Life as we know it.

I always get sick at Christmas. Funny that I just mentioned this at a party the other night, So, did I cause it to happen by mentioning it? I'm not usually superstitious, but I am human, and humans are naturally superstitious. Right? Look at religion. I don't get sick very often(once a year, at Christmas), so when I do, the forced idleness allows some other thoughts to enter the usually busy and preoccupied mind.

Sitting in the walk-in clinic, waiting to see the doctor (a no-nonsense, check the throat, give them the drugs, get them out type), I read the most recent MacLeans attack on Svend Robinson. I hadn't read MacLeans for a while, so I was startled by its 'edginess'. I'm guessing that's what it takes for a magazine to survive these days. But why this out-of-the blue attack on Svend? I got the sense they're looking for trouble, and pickings are slim. They called him to task for trying to get God out of the Charter of Rights and Freedom. Well, what is God doing there in the first place? I thought we lived in a secular country. When this issue first came up in 1999, I thought this would be what committees call a 'housekeeping item'. 'Oh yes, how silly of us to leave that in. I can't believe we all missed it'. But no, we're not quite ready to cut the ties. Svend was also regaled for heckling Ronald Reagan in Parlaiment. What I want to know is why didn't more MPs heckle. Reagan was the start of it all. Let's elect Svend, invite Bush II and have more heckling.

Speaking of Bush II, what the hell is going on down there? The richest country in the world that could do anything: re-invest in public education, rebuild New Orleans before a disaster, go to Mars, and what do they do? Start a war that's impossible to win or end, based on lies, for the sole purpose of furthering the business interest of their friends. To paraphrase an old saying: ' The measure of a civilization is what it does with its leisure resources'. And there's virtually no opposition. Where are the leaders willing to stand up and call this sham for what it is? Michael Moore with his films and Lewis Lapham with his essays is all I see. And where are the people? Isn't that what the Second Amendment is all about? Not just carrying guns, but about carrying guns in case the government gets out of touch with reality and 'the people' need to reign it in? Now would be a good time.

I've been thinking about Christmas. How big a part it is of our (secular) culture. Mostly I enjoy the time off work away from the routine. A time to try some other things; flail about on a ski hill pretending I know that I'm doing, practicing music, reading those form letters from friends a relatives that sum up the year ('X went hunting again this year and actually brought back a duck this time!'). I guess this is my Christmas summary, but I probably won't be sending it out, it's too cranky. This end of year break seems quite natural to me, I guess we humans have been doing this for a long time, first solstice, then Christmas, same thing. I've probably pissed off another whole swath of people, but I no longer feel like beating around the bush (is that a Biblical reference?). Maybe being sick has something to do with that. A musician friend of mine said that he sometimes played better when he was sick. Less inhibition, or no additional energy left to filter the output through a 'world-friendly' view. It just comes out straight, raw. Then again, maybe I'm just cranky. Around my office I'm know as the cranky one. Don't do McDonalds, choose Queen Charlottes over Disneyland for vacations. If that's cranky, I'm it.

I've got Amoxicillin coursing through my body now. The doctor took 1 minute to determine I was bacterial, not viral and send me on my way with a prescription. Not that I really know what the penicillin is doing. I'm trusting science, or at least past practice that has known to work. While waiting for the doctor, I read in the drug bible in the examination room about Acetaminophen. I was amazed to read that there's no clear understanding of how it actually works.

So here we are stumbling through the world, getting edgy to keep ourselves amused, enjoying our holidays breaks without a clear understanding of their lineage, killing because it's good business, and trusting medicine, even though some of it is merely studied observation. No wonder I'm cranky.

Merry Christmas.