Thus far it has been a very merry NPH Christmas as the last 7 gifts that I bought for people have included Neil Patrick Harris. Seasons of How I Met Your Mother from the studio store, Dr. Horrible, Assassins Broadway soundtrack... it seems that Neil Patrick Harris is a major part of this Holiday season.
I also have a little wrist strap that says WWNPHD? I'm pretty sure that the answer would be be awesome.. or sing show tunes.. either one, really. But in that same vain, Morgan Spurlock has produced another documentary that sort of makes you roll your eyes called WHAT WOULD JESUS BUY? and it brings back those bad memories of why I can't fully support Spurlock's rational. Not because of the question asked but how the question is addressed. I thought the premise of Super Size Me was great.
It is a little alarming that so many people rely heavily on fast food places like McDonalds or Burger King as the main method to cook. Have it because you don't have time to shop for food, cook said food or sit down and eat it. The over consumption of unhealthy fast food is a great item to focus on. But where Spurlock failed was in the execution of his example. Of course eating McDonalds three times a day will destroy your health and it's not very practical and allows people to simply discredit the whole project by saying exactly that "Well, duh. No one eats McDonalds three times a day!"
So anyway, never mind my rant (as much) here's the trailer for his latest documentary piece; What Would Jesus Buy?
So What Would Jesus Buy? The Answer? Nothing. It's his birthday, duh. The question should be what he would be asking for... I think maybe a nail removal tool. Certainly not a snuggie or a freedom try....
3/4th of us look towards Christmas with dread instead of anticipation. For example, I just got an e-mail from Amazon telling me that today is the last day to buy something and be sure to get it to the person of receiving by the 24th. This sort of threat seems to... I dunno, make me feel like this whole consumerism thing is bad.
But then again.. I already knew that.
Which lead me to this little moment of clarity about what I usually talk about. Then had the biggest fffffffffffffuck moment possible. Because for as on top of my game that I believed I was in terms of finding those cracks and obvious contradictions in modern day society and being observant of them, I just was blind sighted by the fact that I fell for the oldest trick. In believing that the only way to show my love is by buying it through gifts. Using material goods as a symbol of love. Which is exactly what the marketing people want us to believe.
It really is a shame that I come to this moment of clarity now so close to Christmas and after I got a fair amount of gifts for my girlfriend. A girlfriend who I should very well damn know doesn't need gifts to see that I care for her. At least now I don't have to do any shopping on Christmas Eve for those family members, right? I seem to go out every year on that day for one last thing that I never realize that I needed to get. Mostly it's people watching.
But then it got me thinking about this whole gift giving idea behind Christmas. You know, how parents go out of their way to hide the fact that they bought the gifts by creating this story of Santa bringing them what they wanted in exchange for good behavior like some jail house warden.
I know what you're asking me. Am I going to be one of those assholes who tells his four year old child that Santa Claus is a lie and that the sooner they learn that, the happier they'll be? Considering it's mainly a tool to control the behavior of a child, I really don't see it as a product means to develop a relationship with your kid based on a lie. It doesn't set a good example to teach them not to lie by also creating a lie in itself.
First off, me even talking about a potential child is... pretty scary. If you asked me two years ago, I would have given you a stern "Not gonna bring someone into this hell we call earth is what I'm going to do. It's all just going to get worse!" even though I still blog about how things are getting worse, imagine me with a more dead set no-children mentality.
So me now.. even thinking this is something surprisingly new. I do have to wonder why I would even bother lying to them. Maybe I wont lie to them, Perhaps my offspring will be mentally equipped to identify the fact that the Santa Claus myth is bereft of truth value and they'll be able to do it themselves.
The early pattern of believing in something false and then finding out the truth through use of their own faculties is actually very healthy and will help children in the later years to examine the culturally established norm of "god" and then reject it on their own. See, I'll be raising my own little atheist! How else are they going to throw off the shackles of such a simple control mechanism over them?
Then again, I hope God does exist so that everyone will find out how little he cares about religious dogma. Just as Santa Claus doesn't give a crap about your letters. I'm guessing my kids will thank me later for not having their innocence. Maybe I can tell them sometimes grown ups just make up things for fun.... But fuck it, I'm more than likely going to just tell them that it's a folk lore and a old stories. There's really no harm in that.. the simple truth. Yeah who'd want presents from their loving family when they can have them from an immortal magician who spies on you?
So that's why I like the general idea of this documentary. How about we actually enjoy the holidays with friends and loved ones and ignore the idea of what we're going to buy each other. Still doesn't change the fact that I already fell for the marketing machines.. but still. So while I'm liking the message, I have to say, this film really did a piss poor job in getting it out there.
I have to say, I like his message about the consumerist part of things, but he loses me with some of the anti-wal-mart type of stuff. While I give respect to the guy for how he is taking this type of a performance art to a whole new level, I just can't get behind the whole Jesus stuff. Then that last part with him getting arrested in Disneyland was just silly.
In the film they go after Wal*Mart for a good 20-30 minutes and it seems like it doesn't need to be tossed into this film. Stick to the basic message that, if you are religious, what's the purpose of buying things to celebrate this? You don't have to be a Christian to realize that during this winter solstice, it's more to the point of being near one another since it can be an awfully lonely time of the year, than what you got each other.
Is this what they mean by the