Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Pontifications

Easter is a very special time of year that always reminds me of the human compulsion to create traditions, rules and guidelines, whether there is a reason to or not.

Think about it and remember all the people you know who have rules, for instance, about chocolate Easter bunnies. People insist on a certain make and model of bunny, for one thing. It has to be hollow, or it has to be solid. It has to face to the right in its box, or it has to come without a box, wrapped in foil. It has to be made by THIS company and no other. It has to be white chocolate every third year. It has to be the same size bunny we used to get every year in my Easter basket, until we outgrew them. It has to be eaten ears first, or tail first, or the head has to be snapped off and eaten separately. It has to be displayed for the week preceding Easter in an adorable pastel basket with funky plastic Easter grass and the proper brand of jellybeans. This says a great deal about people's longing for some sort of structure in their lives. This, after all the trouble we went to in the Sixties and Seventies tearing away all those old traditions that seemed so confining. Sheesh.

This sort of Eristic thinking permeates an otherwise perfectly chaotic holiday. I've personally heard a televangelist snarling at his viewing audience about how the Pagan trappings of eggs and bunnies make him sick, and how we should remove the Pagan name "Easter" and replace it with "Resurrection Day." OK, whatever you want, buddy, but can you please wash that lacquer out of your hair now? You could put an eye out with that pompadour. But I digress. The constant tension between the Pagan foundations and its Christian overlay always make me grin happily. When one side finally wins, um, what does it win? The Pagans expect to be burned at the stake by the Christians, and the Christians expect the Pagans to go Attila the Hun on their asses.

The Christians are really dang violent about Easter. A friend of mine, raised Catholic, explained to me once how as kids they always took turns mutilating the special Easter lamb made of butter. It was also a special part of their family's Easter to buy what he called a "Lamb O'God" cake and ritually decapitate it.

As long as this mutual dominance display goes on to decide the true ownership of this day, there is only one winner: the Goddess Of Discord.

Here's another dandy example: fifty or a hundred years ago, Easter was the day when ladies and girls first wore their swell new outfits made for the warm weather months. Nowadays it has morphed into a completely zany tradition of buying a single, ridiculously frothy pastel outfit that cries out to be worn with white stockings, Mary Janes and a flowered hat. This outfit will make its debut at church on Easter Sunday, and/or at Easter Sunday dinner with the extended family -- then NEVER WORN AGAIN. Because where would you look appropriate in that goofy concoction? If this isn't a true Discordian ritual of spring, I don't know what is.

My own personal Easter tradition is to watch Night Of The Lepus, a classic horror film in which a Lincoln Log town in the California desert is menaced by giant radioactive bunnies. Life is good to me as long as there's a filmmaker out there with a bold vision like this one, and a little under $8,000 to spend on the project.


Blogger Ur-spo said...

Night of the Lepus is next on the netflix roster!

7:42 PM  
Blogger Cliffie, The Lemming Girl said...

You have not truly lived until you've seen it.

8:36 PM  

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