Every story needs conflict. For the good to emerge, it must struggle valiantly against the often overwhelming bad. Christmas proves this rule, way back to the beginning. Jesus managed to avoid King Herod's infanticide net, allowing the young lad to grow up and say some stuff and do some things. Kris Kringle faced the perpetually unjolly at every turn and was denied bank loans for reindeer 12 times before securing a U.N. microloan. Don't even get me started on the guy with the mustache who wanted to steal Frosty's hat. Christmas has its share of grumpy baddies, so I welcome you to the Christmas Villain edition of Culture Shock to witness the transformative power of tiny beseeching children on green, miserly Republicans.
The gloom of recession is everywhere, and the holidays, rather than providing a respite from the powerful reality of the financial crisis, may seem to exacerbate it. People are losing their jobs. Bindles are replacing briefcases. It ain’t pretty out there.
The students, faculty and staff (myself included, as I work at the college’s Fine Arts Gallery) at the College of Santa Fe are presently waiting to hear the fate of the private school, founded in 1859 by the Lasallian Christian Brothers. Last year’s proposed buyout of the college fell through, and the short of it is that CSF needs a financial partner in order to remain solvent. By the time Christmas rolls around, the college may be on a path to becoming a part of New Mexico Highlands University or UNM, or perhaps on the path to closure—though, I think the latter scenario is doubtful. My vote is that CSF becomes a part of one of the state schools, retaining its continued focus on the arts, which I think is what the community at the college and greater Santa Fe are hoping for as well.