December Eyes

I don’t know what T.S. Eliot was talking about; December is the cruelest month.

As soon as the calendar page flips to December, people become insane. December becomes a look in people’s eyes that you can see if you’re searching for it. You can see it in people’s eyes as they drive to work, as they walk through the mall, as they slink past the bell ringers in the grocery store.

Those are December eyes.

Obviously the holidays have a lot to do with it. The holiday season has come to represent the worst of humanity: insatiable consumerism, greed, mass commercialism, and indifference to our fellow man. December is a tough month for minimalists, but not only because of the race and riot for MORE STUFF but because the entire month is a slide show for the worst humanity has to offer. Human beings trampling others to enter a store, macing a crowd for a video game console, thieves running off with Salvation Army donation buckets. Say what you want about those individuals being the minority, but, due to their frequency, those kinds of events aren’t even shocking anymore…which is alarming.

When I was a creative writing student in college, one of our assignments was to complete this sentence: People are ____________. I don’t even remember what I wrote, but a classmate of mine wrote this: People are weeds in God’s beautiful garden. My prof reamed the kid out, saying one can’t be a writer if he thinks people are weeds.

Personally, I thought it was a truly inspiring and brilliant answer. People certainly act like weeds sometimes.

I can’t think of a single classic novel that depicts humanity in a positive light. It’s a writer’s responsibility to hold up the mirror for society to take a look at itself, and if it proves to be base, then to reveal its whole and genuine baseness and publish its baseness to the world. Literature let’s people know that there is someone still watching and humanity’s general craptitude does not go unnoticed. There are still people out there capable of being disgusted.

So I suppose I should be grateful for those December eyes. After all, what good is a writer in a perfect world? But in a flawed world such as ours, writers may offer the only glimmer of hope for salvation.

Happy Holidays…

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~ by themoderntranscendentalist on December 24, 2011.

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