Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Page 352 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author/publisher,
Dane F. Baylis


It took some years for me to get past my own upbringing and accept the good cheer of others at this time of year as something without ulterior motive and to be shared in without prejudice or preconception. Meeting and marrying the Editor-in-Wife had a lot to do with that. It was by sharing in her family's traditions and customs that I became a lot more amiable son-of-a-bitch during the holiday season.
That is often what it takes to get us out of our insular little worlds and teach us that, as much as we might want to resist it, change can be a very good thing. As I have learned as a westerner studying the Buddhist teachings, the only thing that never changes is - everything changes. It is especially in this season that I look at the world around me for signs of transition.
The makeup of this nation morphs and evolves. The conservative beliefs held for so long by the most right wing elements are becoming a thing of the past, despite their claims to the contrary. The demography seems to signal that this trend will continue with immigration reform and a backlash against the restrictive anti-democratic voting laws being the inevitable product of attempts to preserve a collapsing order.
The publishing world changes, and doesn't. The boom in self-publishing has opened the flood gates for those who would have little chance at making it into print otherwise. This just means that any number of writers who shouldn't be in print, are. My hope is, eventually, this will find a way of sorting out the dreck from those works worth the space they occupy but, for the immediate future, we should count on having to cull the herd on our own.
Gay marriage is becoming more an accepted fact and it's about time. The conservative screaming about the sanctity of marriage doesn't hold water in the light of divorce statistics, spousal abuse, and abandoned children roaming urban streets and selling their asses on certain on-line sites. The only thing you can say is that the gay community now will have some of the same problems as their hetero-sexual counter-parts. Welcome to the concept of community property and marital estrangement, guys and gals.
The vocal rise of the atheist community is a pleasant change. Except when it becomes the most intolerant of the tolerant. No, I don't hold with the Judeo/Christian/Islamic western belief systems, but, if they can bide by separation of church and state, I am willing to keep my two cents out of their temples and places of congregation. In the meantime, you do not counter stupid speech and dogma with stupider, intolerant speech and rhetoric. You accomplish it with intelligent arguments done in a calm and insightful manner.
Tonight, my family made a change to our tradition. Normally we get together (with however many of us happen to be available on this coast or the other) in a time of sharing and rejuvenation. Gift giving and the mayhem of shredding so many wonderful examples of package adornment are always reserved for the 25th of December. Because of my daughter's work schedule this year, we have divided the usual day long ceremonies into two segments. Everything changes. The family gathers and allowances are made for differences, and personalities are put aside for conviviality. Does it always go smooth? No, but that's being human. We still get together and make the best we possibly can for one and all.
In that spirit, I wish all of you who have come to this page over the last year the best at this time. If you celebrate in the tradition of one or another religion, reflect on the real teachings of your deity. If you take the secular road, lighten up for a day or two, there's more than enough time to man the parapets in the year ahead. If your bent is to simply try to be the best person you can in the belief that all you can truly change is the person in the mirror, I lift a glass to you.
Happy Holidays from your Uncle Dane.
Meanwhile...live, love, write.
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page. You can leave comments in the form below. I can be reached directly at dbaylis805@gmail.com . You can also find links to some of the sites I visit from time to time on the right. I'm also looking for submissions to the Your Work/Your Love page. Authors retain all rights.
Dane F. Baylis

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