Merry Corporate Machine

bz panel 12-23-14bz strip 12-23-13Bizarro is brought to you today by The Importance of Font Choice and Kerning in Package Design.

If you read yesterday’s post, you know that I was deathly ill over the weekend. Thanks for all the well-wishes and home remedies, Jazz Pickles. I am happy to report that the Grim Reaper has been sent on his way with nothing to show for his trouble and I am miraculously well again. Sometimes it is good to have your ass kicked by Mother Nature for a day or two to remind you of what is truly important in life: Mexican food, scotch, cigars, and all of the other things you cannot enjoy when you can’t go more than a few minutes without barfing like a freshman on spring break.

Even better news is that it is CHRISTMAS WEEK IN AMERICA!!  This is my second-favorite time of year because it precedes my absolute favorite time of year, which is the week after Xmas when this ugly, noisy, greedy mess of a department-store-created “holiday” is as far away as possible! Ah, the sweet silence of January!

Yes, I’m a Scrooge and I admit it. To settle the minds of all the armchair psychologists trying to diagnose my hatred of such a wonderful season, nothing terrible happened to me to make me this way. Nobody I loved died on or around Xmas, I wasn’t the only Jewish kid in a Catholic school, my father didn’t come home drunk on Xmas Eve dressed as Santa and smelling of whiskey, beating my siblings and me with a holly wreath and shouting, “Who’s merry now, you little shits!?” then pouring gasoline over the tree and all of our presents and burning the house down leaving us to spend Xmas day in a homeless shelter with several other families of drunken Santa dads who were now in jail.  Nothing like that ever happened. In fact, I loved Xmas as a kid. I even played it to the hilt with my own daughters when they were children. But now that I’m an adult, I have put away childish things and mostly just want to be left to live in my own, quiet, grown-up world––one in which “Jingle Bells” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” were never written.

Okay, I admit it, my distaste for Xmas is about two things:

1) I don’t like corporate-manufactured happiness under which all decent citizens are required to pay heavily.

2) My first wife was a holiday nut.

For the first 16 years of my adulthood, my starter wife, Kalonopin, would decorate the entire house for every little holiday, the day after the previous holiday was over, and sometimes sooner. While I was out trick-or-treating with the kids, she was at home unpacking Thanksgiving decorations. While I was napping after Thanksgiving dinner, she was unpacking Xmas decorations. Almost year round, the house looked like a photo shoot for one Martha Stewart holiday show or another. The month of December was the worst, of course, as we bundled the kids up after dinner every night and drove around town for hours looking at Xmas lights. If there was a sleigh ride somewhere, we had to go. If there was a Xmas village of some sort, we had to visit and take a million pictures. She bought so many gifts for each of us that we began a tradition of opening one up every night during the month, leaving only a paltry dozen-or-so for Xmas morning. (I am not kidding.) We watched classic Xmas movies every night from TGiving to Xmas and beyond, listened to Bing Crosby’s famous Xmas album every bloody day and night, every room in the house glowed and twinkled with lights. It was a kind of holiday marathon that would leave lesser men dead by their own hands. So when the kids were grown and their mom and I were divorced, I said goodbye to it forever. Except in cartoons.

Even without that absurd background, however, the corporate Xmas machine is plenty enough to make me want it to go away.

Here are a couple of fun ones from the not-too-distant past which I hope you will enjoy.bizarro 12-23-12 XMAS WEBBZ 12-21-11 XmasWEB I’ll post a few more in the next couple days. In spite of my satanic hatred of this time of year, I do wish all my JPs a grand and groovy holiday week! I hope your crappy bosses let you off work for more than one day!

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38 thoughts on “Merry Corporate Machine

  1. 1) I’m sure all of us JPs are glad that you’re recovered from the devil’s curse you received for saying such horrible things about our corporate gods.

    2) Perhaps 30 or 40 years of psychotherapy — along with prescription drugs with interesting side effects — could cure you of your Kalonopin effects.

    and

    3) Happy Festivus! (That’s today.)

  2. The best way to deal with the holiday overdoses, IMO, is to ignore the TV. The ads and constant cheerleading for the holidays make the season worse than it needs to be.

    It helps also to develop your own little customs. Our holiday tree uses old happy meals toys for ornaments. It’s goofy but it works for us!

