Monday, December 25, 2017

#359 / A Wall Street Journal Merry Christmas

It is always difficult (at least for me) to decide upon an appropriate Christmas Day posting for this blog. The blog is, by its nature, both personal and political. Do I try to remind myself (and anyone reading the blog) of the Christian message that is, at least supposedly, the reason for the celebration? Or, should I do what our current President complains about, and take the "Christ" out of Christmas, and comment, in one way or another, on the more crassly commercial aspects of the holiday?

In the past, I have taken different approaches. In 2015, I focused on the commercial aspects of Christmas, and discussed "Christmas And The Three R's." I crafted my Christmas message as a pitch for recycling, with an emphasis on the very first of the "R's," that commandment to "Reduce."

In 2013, my posting was much more "religious." A picture of Jesus was at the top of the column, which I titled, "Something Is Happening Here." I managed to quote my friend Bob Dylan to that effect.

This Christmas - and Merry Christmas to all who may be perusing this posting! - I can accommodate both approaches by simply referring interested persons to the December 23-24 edition of The Wall Street Journal.

The Opinion Page of that edition of The Journal has an editorial by Vermont C. Royster, who was the editorial page editor from 1958 to 1971. Royster's editorial, In Hoc Anno Domini, was apparently first published by The Journal in 1949, which has published it every year since. Because The Journal has a paywall, clicking the link above may not get you the whole text. If that turns out to be true, you can get the idea by clicking right here. Royster's editorial gets right at the heart of the holiday: Something is happening here, and it's very, very good!

But the pre-Christmas edition of The Wall Street Journal has a very non-religious holiday treat for readers, too. Accompanied by the lively illustrations of John Cuneo (one example above), The Journal has published an extremely engaging piece of short fiction, called "Santa #9."

I recommend this "Christmas Short Story" to you, and if you can't get through The Wall Street Journal's paywall, then try clicking this link. There is nothing particularly "religious" about this story, which ends up being a not-too-subtle critique of the octopus of capitalism, and what it has been doing to America.

Merry Christmas is my message! I think I said that before. It's worth repeating, and let me be clear. This greeting is emphatically NOT brought to you by any politician, living or dead.

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