My hero, Scrooge!

Well xmas is over. I hate xmas with a passion. I never use it`s old spelling because the modern-day celebration of consumerism has very little to do with any religion. The vague idea of presents for all and sundry follows on from the wise men ( or three kings) who popped into a barn two thousand years ago and dropped off gold, frankincense and myrrh. Nowadays the idea of xmas is to buy children violent computer games and for adults to gorge down as much food and drink as they can.

The original Yuletide celebrations go back to the dim and distant past. Many strange rituals have morphed over the years into todays winter celebrations. It all goes back to the winter solstice, the point at which the days start their long journey back until that wonderful three days of warmth and fun that us brits call “summer.”
In days of yore and before the discovery channel, people did not realise that the world spun around a giant nuclear reactor. In fact some thought the sun was hauled across the skies in a chariot. Winter was a time of suffering, endless repeats on the TV and cold frosty mornings with no food available. As the winter got harsher ( or if you are English, greyer and a yuck) the fear was that the sun would one day not show up at all. To this end most primative civilisations erected stone circles and temples, mostly with the benefit of being a timekeeper. Of course this being the olden days they had no fancy phones with a calendar and a clock app, so they needed to haul lumps of stone about the place.
At some point the sun would show at a low point, and the next day it would be a bit higher. Hurrah! It is not going to get darker, it`s going to get lighter! With the thought of three days of summer approaching, what would primitive man do? Eat and get drunk seems the most sensible option apparently! So was born the yuletide celebration.
Centuries later the yuletide was incorporated into the christian calender and moved until three days after the equinox, but pinched some of the ideas of mistletoe, logs and feasting. Come the modern-day and this festival has been nicked and turned into a massive gift-buying session, followed rather rapidly by the worship at the altar of the new year sales.
I often wonder if a few years from now, whilst I am sleeping contentedly in a box a few foot beneath the earth, that people will forget xmas and just celebrate the sales.Perhaps as they queue to buy stuff there will be a wrinkly old man grumbling about how when he was a lad they knew that the true meaning of xmas was,
hangovers and indigestion….

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Conspiracy theories….

I spend a lot of time surfing the internet to educate myself and discover fascinating facts about the world I live in. Wife does not see it this way and says I actually stare blindly at the computer screen and then watch videos of drunk people falling over whilst spending her hard-earned dosh on beer and crisps. One thing I have discovered is that the moon landings were faked, the twin towers attack was an inside job and Elvis serves behind the meat counter at Tesco`s.
Of course, being a bit of a cynical old chap, I tend to take these claims with a rather large helping of sodium chloride. It is rather fun to hunt out conspiracy theories and then watch them get debunked. Those who put forward these theories tend to ignore any evidence to contradict their theories and stick blindly to their belief.

Think of the biggest secret you have ever kept from your other half. The time you were not actually working late but down the pub? The dress you bought in the sale that was actually full price? The fact that your mother-in-law phoned and you told her it was the wrong number? ( I have never ever done any of the above….well apart from the dress but that is another blog and another time…!)
Now imagine that you involve hundreds of different people in your deceit, and finally offer one hundred pounds for the first to blab. Realistically how long would your dark secret be kept?
The people who insist the lunar landings never happened are a case in point. Can you imagine the amount of people who would have been involved to try to cover up the fakery? Only one with a Kodak instamatic would be required to take a quick snap of Neil Armstrong propping up the bar with his mates while he was supposed to be bouncing all over the moon and the whole charade would have been blown wide open. How much money could you have made from a photo of a faked lunar landscape? Yet not one person has come forward to claim enough money and fame to ensure a regular supply of beer and supermodels. The TV program Mythbusters did a fairly good effort at disproving the myths about the moon landings, including the flag waving and the lack of stars. The response from those who stick to their theories is the usual Mandy Rice-Davies defence of “well he would say that wouldn’t he!”
No matter how many times the weird and wonderful theories are exposed as being tow plus two equals five million, the same old stories circulate of government cover-ups and collusion.

The easiest one to dispense with is the twin towers attack. Despite lots of people seeing two hijacked jets crashed into skyscrapers, there are still those who say that it was all faked. If a government can go to such elaborate details to set up a “false flag” attack, why the heck would they be bothered about the lives of a few people who post stuff who post on the internet? A quick accident and there is one less conspiracy theorist left. No government who could cover such a huge thing up would leave a little detail alive and posting to exist.
The moon landings are another case in point. At the time that Neil Armstrong landed on the moon there was a huge propaganda war between the Russians and the USA. If there had been any evidence at all, do you think that the Russians would have failed to use it? They had secret agents, spies and lots of hi-tech gadgetry, yet they failed to spot that the whole charade was filmed in the back lot of a Hollywood sound set?

Conspiracy theories rely on people`s natural distrust of their governments. Of course since those governments have been involved with drug-running, regime change and aid being used to bolster tyrants, perhaps the tin-foil hat wearers do have a point!