why philosophy?

i just love the ny times!
great photos and statements of contemporary philosophers. please pay attention to zizek's statement!



every single year the christmas industry seems to be flooding our shops earlier and earlier and earlier and earlier and earlier and earlier and earlier and earlier.
it’s a scheme!!! and it’s annoying as hell! who wants to eat chistmas cookies in june or drink mulled wine in august? nor do i want to see christmas lights or decoration before the 24th of december. ok, i might be a hater! yes, i do hate christmas! i am a harmless version of the grinch, slightly less green, but strangely enough with rudolph’s red nose when it’s too cold outside. and no, it’s not the eggnog that makes it red. as if i would drink eggnog, yuck!
anyhow, most of my friends are non-practicing christians. some of them say they are practicing. they want to get or have already gotten married in church but that seems to be one of the only moments in their adult lives they enter a church. the other moments will probably be funeral services, maybe even only their own ones. but when it comes to christmas they all have the urge to celebrate the birth of jesus christ. some of them get the urge to donate money to charities, cause that’s what good christians do…remember: thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself! but where is that love during the rest of the year? don’t get me wrong, this is not meant to be an indictment against christians. no christian bashing intended, muskelpferd! non-believers also use only the holiday season as an opportunity to donate or for doing good deeds.
i was raised an atheist, well at least i was raised by atheists. my mother wasn’t baptized. her father was a true socialist. he was even buried at the friedrichsfelde central cemetery, close to the memorial to the socialists.
my father on the other hand was raised by a protestant mother and an atheist father. my grandfather would drop her off at sunday service and pick her up afterwards, but would never enter the church. my father confirmed his faith when he was 14 but later apostatized.
anyhow, i know we all celebrate christmas, because it’s a tradition in western society. but to me this whole tradition seems kind of meaningless. we are supposed to celebrate the birth of the messiah! but i don’t believe in that messiah! i might constantly be going back and forth considering myself an agnostic or whatever, but i am fairly sure that i do not believe in jesus christ. the only thing i’m not a hundred percent sure of is, if there is a higher force or a surpreme being. i mean, who am i to know, right?
christmas with my family is just getting together and having dinner and exchanging presents of course. for a few years, it was just mom, dad and me hanging together. my brother, his wife and their children wanted to celebrate on their own. so my dad and i rented a few dvds. after dinner we watched them and my mom would fall asleep. usually during the first one. that’s kind of a tradition, i guess … anyhow, it could have been just some other sunday or saturday night, where i would go over there. nothing special. after dinner i usually have drinks with some of my friends.
in 1998 i celebrated christmas in the us with my host family. that was the first time i was not with my family. two years ago i was israel visiting my boyfriend at that time. he is jewish but wanted to go to church with me! that was kind of a funny thought, cause i’ve never been at a christmas service. but we didn’t do the whole christmas thing and celebrated chanukah instead. and you know what, i didn’t miss a thing!
this year will be the first time i will be in berlin but not celebrating with my family. my parents are going to celebrate with my brother’s family. but i think i can predict the future and that’s the reason i’m not going with them. oh no, bad case of a delusion of grandeur!
nonetheless i decided to be with friends, because - and now listen to this - even though i’m not a fan of christmas, i don’t want to be alone on christmas eve!!! thinking everybody else is with people they love makes me scared of being home alone. so is this the point of christmas? when celebrating with people you love, it makes you feel appreciated and shows you how good life can be and when alone, you are a sad, sad human being? strange thing is though, that suicide rates don’t increase during the holiday season … so i guess that thesis is just invalid.

anyhow, get through it and get good presents at least. you deserve it after having to listen to all these corny and annoying christmas songs and stuffing your body with a monthly amount of food in just three days!