Sunday, December 03, 2006

As Of Sunday, December 3, 2006

"There never was a good war or a bad peace."

Sometimes, we humans, fear the darndest things. Will the world cave in if we wish a stranger Merry Christmas? Or should we try at all times remember our manners and stay within the lines by wishing that same stranger "Happy Holidays?" I keep forgetting which has been deemed most correct, maybe it depends on where you hail from. I am thinking about "political correctness," tonight because of a recent debate which has taken place in the East Bay town of Lafayette, California, regarding this memorial to service members killed in Iraq.

Lafayette, is located in western Contra Costa County, which is a hop and a skip from my town of Berkeley, through the Caldecott Tunnel. I have been reading about this debate, over the placement of the crosses on the hill, for a couple weeks now, one side saying it is a "simple tribute," while others call it a, "travesty." When at all possible, I prefer to go and see for myself, before I make a judgement on expressions of free speech, such as this one. There is a big difference between seeing an image online, and seeing it in person. I have to say, I wasn't quite prepared for how I felt seeing those crosses through my camera lens.

Simple crosses, placed on a hillside. Some could say it is all about politics, some might say it is a object lesson in reality. It's really up to the individual how you see the crosses. It comes down to what you hold in your thoughts and minds. Life? Death? Tribute? Travesty? War? Politics? Freedom of Speech? Closed minds? Closed hearts? Facing the truth? Looking away in grief? Denial? Acceptance? Fear? Political Correctness? Nothing at all? 2885? 2885 Men and women?

I know what I saw. But that's me. What do you think? By the way, I usually wish strangers a "good day." That's just me. Christmas is weeks away, so it always seems odd to me to wish someone, who I don't know, a "Merry Christmas," when we have weeks to go before we are even at the holiday. When I go out on Christmas Eve, I generally go with the flow. Maybe I won't wish anyone anything. Maybe I will smile and say, "have a nice day." To be truthful, I don't put a lot of thought into it. I don't feel particuarly threatened if someone wishes me a "Merry Christmas," or a, "Happy Holidays," why should I? It's beats the heck out of being called a, "BITCH!" Which has happened to me every Christmas Eve for the last 19 years or so. It's ok, it's a tradition.

Here's the thing, no matter what the greeting, or the memorial, can't we humans try to remember what it stands for. It seems that in recent years, oh heck I will say it, since 9/11, everything is about politics and bullying. Freedom of speech is all the rage. Think about it. It isn't encouraged however, if we don't agree about the meaning behind a memorial, or the greetings and salutations of the seasons. And aren't we all just Johnny-On-The-Spot to decided what the motives are of other? We humans don't have to come up with the silly interpretations for things that we do. Coexisting doesn't have to be this difficult. You know? If you look on my sidebar, you will see a "Merry Christmas" animation, if I have offended you... I apologize... actually, no I don't. There... I said it. :)

Iraq Memorial Stirs Bad Blood In Town

Lafayette Memorial
Lafayette, California
December 2nd, 2006
Late Afternoon


Jessica said...

**hugs*** hiya Carly...yup, I'm still alive...and doing fantastic! and even getting in the Holiday spirit - there was even frost on my car window this morning!! so nice to be out of Florida YAYYY...

I read this post with the conflicting thoughts and emotions that always accompany this topic for me....As a Pagan, a non-christian, I have watched this furor over political correctness closely, first with amusement and confusion over the animosity, and later with true frustration at peoples thick-headedness.

My beliefs are polytheistic, I honor both the Goddess and the God..I wont go into details about my beliefs on the inclusiveness of those terms, or my feelings on those who consider their religion to be the "only" or the "pure" religion...but I will say that I do not have any problem with whatever or whomever anyone else wants to hold as their higher power. It's a good deal simple semantics anyway... Just like Christmas...if someone wishes me a Merry a rational (ok, sometimes) adult, I am perfectly capable of taking that in the spirit given without throwing a fuss and complaining about the verbiage...In return, I expect to not get my head torn off when I - in good cheer - wish someone happy holidays - or, Goddess forbid - even go so far as to say Bless'd Yule...

I guess I just wish people would get off their ever-lovin high horse and stop assuming their way is the only and let live is NOT just a James Bond movie,'s a pretty darn good philosphy for life. And heck, I figure in this day of self-absorption and unfriendliness...if anyone bothers to wish me anything other than ill...i'll take it..wording be damned...

and on that note...Bless'd Yule, joyous holidays and yes, even Merry Christmas Carly :~)

Jessica said...

and yes, I know the James Bond movie is Live and Let Die...but that wouldn't have served my purpose very well now would it ... poetic license ;~)

DesLily said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS CARLY!!! (nuff said huh? lol)

Carly said...

Hey Jessica :)

Good to see ya back darlin! Good to hear all is well. Thank you for coming by today, and by the way, I like the sound of "Bless'd Yule" very much. :)

Karen Funk Blocher said...

I guess I mostly wait for clues and then respond in kind. If the person says Merry Christmas I say the same. Wearing a Santa hat or snowman pin or a Christmas tree sweater? Then I know which way to jump. Otherwise, no, I don'tassume the person celebrates Christmas. But my famorite remark on the subject was from a rabbi on the radio a year or two ago. He said that Christmas for a Jew is like a friend's birthday. It's not his special day, but he can still halp his friend celebrate it!