Friday, December 24, 2010

Why I believe in Santa

I believe in Santa. Yes, I'm serious, I really do. I have a lot of reasons for this, and maybe someday they'll all spill out onto this blog. But for today, Christmas Eve, I don't see any reason in belaboring the point more than necessary, when Terry Pratchett got most of it exactly right in he best book, Hogfather, in a conversation between Death and his granddaughter (trust me) Susan.

Susan: Now tell me what would have happened--
Death: If we hadn't saved the Hogfather? The sun would not have risen. A mere ball of gas would have illumined the world.
Susan: Alright, I'm not stupid. You're saying that humans need fantasies to make life bearable.
Death: Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.
Susan: With tooth fairies? Hogfathers?
Death: Yes. As practice, you have to start out learning to believe the little lies.
Susan: So we can believe the big ones?
Death: Yes. Justice, mercy, duty. That sort of thing.
Susan: They're not the same at all.
Death: You think so? Then take the universe and grind it down to the finest powder, and sieve it through the finest sieve, and then show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy. And yet, you try to act as if there is some ideal order in the world. As if there is some, some rightness in the universe, by which it may be judged.
Susan: But people have got to believe that, or what's the point?
Death: You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?

Merry Christmas, Happy holidays, and joyous New Year everyone!