Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Anything in any way beautiful derives its beauty from itself and asks nothing beyond itself. Praise is no part of it, for nothing is made worse or

Anything in any way beautiful derives its beauty from itself and asks nothing beyond itself. Praise is no part of it, for nothing is made worse or better by praise. Marcus Aurelius

Of all the many living creatures and things on this planet, we are the only ones that feel better when receiving the affirmation we are seeking with regards to how we feel about ourselves. It is seldom that we find someone that is absolutely care free in this regard, but when you do meet one you will notice the lack of burden upon their shoulders.

Take a bride on her big day of stress ... I mean celebration ... imagine a vision of her standing alone but for her beautiful white dress with special trimmings and decadent material, her bouquet of white roses and perhaps some sentimental jewelery in the form of a great grandparents pearls reset to earrings guarding her delicate neckline and a carefully placed wisp of hair resting lightly on the strategic place on her brow to complete the image of a carefree pure and ecstatic new bride.
The roses, dress, pearls, alluring neckline and hair cannot ask for and do not expect comments and praise, however remain as they are - beautiful. Is the bride content with her own beauty or wondering how the photos will turn out and what people will think. You can only be what you are and nothing more or less beautiful. The effort to feel beautiful is well worth it, but is negated if too attached to the outcome. Put in the effort, but try and forget about the result and the results will follow.
I wonder how my wife to be knows that when we get married my buddy Klaus will be asked to take a dozen pictures and then a ban will be placed on camera's for the rest of the celebration.

post script: I wonder if my wife to me knows me?

Monday, November 24, 2008

“If you want to have a healthy brain and body … eat Eskimo’s!” – Patrick Holford

I am not a huge fan of most books on nutrition and diets and things. There's always a new thing right? Always some one trying to force something down your throat. Or in this case perhaps try keep you from forcing things down your throat.
There is an incredibly well worthwhile book by Patrick Holford that my brother Mike bought me for Christmas a few years back. I nearly took it straight back to Exclusive Books to exchange it for Tin Tin hard covers, but I decided to keep it and just over a year later actually gave it a chance and decided to see what the fella had to say.
Outstanding stuff really. The tone is extremely informative and matter of fact rather than preachy. I know the info is correct as well. It resonates so clearly and its brilliant to be able to be given some structure to what have been just general habits that I have had for many years. When I say structure I mean more details and the linking up of bits and pieces of information that I have always known through some very wise, and way before there time, habits that my parents presented to me over the years that I was under their wings.

Of course the authors market is mostly overweight (the Western World) so he does lean towards the fatties (ha haa ...see what I did there? With the Lean? As in fat and thin. Thin = lean ... far too sneaky for a Monday afternoon I agree) with the info that he supplies.
One of the main points on the fat which most people get wrong is that it is not the amount of fat you eat, but the type and the way you prepare it that is all important. In fact fat is good for you and some of them essential in our diets. One of the cool things about the food chain is that the form that these fats come in at their origin is not ideal for us and needs to be converted. This conversion is done inside all the creatures that take it on board before us and by the time we get it, it is in its best form (Omega 3 fats that we are so deficient in). These fats are so important in fact that without them oaks are dropping dead through heart disease and getting stupid due to lack of brain food. So if you see an Eskimo (correct term is actually Inuit) on the street, have a little nibble and see if you can taste the seal that he ate that ate the carnivorous fish that ate the little fishies that ate the plankton that naturally has the all important Omega 3 that we need so urgently, but lack so emphatically in our diets. Be careful of trying to supplement these. You can go as academic as you like when trying to justify supplements as good enough. You really are just kidding yourself though. There is only one way to do things properly in life and that is the real way. Get down to the fish monger and buy some fresh fish. Don't worry about the fools who tell you that there is too much mercury in the fish. You are not going to be eating enough to worry about that. If you are still worried about the mercury though, firstly take a trip to the dentist to get those old chunks of metal out of your face and secondly eat the smaller fish as they have way less metal in them. You need the Omega 3 and 6 though so go buy that fish - especially now that its summer down here (officially today I am told) and there are less Inuits on the streets to feed on.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"This system's gonna fall soon, to an angry young tune" - Rodriguez

