Subversive Nittelnacht playlist chez Servetus

I’m such a bad Jew. I should be playing card games and avoiding Torah study. Meanwhile, read more about the origins of the modern American Jewish custom of eating Chinese takeout on Christmas. Dad is convinced he’s going to be snowed in in Chicago, but I don’t think that’s any more statistically likely tomorrow than it is any time of year. I think I’ll be going for Filet 0’Fish tonight. Got a craving. Thank you, American economy that makes everything holy profane.

I’m sitting in Starbucks, which has been very quiet today. Pesky is sitting next to me, working on his next book proposal. Poet (Mrs. Pesky) is across the store from us, editing a poem. (Pesky jr is with the synagogue kids, who went bowling.) Between Pesky and me, a guy that Pesky picked up at the local military base last night at the last night of Chanukkah party is paying his bills with his laptop. Apparently they got missionary-bombed at the party, and they’re still talking about it. They got the woman, who apparently wore a Christmas sweater for her attempt at bringing the Jews to Jesus, to go by killing her with kindness. A little further across the store, the guy who sits all day and writes random number combinations in his notebook is hard at it, today outfitted in a Santa hat. The baristas are shifting the Christmas deco, and everything’s forty percent off.

Lest you think we’re trapped in a Billy Joel, song — well, maybe we are. As I said to Obscura the other day, having abjured the entire basis for my religious reservations, the thing I object to most about Christmas these days is the feeling that everything about it is only ever a simulacrum, but maybe the problem is more generalizable. It just becomes obvious at the holidays because I think I’m supposed to feel something. Or because I long for something, somethings, that are just gone and even capitalism isn’t going to bring them back.

As I ponder what to write next, this is what I’m listening to —

Modern arrangement of a fourteenth-century English Christmas carol:

From my usual adult preference: Bach for Christmas listening (actually for the third day of Christmas):

A modern American choral classic, but I fell in love with this indie version while living in Missouri, 1999-2001:

~ by Servetus on December 24, 2014.

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