I have been under the weather lately. Nothing too serious, I am happy to report; but a low-grade fever, a sore throat and a cough that would put Camille to shame left me with just enough energy/motivation to put up some Christmas decorations and complete my shopping …. and not much else. I hate being sick. I know, and have known, people with serious health issues so it is pretty easy to put things in their proper perspective. I am not that sick. But that is an objective, intellectual process. Subjectively, I am moving into week #3 and I am confident I have wrung all the joy out of the experience of feeling crappy. I am ready for it to be over.
* * * * * * *
Thanks to those who sent greetings in various forms to acknowledge the feast day of my nativity; or, as I choose the think of it, the 18th anniversary of my fortieth birthday. Special shouts out to Anne Marie for the terrific card and to Ron for the Ghirardelli which I applied directly to my waistline. You are as sweet as it was.
* * * * * * *
The week before Christmas, Harper’s Other Dad and I visited the Desert Botanical Gardens for their annual ‘Las Noches de los Luminarias’. It is an annual holiday tradition here in the Valley but we have never made it out to see it before. I think luminarias have become popular holiday decorations in many areas. I did not realize how big a deal they are in the Southwest until a few years ago I visited Santa Fe at Christmastime.
I thought decorating the walkways in the Desert Botanical Garden with the luminarias would be festive. And it is. This year, however, I am afraid, is not a typical year. The DBG has its Chihuly exhibit continuing until May, 2014. The combination of the holiday luminarias and the Chihuly glass have made the DBG a hot ticket this season. That is great. Unfortunately, the light from the Chihuly pieces effectively obliterates the charm of the luminarias. usual crowds of people stumbling, quite literally, down the dimly lit garden paths change the experience.
I loved the Chihuly when I saw it last month. I look forward to seeing the luminarias next year when they will be more the center of attention.
* * * * * * *
Perhaps it is my general malaise but I’m having a hard time caring about the Duck Doofus “controversy”. He’s one more “Christian” who regards hatred of others as an article of his faith. Apparently he also thinks African-Americans (my term, not his) were happier in the Jim Crow South when they all sang spirituals and happy work songs on their way to their lynching. I have no idea, of course, but I would not faint from the shock if I learned there were sheets with eye-holes buried not-too-far back the duck family linen closet.
The pro-diversity community rolled into action to condemn his hate-speech and racial insensitivity and called for a boycott. The teavangelicals cranked up their media machine to decry the attack on duck boy’s religious freedom and freedom of speech. Sarah Palin hasn’t had this many photo ops since she made the rounds on her Chick-fil-a ‘bigot burger’ tour. Luckily it was perfectly timed to help her sell her Christmas book; hot on the heals of Fox News breaking the story that Jesus, like Santa, is a white guy.
I’m reluctant to criticize any community’s efforts to challenge hate-speech but I worry that this kind of hysteria at every lapse in political correctness does more to generate support for the opponents of diversity than raise anyone’s consciousness. Are there really any supporters of diversity taking spiritual guidance from the duck klan? Does anyone believe that the people who view duck doofus as an intellectual or religious leader are going to change their minds because the HRC weighed in?
I don’t feel too much support for A&E either. They responded by suspending him for a week or two. Of course the taped episodes are still running…. and they ran a DD marathon one day over the holidays. I guess it is good that they responded but I struggle to see it as much of a statement. They made a lot of money making him a reality star. Does any reasonable person honestly believe the folks at A&E were surprised to learn of his views about African Americans and gays? So they bowed to pressure from liberal groups by suspending him and then bowed to pressures from teavangelicals to reinstate him. In the meantime, they cashed in with improved ratings and a huge amount of free publicity for their reality show. All I can say about the network is that I have never seen DD and am no more, or less, likely to watch it in the future based on A&E’s actions in this brouhaha. I’ve been trying to recall the last time I watched anything on A&E. It has been a while, probably not since they starting considering programs like DD to be either “Arts” or “Entertainment”.
* * * * * * *
Christmas was unusual this year. Because I was sick I did not make the trip back to Michigan with Harper’s Other Dad. It was the first time in 17 years we’ve been apart on Christmas. I am sure I’ve been alone on Christmas before though I don’t recall any specific example; probably back in the early 1980’s.
I was a little worried it might be depressing but, truthfully, it wasn’t. Harper was here to keep me company. I took pains to avoid Christmas carols, however. I was pretty sure, whatever my mood, it would not have been improved by hearing Judy sing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”.
In the meantime, I have quite a backlog of blog fodder. I will try to catch up in the next week or so.