I always enjoyed Rodriguez and his unique vibe. Incredibly to the point and simple yet undeniably powerful lyrics and chilled tunes. At the time I was most into his 'Cold Fact' album, the story about the dude was that he had shot himself on stage live at a concert. After singing the lyric: "Thanks for your time and you can thank me for mine ... kabllloooooiiieee!" I believed that for years. I never contemplated, just took it as truth when I heard it and probably used the same regurgitation a couple of times to show off around a braai or on a road trip as Rodriguez entertained.
The truth is this cat is still out there. The stranger truth to me which I only found out a few years ago is that he was only famous in South Africa! A little in NZ and Oz too, but basically his huge following of his anti establishment sentiments in the late 60's was only really entrenched in South Africa. Rodriguez never even played to a sub sub substantial concert in the USA. That could be in part because he once performed his whole set with his back to the audience and was generally a bit of a bad egg out there.
I must admit this does show how much the record labels, the radio stations and media have influence on what is a commercial success on the music world and what is not. Look at how incredible he was in South Africa and if you know his stuff you can clearly identify the class and talent of the man when he made 'Cold Fact'. Yet he was not even aware that he was a success and when a South African reporter eventually found him working on a construction site at the end of a search to what was then, the-mystery-of-Rodriguez and what had happened to him, the poet/songwriter/musician was not aware at all of his reverence in on the other side of the world. Of course he would have been aware of the royalties of the multi platinum selling album in this country - had he received any. But he did not and remained blissfully unaware for many years of his popularity. Kind of like Ian Flemming's James Bond, but that is one for another time.

Okay I will tell it now quickly: basically yea, Ian Flemming died before he knew his work was a success. A true Legend. There you have it now back to Rodriguez.

'Cold Fact' was released in 1970 which makes Rodriguez an old geeza and probably one of the reasons that he never got it right again once he tried a revival way too late, on the back of his, until then, oblivious fame. The music he has made is still all too powerful for those that have had the time and opportunity to take part in it. So often I have a lyric come to life as something unfolds in front of me.
Interestingly the lyrics tend to remain timeless. I say interesting as so many of them are written about the dark side of life that people think will be left behind at some stage and that is just a temporary. 'Cold Fact' is a good reminder that life is supposed to have a dark and difficult side although if accepted and not seen as something apart, they become more easily understood.
Take the useless piece of garbage women who took my car away yesterday evening on a funky truck with some nifty lifting gear. It was taken as part of the system of 'no parking on the road outside me house between 5pm and 6pm'. Well there is nowhere else to park and although the rule is setup to help the traffic flow more fluidly, there is in fact not a problem at all at any time even when its home time and all the locals are rushing home up our street and all our cars are sleeping in a lazy line on Buitenkant Street. So the car can be there and the traffic does flow. The two R500 fines and now another R500 fine and the theft of my car are part of a system that does not work. I was not home at the time so my younger brothers were left to hurl abuse that fat idiot as she evilly smiled at their rantings, happy to be a part of the crazy system that she could actually do something about if she was a worthwhile human, but sadly - for her you understand - she is a waste of energy and will find that out many times a day I am sure in her sad existence.

Now a small irony and something that I really did have to laugh about, was that I was actually going to use my car to take me to touch rugby on Camps Bay beach at that very time the evil fool was plying her trade. Already having driven to Camps Bay once that day, I had decided to use my own foot steps to decrease my carbon footprint. Si si that's right, I decided to run there and then back after the touch rugby. Not an easy run having to pop over Kloofnek both ways. Funny stuff actually, although I don't think my bank manager would agree at this stage.

post script: A platinum album means a million were sold. So this Rodriguez cat sold a few million 'Cold Fact' albums in South Africa and never knew for over 30 years!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

'Adventure before Dementia' - Limerick Banner

All the oldies out there (are there any that read Pi's blog? Does anyone read the blog?) will have seen these words before. It was a first for me and I enjoyed them.
Last night I was watching TV way past my bed time as the All Blacks took on Munster in Limerick in a cracker of a match that was typically incredibly tough for the visiting international side to win. The packed stadium of Munster supporters in there Red and Blue went mental, as Munster took the lead, and never stopped assisting their team in their huge efforts to beat the mighty All Blacks, as they had successfully done back in 1978.
You would think that for a nation that worships an all black liquid in a pint glass, there would be some who would show some compassion for the visitors, but the support was emphatic - and went only the way of the home team.

