Many are bereaved or separated; many, mostly men, can't or don't see their children; many are in jail or in some other confinement; many, from a lifetime of wet blankets, wring out an existence sleeping on the streets as we walk past and the times are such that we are made impatient with frailty, we are each other's enemy; if we are old, we are lifelong greedybastards, to blame for the young failing to get a foot on Debt's ladder, no matter how much they lie about their income, their prospects; if we are ill we are actually malingering and could do a good day's bricklaying, if only we followed Mr Ian Duncan Smith's advice; if we are foreign, or even look foreign, we are the cause of unemployment. And crime. And VD.
If we are young, we are potentially criminal, unless, like the Bullingdon Bullies, we are born into the non-arrestable class. And if we have worked a life in the public sector, why then, we are despicable scum who should be put to the workhouse, our pensions forfeit; why should we have pensions, when the Employee of the Month, embarking on his career at McDonalds, does not?
If, desperate, abandoned in lone parenthood, we find the meanest benefits in Europe insufficient on which to survive and we nick a hundred or two pounds then by the Holy fucking Kelvin McKenzie we deserve horse-whipping, single mothers, waddaretheylike, slags, jail's too good for them. But if we are a millionaire LibDemTory, like Mr David Laws, MP, and we claim that being gay is the reason that we cheated forty grand's worth of housing benefit, then the whole of MediaMinster unites, in concert, lamenting our downfall, due to an honest mistake, and urging our swift return to FrontBench zombie economics. The cunt.
We could all go on and on about the bleakness, for many, of Christmas, about the dire hollowness of junky consumerism, about the pointlessness of priests, their midnight prating to Godlessheathenbastard drunks about the Christchild, born in a Victorian manger, in the bleak mid-Winter, with just a drummerboy and a donkey and three itinerant bankers for company. Fuck me, Jesus, it's a terrible business, this annual collision of God and Mammon, wanky vicars running soup kitchens whilst their employers sit on a property portfolio worth billions, Archbishop Beard and Pope Nazi the Thirteenth, each beseeching us to be better, the cheeky fucking bastards, as intolerably stupid, braindead, second-rate, fuckwit junior BBC reporters haunt the nation's shopping malls, desperate to break the news that Yes, one day's spending has reversed the ongoing collapse of retail, construction and manufacturing, as though we were stupider than they. And of course, largely, we are, gaping open-mouthed at the rising and falling Dow and FTSE100, as though we had the vaguest understanding of their labyrinthine criminal purpose.
Best of all, the nation's unelected prime minister, an amoral, worthless, thieving poltroon, publicly renews his - and by extention our - Christian faith, whilst down on his knees before the moneylenders in the Temple.
Their will be heartache all over the land, among, I know, some of us, here. Some some of it just the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to - I am off South to visit my late friend's widow, her second Christmas alone, well not alone, far from it, but without her Life'sman, might be a bit easier than her first Christmas without him but after forty years together it is a distinction as broad as a gnat's bollock, Christmas for her will always be shit, always a bleak mid-Winter. But other grief attends the doings of those who have swung an indecisive general election their way, the spivs and slags and chancers who have continued the debasement and diseasing of the body politic, we know their names, how they lisp and simper that the corrupt and useless banking industry simply must be supported, even at the cost of our living standards - our very lives, if necessary - because, after all, that's who they work for. In this tiny communty, here in the best part of England, I know of loads of perfectly decent, industrious, honest people whose entire lives are thrown up in the air, let the pieces fall where they may, in poverty, homelessness and Ruin, yet I have never heard of a single fraudulent financial terrorist in the entire world who has faced a criminal charge.
So, amongst all this pain, all this grubby charlatanry, do we bite Hypocrisy's bullet bullet and wish each other a Happy Christmas? Well, I fear we must; we must sincerely wish each other well, for many are ranged against us who wish us nothing but ill, nothing but harm.
Up here, in lands made dark by latitude as well as by Presbyterianism, I await, like a Pict or a Druid, the mid-Winter's Day Solstice and when it comes the blood quickens, the spirits lift a little, daily, and we sense Life, in all its chronic pattern, stirring, renewing itself by the light of the Sun. The Christians hijacked the mid-Winter event for themselves, substituting guilt for joy and carnality but their crimes brought forth, eventually, sublime music and art and architecture and literature, and it is for these that they will be remembered, even celebrated, long after Pope Nazi and his noncing monsignors have faced Heaven's Nuremberg, So fuck 'em all, priests and politicians and usurers; and a Happy Christmas or Solstice to each of us and may we, refreshed, gird our loins for Ruin's brutal New Year.
A Christmas Day in Ishmaelia