Driving around this city for the holidays I notice that there’s more than enough hypocrisy to go around. However, one bit of holiday tradition strikes me as exceedingly wasteful and pointless.
To be blunt, Christmas lights are killing the planet.
This needless waste of energy is a throwback to the 1950s and doesn’t make sense in a world where China and India are driving up demand for precious fossil fuel resources that continue to increase in price, cause pollution and destabilize the Middle East.
And don’t give me that crap about LED lights saving a few pennies, there’s just no way to get around the wastefulness of this horrible holiday tradition. In fact, this thought got me thinking about a great many horrible holiday traditions. Check it:
The whole Christmas Tree thing is probably a mistake and not a very "green" way to mark the birth of our Lord and Savior. In fact, there’s no point that a tree has to be sacrificed in order to serve as a landmark for toys and gifts manufactured by Southeast Asian toddlers.
Speaking of waste, most gifts for associates and relatives are seldom remembered and often discarded distractions. Remember this: Effective business people don’t need to rely on empty pleasantries. In Oliver Stone’s opus to modern greed Wall Street the main character Gordon Gekko barks at one of his subordinates that "lunch is for pussies" and that’s pretty much been the mantra for all the movers and shakers I’ve ever met — The folks who can take a moment to give marching orders on the phone but don’t really have time for much else. I’m sure the productivity lost and needless effort spent make token gifts more of a drain on the economy than anything else.
Finally, holiday partying is always exceptionally treacherous. Who knows how many STDs have been spread, jobs lost because of loose talk and other bad decisions have come because of this time allotted for a series of forced laughter, smiles and consideration. Mostly in the corporate setting, holiday parties are nearly always career killers. For my part, I just don’t go to parties that aren’t any good.
In conclusion, Christmas lights are just a symbol that the people in Kansas City aren’t serious about environmental issues or any kind of real moral significance for this time of year. Remember that The Country Club Plaza was founded by J.C. Nichols — The same guy who pioneered local use of racially restrictive covenants. So, while this town is bathed in holiday lights it’s really just another indication that we are ruled by a legacy that’s shady, somewhat sinister and certainly elitist.