The was no lens on the TV camera wide enough to show any Kiwi supporters in the crowd. It was a tough night for the lads that hail from the Land-of-the-Long-White-Cloud, but in the end ... and I mean right at the end - as when a pigeon fly's into the sliding door, drops to the floor and with its upside down head now lodged somewhere around its deformed feet (if its a London pigeon) it sees the local skin and bones alley cat prancing up to take a closer look - that kind of end ... they eventually got that late try compliments of Josevata Rokocoko cococokocockoccocanIhaveandmarshmellowwithmycocococo much to the complete dismay of the Munster players and fans alike. Only once the crowd had thinned somewhat, singing their laments about the lonely fields of Athenrye as they filed out of what was so nearly their cauldron of celebrations, that the camera was able to pick up a pod of Old Timers in the stands. No wonder they could not be found before when the lens was panning the full house for NZ support. It seems that they had been given seats next to the security guards who check your ticket at the bottom of the stair well and who subsequently can't watch any of the game. In that intimidating atmosphere there was no arguing, so the loyal Kiwi's had probably just sat there and worked out the score from the extremes of the berserk cheering, to the deathly silence that transpired as the alternate teams put points on the board.
Now they were having their moment of triumph brought about by the adventure and the group of Kiwi grinner's was jumping around celebrating as much as is possible when the average age of the group is 88 years old, which basically meant they had just managed to unfurl and hold to waste height the banner they had got their grandchildren to make back home with the words 'Adventure before Dementia' splashed out on it in what looked suspiciously like sheep's blood, but lets not upset the readers and rather pretend it is something far less cruel. For the sake of keeping things pleasant, lets assume it was: well lets say some blood from the English they will play in a couple weeks time. Yes I know that is the future, but the All Blacks can do anything when it comes to rugby right? Wrong Richard Neville, they can't win the World Cup old chap!

Post Script: Some claim the All Blacks did win the WC in 1987, but I doubt you will find a REAL kiwi that will support that yarn. I mean how can you have a WC without the Springboks contesting the Webb Ellis jug? Nope just not possible.

Post post script: Carel du Plessis , Naas Botha, Danie Gerber, Frans Erasmus, Ray Mordt, Uli Schmidt ...come on!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stubborness does have its helpful features. You always know what you are going to be thinking tomorrow. - Glen Beaman

What a fool. What a waste of energy. My little brother Mike took this in Montague gardens. This guy is just looking for trouble and clearly that is not necessary, trouble will find him from a long way off.
I used to live in a student house owned by the University when I was in Stellenbosch. A house full of incredibly diverse characters. I was by far the youngest and one of the older guys used to get so frustrated with everything I did. His name was Elvis compliments of a thick mop of Black hair. Often my buddies would be around when Elvis would get into fits of rage about my comments or stand point on things. He was defending his flag one day in 1994 (the old South African flag) and while pinning it up in the lounge, I told him he was a fool. He went into fits of rage and could not quite contain himself. I just kept antagonising him as I wanted him to hurt and I knew how much it got to him.
While still in a flat spin due to the flag incident Elvis and I got into a argument about who was the more ardent Manchester United supporter. He was claiming ownership to the disputed two way title due to his superior age. Yea what ever Elvis. Well the conversation lead back in a couple of hops, skips and the odd jump or two ... to Italy and some of the details of the Fifa World Cup 1990. When David Platt scored a cracker v Belgium for England. Well he was at odds as to who scored the goal and had a huge go at me for being so cheeky and "moerse haragat for a lytjie" for daring to disagree with him.
My buddies Barry, Mike and Phil who were there at the time were loving the show, but I had to put an end to it so I walked out on his ranting and headed to the 'Bib' (library in S'Bosch speak ..come on keep up will ya?) and down to the archives section where I knew they kept newspapers going way back. I travelled back in time by turning the yellowed old pages of the CAPE TIMES and found the sports reviews of the goal in question. I was correct about the goal of course, so I made a photo copy of the page and took it back to the house. I then borrowed hammer and nail and while Elvis was taking a nap, no doubt brought on by his ill tempered beserkedness, I nailed the photo copy to his door with a good thick 6 inch nail and noisy hammer.
Elvis never mentioned the incident and even took down his Old SA flag that he had wanted to place on the wall of the house living room.
These things still pop up from time to time. Normally at rugby matches in the Free State. Interesting country we live in. If you see this guys car anywhere along your travels, feel free to put a nail through it or at least get to work with a hammer to show your appreciation.

