Silencing The Night

One more day and it’s over. I am no fan of the rock station in the gym, it’s just something that’s there, but at least they haven’t inflicted “Silent Night” on me… until this morning, when they cranked up a Jimi Hendrix version. I should not have to hear that when I am holding heavy things.

Honestly, when presented with this iconic MOTHER AND CHILD event that gobsmacks the Christian world and a whole lot of people who don’t really believe in it literally, this is what I see:

(1) a helpless, vulnerable, but nonetheless noisy, nasty-smelling and tiresome creature which will not be fit to be around in anything other than random fits and starts for another ten years, and that’s with luck;

(2) a person who has, due to the irony of evolution in giving us big brains and upright-standing narrow pelvises, had her body turned into a walking pustule and then torn apart from the inside out to produce (1), and who has very likely been told by her social cohort that it is her only value and role in life to excrete and then care for it, mostly unassisted — a predicament which has been traditionally used to inflict semi-slave status on the female half of humanity;

(3) who could not possibly feel other than seething resentment as a result, which she will take out on this vulnerable being in whatever way she can for as long as she can, even if she has to pretend to herself and everyone else that it’s “love.”

To me this is the real curse of human existence, probably the main reason we are so messed up as a race, and it’s something to be mourned and overcome, not celebrated. Yet every year this central horror of how we come to be on this earth gets rubbed in our faces as the pivot of mystical exaltation. And people wonder why I get crankier about it every year, and take refuge in looking up at the sky and retreating from people.

The light starts to get longer in another day. More important, the noise stops.


14 thoughts on “Silencing The Night

  1. I didn’t think Jimi Hendrix sunk that low. At least they weren’t playing those ghastly Snoopy and the Red Baron songs.

    With respect to mainstream carols, have you tried deconstructing the words to some of those songs? Dwelling on them will only make it worse for you, but there is some interesting “logic” in some of them.

  2. Everything you write is factually true, and yet, many who have carried the parasites and then squeezed them out have undergone hormonal transformations enabling them — us — to not resent the little rugrats but rather adore them, fear for them, and come to love them unconditionally.

    It’s weird. But even to this day some 28 years after I plopped my first out I mist over when thinking about her.

    As for the one whose birth is the subject of this mad consumer frenzy, well, it’s a nice story in its way. At least the version of the song you heard was decent. Try hearing it with an off-tune “choir” of well-meaning people on a stage.

    • I know there are people who don’t seem hell bent on destroying their children (probably about as many as I’ve met children I could bear to be in the same space with, and they don’t always come from the same families). I’ve met a few and count them among my favorite clients. But they seem sort of thin on the ground, and how else could it be?

      I don’t know if it’s a “nice” story or not… first some naive 13 year old (I believe some sources indicate) is knocked up, in most US states she wouldn’t be at the age of consent (I’m not sure about Alabama), then has to give birth in insanitary conditions, then get up on her ass and travel all the way to Egypt to keep a megalomaniac from hunting down her family… it’s sort of daytime TV material.

      • I’ve seen my share of complete brats, believe me! And the small, immature human beings that are children can be trying. But they’re necessary if we want to propagate as species. 🙂

        The jesus birth story … I’d long taken an interest in anthropological and archaelogical things, especially that found in the Middle East in the 1st century and just prior. Did a lot of bible studies — not the religious sort so much as more scholarly sorts. And I toured the region.

        I have a couple of links I’ll try to provide (using a tablet for my computer while away from home so my ability to search and link is limited by my patience) to back this up.

        The story itself is colored more from the desire of the story tellers to prove the child/man was the foretold messiah. They dressed it up in ways to tie it back to prophecies written in what is now known as the Old Testament. But, even so, anthropologically speaking, even in Europe married young. Thirteen is about the right age. It’s what it was. Naive? Eh. Nothing to support that.

