The War on Holidays

Ah yes, the fairly recently-deceased Andy Williams…I inserted that song by that artist here because he’s the most old-timey, Christianisty singer I can think of offhand.

But listen to the song.  He’s not singing “Merry Christmas.”  He’s singing…GASP…”Happy Holidays!”  And he’s not singing about creches, but instead about all the secular Xmas (more on that word later) symbols of Christmas that there are, and then some. Heavens, what’s Fox News going to say.  Well, this song predates Fox News by decades, as did Andy Williams.  And Fox News has never said anything.

The fact is, time was that “Happy Holidays” was not considered shocking or anti-Christian at all.  Nope, back then, people tried to keep “Christ” out of “Christmas” by wishing each other “Merry Xmas.”  Problem is, in some language or another, “X” refers to the savior. This was back in the 1960’s, however, when no one bothered to look at that language to find out what it referred to.  It was a very different world back then.  Honest.  All this Christian shit didn’t whip itself up into its present full-fledged frenzy until the 1980’s or so.  (That’s not to say it didn’t exist, but I will tell you that back then, a man considered to be an arch-conservative — Barry Goldwater — warned of dire consequences if any of those religious whackos got into government.  50 years later…)

In those days, religion and politics didn’t mix; in fact, in polite company, they weren’t even discussed.  In fact, one of the (bogus) concerns about John Kennedy was that he was Catholic and might be beholden to the Pope.  But when priests insisted on getting involved in anti-war activities, the Vatican shut them down.  Hard to imagine, but true. Anyway, the 1940’s through the 1960’s were the decades when Christmas was stripped of whatever Christianity it had.  It is not a recent development, trust me.  And no, there is no “war on Christmas.”

Mind you, I have friends in countries that are largely Christian, such as Australia, who inform me that it is now illegal to wish someone “Merry Christmas” in public.  Since the wingnut revolution is in its infancy in that country, it’s hard to know if this is true or just misinformation.  The point is, however, in the U.S. it is not illegal, nor is is likely to become so.  Christmas is too profitable to do away with.

However, Fox News is fussing and fuming and turning purple about the phrase “Happy Holidays.”  Let’s clarify something here: (1) there are not just one but MANY festivals of light — and Christmas is a festival of light, as it has deeply Pagan roots — around the winter solstice.  And although the U.S. remains largely Christian, a lot of Christians aren’t particularly Christian and the remainder of the population celebrates all sorts of stuff like Yule, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and so forth.  And you can’t always tell what someone is celebrating by looking at them.  So, “Happy Holidays,” which means “Happy HOLY days,” is a good alternative to taking a wild guess.

What Fox News is going after here is not a “war on Christmas,” since there is none and even if there were, it is hardly symbolized by the use of “Happy Holidays.”  No, what they are after is promoting religious discrimination against those who celebrate other holidays, or those who just think Christmas is one big fat overblown pain in the ass.  Like the true bullies they are, Fox News projects their intention onto others; thus, the bogus “War on Christmas” has been born. The trouble is that these attempts to control what everyone says and thinks chip away at our true freedoms, which are freedom of speech and freedom of religion.  All the whining in the world can’t disguise the minefield that has been created, especially for those of us who must deal with a diverse public.

From me you will hear Happy Holidays if I don’t know you.  You will hear Blessed Yule if I do.  The vast majority of people are okay with that. And for those who are not, I only ask them to turn off their TV set.  Thank you.


The Sandwich Cookie Syndrome

Herman Cain.  Michele Bachmann.  (and even) Sarah Palin.

What do they have in common?  They’re all sandwich cookies.  I’d say the brand name but I don’t want some giant corporate conglomerate on my ass.  They aren’t worth the trouble.  Suffice it to say that the most popular sandwich cookie through the years has had vanilla frosting on the inside and chocolate cookies on the outside.  Other such cookies have different outsides and insides, but usually (not always), the basic scheme is the same: the outside is very different from the inside.

Many years ago I started to notice what I am now calling the Sandwich Cookie Syndrome.  No surprise that the first raging example to come to light was Phyllis Schlafly, that good old-fashioned white-bread “lady lawyer” who just HATES anything smacking of women’s rights, leave alone the fact that without women’s rights, she’d never have entered college let alone law school.

The primary symptom of the Sandwich Cookie Syndrome is that you label everything, but when the labels become inconvenient, then you put “oh, but s/he’s a GOOD *label*,” and the shortcoming of having a bad label is instantly overcome.

