On Why I Hate Holidays
The number of reasons to hate Holidays is many and steep in contradictions and banality while expecting spontaneity – being a contradiction itself. Holidays are wretched because there is a certain stifling quality to them like there is in the hour before one goes to bed. One would like to watch a movie, read for long lengths, drink caffeine (or alcohol if that is the substance of one’s preference and custom) or do something lively and spontaneous but the routine of life interferes with the passion of living which is always responding to one’s current state rather than hiding in a veil of falsehood – everyone who has experienced a holiday know that it is the very essence of this falsehood.
The family members we are forced to by social convention to spend time with though we resent and share very little with; the banal conversations on weather and passing events as to not create conflicts with topics on philosophy or differing views – the custom of not expressing such views and creating conflict being a main reason why we feel such fresh ecstasy and departure from mundane blandness into a realm of wide possibilities when we meet someone who shares our precise views on life in all of its wide points and particulars. Spending time with anyone on a holiday is a contradiction with the notion of voluntary association for it is a planned event to be with those who we otherwise spend little time with. If one is fortunate in loving their family and feeling great kinship with them then they have what I do not, but the point holds that they spend time with their family very-likely similar to spending time with friends; rather than spending time with family out of sense of duty as the majority of us do at-least to a certain extent and with mixed feelings of duty and familial bond.
The very essence of a celebration – which most holidays masquerade as poorly – is something spontaneous and personal: the notification of the publishing of one’s first book; a raise; moving to one’s dream-town; marriage – some of these things involve a degree of planning but they certainly are not impersonal annual events of a religious or secular nature that involve false pretenses and memorial for that which we often feel no desire to commemorate.
In one’s work or daily life there is no contradiction between the expectation of spontaneity and gaiety and the tasks one performs out of duty. However, such is typically the case at-least to some degree on planned annual social occasions which creates a feeling of irrational expectation and disappointment when the contradiction of spontaneity and planned duty become apparent in one’s psyche. It is like the attempt to psychologically broker and synthesize the feelings of receiving an unknown but long anticipated present and paying taxes. Though this could be said of much of life particularly of those whose lives are rigidly planned and involve little personal freedom in-regards to acting on impulse or freedom of following one’s passions assuming one has any. Life we are told is a grand and mysterious thing – and in a sense it is – but largely it is neither large-in-scale nor perplexing but dull, dry, monotonous, planned and totally shallow and without complexity and without personal interest to the individual save of utility. The main reason why the average person is the bore that he or she is or rather they are boring deriving from the reason why life itself for them is so dull – namely the dulling and intellectually annulling forces of religion, commerce and convention.
Custom is the great evil of society. It represents all that is wicked in society or at-the-very-least after-effects of evils that perpetrate our ideal lives. It is the evil after-birth of having a system of cooperation and mutual respect among half-intelligent beings that have yet to learn reason in a thorough and all-encompassing manner. It is the holiday that is the embodiment of this, because just as we are told that holidays are done out of celebration and not of duty, we are told that we follow social convention out of true feelings of respect, kindness and gratitude when of course the very-fact that we require custom and even a cursory glance at human nature informs us that we don’t. Handshakes of course have nothing to do with respect but rather giving the customary sign of respect via meaningless gesture that has value only because it has become a social expectation. But for such things there is far-less value in them being demonstrated than there is harm in the lack of sign being given and the harm to one’s ego that is the response to the perception of being slighted. This too creates and enforces the mentality of in-genuineness and acting not to represent one’s true thoughts and feelings but to be in one’s words and deeds a social object of utility and convenience; autonomy involves being too complex to interact with and at its very essence is contradictory to society. One becomes in-part a tool to be used by others the moment one walks out the door.
Holidays are the perfect example of the general societal expression or rather the multitude of social routines of fakery and false-faces – we should see all holidays as a celebration of masks and ironically Halloween is the most genuine celebration on this planet to my knowledge. For Halloween is the holiday where social custom dictates we spend time with those who we would be enjoying our social time with otherwise and naturally – i.e. our friends – rather than forced to hear the occasional Conservative Christian slobber and be polite to those who we interact with entirely out of convention. It is the time where children spend time with friends and family when a child is still young enough to enjoy spending time with one’s parents and when adults get drunk and have sex. When most holidays are typically a memorial or remembrance of something that most rightfully care little about – like the birth of a dictatorial country or the supposed birth of a somewhat wise Communist carpenter – and therefore is largely a ceremony of custom rather than a celebration of personal achievements or personality.
Therefore Halloween – being an event to get teeth-rotting candy for youngsters and booze and sex for adults – rather than being a damper ceremony of reverence and piety is a celebration of hedonism and breaking away from social custom and acting to appease others. It is a celebration of the nefarious, devious and demented as well as a symbolic representation of individuality and existential honesty through the physical acts of unregulated freedom – being the very anti-thesis of duty and convention in the dichotomy of what is termed “free society.” Wearing masks so one can be their true selves and pull-off the masks we feel compelled to wear every day. Or at-least on events where one is expected to get cute little remarks about one’s Atheism on what is supposedly a celebration, but is truly the “anti-celebration” via involving the soul-killing confinement that is the unity of the family.