Easter Funny

Telling a child that someone they will never meet died because of all the bad things he assumes they’re going to do is quite scary. And a little passive aggressive.
“Oh no I’m sure you won’t do anything bad, but just in case, I’ll go and die.”
You know that pang of annoyance you get when you offer someone a swig from a bottle or can, and just before they imbibe, they mop their sleeve swiftly around the rim, to save themselves from your disgusting essence? That’s what Jesus was doing.
A little insulted, you assure: “I haven’t got a cold sore or anything.”
“No, I’m sure you don’t,” followed by a shit-eating grin, and an indulgent chug, during which you wish you did have a cold sore, that had fallen off into the can, and was now flowing down into their stomach.

Jesus prompted a self-fulfilling prophecy; proclaiming everyone past, present and future as sinners, hoping this proclamation would prove so convincing as to drive people thousands of years later to give up pancakes, cigarettes or drink-driving for lent, filling them with enough sinful pride that they feel vindicated to become gluttons and pig out on chocolate eggs, while constantly being shown images of the most lustful animal on Earth, the bunny. Obviously this has now led to bank holidays, with the definition of ‘bank’ now broad enough to cause Aldi to close early. So we get more days off work to sloth around, greedily drinking of an evening, having a great time, making all the bar staff wrathful and envious that they seem to be working harder than normal on those days, suggesting bars are somehow the opposite of banks.

If I was Jesus, and I’m not saying I’m not, I’d have maybe spent Good Friday forgiving all the other criminals who were getting crucified, setting them free with my telekinetic powers, and generally showing compassion as an example of how not to sin. Then we could have made this weekend about being generally empathetic to people, but in a non-materialistic way, as a spiritual antidote to Christmas. I mean sure, we live in a capitalist society, so inevitably it would end up with Marks & Spencer’s selling ‘compassion hampers’ full of assorted fruity teas, candles, and those weird favour vouchers that couples with no money give to each other on Valentine’s Day. Everyone would watch Pay It Forward and pat themselves on the back, give a little more money to homeless people and then insufferably post about it on social media. But it’s a better idea than ‘watch someone die to learn a lesson’. That’s the same philosophy as the villain from the Saw films.

The huge leap between what happened to Jesus, and the way Easter is celebrated in the modern day is an easy target, but obviously there is a logical progression. Rabbits are of course a representation of life and fertility, although apparently in ancient times, rabbits were thought of as hermaphroditic, and therefore able to self-fertilise, meaning they could give birth without ever having sex. Sound familiar? Rabbits fuck so much they have expressions named after them (at it like bunnies, Playboy bunnies, carrot guzzler etc), and therefore were associated with the Virgin Mary. So the Easter Bunny exists as a concept precisely because people believed it could go fuck itself.
And the whole egg thing, well I was told as a child that eggs were another symbol of fertility, despite the fact that most people are exposed to eggs as food more than as procreation, and in order to eat an egg you’re really relying on infertility, unless you want to eat an embryo you monster. But as it turns out, they are a symbol of Jesus’ empty tomb; the fact that he rose from the dead and wandered off without even leaving a note. Again, hugely attention-seeking. Just a simple, “Woke up, feeling much better, must have been a false alarm. Stay classy – J”, would have sufficed.
And since Creme Eggs aren’t empty, are we to understand they don’t believe in the resurrection? Is the white and yellow fondant inside representative of the mouldering corpse of just some guy with ideas above his station? No wonder they’re sold much earlier than normal Easter eggs, the heathens.
And I can only assume that Easter Egg Hunts correspond to grave-robbing.

Whether chocolate womb or chocolate tomb, if you care about Easter enough that you’re annoyed by the omission of the word on confectionary items, then what you care about is branding, and seem to be more concerned by a company not cashing in on a religious holiday in order to sell more chocolate than you are about Easter itself. And to be honest, I do care more about the branding, it affects me more in my daily life. If I’m eating a chocolate egg, I need to be told what for. I can’t be expected to deduce the religious connotations of a shape with my own mind.

If you encounter someone that has managed to comfortably equate these things, and they happen to be eating an Easter egg, ask them for a bite. But make sure to wipe the edge first, I hear religion can be contagious.

Next time on the Bandwagon, something less topical, like ‘what’s the deal with Hitler?’

Christmas

Christmas is unquestionably a good thing. From a totally non-religious point of view, I think it’s good to have an excuse at the end of the year to get together with your loved ones (or your family), have some time off work, and fall into some familiar clichés and traditions that have nothing to do with the origin of the celebration in the first place. There’s something comforting about whole nations, deliberately missing the point of a religious observance as an excuse to overeat, get drunk and buy shit. Nothing describes us more aptly as a species.

Don’t let people tell you it’s a religious festival. The religious foundation of Christmas is as convincing as the idea of a reindeer taking a bite out of a carrot in my living room, just to prove she exists (yes Rudolph is a lady, all of Santa’s reindeer are (male reindeer shed their antlers in the winter (I’m three layers of parentheses deep into this sentence, this is incredible. I’m like a blog version of Christopher Nolan))). Pretty much all of the religious aspects of Christmas are known to be hazy, or totally incorrect. Scholars maintain that the actual year of his birth was more likely to be 6-4 BC. You’d think that Mary claiming her child was fathered by God might have warranted a little more scrutiny, considering she got his conception date wrong by six years. Also, the 25th of December is actually the date of the Roman’s celebration of the birth of their sun God (not Son of God, easy mistake) which took place around the winter solstice. And Jesus himself, always depicted as a white man wandering the streets of Nazareth, proclaiming himself to be the son of God, while preaching humility.

As I said, I love Christmas, but for all the difference it would make, we may as well base it on the celebration of the birth of Humphrey Bogart, who was actually born on the 25th December. His films have given me much more enjoyment than the mistranslated teachings of someone who literally invented the Messiah complex. I’d love to see a world where Bogart replaced Santa in our folklore, “Of all the chimneys in all the towns in all the world, he tumbles into mine. I mean, that’s basically his job.”

But that’s my point. It doesn’t matter how Christmas started or where it came from, or whether deliberately repurposing a Casablanca quote is funny and original. Because now, Christmas is about covering a dry, spindly tree in hot electrical lights without a fire extinguisher to hand. It’s about how filling a cardboard tube with a paper hat, a bad joke and a miniature screwdriver set means nothing without a tiny explosion. And of course, it’s about buying things for loved ones to prove just how well you actually know them, and which items they don’t yet own.

The true meaning of Christmas is how we celebrate it now, in all its garish, commercial glory. The true meaning of ‘killjoy twatbasket’ is someone that tries to get people to forget that. So this Christmas, do what thou wilt. Because otherwise, the killjoy twatbaskets win.

Merry Christmas.

 

Next time on The Bandwagon:
Was the Devil’s greatest trick convincing the world he didn’t exist? Or was it managing to seem evil despite having goat legs?