We are coming up to one of my favourite days of the year.
I am of course referring to the Winter Solstice [not that other one a few days after].
I do not like Winter. I never have. Apart from the rain, the cold and the wind [which all nicely contribute to the gloom] the thing I hate most is the darkness. Switching on lights in the middle of the afternoon is just wrong. Looking out the window of a Winter's evening and seeing blackness, where on a Summer's day at the same time I would be out basking in the sun is depressing.
I am not alone. Most people I talk to say the same thing – dark evenings: bad, bright evenings: good.
But they have a name for it. It is Seasonal Affective Disorder. Bollox! Seasonal, it may be, and It certainly affects me but a fucking disorder? It is fucking normal. Man is a diurnal animal. We are daylight hunters. We reserve the night for sleeping [and maybe one or two other nocturnal pleasures]. Nighttime and darkness are not our realm so when the days get short we long for the sunshine. It has been so since the time when we lived in caves and roamed the plains, so when we artificially extend our days into nighttime by using artificial lights our brains rebel. We get depressed because we should be out there throwing rocks at Sabre Toothed Tigers or dragging stray women by the hair into our caves.
Of course this is all part of the pattern. If you stray even a hair's breadth off the straight and narrow these days, then you have a "Syndrome". As far as I can see there is a fucking "Syndrome" or "Disorder" for everything.
When I was a lad, I was a daydreamer. Nothing wrong with that – some of the greatest minds [including myself] were daydreamers. Now of course it is Attention Deficit Disorder.
When I was a lad, a kid who behaved badly and was generally disruptive was a kid who needed a firm belt over the head by a parent. Now of course they have Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.
The trouble with these labels is that they abrogate the parents from any responsibility. When a kid is tearing around a restaurant, tripping up waiters and boiling the piss of all the customers, the parents can look on and sweetly murmur "Ah, but he has ADHD". Their conscience is clear, and the kid who has never been taught how to behave in public can carry on gleefully behaving like the spoiled little brat he is.
There is a reason for all these "disorders". You see, if there is a "disorder" then there has to be a pill to cure it. Does your child have ADHD? Give him Prozac! Suffer from SAD? Swallow a few Valium! There is big money in "disorders" and "syndromes". And of course those pills have side effects, but don't worry – there are pills for those too.
Do you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Take a chill pill.
The days will soon be getting longer.