Saturday, December 17, 2005

"The War Against Christmas"   

Not since Iraqi WMD has there been a bogus news story more loved by the conservative media than the quote-unquote "War against Christmas." So complete is their martyrdom-like passion for this myth that you'd think we lived in a time when Christians were regularly being fed to Coliseum lions. Therefore, while I rather like the holiday myself, as editor of The Nation I feel duty bound to provide their empty, bloviated rhetoric with some ammo. Here are my three battles against Xmas.   

1) Family-photo Christmas cards that married people send to their single, childless friends. Would you send a Thanksgiving card to starving people? A Fourth of July card to the Queen? These are not gifts; they are taunts. And they should be banned.   

2) Corporate America's year-end decisions to reduce health and pension benefits to boost their annual earnings statements. Would Santa threaten to open a factory in Shanghai to bring the elf union to the negotiating table? What could be more bah-humbug than the news that daddy can never afford to retire? This Scrooge-like practice should be banned.   

3) Christmas office parties. Sure, they seem fun, but nothing spells sexual harassment lawsuit like an open bar, mistletoe, and the prospect of spending the holidays alone or with an angry spouse. I think this is one area where Bill O'Reilly and I can agree: Christmas office parties should be banned.   

What's really going on? The guys over at Fox, like O'Reilly and John Gibson (author of the new book, The War On Christmas) are using this battle because they'd like to see America trend theocratic. But despite the hours of attention the rightwing media have devoted to this manufactured crisis, they're unlikely to win. And it's not because they're up against a liberal plot. Gimme a break. It's because they're on the side of intolerance.   

As I have mentioned before, I really do not see a war on Christmas anywhere I have been recently.
I try not to give it much of my head space, as there is enough non-sense taking it up by the end of every evening news program, as it is.
This is totally a non-story; simply bogus.
Why any of us are wasting typing time on it is beyond me, but here goes anyhow:
I must fees up: I declared war on Christmas years ago; war on the complete commercialization of Christmas, that is.
We don't celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace anymore. We celebrate crass commercialism and corporate greed.
I cannot think of one thing that threatens my spiritual well-being like trying to shop for anything at this time of the year. Traffic is even more hellish than usual, from coast to coast.
I am not into holiday gatherings either, unless it is with a few close friends and family, when they are not being manic. Everyone has a perfect right to a little Christmas mania if that is what they need. But, for me, no thanks.
Christmas can be hell on Earth, especially for the poor in America. Kids in one neighborhood receive toys and clothes in such numbers that they may never play more than once with some of the toys and where few of the clothes, especially if they are teenagers. Other kids, just a short drive away, are lucky if they get a new pair of shoes, candy canes and Christmas dinner.
Everyone is tense, there is shopping to be done. Many have lost their jobs or have been hit hard with the higher gas prices. Interest rates have begun to climb and no one is certain of anything.
Christmas can be hell on Earth for the lonely as well.
But, spending advent in America, worshipping at the Temple to the god of Corporatism (the Mall), has become part of the "Christmas tradition." That would be the tradition that calls for Christmas trees and red and green and candy canes, none of which have a damn thing to do with Christ Mass.
But thank God, we are not talking about Fascism Creep, War Crimes, Deadly Deficits and the coming collapse of fossil fuel driven economies.


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