Sunday, May 8, 2016

Hallmark Days

It is the beginning of the period of #ExceptionalAmerica days - Mother's Day [gag], Memorial Day ['Merica is the Greatest Country in the History of the World, By God], Father's Day [Allow Me to Make Fun of You'all with a Paper Necktie; Have a Beer], Independence Day [We Are Not Only *Still* the Greatest Country in the World, By God, but for Now and All-Time, By God, We Are the Empire that God Loves], and then Labor Day [When We Pretend to Admire the Crum-Bum, Dirty Working Man on Whose Backs the Elite Stand, Sneering]. If anything identifies us, it is our love for these phony days of idealization and idolatry.

Each year - I am about to be 68 - I try - sometimes hard, sometimes harder, sometimes my very hardest - not to look down on our (my) culture or express my birthright of pain from the 1950's Eisenhower era of seeing no evil, hearing no evil and (especially) saying no evil about the middle class, conservative, upwardly-striving, suburban, status-conscious, longing-to-be-elitists among whom I endured a childhood of abuse and condescension in a culture of self-congratulatory self-righteousness and keeping up with the Joneses. This year, I won't even try. I no longer give too much of a damn about the feelings of those people, nor do I give too much of a damn about not toeing any lines or being inappropriate - in order not to be un-Amurrican or un-Christian or immodest in my rage.

I *HATE* these holidays. I especially hate Mother's Day with all its jewelry advertising, flower bedecking and mother-placing-on-pedestals AS THOUGH something about giving birth anoints mothers to be caring, present, sensitive and protective guardians of tiny-then-small people. Nothing so anoints mothers, and not all of them have any/all of those qualities. The damage and wreckage is bad enough; the damage and wreckage from having mother and father who had none of those qualities is worse. The requirement to celebrate mothers on Mother's Day - in church, in ads, in AA and Al-Anon meetings, at ballgames - is mind-bendingly horrible, akin to the horribleness of ever-present Christmas carols during "the holidays" for those damaged by Christian religious people/fanatics.

To anyone inclined to recommend therapy, please try to understand that I have endured the work of therapy for decades ... and am happier and healthier than ever before. To anyone inclined to recommend medication, you are reading the words of a veteran of legal, psychoactive meds. Some things don't go away; fortunately, some damage can be ameliorated ... and fortunately in my case has been. To anyone inclined to recommend "taking it easy," please understand that this is a (now) fairly rare expression of intensity that I decided to express on this day of days.

To anyone inclined to urge me to celebrate how much less terrorized and haunted I am now than ever before, I say, "You are correct, but PTSD does not go away; and I have not forgotten."

To anyone inclined to remind me that I have also had advantages that many people had not, you are correct - and I have not forgotten. Life has improved, and my life is better than it was and better than it might have been. I do not minimize that.

In my opinion, we are still a culture of seeing, hearing and speaking as little evil as possible, preferring almost always to seek the closest-as-possible-to-Hallmark views of us as possible. I say to hell with that.

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