Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Blogging — Rick Moran @ 12:58 pm

Today marks the shortest day of the year and the longest night. In keeping with the idea that the sun is at its farthest distance from the equatorial plane, it is depressing to think that winter, enclosing the Midwest in its icy grip, has only just begun and that the warmth and beauty of summer is so very far away.

The ice storm of Friday gave way to a blizzard last night as the winds howled at 40 mph and powdery snow whipped across the barren, empty farmer’s fields where just a couple of months ago, corn stalks reached toward the sun and wheat waved in the warm, gentle breezes. Is there any lonlier sound than that of the groaning of the wind as it rips through the leaveless trees, bending branch and limb in supplication to its power?

Lying alone in bed, Zsu-Zsu gone to Ohio to see her grandchildren, I began to understand why the ancients believed in spirits and other phantasms of the night. It was as if a strange apparition was outside of my bedroom window and as the sash rattled in the gale, it made it sound as if some ghostly form was seeking to come in, clamoring to enter my bed chamber and the relative warmth therein. (Cue the Cowardly Lion: “I do believe in spooks, I do, I do, I DO believe in spooks…”)

The storm has died down but has been supplemented by temperatures hovering near zero with a windchill closing in on -20 degrees. My Beloved Bears play their most hated rival Green Bay tomorrow night where the temps are expected to be as cold or colder. The game should be a real throwback, a test of human endurance and manhood as much as an athletic contest. And despite not having been to a Bears game in years, you couldn’t pay me to be in Soldier Field tomorrow night and witness what for My Beloveds will be the biggest game of the year. I am a fanatic, not a lunatic.

The Solstice is actually celebrated in many regions around the world. If you don’t believe me, check out Wikpedia which lists a couple of dozen parties that will be going on today in various countries and among some of the lesser known religions. As you might expect, the Wiccans are going to town as are the “indigenous” people of Finland, Sweden, and Norway:

The Saami, indigenous people of Finland, Sweden and Norway, worship Beiwe, the sun-goddess of fertility and sanity. She travels through the sky in a structure made of reindeer bones with her daughter, Beiwe-Neia, to herald back the greenery on which the reindeer feed. On the winter solstice, her worshipers sacrifice white female animals, and with the meat, thread and sticks, bed into rings with ribbons. They also cover their doorposts with butter so Beiwe can eat it and begin her journey once again.

I suppose I can think of better ways to entertain myself when it’s cold and snowy outside but on the other hand, the butter bit is a nice touch. Reindeer butter must be awesome to withstand the cold and still be edible.

In God’s name why? What possessed our prehistorical ancestors to feast and fornicate on this day of all days? The Summer Solstice, I can see throwing a shindig for. But how crazy of a party animal do you have to be to rock ‘n roll when bone chilling cold and the prospect of several more months of winter are staring you in the face?

I understand the notion that the time to make merriest is when you have the least to celebrate but isn’t embracing a Saturnalia in the dead of winter kind of carrying the idea a little too far? I guess our ancestors weren’t very bright bulbs when it came right down to it.

Some of these societies who celebrate the Winter Solstice are no longer with us. That makes sense given their idiocy in holding a blowout when being exposed to the elements is so uncomfortable that it doesn’t matter how much meade, or beer, or whatever beverage you imbibe, you can still freeze to death. Dying happy isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be - especially when being warm and alive is the alternative.

Apparently, German pagans really went to town on this day and still see something to celebrate even in modern times. Don’t these goofs realize that just because their ancestors were born a couple of nuts short of an almond tree doesn’t mean they have to follow their traditions like lemmings going over a frozen cliff? The Germans are generally a practical, down to earth people but this yule tradition smacks of brainlessness.

So please leave me alone in my delicious depression as I gladly wallow in feeling sorry for my weakening constitution that can barely tolerate even looking at snow and ice much less being out in it. In this respect, the classic cartoon character, the reluctant penguin Chilly Willy, who hated the cold even more than I, are probably brothers under the skin.

And I say to hell with the Winter Solstice and anyone who thinks holding a soiree to celebrate it is a grand idea.


  1. What’s being celebrated is the end of the shortening of days, and “rebirth” of the sun. This is why numerous cultures - including our own - have their New Year on or near the solstice.

    Also, since harvest is done and there isn’t much that one can do agriculture-wise at this time of year, why not have a massive party :)

    Comment by Foobarista — 12/21/2008 @ 3:16 pm

  2. Rick,
    religious or not, if you don’t have anything to look forward to during those grey miserable Northern falls/winters you will truly loose your mind. Just talking from personal experience. Pagan symbols still around, hm, hm let’s see; Easter Eggs, Thor’s day, Freya’s day and then were does this Christmas tree (evergreen) fit in..

    Comment by funny man — 12/21/2008 @ 6:02 pm

  3. “What possessed our prehistorical ancestors to feast and fornicate on this day of all days? The Summer Solstice, I can see throwing a shindig for.”
    miby they weren’t sure they would make it through the winter and figured livin it up wouldn’t be a bad idea, I mean, I used to party because it was Thursday, for cryin out loud…or Tuesday for that matter…..
    But i’m with ya, why does anyone live where the animals are smart enough to leave in winter? Obviously they are smarter en me.

    Comment by bizjetmech — 12/21/2008 @ 9:36 pm

  4. This is why I am glad I live in the LA area, and I encourage anyone who can afford it to take a sabbatical to the southwest in the dead of winter. I promise it’ll rejuvenate your spirits. :-)

    Tomorrow’s high is around 65 with rain likely.

    Comment by Russell Miller — 12/22/2008 @ 2:33 am

  5. [...] “What possessed our prehistorical ancestors to feast and fornicate on this day of all days?” asks Rick Moran [...]

    Pingback by Fausta’s Blog » Blog Archive » “What possessed our prehistorical ancestors to feast and fornicate on this day of all days?” — 12/22/2008 @ 9:41 am

  6. I look for any excuse to fornicate. Thanks, you’ve shared with me a new reason.

    Comment by lionheart — 12/22/2008 @ 9:44 am

  7. Rick,

    I think you should sit down and talk to my wife. She can’t wait for December 21, every year. To her it marks the day when every day after is longer and the sun will have the opportunity to be up longer.

    Its just a matter of perspective.

    Good luck.

    Comment by Belad — 12/22/2008 @ 10:12 am

  8. As a pagan-conservative (yeah, figure that one out), I would like to add that the idea of Yule, solstice celebration and the like is not far off from what we think of a Christmas celebration today.

    It’s about gathering the family, giving gifts usually made from the cast-offs of the harvest season, clothing woven from animal hair and hides slaughtered in the late fall. Feasting on the fruits of the harvest.
    The fir tree was a symbol of fortitude, remaining green through a harsh winter.

    These days, Christmas is about gathering with loved ones, having a large meal together, and enjoying company.

    Surviving a cold winter together was paramount for the ancient people, and thus was something to prepare for and celebrate the ending of each year.

    Comment by Frank — 12/23/2008 @ 11:16 am

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