A smattering of holiday “cheer”

November 24, 2007

I was at the bank today, and sure enough, they had a television tuned to CNN. While waiting in line, I figured I would see what the rest of the country deems “news.” What I saw in the ten minutes I watched was a report about how Domino’s Pizza expects a 6% increase in profits today due to some tradition that claims tonight is a great night to eat pizza. This is not news. This is an overpriced commercial for pizzerias. We’ve entrusted the responsibility of rigorous appraisal and objective scrutiny of our government with the likes of CNN, and they offer us a report about pizza. Fuck you, CNN. Fellow Americans, you pay for this? You actually take out your wallets and say “Hey News Corporation, I want you to tell me about celebrities every minute of every day and neglect to address key issues like our energy crisis and our three escalating conflicts in the Middle East!” You should be ashamed. If you want to see change in the world, put away your wallets and open your notebooks, turn on your cameras, and start screaming.

Most eccentrics and radicals with opinions often offer little in the way of a solution. These are the rabid protesters at every WTO rally, the Democrats, the Republicans, Michael Moore and Bill O’Reilly. There is one thing all of these folks lack which I think needs to be addressed at a public hearing immediately: balls. No, I’m not talking in the physical sense — I haven’t checked whether rabid hippies have testicles and God would know I wouldn’t want to check under Michael Moore’s trousers… if I believed in God. The balls I’m talking about represent the ability for an individual or organization to stand up for what they believe in and be able to rigidly define those beliefs without succumbing to fear that their particular ideology will be shot down by another party. That certainly isn’t to say that women don’t have balls. As a matter of fact, many of the women I know have bigger balls than most men — they take action and do so with passion. Perhaps us men have become comfortable with our balls to the point where they have shriveled so far up into our abdomens that we have turned into a rowdy bunch of cowards: the Gonzalez’s, the Cheney’s, the Bush’s, the Murdoch’s, the Turner’s, and the Rockafeller’s.

This holiday season, I want each and every one of you to do something radical. Do not lavish your friends with expensive shit they will not use because the TV tells you to (and don’t pull the “the TV didn’t tell me to, I did it by my own volition” card. I stopped buying gifts for people at Christmas as soon as I rid myself of the propagandavision and I will never look back). Instead, take extra time to think of your family. No, not just your mother. Not just your siblings, your aunts, your uncles, your cousins. They’re all important, but they’ll do just fine without iPods. I mean your distant black cousins down the street whose mother is working Christmas Day because her children’s father left her. I mean your distant Iraqi cousins whose house just got destroyed in a raid and spent Ramadan fighting for their lives. No, don’t send them iPods — they don’t need them either. Meditate on the world and find peace within yourself. No amount of wrapping paper, pretty bows, and blister-packed electronics can possibly compare to the humility of awareness.

Change starts with you. I had a conversation with my brother I’d like to share with all of you. He told me he didn’t have any idea what he wanted to pursue in college. No subject of study seemed relevant to the world around him. I told him to look outside, and tell me who decided that there should be a traffic light at the intersection. He hesitated, and I told him a civil engineer probably decided that — a civil engineer that might retire soon and expect our generation to pick up where he left off. I explained to him that our generation is about to take the reigns of the sleigh of humanity, and that, to be quite honest, it looked as if we were heading straight into a tree. I could tell this started the wheels of his brain turning. Change starts with you. It is your world and your responsibility. Your XBox, CNN, ESPN, NFL, CBS, Wal-Mart, NASCAR world is a fantasy. It is a condition of a naive mind to believe that the problems caused by the machine of the world will be solved as a cog. You must be the operator of that machine. Consumption breeds corruption. Gluttony breeds greed. Ask any good-hearted Christian and they’ll tell you it’s in their Bible. It’s too bad we’ve all lost sight of the true meaning of it all.