To put it simply, if you hate blacks, you support the “good” black Herman Cain.  If you hate women, you support things like Bachmann and Palin — “good” misogynous women.

And how are they “good?”  Well that’s easy.  They just take the conservative view on everything — the more extreme, the better.  Never mind the ironies, conflicts, cruelties, untruths, and outright lies; if you are “good,” they are forgiven because your presence is very comforting to the blinkered set.  Doubt it?  Then explain Cain, who seems to be too thick to accept any truth, Palin, to whom the truth is merely a vague inconvenience, and Bachmann, who is a complete stranger to the truth.  And that’s not even touching the issue of Stupid, which is equally present in all three of them.  But none of this seems to bother conservatives much — at least, not now.

Sandwich cookie-ism an easy ticket for the fame-hungry.  That is, it is an easy ticket until election day.  Then they find out the truth: a black is still black, and a woman is still a woman, and conservatives want neither for President.

And so in the end you are left with media pundits — you know, sorta like Sarah Palin *wink*.

I am speechless, irony

Sarah Palin is going to South Korea, a country I assume she thinks is an enemy state while North Korea is our great friend, to speak before a gathering of…are you sitting down…the World Knowledge Forum.

Read this, but don’t have any coffee in your mouth while you do because you’ll spit it out.

Oh well. If nothing else, this could be a great way of  being able to say, “oops, I missed the debate,” and pulling down $100,000.00 or thereabouts in the meantime.  As the song goes, money for nothing.

I predict

As yet another crazy has thrown his hair into the net (Rick Perry, that is), I now have a prediction for the 2012 Presidential election: President Perry.

It all came clear to me the moment he decided to deny his previous denials that he was even thinking about the office, decided to ignore his previous desire for Texas to leave the U.S. (okay!  when?), and decided to take credit, much like Walker in Wisconsin, for tons of new (low-wage, no benefits)  jobs in his state that had little or nothing to do with him being governor.

What was clear?  This guy is going to be President.  Yes, he of the insufferable corn-sucking accent, hideous boots and faux-cowboy hat perched on a perfectly-coiffed, brainless noggin; he of the stuffed suit and cheap plastic mannerisms, all neatly packaged to sell like a steaming pile of horse-shit to the country music god and country set.  You know, just like George Bush.  Only dumber.

Now let’s get real:  Palin is never going to run; Perry’s her man.  Or at least, she will say that when it becomes apparent that his billionaire supporters have already rigged the election for him.  Saves face for her, after all.  It’s clear to most of us that her political ambitions are dead; however, the too-large portion of the U.S. media still determined to pay her some mind has already declared that she will be the “king maker” in the upcoming primary season (based on what is something they never say).  She’d probably sooner tear her wig off in public than support Michele Bachmann — remember, this is the set that is entertained by cat fights.  So Perry is the perfect way out for her.  Gotta grift while you can! *wink*

She’s getting help from the rest of the field.  Romney is a large, handsome cloud of nebulous gases.  Bachmann is too overtly crazy to get the nomination.  Crazy may be okay for a man, but for a woman?  Pfft.

However, as Bush Jr. and Reagan have proven, stupid is no barrier to being President.  Enter Perry, the dumbest of them all.

But the majority of citizens would NEVER vote for this rhinestone cowboy! you protest.  And I say it’s no matter.  Why?  Because he will do what Bush did twice: steal the office.

It’s already in the works.  Mark my words, kiddies.

Will She or Won’t She?

Of course I am talking about the prospect of Sarah Palin running for President.  Personally I believe she will not, or if she does, she’ll do it briefly and bail out at the first opportunity (but not before all the donation checks are cashed).  And OH THE PATRIOTISM AND TEARS when she withdraws!  What theater!  The modern Queen Ester serving her God and her country! or so the spin doctors will cry.  She would gladly take her anointed place as President if it weren’t for the fact that she can serve her country so much better with a multimillion dollar Fox contract an’ a personal Lear jet an’ a neat, painted touring bus and lots of pretty clothes!  Sniff, Sniff!

Meantime the rest of us continue to wait for her to stop blowing her nose in the flag when she’s through wrapping herself in it.  We can’t possibly roll our eyes any further.  We are through with her, and we wish the media would catch on — but it seems they never will.

Media sources like The Huffington Post continue to search for any clue that she will run.  It’s almost as if they can’t stand the idea that she may not — or at least, that she will not make a serious effort.  (Sarah Palin and serious in the same sentence?  Are you serious?)

And so it was hard to find someone who agrees with me that Sarah will not run for President.  Imagine my surprise today when I found this article.  Read it and weep, Huffington Post and all your faux-news starved colleagues.

