Sorry about not posting sooner, but life intrudes once in a while.
We’ve made it to Easter, Good Friday specifically and am sitting here puzzled.
The meme of Good Friday for those of us who do the Judeo-Christian thang is a religious holiday commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus around AD 33. It is preceded by Maundy Thursday, the day of the Last Supper and followed by Easter Sunday celebrating Jesus’ resurrection. One would suppose nothing much happened on the Saturday, except getting the camel washed at a Sabbath Camel Wash, where you didn’t actually have to do anything, except walk the camel through and go to Temple. Like Walter Sobchak, most folks back then didn’t roll on Shabbos either.
What is puzzling is the conjunction of marketing and occasion-hype with a religious holiday. Here’s the story, as told by advertisers: Easter Sunday all good children get chocolate eggs delivered by a rabbit or a ginormous chocolate mould of a bunny that weighs more than the kid. Official colours are purple and fire-engine yellow, with a bale of chopped paper or plastic excelsior stuffing to ‘cushion’ the 14-pound chocolate eggs from damage.
Or, the young ones search for brightly wrapped ‘eggs’ again hidden by the mysterious Easter Bunny all over the back yard, with the attendance of parents screaming fearsome encouragement at their offspring to find more than the other 3-year olds who can barely walk, let alone understand the confluence of bunny-egg-chocolate-purple-yellow-basket-uber-competition they’re being immersed in as a cultural touchstone of their faith. Then we sit down to a massive meal that must feature ham and scalloped potatoes, otherwise what kind of shitheel parent are you, ignoring the whole pork-kosher thing.
Yeah, yeah, we get the bunny-fecundity-spring-renewal thing and wonder exactly why a manufactured spring ritual is now tied to the peak of the holy story of crucifixion-resurrection-redemption of one of the bigger religions out there. It sits poorly. There’s no marketing tie-in with March Madness college hoops, uncontrolled sports wagering and specials on carpet, siding or replacement windows at special prices to celebrate some guy getting nailed on a cross a long time ago?
Heck, if all we wanted to celebrate was an execution, Gary Gilmore was executed January 17th 1977 and we could use the energy to lasso in some last-of-Christmas season sales by pairing a cute groundhog mascot with Little Debbie cakes (Gilmore Dusties!) as a swing-holiday between Christmas and Groundhog Day on Feb 2. Dammit, Stella, get me the Coast! We got us a movie-tie and merch to move!
For those of us who have a clue, we are left shaking our heads while the neighbour’s kids carom off the second floor siding, in the grips of a sugar-buzz that would stun a buffalo. At least there’s a holiday out of the deal.