So This Is Christmas


It’s  hot, dry and dusty, people are wearing red and white floppy hats in celebration of an almost hundred year old Coca Cola ad, it must be Christmas.
When I was a deal younger and firmly in the embrace of The Folk Revival I loved to search out old Christmas traditions and celebrate them, usually with copious amounts of alcoholic enthusiasm. Today any Christmas tradition you like is readily available on the internet, your local shopping mall or Aldi, in plastic and made in China.
Apart from on the fringes Australia is a secular country. Migrants who bring their faiths with them soon lose them under the onslaught  of the materialistic barrage that attacks from phones, tablets, TV’s and print. Gotta have the oversize ticky-tacky house (on it’s  undersized block), the four wheel drive, boat, comprehensive set of golf clubs, ride on mower and of course the essential leaf blower.  God doesn’t  stand a chance. The quaint little story of the couple who did not book ahead in peak season and had to make do sleeping rough, complicated further by the arrival of a bouncing baby boy, a crowd of shepherds and a trio of astronomically minded mystics is buried. It is buried under mountains of stuff.
Here in Australia, Christmas falls during high summer, when everyone wants to go on holiday. The Christmas thing frames the frantic desire to get away, see aunty Flo, Mum, Dad, The Grandkids and of course drive/fly too far, eat and drink to much and overspend on the Visa.
After the frenzy everyone goes back to normal, noses the grindstone and pays off the accumulated debt. Christmas.
This would all be very well but for the bigger frame. The plight of our species and the lost lonely ball of rock we inhabit along with a whole lot of other species, who entirly miss the point of leaf blowers, is irrevocably changing. There is too many of us having too many more. As a result we have filled our oceans with garbage, burned our forrests for profit, poisoned our water tables by oil extraction techniques,  covered all our best arable land with housing and are rapidly consuming all available animal, vegetable and mineral resources. I forgot to mention that wwe are also changing the climate to the point where our planet will be largely uninhabitable within a few generations. 
So we can’t  afford Christmas.
For our grand children’s survival we have to stop having so many.  If we care for them we have to radically change how we live. We all have to do it.  We need to force our polticians to take responsibilty for the governance of our whole planet. We need to pay more taxes, we need to force our governments to tax the multinationals – we need a fighting fund to get green done.
Right now there are bush fires raging and our friends are out there fighting them all because you thought it would be neat to own a leaf blower.
Me?  This Christmas Day and Boxing Day I am ‘doing the Community Markets’ so some of my friends can sell pointless stuff to resource profligate cashed-up tourists. Mad init!
Happy Christmas

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