A letter from 2027
December 25th, 2007
I have to admit that I’m not very good at writing these kinds of letters. It’s not that there aren’t things I want for Christmas, but the kinds of things I’m usually tempted to ask for aren’t the sort of things that elves are equipped to deliver. You know, things like world peace and brotherhood among all people, stuff like that.
I remember the last time I wrote a Santa letter was probably back in ’14, or ’15 or so, when I thought things were getting kinda boring and complacent in this country. It’s not that things were going swimmingly well, but that we were losing our energy. It seemed we were tired of arguing over the same things year after year. The culture war had taken its toll and people were looking for peace wherever they could find it.
Little did we know that by January of 2017, we’d be looking at the start of the Rick Scarborough administration and the newly formed Christocrasts muscling their way into Capital Hill. Good Lord, what a disaster! I’m just glad it was mercifully short. I don’t think we would have survived a whole term of that mess, let alone a second one.
And so here it is, 2027, and even though president Afleck’s second term is about to enter its last full year, we’re just now starting to see things getting back to normal. Normal, I’ve learned, may be relative, but it’s also not too bad.
It just goes to show, you should always be careful what you wish for. That’s a lesson we all should learn.
It’s like when the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco emptied itself of its gay and lesbian population due to assimilation. There were an awful lot of people lamenting the end of gay culture and were looking for a way to preserve some remnant of it. For posterity, I suppose. But I still can’t get over the sheer stupidity of having Universal Studios buy up all the property so they could turn it into “Castro USA!” If I could ask for anything, it would be for the whole thing to end up in bankruptcy court with its chorus line of Harvey Milk impersonators and all.
But like I said, these aren’t the kinds of things that traditionally emerge from elfin workshops. If I had to stick to those sorts of things, I guess I could ask for a real disco ball now that disco is making it’s fourth comeback. I’ve decided I’m not going to pretend that I’m too good for it like I did the first three times it came around. Or I might ask for a ’18 Ford Crown Victoria. Not that Crown Vics were ever my style, but who knew people would get so teary-eyed over the last production gasoline-powered car in North America?
But if I had all the material tchotskies in the world, I still wouldn’t feel satisfied. And I guess that brings me to my real point in all this. Christmas isn’t about personal satisfaction, is it? We can lament our lack of material goods, and we can decry the current state of culture or politics, But no matter how bad they may be they’re still only a symptom of a much larger issue.
So if there was just one thing I’d really want to ask for, it’s something to take care of that big picture problem: for everyone to treat each other the way they would want to be treated. It’s such a simple request. Not to get too preachy here, but “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” is a pretty good rule to live by. And that fits no matter who you are or what side of any issue you’re on.
Just think, if everyone were to take it to heart (and I include myself in this), imagine how much better off we all would be. And think of how much heartache, anger, and strife we all could have avoided in our lives — not just as individuals, but as a nation. We wouldn’t have avoided the culture wars, but we might have been able to find a third way through it if we had remembered that simple little rule.
So in the end, that’s really all I want for Christmas. The Golden Rule. Come to think of it, that’s what I ever wanted. Good luck with that one, Santa. I’m afraid that’s something we’re going to have to work on ourselves.
Maybe it’s time to start a list of New Year’s resolutions instead.
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