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Now that the rich, rewarding, and spiritual experience that is Christmas has passed away, leaving only bulging, exhaustion, and garbage in its wake to remind us it ever was, it's time for New Year's.

There was a time when New Year's caused me a great deal of anxiety. When I was young, and interested in noise and glamour, or rather, interested in attractive and fashionable people thinking that I was interested in noise and glamour. Now that I have accepted that I am not glamorous and have seen that many of those same people are aging badly, I am more reconciled to that formerly much-dreaded eve. Now I see good friends and eat cheese until my enjoyment of those good friends and good cheeses renders me unconscious. 

The other reason I no longer dread New Year's Eve in particular is that I have accepted that as every day brings us closer to death and offers the opportunity for promises that will never be fulfilled, there's nothing all that special about December 31st. Why feel let down by yourself and by this life that so soon will be over only once a year when there are 364 other days to play with?


Send the Catastrophizer your requests for advice and/or rationalizations using the form conveniently provided HERE. I will publish my responses on the THE CATASTROPHIZER page.

POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you are not entertained, fair enough. Also, I'm not very good at copy-editing, so if something looks wrong, it was put there by accident.
 
 
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The Castrophizer's earliest artistic response to Christmas (1982)
Please note: The following observations apply equally to non-Christmas holidays that involve families, reproaches, and long-simmering resentments sitting down together at a table to eat.

We recently purchased our Christmas tree. It was all trussed-up and anxious looking, but we had high hopes, and when we took it home and liberated it from its twine, it proved to be the tree equivalent of a pimply and emaciated twelve-year-old. It is sparse and spindly when it should be dense and luxuriant; it shrivels where it should proudly spread. 

My father reminded me that this should remind me forcibly of the Christmases of my youth. Our trees were often waif-like unfortunates. We would argue over which side was the most defective so we could turn that side toward the wall. Often there was no least defective side and we just had to make do with a holiday vision of spectacular arboreal deformity.

I may never have a polished, self-respecting tree. (I am clearly beginning to build up to an unsolicited Christmas gift of ponderous insight and dubious value). No one has a truly stately and flawless tree. Or if they do, they also have a weight problem and parents on the verge of a divorce. Nobody has a Christmas that is not in some measure grim and disappointing. So no matter how bleak and joyless your Christmas ends up being, don't flatter yourself that you're interesting or singular. Someone, somewhere, is having a worse one.  


Send the Catastrophizer your requests for advice and/or rationalizations using the form conveniently provided HEREI will publish my responses on the THE CATASTROPHIZER page.

POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you are not entertained, fair enough. Also, I'm not very good at copy-editing, so if something looks wrong, it was put there by accident.

 
 
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The Wikileaks controversy makes me frustrated, then tired, then sad, then disillusioned, then hungry, and finally, sleepy. Oh, and also full of hate. For whom or what do I feel this hate? Here is my hateful list:

1) Conservative loons. O'Reilly's calling for Julian Assange to be executed; Palin wants him to be executed, then dismembered; Beck wants him to be transformed into a tiny puppet for use on his show. According to the booming right-wing patriotic voices of hate, Assange is the worst thing to happen to modern civilization since last week (when probably Obama did something that was really awful).

2) Liberal loons. They love this. They get to go on about democracy and citizen's rights and transparency, all the while positively quivering with self-righteous intensity. They refuse to acknowledge that a state should be permitted, under any circumstances, to not tell its people that it secretly thinks Canada's a sissy or France is badly dressed. And I'm not minimizing the significance of the Wikileaks revelations for the sake of questionable funniness: from what I can tell, these documents either reveal things that have already been revealed or do things like make fun of Angela Merkel's haircuts. It's like hundreds of tween diaries have suddenly been released upon the world.

3) Julian Assange. First of all, he's creepy. He looks kind of like a malignant albino otter. Also, he appears to be a bit of a hypocrite. He demanded news organizations sign confidentiality agreements before giving them access to the documents. Which means he concedes that in some circumstances secrecy is advisable. And in a recent interview, he got up and walked out because the interviewer refused to steer clear of certain subjects (she asked whether he thought the sex assault charges laid against him in Sweden were politically motivated, which would seem to be a not unsympathetic question). Which means that he is willing to champion transparency as long as it doesn't apply to him.

4) Me. I can never seem to be self-assuredly principled. I believe that people should be entitled to know things and that sometimes people should be allowed to conceal things. I hate smug idealists and I hate smug self-professed pragmatists. I'm trying to rustle up the energy to imagine myself an enlightened moderate, but who likes enlightened moderates? Not I.

Send the Catastrophizer your requests for advice and/or rationalizations using the form conveniently provided HEREI will publish my responses on the THE CATASTROPHIZER page.

POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you are not entertained, fair enough. Also, I'm not very good at copy-editing, so if something looks wrong, it was put there by accident.