Christmas Challenge

It´s hard to be jolly when you see the state of the world. Whether it´s starvation in Zimbabwe,
women and young girls being raped and consequentially stoned to death in Sudan, thousands of civilians dead and millions of homeless refugees in Iraq as the result of the senseless invasion by the U.S., the idiotic killing of Afghani police forces and innocent civilians in Afghanistan by U.S, troops in the recent past, I don´t know where to stop. And I also don´t know where to start, there are so many pressing issues we have to deal with, not to mention the economic crisis which is only a symptom of the wrong direction we are going in. It may even be that this economic crisis is the cure for the sickness of greed that America and the rest of the world is suffering from.

All we can do this Christmas is sit back and think a little about how greed and materialism has ruined our lives. Instead of Christmas being a festival of buying things, how about just taking some time off to enjoy the things that matter, love and good mood, laughter and joyful communication, things that cannot be bought for any price. Have we been bought out, have we given up ourselves to achieve financial goals or expectations? Have we bought toys for our children instead of taking the time to play with them or just spend some relaxed time with them? Have we allowed the consume industry to convince us that a gift is the proper expression of love?

It is even harder to enjoy your material goods in the knowledge that our luxury and comfort is stolen from underdeveloped countries and future generations. But who wants to spend Christmas freezing on a boat trying to stop japanese whalers? Do you you feel satisfied knowing you recycled your garbage, without thinking about the millions of tons of garbage produced every day? Why do we produce so much garbage? Well, we don´t want people in packaging industry to lose their jobs. There is something basically wrong here, no matter how you look at it.

There is only one way out of this dilemma, unless you are Obama himself. The rest of may feel somewhat helpless and at a loss for words at the messup in the world, with our own country leading the way in commercial exploitation and destruction. So if you´re not in power, and you´re not working for green peace, what can you do?

I think art is the answer. You don´t have to be a professional artist or writer to formulate your rage and disgust in some form of art, for example, drawing, painting, collage, writing, performance, maybe texts for songs. At this point it is not important whether you show it your friends, put it up in the internet, hang it on the refrigerator door, or even put in your desk drawer. The point is just to do something to get your feelings out. Call it therapy if you like, but it isn´t. This work stems from a real and deeply felt concern about the misery suffered by the greatest part of the world and my responsibility to respond in some way.

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