friend Alexandra is wont to say. “We are all subject to the seasons and dependent on the Earth and the other living things. This is a better basis for a belief system, and worthy of reverence. There can be no arguing about it. Peace on Earth could be the result.”
“I say this,” she declares, “every year.”
this would be a good time to re-read the VEWPRF rant that i posted in 2008, because… well, it just is. that’s all.
the panto started last weekend, and it was good. it wasn’t great, but, for the first shows, it was better than average by a few steps, and it definitely has the potential for being great… especially after a couple more weeks of actual “rehearsal” 😉 i actually played most of the notes correctly, played a few notes that i have never been able to play before (low F, E and E♭), and they were audible and (most importantly) in tune, and i only got lost/confused/missed cues a couple of times, and it wasn’t because i wasn’t paying attention, like it usually is… which is good. there are a few physical sound effects: the ratchet, siren whistle, thunder sheet, bar chimes, slide whistle, that sort of thing, and there are a few electronic sound effects: horse whinney, squeak-stomp-splat for the donkey stepping on the ogress/mouse… and i’m thinking that i can probably come up with a better sword fight sound than the one i’ve got currently, which is bashing two metal spatulas together.
nothing except #drumpf and depression happening for the past couple of weeks.
moe stepped on zorah and dislocated her hip (zorah’s, not moe’s), which, naturally, mortified moe, and made it so that zorah has to undergo at least eight weeks of crate-rest before we will discover whether or not she has to have surgery.
the two ounces of space queen that i was gushing about is either not space queen, or, if it is, it lacks the characteristic flavour of space queen, which is one of the reasons i like it. on the other hand, it was cheap enough that i’m not going to complain. 😐
SACBO next weekend. 19th wedding anniversary on the 21st. OCF in three weeks.
approximations of π include
my blog’s birthday is today: it was on this day nine years ago that i left LiveJournal for good. i finally learned at least part of the lesson taught by Bacchus, in Bacchus’ First Rule of the Internet, which is, “Anything worth doing on internet, is worth doing on a server you own, and over which you have control.”
when they used the word “ye” meaning “you”, that is because the modern eye doesn’t recognise that the antique informal “you”, is spelled “thee” or, more correctly, “þe”. the letter “thorn” – þ – is left over from when everybody spoke anglo-saxon, and when it became less common, printers replaced it with the letter y, which was still getting figured out where it was supposed to go in the alphabet at that time. there are two forms of the letter “thorn”, a capital – Þ – and a “lower case” – þ – and, these days, you need extra help to type them, because, while they’re probably part of your computer’s character set, it’s no longer something that you can access from the keyboard. the numeric character entity for capital letter THORN is is Þ and the small letter thorn is þ so you can put them on the web.
also, in middle english, the second person singlar pronoun “þe” and the second person plural pronoun “ȝe” (the letter “yogh” actually morphed into the modern letter “y”) were both printed as “ye” by middle-english printers who didn’t have the right type. that, along with the fact that americans didn’t particularly care for the informal “thee” meant that they started using the more formal “you” for both the second person singular and plural pronouns.
the english language has a whole bunch of letters that regularly get left out of alphabets, þ (thorn), ð (eth), ſ (medial s), and ʃ (esh) are a few examples…
yeah, i know, i’m a typography nerd…
hat-tip to ken whitley for the idea. 😉
SACBO this weekend. snake suspenderz is going to be performing. other things will be happening as well.
bernie sanders better be elected president, that’s all i have to say.
happy krampusnacht. 👹
i went to the post office this morning, and it was closed…
who knew Aleister Crowley’s birthday was so important? 😉
so, i’m at the fremont solstice festival, and i’m wandering around, and i wander past this security-guard/bouncer-type person who compliments me on my “shrine hat”. i say it’s called a “fez”, and that, technically, i would not be allowed to wear a “shrine hat”, because i am not a shriner, but i can wear a fez that doesn’t have the shrine regalia, and this particular fez has an image of Ganesha, the hindu God of Removing Obstacles. the guy said that he’s wearing a “muslim” fez in the image, so i took off the fez to see what he was talking about… the fez that ganesha is wearing in the image has an aumkara (the sanskrit letter “AUM”: ॐ) on it, which i told him. his response: yeah. muslim…
so i said, no, it’s hindu. it’s the sanskrit letter AUM. he says, no, it’s muslim. i disagree, and he says, have you done the research? i say yeah, and he says “well i’m muslim” to which i respond “and i’m hindu.”…
do american muslims really know that little about islam? if so, it makes me understand a little better why there are so many american “christians” who are worried about sharia law… 😕
and, as i was typing this into my phone this afternoon, i was standing next to the fremont studios, and there was a group of people standing about 10 feet away from me, and the guy that i could hear clearly was talking about a video with paul simon and chevy chase in it, and one of the other people said “who is paul simon?”…
WTF??? i can’t be that old… 😕
today is mahasivaratri. i’m going to stay up as late as i can, but there’s no guarantee that i’m going to make it all night.