Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sayonara Menorah

We hardly got to know you!

Apparently a menorah has been cleverly wielded as an ax to chop down the traditional Christmas Tree used for Light Up Dunwoody down to the Farmhouse. Most pundits had expected it to be felled by code enforcement due to violations of the light pollution codes.

Some are offended at the loss and defend the practice of the tree lighting politico photo opportunity. A common refrain is the traditional carol of "That's the way it's always been" to which opponents channeling their inner Reb Tevye belt out "Tradition!" Some hide behind the "it's not Christmas, it's Holiday." Declaring Xmas trees secular has been a part of the politically correct way of sneaking the increasingly secular buying holiday under everyone else's noses but when a tree is sticking up an angel's arse there is something unavoidably non-secular going on.

Some embrace the Christian symbolism of the pagan-derived Xmas tree suggesting it need only be planted across the street at the Vet Office. Though this seems somehow related to the "dog spelled backwards is..." childism some have begun to ponder just what "mad dog" is backwards. Would seem like a non-starter for the non-secular, but then again maybe not*.

Thank God, whoever she might be, that no one has yet to declare it a Chanukah bush because then it would have to actually talk when lit and adding noise pollution to the mix is more than a body can stand.  Plus, it would probably speak in Aramaic, Latin or some other dead language and then who would even know what it's really saying?

Others have decided, in response to what was probably a tongue-in-cheek quizzical about Kwanza, that we should expand lighting to embrace all the diversity that is Dunwoody. The snarky comeback would be "that is EXACTLY what the Xmas tree did," but whilst we've not seen the first minaret in daVille challenging a cross-topped steeple begging God for a lightning blessing there are indeed other religions and cultures herein represented.

So yeah we've got Indians, dot not feather, so let's light up for Diwali, an ancient Hindu festival. But please let's draw the line at lights as putting up a swastika, another Hindu symbol, is likely to generate more animated opposition than any tree. And not all Indians are Hindu as Islam is well represented. Should we add in a celebration of Mawlid? Since that celebration is not  well accepted in all corners of Islam itself perhaps we're better off adding a few Toyota pickups to the Fourth of July Parade.  It would balance out the Bearcat and the parade could end with a rousing gymkhana.

Then there is the Tazaungdaing Festival of Lights evoking a pleasant mix of Buddhism and Hinduism, a cross-religion collaboration we should certainly admire. Along the lines of embracing multiple religions is Shintoism but sadly they lack much in the way of high-power-consumption celebrations fitting the time frame. Then there are the Hmong and while you may not consider animism a real religion, they do and they are blessed with Professional Shamans. We could probably use one of those about now. Plus, they were known for their wet-work during the Vietnam Police Action and could certainly find something to light up.

Or how about this: why not have all the people at the City and the NGO's that got all wrapped around  this axle spend the holiday season celebrating their religious beliefs with their family and spend all that extra energy on meaningful ways to help those less fortunate in our neighborhoods, our city and our region? Jesus!--why all the tsuris?

* It appears the DHA does its best work behind closed doors eliminating yet another mystery as to why DHA is a stepping stone to elected office.