Brexit and the Santa Clause

Seldom in my life have I witnessed a social event as cataclysmic as the #Brexit.  In every day life very little has changed.  Life goes on as normal.  And yet the moralistic puritanical outrage that has been released by a vote that has, at this time of writing, changed absolutely nothing, has bordered upon the fanatical and been nothing short of absurd.

The idiosyncrasies of such behaviour are evident. This referendum brought the highest voter turnout in a quarter of a century. Over 2 million people who never vote found the ballot box.  Suddenly people were talking, reading and arguing about politics.  They were interested again. If this were any other social issue people would be celebrating this event as a hugely important moment in history.  Instead it has become a bitter, banal argument where 2 million people have forged a petition to try to get the votes of some 17 million people disregarded in a crass demonstration of contemptible arrogance that can be at best described as lamentable ignorance

This preponderance of abject denialism is reminiscent of a child first learning that Santa Claus does not exist.  Even though on some level they recognise that what they are hearing is right, their heart won’t allow them to rationalise their world view into a position that fits outside of their logic.

Recently I found myself in a discussion with someone I shall name ‘Remain Roger’.  Roger has a degree in economics and works in London.  Whilst conversing upon the stupidity of a nonsensical petition he accused me of voting leave on account of my continued defense of the referendum result.  I am a British citizen, a resident of the Netherlands, I have a Polish wife, sell records in Poland, books in the UK and pay tax in the Netherlands.  If you knew those things about someone how do you suppose they would vote?  SANTA IS REAL SANTA IS REAL SANTA IS REAL SANTA IS REAL!!!!!!!!!!

Now recently ‘Remain Roger’ is in a state of despair, whether it is due to the extra workload caused by working in an industry dedicated to propagating impossible rumor, or domestic problems of sorts, I don’t know.  What is clear is that his inability to comprehend that people are capable of independent thought has rendered him impotent.  Poor Roger has started suffering from rage syndrome, lashing out all over the internet about all manner of topics, including more recently a joke meme about the youth that voted remain playing Pokemon.  Perhaps this should have served as a warning.  However, as a keen bipartisan cultural anthropologist of sorts I was keen to engage Roger.  Sadly, Roger lost his temper.

Roger

This felt somewhat awkward given that 1. It started with a Pokemon joke.  2.  Social media means that everybody knows exactly what you have been doing since you left school 3. What the fuck has any of this to do with 1 or 2.  It was the umpteenth example of fallacious reasoning from what I thought was a very well-developed mind.  Oh and number 4.

Fallacious reasoning is defined by Wikipedia as:

A fallacy is the use of invalid or otherwise faulty reasoning, or “wrong moves”[1] in the construction of an argument.[2][3] A fallacious argument may be deceptive by appearing to be better than it really is. Some fallacies are committed intentionally to manipulate or persuade by deception, while others are committed unintentionally due to carelessness or ignorance. Lawyers acknowledge that the extent to which an argument is sound or unsound depends on the context in which the argument is made

A perfect example of a fallacious construct is the statement ‘The Brexit is a mistake’.  In its most exact sense, there is no way you can possible argue that seventeen million people inadvertently ticked the wrong box.  Nor can it be a concluding opinion, as there is no way, short of using a time machine to prove that the statement itself is evidential in nature.  Every single political campaign is a shitstorm of fallacious charts and statistics intended to frame facts in a manner to support an argument.  To believe that either side of a political campaign are morally superior returns us to the Santa Claus analogy.

It has occurred to me that the reason the #Brexit has proven to be so divisive is a direct result of ideological bias.  The real reason why the result appears so shocking to people is that we have been an irreligious nation for generations, our politics abandoned the working class decades ago and we have had very little to blindly argue about other than football. We have lost the ability to articulate intelligently, to conduct discourse in a manner befitting of intelligent adults, and worst of all we have lost sight of ourselves.  Once again we find ourselves an ideologically challenged nation, faced with an uncertain future, a future decided by the majority of us.

What matters now is that we abandon ‘the Santa Clause’.  That we stop assuming that belief equates to truth.  It is a vile notion aflame in the weakest of minds.  It is the fuel to scores of conflicts throughout the history of man.  The fact is belief bears no relation to truth, and is actually the twin brother of ignorance.

 

 

A Traditional Christmas Post

Today is the last day of the Christmas trilogy, otherwise known as Boxing Day.  For you Continentals not familiar with island practices, tradition dictates that on Boxing Day you must have a boxing match with the first person you see after leaving the house.  This morning was quite unfortunate for my Mum’s elderly 84-year-old neighbour, Alice.  However I am pleased to report that I knocked her out late in the seventh round.