"Life is really simple, but we insist on making in complicated" Confucius

There really is merit in simplifying things. I think my first touch of the honesty and satisfaction in living basically and without clutter in the many forms it can present itself, was when I was in Boston. I had a few weeks to make use of before I was heading back to London job so I popped in to my good buddy Mike who was on a running scholarship at Boston University. A few times a week when I was not pretending to be a student and making use of all the local facilities (including a lovely 6FT German high jumper) I would wake up at sunrise and borrow his bike for a 10km ride out to the poshest golf club I have ever seen - The Charles River Country Club. Another buddy Maddy K had worked there as a Caddy and for the jol of it I had signed up too. It was the most incredible course with huge leafy trees and lush greenery in abundance. The pay was cash in hand and I would earn about $80 or so I think, for walking around the course chatting to the fat cat CEO's who would enjoy the exoticness of a dude from South Africa with an eloquent Capetonian accent and an opinion on everything they were yakking on about; from the Bruins poor keeper to the Curse of the Red Sox (pre world series title of a few years back); to whether the dome down town was real gold or not.
On the way home I would stop at the most awesome bakery. There was always a loaf still steaming from the oven to sample some honey with and I would sit down and eat a couple of slices. I certainly sampled more than I bought, but nobody was concerned about that.
All in all it was a long day of extreme simplicity and general goodness. I began appreciating that simple is not boring, but an extremely fulfilling and worthwhile concept to begin embracing in a lot more earnest.
One of the places that I have managed to really see the change over a few years is in my diet. I do not crave or need sauces or processed spices or 'stuff' to enjoy the taste of my food. Since leaving all that behind I can now actually taste such exquisite goodness in foods in their simplest form. See pic above for my current favourite breakfast of boiled eggs on rye with orange juice - self squeezed of course.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A politician is an arse upon which everyone has sat except a man. E.E.Cummings

Please don't tell me I must vote, and if you are going to ask me if I am voting ... please remember you have read this, it will help to lessen the shock and disgust I keep being exposed to when I answer that, "No I will not be voting. "
And please let the first comment from your scathing lips; that have just helped bungee your dropped jaw back from its crash to the floor; not be "but you have to ... and if you don't then you can't complain about everything anymore can you?"
Now first of all I will continue to complain, to all that will listen (that is you right now but shortly not likely to be once you get REALLY pissed at me), about how I can't grasp that South Africa; in all its Rainbow nation status and Madiba Power; having been clever enough to shrug of the mistakes of apartheid; are still not able to supply local supermarkets or even specialised delicatessens with Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream.Nope, not one t-spoon of Cherry Garcia or Phiiiish Food in a solitary fridge in the country!
And secondly; if someone is complaining about the state of the country, which I presume is what all the voting enthusiasts are automatically expect is the case and are referring to when telling me I will surely be giving up my complaining rights, then I find it pretty presumptuous to assume the answers lie in casting a vote for another from the choices provided on the piece of paper in the your local schools computer lab or scout hall come voting day.
I find the whole situation a media and hype driven machine and an effective one at that. I shudder to think at the calibre of the people or the state of mind that they are in to be taken in by the drivel and contrived crap that they are fed. Its not like its even a secret the amount of money, effort and time that is put into telling the voters just what they want to hear, how they want to hear it and perhaps with a cream bun or free t-shirt to take home from the political rally. What was that you say? You have never been to one of those rally's and how dare I just write you off as one of those brain washed individuals that just love the song and dance of it all.

Well I hear you, but now that you are on the subject of how you have gone about making your decision on the vote, pray tell how you have gone about making yours? In nearly every conversation that has lasted long enough for someone to actually not just dismiss me like a bad disease after I tell them I am not into voting, it has transpired that their decision has not been even loosely based on any particular merrits that their chosen candidate or party has impressed upon them. No, unfortunately the incentive to vote has its firm and hungry, and in my opinion twisted routes, in the totally counterproductive driving force called fear.

