Nathan (vovat) wrote,
Nathan
vovat

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We need a little Christmas, right this very minute

I now bring you Chapter Five of Bill O'Reilly's Culture Warrior, which is all about the War on Christmas. If I remember correctly, he was talking about this constantly back in 2006 (when the book was published), but toned it down some for the next year. I basically agree with David Letterman, whom O'Reilly quotes in the chapter: "I think it's something that happened here and there, and so people like you are trying to make us think it's a threat." (I still remember the hateful faces O'Reilly made during this interview. I wonder if his body language expert had anything to say about them.) That said, assuming his stories of towns getting rid of Christmas displays are accurate, I do think complaining about a nativity scene on public property is rather pointless. It's not like the baby Jesus is going to jump out of his manger and latch on to your leg until you accept him as your personal savior. I guess there is tax money going into those displays, but hey, I'm sure quite a bit of publicly-funded art is religiously inspired. I do, however, think that augmenting the displays with representations of other winter holidays is a good idea. Of course, it's pretty easy to put up a menorah, but are they also going to include Kwanzaa candles, a Yule log, a Bodhi tree, a Festivus pole, an Incan solar hitching post, and a statue of Saturn? Actually, I think that would be great, but it might not be cost-effective.

O'Reilly also complained that some major stores had been eschewing "Merry Christmas" in favor of "Happy Holidays." Now, again, I doubt anyone who doesn't celebrate Christmas would really be too offended by being wished a merry one. The day can still be merry if it doesn't have any real significance. Still, it is a bit presumptuous. Besides, since Christmas IS a holiday, doesn't "Happy Holidays" incorporate "Merry Christmas," plus more? Bitching about it seems akin to someone complimenting your outfit, and your complaining that they didn't specifically mention your shoes. But the stores apparently returned to saying "Merry Christmas" after the outcry of O'Reilly's Culture Whiners (sorry, that was lame), and Bill considered this to be some sort of victory. As I said, I don't particularly care what season's greeting store clerks use, but the whole thing strikes me as another example of the people who already have the majority of the power getting into a huff because of one small case in which they're not being acknowledged. In Bill-O's mind, stores saying "Happy Holidays" is a step toward Bible-burning and mandatory crucifix-trampling. But if it's really an anti-religious move, why would the revised greeting include a word derived from "holy"?

And before I finish, one more gem from this chapter:

The rest of the print press generally despises the overall "O'Reilly Factor" concept and, with a few exceptions, loathes me personally.

I...don't...care.

In fact, I loathe many of them right back, which, I admit, is immature.


I don't think it's immature so much as it is ironic. If you don't care, then why would you bother loathing them right back? It's sort of like the song in a musical in which the female lead tries to convince herself that she's not in love with the male lead. Obviously he DOES care, and I can't say I blame him. Besides, I think he's the kind of guy who enjoys having enemies.

It looks like the next chapter has O'Reilly bashing Al Franken and Terry Gross. You know, because he TOTALLY doesn't care what they think of him. (Okay, I guess he technically only said that about the print press, but still.) I can't wait! Can you? In the meantime, check out some lists of cartoon bastards and bitches (links courtesy of the futurama community).
Tags: books, holidays
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