Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Festivus!

Today is Festivus!

As is fitting, I would like to end the year with the Airing of Grievances. It has been a bad year for my blog, and I'm feeling a little testy. I have five grievances. If they make you mad, well, come at me with your feats of strength. Hopefully, though, you'll chuckle instead.

5. AUTO TUNE. I like my fruit fresh, not in a can. I like my vegetable fresh, not in a can. I like my meat grilled, not in a can. I guess I'm not a big fan of cans. That's why I like my music with real voices and real instruments, which is getting harder and harder to find, at least on the radio. I know I'm old school, but super-synthesized and auto-tuned doesn't do it for me. Nor does DJ-generated turntablism. Give me the sound of the guitar fingers sliding, the bass rumbling, the raspy voice breaking, and the leather pants stretching anytime. Okay, maybe we can do without the leather pants, but for goodness sake, if you can't sing the song in tune, you probably aren't that good.

4. ANGRY ATHEISTS. Congratulations! You've discovered enlightenment and are now smarter than the rest of the human race. Unfortunately, your new-found uber-humanity seems to have upset you. That's why you insist on posting angry articles declaring that Jesus is as real as the Easter Bunny and Christians are holding onto our outdated beliefs like hoarders on the set of the Home Shopping Network. I'm not sure why you're so mad at people who believe. Did someone take your favorite toy or something? Anyway, there's a lot in the universe we don't understand--so maybe a little faith and mystery will bring some cheer back into your world.

3. ANGRY CHRISTIANS. Speaking of angry, atheists aren't the only ones who seem angry these days. Why do so many Christians seem angry about things that Jesus isn't angry about? Signs that say Happy Holidays? People who favor gun control? Obamacare? Donald Trump? Political debates? Red cups at Starbucks? Chick Fil-A being closed on Sundays?

Jesus got angry at religious hypocrites and anyone who made it harder to get to his Father. We might do well to follow his example, at least in how we present ourselves in social media.

2. NFL INSTANT REPLAY. Fans of the Sunday Synagogue are always ranting about poor officiating. I am guilty as charged. But instant replay, designed to "get it right," only makes things irreducibly complex. The ability to slow plays down into nanoseconds and watch them from a gazillion different angles makes them indecipherable. Did he catch it or bobble it? Did it hit the ground or just a blade of grass? Is a blade of grass considered the ground? Was his arm moving forward to throw or was he just waving to his mother? As he tumbled to the ground like the lunar module, was there control--defined by 76.5 lbs per square inch of pressure on the ball--or did the ball just rotate with the earth? After the interception, did he perform a football move, or was he just reenacting a scene from Magic Mike? Or my personal favorite, Let's check the spot of the ball to see if it made it to the 41.9846 yard line (though on the previous play it was tossed to the ground with all the care of a half-eaten chicken wing). Watching the NFL is like watching Inception; the layers get deeper and deeper until we can no longer tell if we're watching replay, real life, or the Miss Universe pageant. "Ladies and Gentlemen, 43 years later, the Immaculate Reception is still under review."

1. NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS. Who's idea was this, anyway? We take an otherwise relaxing holiday and turn it into a guilt trip and 365-day reminder of how little self-control and discipline we have. I had some amazing resolutions coming into this year -- encourage 6 people daily (fail), go to the gym 200 times (fail), write a blog every other week (fail), and read 30 books (done). I'm one for four, which even upon review by NFL officials, would mean I SUCK. New Year's Day is like the cake you haven't even eaten yet, and might never eat, but feel guilty for wanting to eat, and awful after you eat it. I resolve to strengthen my resolve to not make resolutions this year.

Happy Festivus, everyone, and more importantly, MERRY CHRISTMAS, too!