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Jewmas, the Other White Meat

December 4, 2016

My lush tree lost all its leaves…

badovershouldershot

This winter will be my first real-winter, in over 20 years. We’ve moved back to PA from Texas, in August, and I desperately await snow on the ground. You never know how much you miss actual seasons, until you spend two-decades without them.

On the weekend-TV front, Netflix remains my go-to for many things, while Amazon-Prime is my de facto replacement for the brick & mortar Blockbuster Video. We cut the cord with cable since moving here, but we watch our favorite shows, first-run, on Sling TV. The only thing we miss is having a DVR, and the Ovation Channel. I broke down and bought a subscription to Shudder. I do not regret it at all! The service is loaded with great horror films, a notch above what I’ve found on the free-services. The only drawback to Shudder is that it has no RESUME, on playbacks.


dscn0644Spouse insisted on a little holiday tree, and some “Christmas” décor in the house. We’re having Jewmas this year, even if the portmanteau isn’t a true fit–unless you appreciate that each holiday stems from the same type of Rabbinical class-warfare. Christmas and Hanukkah have origin stories wherein conflict is rooted in Jewish life being corrupted by influences of an “outside empire”, with Rabbi’s taking sides, and the Jewish-men inciting change, dying.

The Maccabean revolt that led to the miracle of the temple-oil, began because wealthy Hellenized Judeans made the role of High Priest, something purchasable. Bribing the right Seleucid, meant that you could purchase the highest position in the Rabbinical order, and this didn’t sit well with the rural Judeans. There was blood, revolt, and eventual defeat, thanks in part to the Seleucids getting help from those Rabbi’s that benefitted most from the status-quo.

Flash forward to the era of Jesus. For us, he was a prophet (Rabbi?) that saw the Romanization of the Pharisees (Rabbinical-class), as a corruption of the Jewish faith. His teachings led people away from the Rabbi, and toward a personal-relationship, with the man upstairs. Naturally, this made some enemies. He was crucified when those Rabbi’s in power, felt he was a threat. A threat to them, was a threat to Rome, as they used the Pharisees, to keep those pesky Jewish people, in line. Christmas is about Jesus’ birth–the irony of his story being that those very same Romans applied their pagan beliefs (deification, virgin-birth, resurrection) to his life story, after becoming followers of his philosophy.

Yup, two very different holidays, each connected to Rabbinical-Shenanigans.

interfaithholidayChristmas is more pagan in celebration, at least here in the United States. There’s the “burning tree”, the “mistletoe”, the “well-dressed papa winter delivering gifts”. Gift-giving has nothing to do with the wise-men, even we Jewish know never to invite the Wisemann’s, they bring bad gifts (hat tip to Cathy Ladman).

I can do Jewmas, because as a Slav (first-gen Polish-American, both sides of the family), I love me some Santa, I dig decorated trees, and I’m always up for making out with my spouse under pretty much anything, mistle or toe-ey. Just no nativity scenes (I’ve done this, being nice – even had a cool-ass middle-eastern style, historically accurate, Mediterranean nativity; I shut that shit down after a year), and signage begging to make merry over the birth of “Christ”.

rugrats

What’s my problem with Merry-Christmas? He’s not a G-d, no matter how much you fluff up his origin story, with Roman tropes. I will meet you halfway and concede that the man, and his message, remain strong–it is a message that lives on, in Reform Judaism. On that note, can Christians please stop saying that Jewish people “disdain” or “do not believe” in Jesus. That’s incorrect; we don’t believe in “Christ Jesus”, and some of us do disdain that notion…it’s not semantic, until certain writers make it that way.

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Family is Complicated

November 28, 2016

Did not forget to blog yesterday, just forgot to hit send!

1693613_fpxMy goal for the holiday is to keep it simple – cookies as usual, and basic décor. I don’t celebrate Christmas, but the spouse does, so we’re going to find some balance; as our holidays are falling on the same days this year. Neither the Moog, nor I, want a tree–but for my spouse, as he’s not religious at all, the tree is indicative of the winter-holiday.

