As we step into, and away from, malleable malfeasance, we cannot but help to linger on what is, and what has been lost. In the United States, we have cheapened our culture with vulgarity, and purposeful misfortune, and cunning, evil, unrest. We have also abandoned a right celebration of our most beloved holidays.
For many of the younger among us, holidays are no longer celebrations of cultural totems, or validations of our differences in common. Now, holidays are just something to be exploited for advertising and time off.
Do we all still understand why St. Patrick’s Day is important? Do we all truly divine the real meaning of a Valentine? Sure, we get together on Thanksgiving, but why are we culturally thankful?
Easter is more about bunnies and chocolate. Christmas is decorations and gifts. To be religious on a holiday today is to bring the swamp to the swimming pool and call it a vacation.
Those are some of the more fun holidays with colors, and trinkets, and funny hats — but what about the more serious nation-building holidays like Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day and President’s Day? Sure, we pronounce the name of the holiday, but we speak without meaning or validation.
Now it is uncouth and uncool to be festooned upon the mantle of cultural heritage and in-depth meaning across generations of human being. Crispness and conviviality win the day. Sentimentality and melancholia are not just old school, but dead doorknobs.
We concurrently celebrate the bits of the ether of us. We connect translucently and nascently. We were born not to exist, but only to be; and we wait out our time here making cold connections that condescend no cultural cling.
We may be a world of one now, but that sort of human compression has its variable drawbacks. We do not value the specific — and we are left longing for a shared parallax that means something to us beyond the hybrid social mind.
We have turned to memes to replicate our longing for meaningful holidays that touch the historic in us. A meme is a way of knowing; a forfeiture of the individual success for the willing education of the shared sensation of mindfulness.
When we worry about our educational, and aesthetic desecration, we must also look to the institutional loss of the cultural of us. We find contextual comfort and residual reflexivity in the tribal totems that bind us together in purpose and vision.
We find functional mechanisms of coping with loss and joy in the approved avenues of community sharing. We owe it to each other to validate our grief, and to shine on our successes — but when money, and fun, begin to mean more to us than suffering, and archaic origin stories — then not even the best of us can be saved by the beast of inhuman indifference.