Larry Yando as Scrooge in Goodman Theatre's production of Charles… (Liz Lauren / HANDOUT )
When the editors at RedEye were like, "We need a full-blown Scrooge column for our holiday issue. Get Markley," I objected. Yes, of course I'll gladly volunteer to write the Scrooge column—not because I fall under the umbrella term of a Scrooge per se, but simply because I have rational opinions about objective reality. Some of those opinions are nothing more than observations about why "Christmas" and the "holiday season" are kind of stupid. For instance:
>>Jesus Christ was just a metaphor for the sun, not actually God or the son of God. God almost certainly does not exist. So that's awkward.
>>Have you ever been on Michigan Avenue in the month of December? Like seriously tried to walk from Delaware to the river? The hordes of Wisconsinians, Indianans, Aurorans, scarves like knitted tarps, college football beanie caps stuffed over balding pates bright-red from the cold, groins indistinguishable from belly fat, swarms of mucus-dripping toddlers screaming from their shins, whisked along like a sea of dough churning between the crosswalk lights, all of them idly toddling in front of you with their inept gazes lost in rapture at the city skyline, shopping bags clattering in hand, occasionally bruising the thighs of passers-by, is literally the reason we can't beat al-Qaida.
>>This column will almost certainly be interpreted as part of "the war on Christmas," but please don't take it that way because the people who actually do protest the nativity scene on Daley Plaza and object to nonsecular holiday songs in grade school pageants are way more obnoxious than the actual original obnoxious Christmas people because they're responsible for the whole war on "the war on Christmas." This then necessitates the war on the war on "the war on Christmas" and soon we're all lost in a Mobius strip when so many of us don't care at all in the first place.
>>I've written about the horror of the omnipresence of Christmas music before, but it's worth repeating that standing in an ATM vestibule this time of year can actually be used as a defense in a manslaughter trial.
>>Speaking of psychological disorders, the degree to which we are all caught up in consumer culture is bad, but during the Christmas season it borders on outright delusion. Inevitably, each year there will be YouTube videos of people stampeding each other to get Black Friday deals on Xboxes and jeans and KitchenAid blenders, news stories of people getting seriously injured or trampled or even killed in order to secure a good deal. And how can you not sit back and have a moment of, "What the hell are we doing? What nadir of materialism and glossy-eyed want have we reached that we're ready to smash through a Wal-Mart door like they're holding on to the last potable water? Are we really draining the planet of its final resources and wrecking the atmosphere in order to create plastic trinkets and electronic baubles that only satisfy our most fleeting of desires? And wait—Big Hugs Elmo actually hugs you back? It's a doll that genuinely embraces you and can reciprocate love via AA batteries?"
I already feel less lonely.
RedEye special contributor Stephen Markley is the author of "The Great Dysmorphia" and "Publish This Book."
Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page.