From where I sit here on Deer Run Road, it's been a fabulous Christmas. But I'm not a local shop owner worried if I can stay in business, and I'm not living in Gaza. None of my friends or neighbors have had their children killed this week. And this is probably not my last blog.
In my little corner, the pleasures of the season were many. Santa was not shot down over Alaska by Sarah Palin, and so he managed to drop off lots of loot. The weather has been all but perfect--unlike that in Chicago, where my best friend's ceiling collapsed in her bedroom after an excess of melting snow leaked into some miscreant drain spout causing mayhem and a night-long bucket vigil. Unfortunately the same thing happened once before, requiring the purchase of a new bed and a makeover for the ceiling.
By contrast, my own holiday cruised leisurely across four agreeable days spent happily with different friends, eating, drinking, celebrating, and opening presents, that included some vintage napkins embossed with one of Frida Kahlo's self-portraits, and an electric tea pot with automatic switch-off, obviously meant to foil my repeated, absent-minded attempts at burning the house down. Virgil, king of his alligator tribe, received some delicious prezzies too: not one, but TWO solid milk "chocogators," over fourteen inches long and one pound each in weight (total fat 14%). He also received a spectacular Christmas ornament for his collection: a green alligator, wearing a hula grass skirt and playing a drum. "Watch me now," Virgil says. "We are tricksters in the blood, and we practice drumming on the run as our way of surviving in the modern world." He is wearing his beaded necklace, and wants to know if "Evelybody happy?"
Not quite, I tell him. The Wall Street Journal today had an article on the front page about Igor Panarin, a Russian academic and expert on U.S.-Russia relations, who has been predicting for some years now that the U.S. will fall apart in 2010. Economic and moral collapse will trigger a civil war that will lead to geographical disintegration, with richer states seceding from the union and others falling under foreign influence. If you want to check this out further, cut and paste this reference into Google: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123051100709638419.html.