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Silent Night/7 O’Clock News

I often have difficulty finding time to reflect during the holidays, though it should be an important part of the season. As one year draws to a close and another looms, as the better part of the world celebrates salvation of one sort or another, and as we gather with our families, it seems that contemplation should play a role. However, in most of our Western world, the holidays are a whirlwind, a hurly-burly, almost a melee of materialism.

I debated a lot about what song to post this week—or whether to post a poem instead—and, in fact, I grew fearful of being a drag. So, I made myself go ahead and be a bit of a drag: it won’t hurt the crazy, over-the-top, excessiveness of the twenty-first century holiday if I take a little bit of air out of it. And I promise that Thursday I am cooking up something fun.

Simon & Garfunkel’s rendition of “Silent Night” with the overdub of a version of the evening news from 1966, for me, captures the ultra-mixed nature of the human condition. We have exaltation, and we also have depravity and war. We have the divine and we have the evil.

May we all, every last one of us, spend a little time on the side of peace this year.

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