Recuperation breakaway

It’s never a great idea to pack on the morning you are going away somewhere for an extended stay. Especially not when you’re departing at 4:30 that same morning.

But now I know for sure.

The girls and I holidayed in the amazing Mpumalanga Lowveld area last week and I forgot to take my cameras. I never leave my cameras behind when going away on holiday. But this was a first, and only because I packed in a hurry. Somehow the bag with the cameras whose batteries I had charged the night before, never made it to the car. Which meant I had to take a few pictures with my stupid cellular phone. I hate that thing; more so if/when I have to use it for more than just making or receiving calls.

But I did. And I got shitty pictures.

Awful, aren’t they? Please use the link above to get a decent idea of how beautiful this area of South Africa is. The German tourists seem to dig it. Met quite a lot of them taking in the sights, and every one I spoke to was impressed with the natural beauty of the Lowveld. Or maybe they’re just still so happy after that fantastic World Cup win.

By the way, the picture with my car visible in the background through those empty curio vendor stalls is not one of the natural attractions of this area, although I’m still pretty pleased with that four and half year-old Honda. I was just fascinated with the way the stalls looked in the setting sun.

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Admit it, the Pagan Roots of Christmas is what makes it so festive

A whole lot of us, mostly non-Christians and atheists delight in calling Christmas the silly season; I’m no exception.

However, I’d venture that even the most die-hard atheist, anti-theist, or hater from another religion will admit that this time of year is the most festive, particularly those days between Christmas and the Julian New Year. Seriously, you’d have to be pretty psychotic not to enjoy Christmas.

By now, it should be common knowledge [see video below] that the celebrations usually associated with Christmas are in fact of pagan origins, and have been borrowed or annexed by the Church to satisfy various agendas of their own. But that’s what makes Christmas so enjoyable; all the things that are so un-Christian.

I just love the music [yes, the Christmas carols], the parties, the food, ungodly amounts of alcohol, and the fact that we get to spend time with friends and family, who usually reside miles away. And let’s not forget the time off work, the annual bonus, and the chance to spend wildly on things you usually wouldn’t. Only the pathologically pious shy away from these simple pleasures to commemorate a dour tale of religious improbability.

So, whether you’re a Christian or not, indulge yourself this Christmas; god knows [or not] that it’s one of the rare times for partaking in true pleasure we’re allowed in this harsh world.

Shock! Horror! Christmas decorations and wearing a Santa costume is threatening to other religions…well one in particular

I’m non-religious, but even I can appreciate and enjoy the festive spirit, the Christmas decorations, the fat Santa’s, and especially the beautiful traditional music being played everywhere.

The stores and malls everywhere are annoyingly overcrowded with shoppers whizzing around to get in that last-minute shopping, but even that is not enough to make one hopping mad. The rush of people is in a sense wonderful to observe, and be part off [OK, a weird sense]. Anyway, it is good to see people looking far happier than any other time of year.

Personally, I don’t think it has much to do with the fact that it’s the claimed anniversary of the miraculous birth of a mythical supernatural entity. Or even the far more believable pagan festivals it is based upon. I suspect it has more to do with the fact that people look forward to a much-needed break from working for the corporate crooks, or having a little more money to spend if the corporate crooks were amazingly more generous. Perhaps it’s because the traffic is much easier, what with the corporate crooks and those who somehow have a bit more money, all being down at the coast. Or just the mundane desire to pig out, for once.

For whatever reason, people are just a little bit happier this time of year, and it really pisses me off when someone tries to fuck with that state of being.

So, imagine my disgust when I read this report of one Muhyidin Junaidi, one of the chairmen [how many do they need?] of the Indonesian Council of Ulema, a Moslem religious authority, who had the following scrooge-like drivel to mouth off about:

[The decorations] are too demonstrative, and that might incite a counterproductive reaction from the Muslim community.

But it should not be excessive, otherwise it might hurt the feelings of the Muslim community.

And from another source:

We received complaints from a number of malls’ employees who are forced to wear Santa Claus costumes which are against their faith. Such things should not have happened.

We need to restrain Muslims from joining the festivities.

I mean WTF. How is it possible?

  • That decorations can be demonstrative, invoke counterproductive reactions, and hurt someone’s feelings. [Are Moslems so fragile?]
  • For an article of clothing to be in conflict with a religion? Is that rational or sane? What does it say about the religion, or the person who believes such nonsense?
  • To restrain people from wanting to enjoy themselves? Perennial threats of eternal damnation? That’s the crux of religion, isn’t it?

These absurd religious bodies should stop interfering in people’s happiness and concentrate on the losing battle to make themselves more relevent in a society that is increasingly becoming conscious of their kill-joy tendencies.