Sunday, December 23, 2007

The War On Christmas

Having just visited the eminent Mr. Driftglass, I see he has solved the laziness issue by recycling posts from Wars on Christmas past. Smart him! Since I happen to have a bit or two stashed away for such occasions, I steal his idea. Now then, not much of anything brightens the War On Christmas season quite like kicking the crap out of the ever obnoxious John Gibson from Faux News Nutwerks. So here then, a blast from the past, this hails from my old and abandoned blog, The Terminal Velocity of Sausage, Dec. 2005 edition.

christmas. the holidays. a season of giving. celebrating the birth of the christ child. a time of peace, joy and good will to all men (and women too, right? they're sort of like men, but they smell better). every year the sacred advertisers remind us of bargains and the must-have items, for which the son of god sacrificed his life. this is the season most cherished by believers around the world. why, right now, the christian citizens of the holy lands are scouring the arid hills, looking for pine trees. its a tradition! and just like in the bible, news of the son of god, born to a virgin, is heralded throughout the world, by a fat nordic elf. for in olden times, the elven folk were revered as tinkers, toymakers and sys-admins.

but some bad people want to take all of that joy away. imagine, the long, dark nights of december stripped of popcorn strings, non-biodegradable, mylar tinsel and twinkle lights. no more sad anthropomorphic snowmen. no more flying arctic ruminants. rudolph, we hardly knew ya. but fear not, citizen, all the news that's fit to scribble has your back. (cue thin lizzy's classic: the boys are back) oh yea, fox's dyspeptic duo are on the case. answering the cries of the woefully oppressed and vast majority of americans, watch as john gibson plays cockrobin, to big bill o'reilly's wingbatman. in this episode they set their steely gaze on those insidious fiends, the...

"Anti-Christmas Warriors"

"I was away for a few days and the war on Christmas exploded."

thank gracious that john gibson was protected from the blast by his exoskeletal hair.

"Bill O'Reilly's been leading the charge and uncovering tons of places where someone is trying to change the name of the tree or change the name of the season."

gosh, wingbatman, you sure are swell. is that the sound of bowing and scraping? if o'reilly and gibson lead a charge, it'll be straight to the craft table and god help any interns that get in their way. but what of this tree? it has a name? oh, that's right, the appropriated religious symbol tree. but the season, come on now. don't be messing with the name of the season. i mean, i was like every other kid in school, we counted the days, hours and minutes, from the first whisper of snow to the last second when the buzzer sounded, and we were off. there was nothing like it. we'd laugh and wrestle in the snow, our breath steaming as we dreamed about all the things we'd get, all the things we'd do, the treats to eat and the days off school. man. nothing ever beat the holiday season. a week off school, well more like nine days when you count the weekends, that was awesome. entire days to spend at the rink playing pick up hockey after laying in bed for hours. lots of time to watch tv, except all the good stuff got bumped for crappy specials, with has-been stars singing medleys and trying to look sober. my favourite, getting to stay up until midnight on new years eve, what kid didn't love the holiday season?

"You'd think saying the word Christmas would kill some people."

oh but what if it could? talk about a wet dream for these guys, 'hey sanjay, christmas.' *thud* imagine the cheery jingle of laughter as o'reilly wades through the corpses of the unbelievers.

"On my own network, ultra lefty liberal Neal Gabler called me a demagogue for even bringing the subject up. If Neal were in charge I'd be sent off to a Khmer rouge re-education camp to make sure that there is no war on Christmas was beat into my head."

never one to shy away from wielding an unwieldy sentence, eh john? perhaps using demagogue, is just a polite way to avoid having to call you a whore, what with your new book being called, 'the war on christmas', soon to be discarded in a bus station toilet near you. a round of applause for mr. gibson's delicate rhetorical restraint. as the concise oxford would have it, a factious orator appealing to the prejudices of the masses, demagogue, shoe and fit. mind you, gibson's a simple sort, he probably thinks the word means he's somehow a democrat, on account of it starts with the same letters. but this is a war, damn it...right? and in war, people who disagree with you also want to send you thirty years back in time, to be tortured by a monster who was created by illegal acts of war and depredation, committed by an american republican president. makes sense.

"But par for the course, Neal is almost always wrong. And his co-panelists on Eric Burns' show "FOX News Watch" are so fatigued from trying to counter his out in deep orbit diatribes that they hardly put up a fight anymore."

and by extension, or projection if you prefer, john gibson is almost always right. perhaps that fatigue is just the failure of empty talking points to serve as coherent rebuttal to an argument, but hey, what do i know? maybe fox just needs to hire a better class of commentator.

"Another guy on television somewhere called me the worst person in the world."

oh stop bragging. o'reilly scored a trifecta.

"I tried to imagine how that could be possible, like maybe the guy is seeing my hair on the real worst people. You never know. Maybe this explains why he could say such a thing."

well, the worst people should have the worst hair. or perhaps keith olberman just likes to call an arse an arse. as for explanation, the wounded pretense is more than just a bit coy, coming from a man who, only paragraphs ago, stated that a liberal commentator would ship him off to the khmer rouge, if he could.

