Something Unspecifically Seasonal This Way Comes

Matthew Schmitz in The American Conservative wrote that “Pumpkin Spice Loneliness” is eclipsing more traditional autumnal holidays. He is right. As Ray Bradbury would have warned us, beware Mr. Autumn Man and his Autumn Gang, who have come to make your season anodyne, ungrounded, and unattached.

Beware the pumpkin spice people.

For some, autumn comes early–even before Labor Day, and stays late where Friendsgiving replaces the family with the found-family, and then instead of December and Christ’s birth, our country, and the reassuring (if unreal) past we used to know, Pumpkin Spice Lattes come again, with no winter, spring, or revivifying summer. For these beings, autumnal vibes are ever the normal season, the only weather, with nothing beyond.

Where do they come from? Starbucks.

Where do they go? Also Starbucks.

Does blood stir in their veins? No: hot drinks with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.

What ticks in their head? The woke rejection of Christopher Columbus, Pilgrims, and Manifest Destiny.

What speaks from their mouth? “Happy Holidays.”

What sees from their eye? Seasonal marketers.

What hears with their ear? The crisp autumn wind.

They pick apples, visit pumpkin patches, and rake leaves. They commemorate non-specific, unproblematic nostalgia. They deny the older, richer holidays like Columbus Day and Thanksgiving, with all their troubling associations, to celebrate the modern invention of the fall harvest. In gusts they don cardigans, crunch leaves, bake pies, take blurry photos of the Hunter’s Moon, and mull spices in wine. They vote by mail in the primaries.

Such are the pumpkin spice people. Beware of them.


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