So. (Interactional agenda conjunction)
Last week we covered the Nativity.
We’re not going to examine the role of the shepherds or the donkey at this point.
It could be argued that they are benign plot devices shoe-horned in, in order to drive the narrative in favour of multiple junior acting roles.
But we disagree.
This week we’re going to look at drugs; and more importantly, states of inebriation.
The following piece does question the very existence of Father Christmas.
(It’s a free country though).
Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus, Old Nick, Kris Kringle, or ‘out-of-work pantomime actor in false beard’.
We all know that the benevolent house-breaker was another fantastical fable-hijack from the Christian church.
Krampus had been putting naughty children to the sword way before the dark ages, and it was only really sclerotic adherence to catholic dogma, coupled with an obsessive desire to imbibe ergot-ridden body bread and hooch strength blood wine, that really paved the way for Saint Nicholas.
Beatification, canonisation and intercessional prayers were the mainstay of medieval Christianity.
Add all of this to the hysteria caused by the presence of relics, and your Average Joseph could reach serotonal heights that crack, meth and even Fentanyl would struggle to replicate.
Every one of the holiest of holies had a feast day, and good old Sant a la Nicklaus had THREE!
All in December – All slap bang in the middle of the pagan feast of Yuletide.
God, Baby Jesus & their extended celestial family had the Winter Solstice at gunpoint, way before explosive weapons were invented.
And despite the Reformation, and good old Oliver Cromwell’s attempts at banning Xmas, this is pretty much how it remained until the industrial revolution, when socio-economics, class, philanthropy and a century of opiate-addiction, changed the festive mural from one of religious fervour, to one of festive celebration.
And we all know what happened next!
Imperialism, enlightenment, state schooling, mass-production, the King of Norway, Quality Street & the quaker/slave dichotomy, Prince Albert, Weihnachten , Christkindl, Hitler, Bayer, Big Pharma, barbiturates, Eden, Suez and Morecambe & Wise.
All washed down with several bottles of sugar & cocaine………….
Our new god was Consumption.
Our ventromedial pre-frontal cortexes were ripe for exploitation.
And money would be the drug that opened our wallets with ease.
This new idol was a long way from the legend of Krampus.
But with enough inebriation we could easily equate the Amazonian Clarkson with a kidnapper.
But why the red & white livery you ask?
Why the invasion of the home for nefarious purposes?
Why always a man?
The answer pre-dates all of the above
Our traditions have their roots some thousands of years before Baby Jesus was even invented.
In the frozen lands of Northern Europe, the only things that grew in the perpetual darkness of an Ice Age Winter were hardy root crops and fungi.
Lack of vitamins C & D ensured a poor quality of health.
Any sustenance brought into the ubiquitous yurt (think Latitude or Glasters) was revered and given celebratory status.
The delivery man was the much-lauded shaman, and he would enter the abode via the only aperture, that also served as a chimney.
The best gift he could procure at these darkest of times was the hallucinatory toadstool, or fly agaric.
Its vermillion red cap dotted with white spots was a sign that health would be restored, celebrations would occur and the season would be merrier than anticipated.
Fly agaric contains the toxic ibotenic acid.
If steeped over several hours, the process produces the psychoactive drug Muscimol.
Shamen would eat the toadstools, then offer their urine for drinking!
And a jolly good Yuletide would be had by all.
(This form of traditional celebration lasted for over 4000 years, relegating Coca Cola, Krampus, Saint Nick & Baby Jesus very much to the footnotes).
So. (Grammatically acceptable, but rather weak usage)
When your children open their Hermes/Yodel/Amazon delivered gadgets, toys and unrecyclable tut, you’re actually just reviving the centuries-old ancient tradition of pissing down their throats.
Holidays are coming – Make sure it’s the Real Thing!