One ritual I would love to see burst forth from some quiet Montana mountain town is the Krampus. This is a monster that appears tonight all across Austria and Bavaria, striking terror (only partially mock) into the hearts of citizens otherwise enjoying a raucous night out on the village. The Krampus is a huge, horned and hairy monster that abuses residents with brush whips or sticks, frightening them into good behavior, the better to be received by St. Nicholaus on the morrow, Dec 6, St. Nick's Day.
Face it, we have just as many nasty monsters as anyone, only we can't see ours so well. They still come careening out of the night upon us, disturbing traffic and scaring the children, but because we can't see them we end up blaming the blacks or the immigrants, or–oh hell why not– Obama! It would do us no harm to have our monsters chase us down the icy streets with whips once a year. At least then we quit throwing blame around like spittal and could face squarely the terror we refuse to let go of!