International Writers Magazine: Reality Check
Bogus Battle for Christmas
just in: Christmas has nothing to do with religion. Around here,
and by around here I mean America, it is the granddaddy of consumer
holidays; so much so that in this nation's penultimate financial
meltdown, story after story, report after report since the final
hours of All Hollow's Eve has been on the Bottom Line: "Black
Friday Figures Down From '07" or "Cyber Monday Drags On
Consumer Fears!", etc.
this uproarious canard being perpetuated on the mainstream from the
purportedly outraged anti-Christmas protest is as absurd as its target.
In fact, in the grand scheme of religious and cultural crimes against
humanity this whole Battle For Christmas furor is a silly as complaining
about the mosquitoes during the Jonestown mass suicide.
The very idea that in this current culture, this current society we
live in today -- not the Make Believe hoo-hah that passes for recent
or even ancient history -- Christmas is considered anything but a holiday
based on tradition is nonsense. December 25 is one of those goofy myths
we choose to honor, like our constitution's preamble phrase "a
more perfect union" as a prophetic tribute to the ultimate possibilities
of man and not merely a typo. Problem is there is no such thing as "a
more perfect" anything. It's either perfect or not, akin to the
impossibility of being kinda pregnant or sorta dead. But we accept it,
repeat it, and celebrate it every July 4; which is also a ridiculous
demarcation of our eventual liberation from Britain, since that was
simply a "declaration" and not a victory. The date for that
celebration would be October 19, 1781 when The Articles of Capitulation
were signed. Also, the "a more perfect union" thing didn't
even show up until seven years later in the U.S. Contitution.
But where were we? Oh, right, Christmas.
We no more celebrate December 25 as the birth of the actual
Jesus of Nazareth, who was likely born in the spring according to most
astronimors and historians, than we celebrate Super Bowl Sunday as the
NFL championship game. December 25 is a natural extension of a pagan
celebration established by the Romans to mark the Winter Soltice, which,
of course, is not even on the 25th, but four days earlier. The date,
officially called Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, or "The birthday
of the unconquered sun" was to honor the Sun God. Back then, a
few hundred years after the murder of the aforementioned Jesus, the
honorary Christian observance of his birth was January 6.
Christmas, the actual date it's observed, and the historical
veracity and religious significance of which is completely built on
one fabrication after the other, should not threaten anyone. It is a
ritual observance for some, a warm and fuzzy tradition for others, and
let's face it a spectacular consumer orgy for the rest.
This is the intelligent, reasonable way to look at Christmas.
And isn't that what all these people who get up in arms every December
argue when they rail against its overtly Christian overtones? Of course.
This renders a "protest" to lesson its impact or to "even
the field" somehow feeble at best and stupid at worst.
Granted, Christianity in almost any form or denomination
is annoying and in some cases dangerous and mostly oppressive, but name
anything you're not on board with that isn't. You can't. Hell, I'm the
first to back any dismissal of purely religious iconography, no matter
how historically or even spiritually inaccurate, in public forums, federal
buildings or public schools. But then there is the recent case in North
Carolina where some self-righteous idiot tried to force a grammar school
to strike "Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer" from its holiday
recital purely for the "Then one foggy Christmas Eve..." line.
The tender term "eve" was the issue, which the idiot denoted
as religious-based. Again, arguing semantically, the word "eve"
refers only to "the night before" an event, as mentioned earlier
with All Hollow's Eve, which was later bastardized into the modern Halloween.
All of which is hardly religious and innocuous as it gets.
It only gets weird when you forget all the anti-religious
rhetoric and realize the protest itself is a subtle form of fascism.
To wit: "Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer" is a song, therefore
a work of art. It is a fairly effective fairytale scenario based almost
entirely on an early nineteenth century poem entitled "A Visit
from St. Nicholas" or ""Twas The Night Before Christmas"
(which could have easily but less dramatically been entitled, "Christmas
Eve"), wherein all of our modern concepts on the Santa Claus myth
derive. By denying the inclusion of these creative works falls under
the guise of ignoring first amendment freedoms of expression, and who
is for that? Besides radically charged Christian zealots, of course,
who are for expunging every other work of art.
But that is a separate insanity for another time.
This week's insanity surrounds the always-thorny term,
"sensibilities", which are often used, along with other debate
crutches like children, society, obscenity and (gulp) God to keep people
from doing perfectly harmless activities that hurt no one. In a supposed
free society there are going to be loads of activities, images, and
overall goofiness that's going to impinge on one or more sensibilities,
but you know what? Too fucking bad. That's how it goes. The same jackass
that fights to ban gay marriage or censor rap music or protest art exhibitions
and march for all manner of meaningless falderal turns right around
and makes noise about another equally vapid activity as "impinging
on rights" or "attacking the framework of decent morality"
or you name the predicable banality.
So have a Merry Whatever and a Happy Whoozzits, but know
this; I shall not, now or in the near future, take down my Santa. He's
goddamned jolly and the neighborhood kids love him.
Campion December 18th 2008
All Fine + Readers Letters
Reflections On US Economy South Of The Border
looked desperate, claiming to have been forced to dock an ill-conceived
marlin expedition when two local fishermen brandished a pistol and summarily
ordered the Gringos to "hand it all over".
Promises On The Road To Automotive Welfare
The American Auto Industry is weeks from going belly up in an already
eroding economic slog
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