This is the first Christmas where I didn’t get a single gift. Because I had to take care of a bunch of logistics issues, I decided not to celebrate “the holidays” this year, and you know what? It was awesome.
It’s amazing not having any expectations about what you’re going to get, give and whatnot. Also, for some reason I got tons of digital messages of gratitude in lieu of material gifts, and I absolutely adore all the people who reached out to say ‘Merry Christmas,’ adore.
There is a darker side of the blatantly consumerist holiday (why are people being killed on Black Friday? WHY?), and comedy writer Jon Hendren (@Fart) managed to perfectly capture everything that is wrong with Christmas by searching for tweets that were particularly spoiled, like “I swear, everybody got an iPhone 4S. I asked for one and I didn’t get it. Santa, I hate you” and “My parents are the worst mother Fucking parents in the world fuck you mom and dad for not getting me a Iphone. FUCK YOU. FML,” and then retweeting them.
This simple action resonated with the webosphere, so much so that Internet bard Jonathan Mann turned Hendren’s retweets into a song (above) within a 48 hour turnover.
To compile material for his impromptu performance art, Hendren used Twitter search strings like: “not getting,” “iPhone” and “iPod” or “iPad” or “Car” which would return tweets for people unhappy about “not getting.” “You can do the same thing with ‘didn’t get’ or ‘where’s my’ as well,” he says.
So what possessed this sort of ad hoc social commentary on people unhappy because of the lack of iProducts under the tree? (Amazing in light of the 1.4 billion people who don’t have clean drinking water, right?)
“I was visiting with my family,” says Hendren on the impetus behind his critique. “They’d all gone to bed somewhat early on Christmas Eve night, and I was lying awake playing with Twitter’s search function on my iPhone (oddly enough). Nobody I was following was tweeting much of anything at that time, so I didn’t feel too bad about flooding my timeline. I think I did about 40 or 50 before people started posting fake tweets, which made it harder to find real ones among the search results, so I cut it off probably around Noon on Christmas morning. There are probably even better real ones among all the fake ones out there by now, but it’s too hard to tell.”
Hendren currently writes part-time for Something Awful as a day job and got laid off three weeks ago from his full time job due to “restructuring.” For the record, I am really really upset that no one bought me a house this Christmas. Okay, not. Well, maybe a little.