Archive for May 5th, 2013
I have not watched what they put on the television for more than 25 years.
Cable TV, that I abandoned some years before. Of the broadcast variety, it is true that, from time to time, over that quarter-century or so, I might now and again tune in the news, national or local. But even that ended, for good, in 2009, when they switched nationwide to digital. My television set—so old it was actually made in the United States—didn’t know from digital. And I didn’t feel like going to Radio Shack for one of those little converter boxes . . . that are anyway no doubt malevolent spy devices.
I do, these days, have a television set that is digital-compatible. But no television comes over it. It is for movies and such, that flow from the intertubes.
I spend enough time chained to the tubes. I don’t need to double my servitude by hooking up with the television programmers.
However, the other day, I did look at a television.
I was in a pizza parlor.
Apparently there has been enacted some Law that requires that pizza parlors be festooned with multiple wall-mounted televisions, all tuned to sports channels.
The sound on these televisions is muted. Presumably because the blaring babeling din from the multiple programming on the multiple sets might induce nervousness and disorientation among the humans. And this would not be wise.
Because too many of them carry guns.
(Somehow May Day has come and gone. How did this happen? Who are these time bandits, who gallop around with the hours and the days, so that I don’t notice that they’re passing? Oh well. Belatedly, here’s a May Day something from three years ago.)
Millennia before the political people got hold of it, May Day was for lovers.
Equidistant between the Vernal Equinox and the Summer Solstice, arrived that day when human beings participated in the seasonal renewal of life by themselves bursting into bloom—making love.
Details varied. In some places, particularly in the Celtic realm, this day was known as Beltane. Sometimes a woman and man, recognized as particularly sympathetic to or skilled in the magic arts, would, representing the Goddess and God themselves,couple in a ritualized ceremony, either observed or alone, and most often in a freshly seeded field.
Very often, as it says here, “[y]oung couples were encouraged to test their fertility with Beltane trysts, and any babies born from Beltane were believed to be blessed by the Goddess herself.” Pretty magical, such witch children.
Too, “[t]rial unions, called hand-fastings (as the lovers’ clasped hands were bound by ribbon), were also popular at Beltane, committing the couple to each other for one year and a day in preparation for a marital commitment.” Such a ceremony is today popular among some contemporary neo-pagans.
Other places, on this day, there was a sort of relationship “time-out,” when the people of the tribe, in the interest of renewing the earth, could couple indiscriminately, and without consequence.
Of course, “without consequence” is in such things more often a wish, than a reality. In many versions of the Arthurian tale, for instance, Guinevere and Lancelot first acknowledge the inevitability of their attraction on May Day. Fair to say there were some consequences from that one.