Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fat Tuesday: The Honest Holiday

Playground regulars know of my holiday hypothesis.  "Holiday" comes from "holy day" and while we claim that our holidays commemorate virtue, actually they function as controlled outlets for vice.  Thanksgiving is not about gratitude, it is about gluttony.  Christmas is not about peace on Earth or goodwill towards men, it is about greed.  Valentine's day is not about love, it's about lust.  So, when Fat Tuesday arrives, I am especially grateful because it is the one honest holiday where we let it all hang out without pretense.

The question for today is whether these usually disguised outlets are necessary in and of themselves or necessary because of what our culture does to us.  Is Nietzsche right that society has imposed order on us and damaged our nature, that these regular dionysian outbursts are required to blow off steam because culture harmfully restricts us?  Would it be possible to have a society where these urges were satisfied in the course of things, or would such a culture itself degenerate (and cause us to be degenerates)?  Are holidays necessary to maintain a healthy society or only necessary because society is unnaturally repressive?

Either way, needs me some 'Fess.  Laissez les bon temps rouler, mes amis.