    And I am glad to hear you are feeling better!

  3. In your second paragraph, I think you mean “precede” rather than “preclude.”? I can only hope and pray and cast spells that Christmas week will not preclude the peace and quiet of post-Christmas week, because I pretty much share your sentiments about this and all other corporate holidays, including such fairly recently manufactured ones as Valentine’s day, Mother’s day, and Father’s day. Before long we’ll probably not have single week in the year without some or other day that requires us to buy stuff.

    • Oh, crap, of course I meant “precede.” Thanks for catching that.
      When I typed it, I looked at that word and thought, “that doesn’t seem right” and then zoned out and never fixed it. I think I was combining “prelude” and “precede.” English is so funny!

      • Well, in my haste to feel superior, I forgot to add: your cartoons are deliciously funny and wonderfully well drawn. Thanks for regularly brightening up my day, despite the efforts of the precedent’s men to preclude any chances of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. :-)

  4. Love them!

    Was the non-capitalized “god” and “his” the convention before “He” was officially recognized as the human incarnation of the invisible sky monster that judges us?

    Anyway – Happy holidays and Bah humbug!

  5. Love these cartoons, especially that one with the photographer!

    I`m amazed by the amount of crap being sold with these holidays and the fact that nobody seems to care, but hey, every single of these stupidities support consumerism, our new religion!

    A small collection of crap:

    – the 24th of december is not the birth day of Jesus, rather the approx date of midwinter which folks used to celebrate in the medievals with the so called “paradise plays”, nothing to do with Christ, rather Adam and Eve

    – this leads to the christmas tree balls which are the symbols of the fruit of the forbidden tree, but hey, ain`t they adorably glossy??

    – christmas trees were actually a pagan invention to keep off evil from homes during the dark winter times

    – in order to make Christmas more generic and to probably get even the dough from non-christians, the name “X-mas” was introduced

    – giving presents which nobody asked for are given, too much unhealthy stuff get eaten over a prolonged period (which is getting longer and longer each year, heck, here in Germany they start selling christmas stuff in August)

    – Saint Nicholas was a 4th century christian saint from Turkey, now famous as Santa Claus, reinterpreted as an obese man by the Coca Cola Corporation who needed him to sell their beverage

    – all those shitty movies and songs (what does George Michael`s “Last Christmas” have to do with Christmas? or “Kevin” other than his stupid story plays at that time?)

    Summary: A long time ago a guy was born, fast forward: approx. 2 millenia later people give Iphones as a present on a date not the very least connected to him, but they pretend to celebrate his birthday while doing nothing else what he allegedly tried to change in his times

    I`ll stop here – happy whatever! :D

  6. To each their own, but one can ignore the corporate madness and still enjoy the season. It helps without a TV. Can’t solve the ex-wife issue though, pretty good excuse :p

  7. Pingback: Merry Corporate Machine | Bright, shiny objects!

  8. I’m with you Dan– I was born and raised Jewish and could never understand the Christmas mania. The most “decorating” we did was a menorah on Hanukah. Know what? It was enough to make the festival meaningful.

    I’ll admit that Christmas lights tastefully done are very pretty and I enjoy seeing them in the neighborhood, but I would never go to that much effort for something so transient.

    I take that back– I did go to that much effort with my previous wife, although she did most of it. It disrupted our home from Thanksgiving until about 2 weeks after Christmas which is the Russian Chrismas which she celebrated. Gave me the heebie jeebies (Hebrew jebrews?).

  9. I am married to the boy version of your first wife. We have persevered these past 28 years and he has toned it down a bit, thankfully.

    Love the air guitar cartoon. Thanks for re-posting it.

    I will raise a glass of good Canadian whiskey to you come “yeah ! Christmas is over”evening (Dec. 27th), and wish you a Happy New year.

  10. Loved your story about your first wife and her penchance for holiday decorating. Good thing you’re not bitter about it. ;-)

  11. Interesting “personal history”. Did you have any issues with anxiety or seizure as “her name” bears a rather striking similarity to Klonopin, apparently even more so with “consumers” since searching on the ‘net yields tens of thousands of hits for “Kalonopin” which seem to all ultimately refer to her “given name”: 5-(2-Chlorophenyl)-1,3-Dihydro-7-Nitro-2#-1,4- Benzodiazepin-2-One (guessing a distant relation to Frank Zappa?). Your wedding invitations must have come on a scroll.

