Today is st. Patrick's Day. I came up with the term earlier today that suddenly Define for me what these sort of overly emphasized and made up holidays and American culture really are to me.
My dad used to call Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day, and a lot of other such holidays quote Hallmark holidays unquote. Because in his mind they seemed to exist only to sell more greeting cards. So that's where I'm coming from.
But St. Patrick's Day, it's not even a real holiday even in a Catholic calendar, not really a holiday in the same way that Cinco de Mayo isn't really an important historical date in Mexican history. And what I feel has happened is that these relatively innocuous holiday dates have somehow been glomped up on by American pop culture as an excuse to party, overindulge, and get drunk.
In that same vein, then this afternoon I was thinking about the Disney movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame. And remember their holiday of Topsy Turvy day? I read at some point *cough history nerd cough* that holidays like that exist in the same way that Mardi Gras exists; which is they are safety valves for the restlessness of the popular folk or the poor folk or the little guys.
The more authoritarian, the more controlling, the more class segregated, a culture is, or the more judgemental and repressed they are about sex (music, dancing, art), the greater the need for the kind of Festival that allows Dionysus to really come out.
That's how we put it in one of my Faith Traditions. It is the necessary Madness in Greek paganism. We call it the Lesser Madness, and we accept the Lesser Madness in order to prevent the greater Madness from taking over. The big problem right now, as I see it, is that the greater Madness is going to come and take control.
Our culture is fucked up in so many ways: the belief that the richer you are the more deserving/virtuous/admirable you are. The deliberate breaking of the education system so that only so many people really succeed in getting educated or in learning how to think clearly. The pervasive baked in sexism and racism that prevents so many people from achieving their dreams, their goals, or even, LITERALLY, continued existence.
The Lesser Madness is on the verge of no longer being able to function as a safety valve in American society. The Powers That Be are drowning us all, pissing us off to satisfy their endless horrific greed. Their disregard and cruelty towards "lesser mortals" endangers vulnerable lives in every walk of life, in every time of life from infancy through eldering.
Americans are learning to SEE. Americans are learning, again, to defend our rights. And the "safety valve" is going to blow CLEAN OFF. It already is, as those in the government making a power grab fail to understand that they have awoken the sleeping Leviathan with their unsubtle callous jerking back and forth at the reins.
It's probably better for us, actually, that they are so incompetent. And so disregarding of our agency, power, and willingness to Fuck Shit Up.
The steam engine of this experiment in democracy seems about ready to blow up because the conductor keeps shoveling coal in and disregarding the dials because he doesn't want to control himself.
You know *scratching chin* they probably could have kept fleecing us for a hell of a long time if they'd only gone about it in a moderate fashion. But I think between Flint, Michigan, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, so so many others, so many failures to protect the people, so many failures to look after us, the sheep are going to stampede and trample a bunch of shit, bring confusion to our enemies.
And some of the sheep ain't sheep at all. We're dragons with wings and roars and fire. We're manticores with poison fangs and lion's claws. We're fae, we're tiny enough to get between the gears of the machine and fuck shit up that way, or we're giant amazons, in seven league boots, bearing giant spiked bats made for smashing.
And those that think they control us and can harvest us at their liking will have another think coming.
Smash the Patriarchy.
further reading: Normal is coming unhinged. For the last eight years it has been possible for most people (at least in the relatively privileged classes) to believe that society is sound, that the system, though creaky, basically works, and that the progressive deterioration of everything from ecology to economy is a temporary deviation from the evolutionary imperative of progress...