I know what some of you may be thinking.  What an absurd tradition!  And you would indeed be right.  By and large traditions are absolute nonsense, and what makes them even more amusing is the fact that some people still cling onto them.  Christmas Day is a fine example.  If you ask people what we celebrate on Christmas Day, most of them will point to the fact that it’s the day Jesus Christ was born.  And they would be completely correct in their thinking if it wasn’t for the fact that they are completely and utterly wrong.  Jesus was actually born in April.  Historically December 25th is actually a Pagan holiday.

This year I spent the 25th searching for the spirit of Christmas.  What I can safely say,  is that it was definitely not Tequila, Vodka, Whisky or Brandy.  If the television is to be believed, the spirit of Christmas is ‘giving’.  Sadly the vast majority of people believe that ‘giving’ is the responsibility of  Santa Claus.  And they would be completely correct in their thinking if it wasn’t for the fact that they are wrong.  On my home island it’s about a visit from Father Christmas, and believe it or not, they are not the same person.

The point I am trying to make is that tradition is whatever you decide it is.  If you want to spend every New Years Eve naked, standing in a cardboard box, wearing a lampshade on your head whilst singing ‘Yellow Polka Dot Bikini’ that is a matter for you, and you only.  Just don’t expect anyone else to join you, after all, one man’s tradition is another man’s laughing matter.

The Meaning Of Christmas

There are only six calendar days left before Christmas eve and as usual I am yet to even begin shopping.  I could blame it on my inertia, or my schedule or I could even blame it on the boogie.  However I shan’t.  Instead I will blame it on the fact that I despise Christmas.  It’s hard to put my finger on exactly why as there are so many reasons which work in my eyes.  Whether it be the mythical attachments, the commercialisation, the nonsensical ‘family’ time, or even the giving and receiving of things which nobody wants.  The thing which annoys me most of all is the constant string of bullshit which people come out with regarding the ‘Christmas’, ‘Christian’, ‘Festive’ spirit.  There is only one true spirit of Christmas and that is one of pure unadulterated insanity.

By definition a ‘religious’ celebration for a man who ‘purportedly’ lived 2000 plus years ago, despite the fact there is absolutely zero evidence that he did is something straight out of the Da Vinci code.  The idea that Christmas is some kind of religious celebration is absolute nonsense and has thankfully  been long forgotten by most countries.

Which brings us to Santa Claus.  Who unfortunately is yet another religious icon.  Saint Nicholas of Myra was a 4th century Greek Christian Bishop who was renown specifically for giving gifts to the poor.  Saint Nick is most famous for giving dowries to three daughters of an impoverished Christian so they wouldn’t have to become prostitutes.  Is this the true spirit of Christmas?  Should we not give gifts to each other and only to women we fear may become prostitutes?

Another interesting aspect of the ‘Festive’ spirit is the active promotion of lying.  The Christmas lies begin with misleading our children to believe in a 4th century Greek Bishop who now is the proud owner of a courier service slightly better than UPS.  A bishop who despite being dead for almost 1600 years now delivers presents to every child in the world in one night by using a sleigh and flying reindeer.  And yet we expect our children to grow up respecting us.  What happens when little Johnny goes back to school in January and asks young Abdul or Jewish Jacob what they got for Christmas?  When they say nothing is Johnny going to reply ‘of course chaps, I forgot for one moment what a beautiful and joyous multi-cultural society we reside in.’  Sadly not as another lie we propagate means that Johnny will know instantly why they didn’t get a present.  Who hasn’t heard ‘you have to be a good boy/girl/alien if you want Santa to bring you a present’?   So now Johnny believes that his friends are bad boys.  And Johnny wonders what exactly it is they did which is so bad, after all he set fire to the neighbours cat and still got a present.

The promotion of lies is nothing new, nor is the manipulation of pliable ideals.  The fact is Christmas is no longer Christian.  Nor is there a fixed spirit.  It is a commercial concept which has been twisted to fit the epoch in which we live.  And that epoch is one of meaninglessness.  Christmas has been refined as a celebration over 300 years.  It can have meaning if you try hard enough.  It has whatever meaning you want it to have.  For me this year is about giving gifts to women who I worry may become prostitutes and lying to children.  And if that isn’t admirable I don’t know what is.