Fear my friends. Fear is the driving force to get your tick or cross or what ever it is next to your - until voting day - extremely unfamiliar candidate. Fear that your current comforts and way of life is going to be changed. Fear that things will be different and out of your control. A fear so incredibly selfish, but defended with mob mentality vigour. What is the percentage of voters that actually research what their party and politicians have actually done after their words have been spoken? How many of them could even mention one or two ideas and plans that their backings have presented to them? Not just tit bits that they can regurgitate from the snippets of extremely lopsided newspapers and TV pieces? There are a few I should think, but I doubt that amount escapes from between the 0% and the 1%.
I wonder even more curiously, how many voters have the relationship and trust in their leaders, that they would listen to them when they told them something uncomfortable that they did not actually want to hear. If the dude you are voting for told you that it would be a really good thing to not drive your car for the next week as it would really help in a profound study that they were having implemented to help you in years to come. Its not going to happen right. You will loose your fondness of the poor bastard who is all of a sudden not telling you all you want to hear (if you ARE one of the listeners) and wait to take action only when it was directly going to effect you negatively and you were not going to be put out doing something about it.
Even that cat Obama, who has broken more records than Michael Phelps this year, was hilarious to listen to while out on the campaign trail. Look, at least he can actually remember his words and not be totally dependant on a tele-prompter like that prick Georgie Porgy, but the extraordinarily simple dialogue coming out of his mouth so transparently compiled for every oooohhhh aaaaaah and hooorahhhh, was only made easier for me to watch to its conclusion by the unease with which he let it roll of his tongue. In my opinion (most likely in the gutter even if you are still reading this ..haha!) he was really not comfortable with the typical tax talk and all the USA ra ra ra and I felt all the better for it.
Uncle Obama also made one real good point which gave me hope for his future. Unfortunately I think it really just highlights the same problem in most of the world and its follow-the-leader-and-they-will-make-everything-fine-and-dandy syndrome. Barak Obama asked the people not to expect things to just turn Rosy overnight and that if things were to turn for the better that it would be them that would have to do the hard work and not just him and his government. The comments of all those yanks that were interviewed through their tears and flag waving were indications that they missed that part of his speech in ...where was it? Chicago I think ... no, they missed the part where he invited them in to share the win and the workload to come, and opted rather for the Messiah approach that they were very happy that there new president elect could do the job for them. That he would make everything right for them and they would not have to suffer in a system created by others that had been celebrated just as vociferously years decades and centuries before.
Here in lies the rub ... doing the job as a leader is seen as making sure all is right for those that are following said leader. How wrong is that?That the man in charge and his colleagues will sort it all out, because they got the most support from masses and the masses can just chill out because they have the power to choose a knew fella or missy should this one not work out too well. But so entrenched it is that the system of politics all around the world just perpetuates its own cycle of persistent failures.
Leaders should be those that have the knowledge and the saintly ability to help point the way. Their responsibility lies in helping and not doing. This implies those followers must still work to find the way. Not an attractive proposition right? So that leader ain't getting the marks next to his name, but the fool who says he will build the poor a house or his counterpart who says he will help make sure you can stay richer than the poor - comfortable - well they are the ones who get the votes one way or another.
So well done on registering this weekend. In all sincerity ... good on you for getting involved. I just wonder if its because its a talking point in the office and in the gym and at your kids school when you bump into other parents that you have not quite got much to talk about, but whom you respect because the wife Mom drives an X5 so they must know their shit. Seriously, well done if you have registered and between now and voting vibe in April sometime I think, you take some energy and time and check out the dudes you are going to back and see how you can get involved in your day to day thoughts and actions to make sure this huge and important issue that you are educating punks like me (non voters) on is all actually something you find extremely worth while. Sounds like way too much involvement?
Yea I thought so. You are scared you are, not actually interested in the condition of things, but just scared that things are not going to be laid out on a platter for you in the future and you will be pulled out of your comfort zone and made to live differently. If you were really concerned about things, just have a little look within your own house ... and if you are as unfortunate as me, and also have no Ben & Jerry's in the fridge then join me in holding out until Zuma or Zilla or Habama... I mean Habana or who ever it is you are voting for sorts it out and we have at least a the option of the 'Triple Thick Caramel Fudge with Oreos and Cookie Dough Double Extreme Super Duper Caramel Swirl'

Thursday, November 6, 2008

He believed the workings of the body to be an analogy for the workings of the universe. – Leonardo da Vinci