        For the conditions, I’m going to suggest that the conditions in which “Mary” would have given birth were more sanitary than those afforded most women in various parts of the world today. It’s more likely she was in the home of a relative of Joseph’s, or her own. The manger was and continues to be in some homes a feature of a typical peasant home in that region. Many homes were built into caves, and the dwellings were shared with animals for warmth at night. Mangers were scooped into the rock and were soft and warm and lined with straw. Best place to put a child. Even today there are women who, with their families and tribes, travel continually, even though pregnant. Nomadic tribes abound in that region. Not everyone lives in comfy three bedroom houses in Suburban America and goes to the hospital.

        No, when I said it was a nice enough story, I meant from the perspective of it being a story. It’s rich with interesting elements that offer a little excitement, a little romance, a little of the strain between man and woman, a little mystery, and a lot of drama. And the clear machinations of the writers to bend it into something that was proof of the message they wanted to give to their audiences (1st century people in various parts of the then-settled world) make it even nicer.

        Here’s one reference that I found regarding what is likely a more realistic version of the story concerning the birth of the character Jesus:

        • The dry reference to “gynecological wonders” at that link is amusing. I need to read it through when I’m not still punchy from taking Benadryl to get to sleep.

          See, the whole issue of “if we are to propagate as a species” is probably where we part ways. Look at the mess the human race has made of this world and its own members — how solid an argument can you make for perpetuating it, and at the price of visiting pain and degradation on the people (women anyway) who are already here? I love the plays of Shakespeare and the music of Beethoven, etc., but to some extent they are consolation for the cruelties of existence, and things like that are pretty thin on the ground in comparison with the amount of wretchedness humanity inflicts on the world and itself (like child marriage for example), or the number of people, out of the total you meet in life, who could just have saved themselves and everyone else the trouble of having been born. Faced with that, saying “Women have to be resigned to being torn up and their lives hijacked for years by squalling, smelly, heartless little larvae because we need more humans!” is a hollow argument to me.

          My favorite spin on the Jesus narrative is Robert Graves’ King Jesus, once banned in some US libraries for its blasphemousness, whcih speculates with Graves’ usual swaggering assurance about Mediterranean iconography about the tug of war between different Messianic sects contending to make the actual Jesus — son of a secret marriage between Mary and Herod Antipater, for whom Joseph was the beard — the kind of Messiah that each sect wanted: spiritual, militant, etc.

          • Yes’m. The world is a mess and humans are indeed parasitical. Rational or no, it nevertheless is a biological imperative and difficult for most to ignore. People fuck; kids happen, and most people feel urges to indulge in that cycle. So many women long for being torn up and their lives hijacked for so many years. It’s not as though we’re useless but for our baby producing capabilities, nor are we necessarily tied exclusively to those tiny people. Shackling women to childbearing is a social construct, not a biological one. Creation of wrecks of humanity are also social failings, not biological ones.

            I’ll put King Jesus on my reading list, thanks for the link. A tale I greatly enjoyed, mostly for its absurdity and silliness is Christopher Moore’s “The Gospel According To Biff” (I may have the title slightly wrong). A delicious variation on the Jesus life story.

          • Doubtless, people feel urges to do a lot of things, but does that mean we should just shrug and say “Shit happens?” Shit does happen, much more inevitably than kids… but we invented plumbing in its various forms (culminating, I suppose, in those gorgeous Japanese toilets) and various sorts of manners and habits to make it as tolerable as possible. There are sanctions against taking a dump on the promenade; it ought to be equally possible to grasp that unchecked reproduction is a bad idea and to weave into the social contract the idea that it is bad manners to do too much of it and in most cases better not to do it at all.

            It’s just inconceivable to me, if you’ll pardon the expression, that so many women *really* long to have their lives and bodies essentially ruined, which seems to me at least as common a result of reproducing as anything positive — square old Ann Landers, I believe, once polled her readers on the matter; about half said that given the choice to make over again, they would never have had kids. But when you talk that way people say you’re a bad person or just haven’t seen the light. We need more of that talk.

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