"Look, denial is the name of the game with the anti-Christmas warriors. They deny they are changing the name of the Christmas tree. "Everybody knows this country has been calling the thing a holiday tree or a giving tree. Where did we ever get the silly idea it was a Christmas tree?"

oh, oh, made up quotes! that's the best. i love made up quotes! "the christmas insurgents are fighting a rear guard action to rename all conifers, christmas." oh, i love the new kitchen cabinets, is that knotty christmas? imagine how much cheerier funerals will be, when the deceased is laid out in an old christmas box. i don't have a tree, but if i did, i'd call it a brutus tree and i'd hide all of popeye's spinach under it.

"The same thing with the war. They are denying it is happening. Accusing me of making up a phony war. But none will say the incidents in my book didn't happen. Instead they say it's just a few people who've gone over the top, not really a countrywide movement."

at first i goggled. i re-read those first few sentences a couple of times. then i realized, he's still talking about this trivial, made up kerfuffle, he's not talking about the war. what is at issue, is a backlash against what christmas has become, a high pressure sales pitch that starts in autumn and builds relentlessly for weeks and months. its a mall powered juggernaut of commerce, manipulation and excess. the hearth and home, traditional christmas still exists in hundreds of thousands homes. a quiet time for the gathering of friends and families. some religious, some not. and i am quite sure that muslim, hindu, hopi and the other kinds of french-americans, all look at a lit up conifer and see a christmas tree. aren't they pretty. they aren't overtly religious and you're welcome to them. but things like nativity scenes in government buildings are pretty graphic representation of one religion and could be seen as official sanction of that religion. plus, they're usually pretty tacky looking anyway.

"Well, I think not. I hear it all the time from my e-mailers and from callers to the radio shows I do and from people who walk up to me on the street."

ahem, when i meet people who agree with me, they tell me that i'm right and that proves it.

"It's like the secret bombing of Cambodia. It was a secret from everybody except the people getting bombed. Same deal here. People trying to keep Christmas in schools and parks and libraries and city halls know about the war on Christmas."

gibson has a point here. it seems quite obvious that he has indeed been getting bombed. and hitting the pipe as well, i'd guess. i suppose, if you're going to go for a stupid and inappropriate analogy, you should go for the stupidest and least appropriate one available. to even pretend that a parallel can be drawn is a dishonesty that borders on pathological.

"The people waging this war are trying to keep it secret. But it's too late. They have been outed."

outed. outed. does he mean it can't be. fags hate christmas? because you just know how mr. gibson feels about gay rights and all. well, i for one can't believe it. none of my queer friends would pass up the opportunity to celebrate, dress up, decorate and (worst of all) socialize.

"That's My Word."

you say that as though you're proud john. but your word isn't worth the methane that delivers it.


Ti-Guy said...

There has to be some economic reason behind the media's willingness to give this completely phony controversy so much space in public discourse.

I think it's a reaction to the general public's genuine desensitisation to and growing fatigue with consumerism. I noted the other day that shopping throughout the year is like Christmas all the time. The only way to get people to even notice that this is a "special" shopping time would be to try and confuse the commercial, secular aspects of Christmas with its religious significance and to characterise any criticism of that as an an assault on Christianity.

Anyway, it's bizarre. I can understand some religious wacko thinking "Happy Holidays" is some insult drummed up by Islamo-fascists and atheists (although I doubt anyone really noticed prior to 9/11), but I can't understand the media, staffed as it is by MBA's, thinking this is a good idea unless it's making someone money somewhere, somehow.

Red Tory said...

Wow. That was an amazingly funny piece. Thanks for reprinting that.

Lindsay Stewart said...

cheers ti-guy, red. tomorrow it's sing along with bill-o!

JJ said...

That was great! PSA, you are too much.

KEvron said...

"I can understand some religious wacko thinking "Happy Holidays" is some insult"

heh. when billo first started all this gwox crap, al franken pointed out that billo was selling coffee mugs on his website that said "happy holidays".

ahh, good times....!


E in MD said...

thinking this is a good idea unless it's making someone money somewhere, somehow.

By Blogger Ti-Guy, at 2:57 PM

It's actually a vastly simpler equation then you're seeing Ti. Almost all news media is owned by only a few companies (Disney Time Warner, Viacom, News Corp, GE etc) most of which have a conservative bent to them.

Then you have the simple fact that, the majority of Christians are easily led (especially in this country). Especially if you appeal to the martyr complex that all Christians have to some degree but the wingnuts take to the extreme. Feeling persecuted makes them feel as though they are 'right' because their bible said that they'd be persecuted for their beliefs.

On some things they are more easily led than others. For example it's been an uphill battle for the Baptists who actually believe in global warming and believe it is their duty to care of the gifts their god gave them. But it's easy to get them all up in arms about anything if you phrase it the right way. (ie: Harry Potter is evil, Fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here, abstinence only education works ). Wave a bible verse at them, dream up some imaginary conflict and shout really loud about how THEY are going to heaven and everyone else is going to hell and by and large they all queue up, checking their brains at the door.

So, if you have a factor of media consolidation and their goal is in fact not just to make a lot of money but to gather power and influence AND you have an easily led group of sheep who are all to willing to give you money and power. Why bother catering to anyone else even if truth, justice, honor, accountability, integrity and so forth are sacrificed?

It's sorta like, if you want to make billions of dollars. Do you sell a cheap product with limited value but sell billions of them? Or do you create an prohibitively expensive product that few can purchase?

Basically big media is the McDonald's of information. Who cares what's really in that big mac or what it does for your body. It feels good, is inexpensive and fills the hole where your soul used to be.