14 December 2010

Fatigue, Dwight Yoakam & Christmas

This game might be laced
with downers. 
I'm tired.  Lethargic, even.  I can always tell when I'm near the end of the week, because I take my vitamin D supplements on Fridays.  I'm almost guaranteed to be a dizzy zombie on Thursdays, and in rough weeks, Wednesdays.  Lately, though, I feel that way almost all the time.  Maybe it's the change in weather, the lack of sunlight outside or maybe it's something that playing Rock Band: Country Track Pack has done to my brain.  I don't believe I'm actively fighting off any kind of illness, and while my Crohn's has been a bit obnoxious I can't say I believe this is its handiwork.

Off-topic (or is it?), I have been entirely incapable of getting into the mood for Christmas at all this year.  I wanted to get in on this year's DVD Talk Holiday Challenge, but so far most of my few entries have either been things on TV that my wife was watching anyway (like an episode of According to Jim, a show I despise) or a few movies that qualify simply because they take place around the Christmas season (like Batman Returns).  I haven't even wanted to play Christmas music this year, and for about a decade that was really the only element of Christmas left that I still enjoyed.  Even Elvis can't rescue me from the doldrums.

It would be fine with me if I went back to bed and awoke in January, refreshed and no longer expected to muster some cheer.  Which reminds me, I wonder if anyone has tried to study who actually reports enjoying Christmas more: those who actually celebrate the religious origins of the holiday, or the secular people who, 364 days of the year insist religion is a sham but put up a tree and smile while handing out overpriced, unwanted gifts to everyone they can get to come to their home.

I hate those people, because they're everything that's wrong with contemporary ideas of Christmas.  Of course it's all materialism with those people: that's literally all they acknowledge or celebrate!  I just want to know why they can't go the full 365 days with their views.  Is it really that hard to resist the cost and hassle of organizing a get-together built around exchanging gifts?  Think about it this way: if I asked you in May if you wanted to get everyone you knew together, cook a big meal and we all run out and buy things for each other, you'd say that sounds like a lot of trouble.  Why, then, do people who literally do not care at all about religion, go through the charade of celebrating Christmas?

I used to think that my lack of interest in Christmas was that I'd just gotten too old for the magic, but that's not it.  I see now that my real problem with Christmas is this large segment of our population who reject any claim on faith, but insist on participating in Christmas events.  It's like going to a concert and finding out that a significant number of people there actively dislike the artist, but have shown up anyway.  Anyone who has ever been to a concert knows that what happens on stage is only part of the experience; the vibe of the audience is also quite influential on how things go.

You see this guy,
you pay attention!
I'll give you an example.  In 2002, some friends of mine and I went to Indianapolis to catch the Brooks & Dunn Neon Circus & Wild West Show.  The penultimate act on the bill was Dwight Yoakam.  It goes without saying that Dwight was the consummate professional, ripping through a set chock full of classic and current tunes while finding time to banter a bit.  It was everything I ever wanted in a Dwight set.  Yet, 95% of the crowd sat down and outright ignored him.  Oh, sure, they could be on their feet for Chris Cagle, but they yawned at an actual artist.  It detracted from how much I enjoyed Dwight's set, and I've always wished someone had chastised those people for being so disrespectful to one of the most interesting artists of the last quarter century.

I just feel like I'm back there on that berm, singing along with the guy on stage while everyone else is too busy talking about their overpriced beer and how much fun they had been having.  I know, I should accept that everyone has a right to enjoy whatever they enjoy, in whatever terms work for them.  Or that maybe I should try to get the crowd into it myself.  I care enough to be bothered, but not enough to do anything about, it seems.  Eight years later, I'm still just silently watching the crowd around me ruin my mojo.

Forget it.  Think I'm gonna take a nap.  Wake me in January.

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