Do you ever get the feeling that things are very right? In general and for no apparent reason it just comes to you? If you have had this extraordinarily light feeling that almost forces a grin to your face, you will more than likely be in a place where you are able to interact significantly with the planet you live on. The view you are enjoying or the stars you are gazing at, will certainly form a part of that feeling, but I wonder if you give it enough credit.
I think those feelings come along when your rhythm and energy is in sync with those rhythms and energies of the universe that surrounds you. The cool thing is this is able to happen a lot more then you think. The fact that it is happening at all is basically just by chance, as the environment screams out at you via a majestic mountain range, or incredible stormy day on the coastline with waves and rocks playing out the oldest dance. Your body can't help but feel a part of that majesty so you get to see how things can be... almost as a bystander. The more you try and witness it or understand it, the more you will loose the feeling. It is not there to be processed. It is there to be experienced and with that realisation, hopefully spark some understanding which shows itself gloriously - no effort required. If you attempt to replicate the experience it will be good, but not like before. If you sit down sometime and try to intellectually make sense of things you have no chance. After all, realising that things are good is not just for people with brains that can reason and conceptualise effectively right? It is available to everyone - how could it ever not be.
If however, you make an effort to switch off your mind from time to time, and listen to the universe you will soon be aware that in fact you are not in it as mentioned before, rather that you are a part of it and it is a part of you. Then - as Leo mentions - your physical body and all its mysteries and misunderstandings can be understood through another energy that it too is a part off. At the moment you most likely see many things as separate, including your body and how external factors affect it, sending you into a flat panic and burrying you in layers of despair. Once you stop thinking about and analysing what to eat, how much or how to exercise, when to sleep, how to avoid disease, how to heal and how to remain healthy, why you feel so listless or how you can loose weight ... and begin to just let the universe indicate all of these pearls of wisdom it will be apparent that there are no external effects, but only interactions. It all sounds like quite a task and it is, but only because you make it one. There is no course to go on. No guru or psychoanlysistcologisttherapist necessary, no books to be memorised. You have all the tools you need. But you have to be quiet. It is a huge challenge. Most cannot even be physically quiet without having to have some form of stimulation or be involved in something that keeps them busy, never mind trying to stop yourself thinking too. If you start to do it though, everything works in your favour and in fact you will start to learn that to discover and understand yourself, means shutting down less than 1% of who you are to have the opportunity to begin to discover the much more significant and real part of you.
Then the workings of the body will be replicated all over the universe.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativit

Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That's relativity. - Albert Einstein

Alberto would be walking around Cape Town with his hands in bandages if he were around to take part in the seasonal model madness.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ideas are like Babies. Once you’ve had a baby, you can’t put it back. – Andrea Age 6

I remembered what the idea was. I found it. So Andrea was right. The idea was there all along once it had come to be and it was just me that had to try and find where it had been placed.
What I originally wanted to mention was how early the Christmas decorations in the shops had been put up. It was the 28th October when I noticed the shop front that I was riding past had elves and tinsel gratuitously draped around there pine furniture in a vein attempt to make it more appealing by tagging Christmas spirit over the legs of the chair that looked as if it could well only last until Christmas day.
I know in the England the decorations were always out earlier than in South Africa, but I think we have now unfortunately caught up as commercialism drives to ever higher hopes.
I do really enjoy Christmas. For me it is a special time with a mystical and energised sparkle in the air. I think there is a part for retail to play in this, but they have over stepped that mark a long time ago. Now the likes of the large super markets and TV adds actually take away from Christmas as they USE IT to make more money instead of CONTRIBUTING towards the festive time. Unfortunately, as with many things in life, this is not a natural way of the world and there will be a counter active result to the whole process over time. The goodness and light celebratory intentions that are supposed to prevail will unravel, as the contrived and perverted occasion is fuelled by those with mistaken and ill gained motives to be a part of it all.

Yes of course course you have seen the negative effects already and Christmas has become a burden and a tough time for many. Its your own fault then fool. Simplify things. Go cut your own tree down and decorate it yourself (I chop mine from the pines along the road leading into Hout Bay), change the channel when you see a Christmas add on TV, don't expect any gifts and make sure if you are getting one it's not something you have chosen and know what it is already, don't feel guilty about charities playing on your conscience, read 'Twas the night before Christmas' to your children before they go to bed on Christmas Eve and not f$%^&g Barney in a Christmas hat, don't stress about any obligations over Christmas just enjoy the good parts, learn to make egg nog, . Seriously, there are no expectations for this fun time of the year and those that try to impose them upon you (normally your close family) are not doing anyone any good so just help them relax and ditch all those negative sides by not getting involved.
There is a lot of good over Christmas, no matter that we can't quite place our finger on what we are celebrating or the origins and reasons for it - no it is not the Birthday of Baby Jesus! So when Christmas comes around (still two months and no need to get dragged into the contrived hype) then just relax and enjoy... sounds like a good idea doesn't it? Good, now careful not to misplace it, make sure you dodge all the crap out there and have a jolly good time closer to the 25th December.