Heteconomist’s Not Especially Holy Christmas Message 2016

It’s that time of year again to try our hand at Holiday Time. It’s not easy, after fixating on economics, to switch our attention to something else. It seems advisable to do so only in stages. Accordingly, the first video installment below retains a distinctly economics flavor, perhaps leaning more toward the business end of the discipline. After that, though, things are likely to go somewhat haywire.

It would not, perhaps, surprise some of the blog’s regular readers that, at one time, after leaving a strict religious cult in protest over its increasingly lax attitudes but before joining the local chapter of the Young Communists, I briefly flirted with the idea of becoming a stockbroker or, at the very least, getting my hands dirty in Mergers & Acquisitions. Having recently attended a sermon on the evil portrayed in the movie Wall Street, the pull of the corrupting lifestyle of a wheeler and dealer felt quite strong. If it had not been for my parents possessing no industrial secrets worth divulging to Gordon Gekko, this first video might have been an accurate depiction of my life as a young up-and-comer.

Watching that video invites reflection on what might have been had I not made a lifelong commitment to Young Communism nor managed to overcome the earlier prudishness that made the liberalizing ways of the religious cult so offensive to my delicate sensibilities. At the time, however, there was no sense of missed opportunity. The future seemed very bright indeed. The collapse of the Berlin Wall, unanticipated by Young Communists, was still months away and the only immediate concern was whether Moscow might interpret our small, inner-Sydney chapter of the broader international revolutionary working-class movement as something of a deviant tendency. Young Communism, for us, was very much about the Young part. Freed at last from earlier inhibitions, at least in theory, I embraced the Young Communists’ vision of a beautiful future in which revolutionaries are forever young and attractive and the means of production are mostly sex toys.

Sadly, before the Soviet Union had even had time to collapse, we suffered our own humiliation, crushed in an intraclass conflict with community librarians who didn’t want their local pub overrun by bookworms. They saw enough of those in their day jobs. Who knows how differently the fate of the Soviet Union might have turned out if not for the anti-literary proclivities of librarians. We Young Communists have long memories. Having said that, sometimes it pays to forget, even if only for the holidays. Sometimes even bookworms can do with a party.

Speaking of parties, most of us are surely wondering what on earth is the hold up with the end of the world? To put the matter mildly, the delay has not gone unnoticed on YouTube. Independent sources confirm that no fewer than seventeen predictions of a 2016 end to the world have already come and gone, revealed to be false. When even YouTubers are confused, what hope is there for the rest of us?

The confusion is actually less warranted than is widely appreciated. The truth is, the end of the earth is already with us, and has been with us for quite some time. I hate to bring bad news but the rot, judging by the next video, appears to have begun with a kangaroo hopping about in the Outback. It ends, so far as can be told, with a Koala Bear stuck in a tree. (Or perhaps it wants to be there.) In between, there are crocodiles, cane fields, lightning and also thunder. Three of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse make appearances, one of whom skulls a beer at an international sporting event. The Antichrist, if I’m not mistaken, turns out to be Shane Warne – legendary Australian cricketer – who, upon bowling over the stumps of his opponent with an angled moving projectile, engages in a celebration of a very sinister kind. If memory serves, I was there in the stands that day, and may inadvertently have bowed down to the Man of Perdition. The two witnesses seem to be Julian Assange and the Crocodile Hunter, the latter for some reason choosing to annoy the heck out of a woman laboring over the birth of a New Earth, which explodes out of the Old Earth in what can only be described as a difficult-to-keep-secret Rapture.

With the godly people apparently already raptured, what’s left behind (as shown in the next video) looks to be an outer suburb of a city in which young, curiously endearing ruffians prowl the neighborhood on the hunt for mischief. One of them, attracted to a girl, performs heroics that appear likely to get him into a spot of bother with the head tough until, with quick-wittedness, he unleashes a spontaneous dance maneuver. The ploy – if it is a ploy, and not simply a boy expressing himself through the medium of interpretative dance – wows the ruffians, and also the girl. Thankfully, the ruffians decide – spoiler alert – to leave him be. Without warning, our hero and heroine are suddenly on a river bank, eating snakes of various artificial colors and flavorings. It is Post Apocalypse, after all, and these are the Left Behinds. But one does question the wisdom of getting involved with snakes again, considering what happened last time.

Now, that was actually unexpectedly sweet. Who would have guessed that the ruffians would turn out to have such hearts of gold? It might be blasphemous to ponder, but what kind of God would leave behind such lovable ruffians to fend for themselves without so much as a new TV set to replace the one they inexplicably smashed to pieces in the beginning of the video? Having created the possibility of such mayhem, perhaps this God might take some responsibility for the consequences, especially considering a TV set is involved? Perhaps he does have to take responsibility, and that’s why he had to send himself as his only son to be crucified by his own creations? Maybe Earth’s God is like Archie Costello, the Assignor in the Chocolate War who, upon setting various challenging “assignments” for his creations, is kept in check by other Gods through the requirement that he draw a marble from a box and, in the event the marble is of the wrong color, perform the assignment himself to prove he can endure what he expects his creations to endure.

In any case, it is difficult to recall an instance of such senseless violence and waste since the destruction of the printer in Office Space. At least by the end of the video, the children have learned to express their feelings in a healthier manner – other than food-wise.

Happy holidays.