Celebratory pre Festivus post
Prepare for the airing of the grievances
In four short days we will be celebrating my favorite holiday. Festivus. Yes it stared on a Seinfeld episode. Considering how much I love Jerry, it’s only natural that I’m a convert.
Festivus is grand. It has greatest holiday catch phrase of all time - Festivus for the rest of us! Wow! That sounds so much better than Eid Mubarak, Merry Christmas, L’shanna tova, Happy Holidays and whatever other greetings that get made at the United Nations on major cultural holidays.
The most important part of Festivus, takes place after Festivus dinner - the airing of the grievances. We all could spend a bit of time both airing grievances and providing a container for their impacts.
At the end of the day, my work has been a lot uglier since early in 2020.
On a pre verbal level people are a lot more twitchy.
A lot of people seem to have a lot more resentment and a desperation for certainty.
The 1980's were an age of a depression and elation. During those times between the cocaine of Miami Vice and the dark underbelly of punk rock, that decade endured a depression / elation polarity that ended with the advent of Prozac. It’s important to note that the band Nirvana, who are often thought of as a 90’s band, released their first album and singles in the late 1980’s.
The 1990’s until recently have been an age of an excitement / anxiety. It’s like we were connected children playing peekaboo. We started checking each other out and things were both terrifying and exciting. This was an age where we didn’t notice the others.
Since early in 2020 our times seem to be characterized on one hand by cooperation the likes of which have led to the unprecedented development of vaccines at an incredible pace. This was an age where we noticed each other and were more connected than ever before. That prospect was exciting. There was so much potential. And it was terrifying. People were really hyper concerned about what other people thought of them.
Now? Now we see each other and we really know what we think. And half of the people out there, seem on some level to not like the other half. It makes me long for the days when we really didn’t know what people thought about most things, nor did we care.
The pandemic has called at this time for incredible levels of cooperation between people who don’t agree. Cooperation has led to a lot of sacrifices. These sacrifices have cut deeply. Which has led to the other side of the coin: Resentment. We seem to be living in an age of resentment.
"Ridicule often parries resentment, but resentment never yet parried ridicule." Walter Savage Landor, Imaginary Conversations
So, as I take a break from shame with a post about resentment. Could I possibly be darker? Can I spend more time in shadowlands? Geeze Jim, stop laying down all of this tough stuff!
I encourage you to mock, ridicule and poke fun at those you resentment. Do it privately, lest you spark some sort of social media meltdown on the part of the people you resent.
Mock them for a bit. Ridicule brings levity to resentment.
Ridicule can be the spoon full of sugar that helps this medicine go down.
So this year? I’d encourage you all to celebrate Festivus. Most importantly I’d invite you to take a moment to playfully go through the airing of the grievances. Add a scoop of ridicule there too. Blowing off steam is important.
Make the heavy stuff light as we enter into the darkest of days.