SA Journalist on American Holidays

From the South African Mail & Guardian Online columnist, Tom Eaton:

…is this simply the latest tradition to have its human, recognisable face bitten off by the Hannibal Lecter of consumerism? (Did you like that one, kitty? I may patent it.) Is Halloween a year or two away from joining the other corpses on the ash-heap of cultural curiosity; translated into South African English, desiccated in the South African sun, and discarded with South African fickleness? Krizmis and its sweating Santas, their nylon beards matted with boerewors fat and their hands sticky with resin from hot, recently killed pines. Ista, when the boerboel eats the chocolate bunnies hidden in the hydrangeas and anxiously produces gaily sequined turds for a week after. Gar Fox, a spluttering Anglican Diwali of damp squibs, invisibly smouldering fuses and burst fingertips: remember remember the fifth of November, Sisyphus, with gumtrees, fishing and snot …

What will be next, children? Which gewgaw will your parents wrench off the American calendar next year, to dangle in front of you in a desperate attempt to distract you from the affairs they are having with their gardeners and preachers? How long until you march on to my porch again, this time to celebrate the Fourth of July, with your official replica plastic axe and cherry tree and polyester Washington wig? Or will it be Groundhog Day, when the end of winter is signalled by the sighting of a politician popping his head out from between his buttocks and taking the air?

I ADORE that last sentence.

It’s pathetic that all of this is so true. We, as Americans, find a way to commercialize everything, thus taking the very meaning from it and tossing it far away. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy celebrations like the next person. But, come on, I saw Christmas decorations in the store BEFORE Halloween was even here. Enough already!

Do read the whole article: Something wicked this way comes. It’s an interesting perspective on the permeation of American “culture” invading the pureness of an alternate culture. If you’re an American who has ever wondered why those from other nations have mocked us, this is an example. It also helps if you understand the derivation of the phrase, in full, “By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.” If you visit this site, Tom, VERY nice titling!!!

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