    As for your disdain for “corporate-manufactured happiness”… I must then ask why you don’t carry the “banners of war” (or at least protest) against Mother’s Day, especially when you consider its history (here in the US)?

    SenseiC bows out.

    • I don’t actually celebrate any holiday in any particular fashion but I don’t complain about the others because only Xmas takes over our society for weeks at a time in such a garish fashion. I stopped buying gifts for people on regulation holidays years ago: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, what have you. They just don’t mean anything to me. If I feel like buying a gift for someone, I do, but not out of obligation. That ruins it for me.

  12. “Starter” wife. That’s a good one. Glad to see that you’re back in the flow. I too share your Christmas spirit. Can’t wait for January to roll around. And also can’t wait for Bizarro humor in 2014.

  13. Total agreement here. What is Christmas but a celebration of capitalism masquerading as commemoration? What is Christmas but another excuse, among dozens, to eat too much, drink too much and spend too much?

    We are Christian. We don’t celebrate Christmas. Christmas is commercialism at its very worst.

    The best things about Christmas might be as a time to reconnect with people, and boxing day sales, at which to buy things you really want at better prices.

    Among the worst things about Christmas might be the constant repitition of the same songs, year after year, and the constant reminder, (like we need one) that life in the developed world really is all about money.

  14. Dear Dan,

    “And now for something completely different…” who knows… maybe even “comic fodder”

    College athletics certainly has its share of “entertaining” mascots, from the Campbell University Fighting Camels to the Mary Baldwin College Fighting Squirrels, but I do find it interesting that two (prominent) universities have the initials USC: University of Southern California and University of South Carolina. On the surface that seems fine until you consider their the names of their respective football teams (which I believe may explain why you never see these two team play each other): The USC Trojans and the USC Gamecocks (not to mention that the USC mascot has the name “Cocky”).

    Why I can hear the lead-in now… For those of you just joining us after seeing the Campbell University Fighting Camels trample the Mary Baldwin Fighting Squirrels in the PETA Bowl, we take you live to Victoria’s Secret Stadium where the Gamecocks take on the Trojans in the AARP-Viagra Bowl.

    SenseiC bows out.

    • Haha. Good point, SenseiC. I’m a college football fan but I never thought about those two teams playing each other. Very funny. I’m guessing it’s a little too racy for newspaper comics pages but I’ll ruminate on it. :^}

  15. To build on a point by Shane up above, you’ll be delighted to know that here in Canada and in other countries with historic British ties, December 26th is Boxing Day (I guess because you have to fight other people at the malls) and an actual official holiday. So the bosses pretty much have to give the workers a day off (unless they’re in retail, I suppose) or at least pay them more.

  16. Let me add to the pile of rile:

    THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS : Mythology is persistent, pervasive, persuasive and profitable!

    And now for a carol you WON’T hear on the radio every year

    KA-CHINGLE BELLS

    DASHING THRU THE MALL

    IN THE CROWDED, JOSTLING FRAY

    DOWN THE AISLES WE GO

    PRICING ALL THE WAY.

    REGISTER BELLS WILL RING

    FOR CREDIT CARDS OR CASH

    WHAT FUN IS IT TO FIND A GIFT

    THAT WON’T GO IN THE TRASH!

    OHHH…

    KA-CHINGLE BELLS, KA-CHINGLE BELLS

    KA-CHINGLE ALL THE DAY

    OBLIGED TO BUY UNNEEDED GIFTS

    OUR OWN GIFTS TO REPAY

    KA-CHINGLE BELLS, KA-CHINGLE BELLS

    KA-CHINGLE ALL THE DAY

    OH HOW DUMB THAT WE MUST SHOP

    AND BLOW THRU ALL OUR PAY!

    KEEP THE $ IN XMA$!!

    The merchants now repeat what one of the early popes is purported to have declared (probably as the gold rolled in) ” What a friend we have in Jesus!”

    Thanksgiving should rightfully follow immediately upon the last day of After Christmas Sales.

    Thank God it’s OVER!!

    (Now I have to decorate — I put up my Xmas corations a week ago.)

    Jeers!

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