"Happy holidays, everyone." No. Too obvious. "Merry Chr …" Potentially offensive. "Happy New …" Too early. Oh dear. I had hoped that this would be unnecessary. Either the end of the world or my ascension into the fifth dimension were supposed to spare me the arduous task of composing a message of well wishes to heteconomist's "many" readers. (Actually, there are quite a few of you, which is rather sobering, really.) And the task is arduous. There would appear to be no way to satisfy everybody – or even anybody – considering the incredible diversity of those who hang out here coupled with my own social ineptness. To emphasize the heart over the head might please some (yes, I'm thinking of you, jrbarch) but only taunt the tortured souls of others (not you, Magpie). Then there is the antisocial element (e.g. Trixie's sock puppet, Henri). Admittedly, this mindset comes easier to me. But, all in all, it is surely an impossible task to cater to everybody. The heteconomist community is a hodge podge. For that we make no apology. Just as I have no qualms in presenting what may be the most garbled holiday message ever posted to an economics blog. Let's face it, some of us mustn't like economics that much. Why else would we behave in this way?
Now, where do we start? Christmas, I suppose. Truth is, I'm not that fond of Christmas. It's the one day of the year I feel obliged to leave the safety of the city and venture through the suburbs to the world beyond. Sure, it's worth it, because I get to see some of the people closest to me. But getting there is also a rude reminder. Near the city I can maintain the illusion that this country is not among the more bigoted, redneck and, yes, idiotic countries on earth. And, yet, I like the place, really. Some good stuff happens. So I thought a bit of local music and poetry might make for a nice holiday gift of sorts. It will not match the tastes of all of you all the time, though hopefully some of you some of the time. But you don't need to enjoy the music to take the message of this post to heart, which is that I kind of don't altogether mind you people for being wayward enough to spend some of your time here and, in some cases, share your thoughts.
Which Christmas song shall it be? Ideally, it will be inoffensive to non-Christians. I know how sensitive people can be. The safest option seems to be Tim Minchin's "White Wine in the Sun", in this case sung by an angelic Kate Miller-Heidke, accompanied by Keir Nuttall. Any Christmas song that includes the line "I have all the usual objections to the miseducation of children who in tax-exempt institutions are taught to externalize blame, and to feel ashamed, and to judge things as plain right or wrong" gets my vote.
At this point, though I find the song beautiful, Magpie must be climbing the walls, assuming he is still with us. The song was clearly not dark, ambient nor industrial, let alone all three at once. Unfortunately, my knowledge of such a genre is lacking, but I do have a handle on tortured thought processes:
Each year at this time, before making my annual trek up the coast to meet with family, I try to psych myself into it by pretending that the inner city is a frustrating and suffocating place, full of feisty arguments, fragile egos, pubic hair on the pillow, and chauvinistic accusations of penis envy, and that I would be doing myself an enormous favor by taking a break from it:
Alright. Allow me a moment to take stock. We've had sweet, tortured and frustrated. It still doesn't seem to do justice to everything that we are here at heteconomist. For one thing, the antisocial element is still missing. Perhaps an extraordinarily happy song about adultery would fit the bill?
Yeah, sure. Pubic hair on the pillow, adultery. I don't think so. Maybe in the sixties:
But I have got way ahead of myself. There is a long journey to come. Everywhere is a long way away in this place: