Winter Solstice

Christmas is coming up, and I just haven’t been able to get into the holiday mood. I’ve been thinking a lot of dark thoughts lately. I guess there’s just not much for me to be merry about this year. The Democrats are about to pass a health care “reform” bill that will force working class people to buy medical insurance they can’t really afford (to add to the credit cards they can’t really afford, and the mortgages they can’t really afford.) Obama is sending more troops to Afghanistan. Oh, and Tiger Woods cheated on his wife. I’ve been repeatedly told that this last point is a matter of great importance, perhaps of equal, if not greater, importance than the first two points I mentioned. (I’ve been told that the New York Post devoted 19 consecutive front pages to this, which is more than they devoted to the Sept. 11 attatcks. Maybe this is one indication of why people are no longer reading newspapers.) I must confess that it’s not at all clear to me why I should care about Woods’s sex life. Am I missing something here? I have that feeling one gets when one is at a party and there’s a joke going around that everyone is clued into except oneself.

They say that at this time of year people get depressed because the days are shorter. It doesn’t help that I have gotten into the habit of staying up late surfing the Internet. I now get only a few hours of daylight every day. I try to find things to cheer me up. I can perhaps find some grim satisfaction in that I was right in expecting the Copenhagen climate conference to be a complete failure. It’s ludicrous to think that the world system as it presently exists could possibly come up with a rational plan to deal with an issue as complicated as global warming. And I can enjoy some schadenfreude at the fact that Al Gore embarrassed himself at the conference. I can tell myself that it’s perhaps just as well that George W. Bush stole the 2000 election from him.

Still, I can’t get myself out of this funk. I just read Graham Greene’s This Gun for Hire. I enjoyed it a lot, and it even had a happy ending, but still I had dark thoughts after I had finished it. I was at the supermarket today and the cashier told me how the Christmas music that the store played all day long was driving her crazy. All I could do was smile stupidly at her. Afterwards, I tried to cheer myself up by doing some photography, which is one of my passions. I like to take pictures at night, because of the interesting effects of lighting and color one can get. I pulled over on a country road – not far from where I live – to take a picture of an old building that looked abandoned. A man who apparently lived nearby came up to me and all but accused me of being a burglar. He seemed to think I was casing the area. I smiled and explained to him that photography is a hobby of mine. This didn’t seem to make much impression on him, so I got in my car and drove away. After I had driven a ways, I felt a sudden impulse to turn around, so I did. When I drove past the spot where I took the picture, there was the same man having an animated conversation with several other men. It seems the photograph I took stirred up a hornet’s nest. Perhaps I injected some excitement into their lives.

Update: I’m sorry if this sounds like a messy and confused post, but it reflects my feelings when I wrote it yesterday. My mood has improved somewhat since then. I went to the supermarket today and I was actually able to have a conversation with the cashier. Perhaps what has cheered me up is the news that the health care “reform” bill may be in trouble because of the possibly illegal promises that were made to Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, just to get his one lousy vote. This may be too much to hope for, but for now it has cast a ray of sunshine in my life.

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2 Responses to “Winter Solstice”

  1. Danny Says:

    Its a tough time of year for many people, this is true. I am watching box sets of The Wire to get through it myself

  2. The Spanish Prisoner Says:

    I haven’t seen The Wire. I’ve heard it’s pretty good. I’ll have to check it out some time.

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