Reality Fail

There’s a page on Facebook called something like “Donald Trump, would you please STFU.”  Almost every day I receive an article from them which is usually about whatever blather has most recently spewed from Trump’s cavernous mouth.

The last few days have been different; it seems that since his feelings were hurt at the White House Correspondents Association dinner, followed quickly by the embarrassment of having his fantasy-based TV show preempted by the very real death of Osama bin Laden (which Obama was involved in, but never gave a hint that anything was going on), Rump has retreated into silence*.  But I know this is temporary.  As early as later today, I have no doubt he’ll be baaaaack, this time spouting nonsense about…well, how COULD a black guy get good grades in college?  You know, it’s not racist, but…(mail-order lawyer Orly Taitz has chosen that as her next cause, so yuh know, there might be somepin to it).  Note to Rump: would you believe it if I told you that Obama’s white half got the grades?

Meantime Sarah Palin has made a “speech” (Really?  Was anyone outside of the media listening?) thanking George Bush for killing bin Laden.  Right, Twinkle-toes.  I assume Dick Cheney shot him by accident, right?

All I can say here is…well I have to ask: where did reality go and how can we get it back?  All we have these days, outside of an occasional genuine news item, is this:

(1) Rump (Mr. Fantasy), a.k.a. Mr. Better Living through Bankruptcy —  Like many another actor (Charlie Sheen, for instance), he has become convinced that what occurs on his TV show is real, and that he himself has a meaningful life, genuinely useful ideas, and something to say;

(2) Palin — Still there although goodness knows why; she finished herself with that speech about the Arizona shootings and it’s high time her media supporters, especially the Huffington Post, realized it and moved on to the next shiny object (in spite of her eldest daughter’s most recent and probably tantalizing publicity grab, which involves claiming to be a liberal);

(3) Taitz — certifiably certifiable, and nearly everyone knows it…so why do we keep hearing from her?  She’s also like Charlie Sheen, continually ranting and raving and painful to watch;

and oh, yes (4) the Royal Wedding.  Put that one right in the WTF department along with the rest of it.  I mean, OOOOO what does her dress look like and OOOOOO is she going to vow to Obey and OOOOOOO don’t the Brits just love their expensive monarchy when most of the Brits themselves are dirt poor from having to do things like, oh, say, PAY (the equivalent of) $7.00 A GALLON FOR FUCKING PETROL.

Perhaps reality has become too painful to deal with, and that’s the cause of this mass fascination with making delusion as real as possible.  Or maybe it’s true that our media have been bought off and are determined to alter reality to suit their corporate masters.

I don’t know what the hell the problem is, but remember the old saw about fiddling while Rome burns?  It’s happening, folks.

*I Knew I Spoke Too Soon Department: Rump spews.  My reply to this nonsense: not bloody likely, Hoss; from the sound it if, bin Laden got part of his head shot off.  As in, he was there and then he wasn’t.  Dumb ass.

Making a Spectacle of Yourself

Yes, I’ve heard about Mr. 45-looks-85…you know, that actor who is in total denial about everything from his substance-abuse problems to his parenting to his value to society, which is virtually nill (but according to him, immeasurable).  Since this is just another showbiz meltdown and nothing more, I wasn’t even going to mention it.  However, part of this is occurring in the same time period as the announcement of a new Supreme Court ruling — one that supports the “freedom of speech” of a church that sends its members to perform really vile anti-gay rallies at soldiers’ funerals.

Interviews with the members of this church, as well as the aforementioned actor, reveal a disconnect with reality that is shocking in its totality.  And one can’t help wondering if the ruling would have been the same if the demonstrators had been PRO-gay.

The thing is, though, even if that were the case and the ruling had been the same (not likely, but we won’t go there), the Supreme Court accidentally kicked the Koch Brothers in the butt and gave a thumbs-up to the demonstrators in Wisconsin and elsewhere.  Why?  Because they said you have freedom of speech.  I assume this still applies even when you are making sense, which Mr. 45-looks-85 and the church people are not, but the demonstrators are.

I’ve made a really twisted argument here.  Sorry about that, but think about it for a while.

P.S. To Mr. Prematurely Aged: I knew a guy your age who was usually drunk, abusive and in denial for the better part of the last 25 years of his life; chronically so for the last 15 years.  He started looking ancient a few years ago.  He dropped dead last year.  Sometimes even denial can’t shield you.  Just a thought.

P.P.S. No Stupid of the Day Award today because there aren’t enough to go around.