I’ve noticed an uptick in items made for interfaith households. This snowman is from Poland, and it’s said to be “interfaith”. When did snowmen become an exclusively Christian thing? I dig it though, it’s cute.

 


 

On Facebook, I tend to play cards close to my chest. It’s friends and family only, and a few select writerly types that I find interesting (or editors doing interesting things). My account isn’t public, but I will post to the public, when speaking on trending issues, or when a family member needs to see something, and they’re not the sort I’d have on my private posts, exposed to my crazy-friends.

My relationship with the parental unit isn’t a good one, on that note, I made a recent decision to detach completely, upon moving back to Pennsylvania. I did this for my own mental-health, and that of the youngest, still living at home.  A well-meaning cousin decided to tip me to some words that were said, at a recent holiday gathering, where I wasn’t in attendance. I got the impression that they felt conflicted–and I wanted to let them know, as well as other relations of mine not on my feed, that I ask no one, to take sides. The message was received. I was privately contacted by three other relatives (wow) who had also been feeling conflicted, and didn’t know how to bring it up to me. The post clarified things for them, they understood, problem solved.

Unfortunately, an aunt of mine decided to comment on the post, and made a royal ass of herself.

I don’t think she understood that she hadn’t been on my friends-feed in some time, because our worldviews are glaringly different. I’ve unfollowed/unfriended a few relatives, because I want no part of their nonsensical shares, or opinions. My post being public, got her attention. Instead of comprehending the actual message, she focused on certain aspects, and became manic. The “OMG you’re talking shit about my sister” button got pushed, compelling her to post a rant so ridiculous, that one of my well-meaning followers, reported her to Facebook. Facebook blocked her from commenting further, then asked me if this course of action was what I wanted. I agreed to the block (she wasn’t on my followers list, so this was standard procedure for them) and I assured them, I wasn’t being harassed.

I’ll not delete her comment. She hasn’t appreciated my decision to disconnect from my mother, and that is her choice, as a family member, she too has a right to read the post, and give her thoughts. I asked my friends to NOT ENGAGE, and they were awesome about it, as always. My aunt tends to view the world through a narcissistic lens; your problem relates to me, and because the world revolves around me, you should handle problems like I do. As nerve-wracking as it is, it’s to be expected; same family, same behavioral issues. Though her nonsense did make me laugh (telling me to grow up, whilst posting an ill-spelled screed that reads as if a 12-year-old wrote it), when the laughter stops though, it makes me sad. When the troll is a family member, you just can’t mock-and-destroy, like you do other trolls.

Her life has been spent engaging periodic patterns of grandiosity, and so naturally she requested repeatedly that I call her. I refused. This isn’t a fire she needs to put out, for anyone’s sake, but her own. She also blew it, in her comments.

In telling me I’m too sensitive about things (racism, transphobia, homophobia, and sexism), and then comparing her sons’ drug abuse to my youngest child’s gender identity, as if to suggest they’re a different form of the same problem–left me no desire to even engage. She’s entitled to ignore all the memes that mock drug-users, but I’ll never ignore memes that insult trans people, or struggles that are central to their life. Her sister, my mother, did this. My youngest, her grandchild, saw it, and was hurt. When confronted with such things, and your reaction is to defend yourself by gaslighting me, that tells me when you claim to love your grandchild–you really don’t. You’re not appreciative of why what you shared, hurt them, you’re just pissed because you’re expected to change. So much noise over a transphobic meme…I know, right?

I think failing to draw a line in the sand with family, and enacting consequences when that line is crossed, because they’re family, is how we ended up with a dildo for president.

When a stranger engaging in racist behavior, or promoting intolerance via humor or speech, tells me to get over it, it’s expected. I can dismiss them without consequence because they’re nothing to me. When a family member does it? It’s complicated. Well, not anymore. Not. Any. More.

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