What can I say that John Lennon didn't already say in So this is Christmas?
Or that Simon and Garfunkel didn't already say in their rendition of Silent Night?
Or that the Moody Blues didn't already say in their poetic addendum to Knights in White Satin?
Or that. let's face it, when it comes to discussing the futility of opportunities lost through inaction, it's all been said before.
Again. And again. And again. The only thing that changes is the number of times it's said.
And the one thing that certainly never changes is the need to reiterate the message, because frankly, it still hasn't been received.
Maybe it's the interpretation. As a little kid, I spent several Christmases trying to figure out what the heck it was about the "round John version" that made one silent night so much more holy than the others.
I have since discovered (my wild curiosity sometimes drives me into odd questions and strange conversations) that many other children meanwhile had been trying to figure out the significance of the "round young virgin."
This all points out the fact that there are wrong interpretations. and then there are wrong interpretations.
And not one of us misinterpretation experts appears ever to have bothered to approach an adult for an explanation.
I wonder, indeed, how many adults will read this today and smile, knowing that we all got it wrong - yet without realizing themselves that the line, borrowing from now-archaic English, refers to a bunch of folks standing "around that virgin mother over there with her kid?"
It's amazing how many people I've run into who - because of the way the line breaks in the song - never realized it's not about three people (virgin, mother, and child) but just two (a mother who is a virgin, and her baby), as basic as that is to the religious concept.
If we can't get a simple Christmas song right, how can we expect to understand the complexity of the economic theory that guides our pay cheques?
Or the quantum physics that runs our cellphones?
Or the climate theory that suggests we are warming ourselves onto the path to oblivion?
Or the political theory that appears to be hurrying us down that path?
We've just been through a year in which the Arab Spring has skipped summer and fall and gone directly to winter.
We've just been through a year in which poor Americans without health care seriously considered electing as president a guy who makes hundreds of millions of dollars a year by firing poor Americans and shipping their jobs overseas, pays less taxes (by percentage) than many poor Americans, believes taxes for rich folks like himself are already too high, and is opposed to ensuring poor Americans have health care.
Instead, they elected a president who either broke or didn't bother with nearly every promise that got him elected four years earlier, because he promised to keep his promises this time.
In Canada we continue to labour under the (democratic?) whip of a guy whose idea of protecting the environment is putting it inside a pipeline and shipping it to China.
His idea of protecting us from global warming is to deny it's happening, fire the scientists who say it's happening, and buy a lot of expensive military equipment that he says we'll need to protect our northern territories when it happens.
At least I don't have to worry about confusing the words to Silent Night for another year.
May it be a happy one for all!