TGIBF: Thank God, it’s Black Friday!?

Here’s the headline in today’s LA Times: “Shootings, pepper-spray attack mar Wal-Mart Black Friday sales.” I’ll wager that before the day is through, there will be plenty more.

Shootings? Pepper-spray? Shopping rage? No wonder it’s called Black Friday. But why? Shopping on this day is supposed to be a positive experience. It’s supposed to be fun, with everyone full of the holiday spirit. Black Friday sounds horrific. Like the 1940 film by the same name where mad scientist Boris Karloff implants the brain of a gangster into a professor’s.

Since the day is the official start of the Christmas season, you’d think they’d call it Red and Green Friday or anything less depressing.

And yes, it is starting to look a lot like Christmas, unfortunately. Yesterday, as I traveled back and forth to a vegetarian pot-luck dinner, I noticed quite a few street corner lots being set up for Christmas tree sales. It reminded me of this poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, from his volume of poetry, A Coney Island of the Mind, first published in 1958:

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
there were no rootless Christmas trees
hung with candycanes and breakable stars

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
there were gilded Christmas trees
and no tinsel Christmas trees
and no tinfoil Christmas trees
and no pink plastic Christmas trees
and no gold Christmas trees
and no black Christmas trees
and no powderblue Christmas trees
hung with electric candles
and encircled by tin electric trains
and clever cornball relatives

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
no intrepid Bible salesmen
covered the territory
in two-tone cadillacs
and where no Sears Roebuck crèches
complete with plastic babe in manager
arrived by parcel post
the babe by special delivery
and where no televised Wise Men
praised the Lord Calvert Whiskey

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
no fat handshaking stranger
in a red flannel suit
and a fake white beard
went around passing himself off
as some sort of North Pole saint
crossing the desert to Bethlehem
Pennsylvania
in a Volkswagon sled
drawn by rollicking Adirondack reindeer
with German names
and bearing sacks of Humble Gifts
from Saks Fifth Avenue
for everybody’s imagined Christ child

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
no Bing Crosby carolers
groaned of a a tight Christmas
and where no Radio City angels
iceskated singles
thru a winter wonderland
into a jinglebell heaven
daily at 8:30
with Midnight Mass matinees

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and softly stole away into
some anonymous Mary’s womb again
where in the darkest night
of everybody’s anonymous soul
he awaits again
an unimaginable
and impossibly
Immaculate Reconception
the craziest
of Second Comings

Frankly, I have my doubts about Christ coming back anytime soon. Assuming that he did indeed ascend from the earth some 2000 years ago, by my calculations, if he was moving at the speed of light he would have only traveled 11,749,203,343,584,000 miles so far. Now, it takes 100,000 years just to travel across the Milky Way, which is about 5,878,570,000,000,000,000 miles wide. So, sad to say, it looks as though Christ is

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *