Thursday, December 23, 2004

Generic Winter Solstice Festival Greetings!

Subject: Soapbox
There seems to be some sort of flap about coming from Rupert Murdoch's media empire that "Christmas is under attack" from "secularist elements" who want to "wipe religion from our culture".

Great, another f*ing culture war, this soon after the election.

This individual "secularist element" really doesn't care what religion you are, what god or gods you worship, or what holidays you celebrate. I just don't want the government mandating one or the other. I appreciate the day off, sure! And I'll be celebrating low-key with my family, and enjoy the usual traditional trappings that come with the season (and are ironically derived from pagan European pratices).

For all of you who think I'm out to get you or that you're some sort of victim in all this because you want to put the Christ back in Christmas, I have two recommendations: 1) Read a little bit of history, particularly the bits about how the Founders of this country banned any sort of celebration on Christmas and demanded it should be a day of solemn prayer; and 2) Take a look at the consumerist exploitation of the season and particularly the consumerist exploitation done by the very same media outlets that are telling you that you should be outraged by all this!

And on that note, I'm outta here for a few days! You can look forward to my reporting on Yet Another Noir Marathon, and lots of movie watching, while I try to get it all out of the way before construction starts on my house in the New Year.

Merry Christmas, all!!! :)


Anonymous said...

I'm a non-practicing Jew, so I don't celebrate the holiday, I have nothing against it. I get weary of the Fox News set acting as perpetual victims too, but some of the stories that have been reported piss me off, so I can imagine how a Christian would feel. For instance, a boy handing out candy cane's with religious messages is not infringing on anyone's religious freedom, and if you think he is, you have to ask yourself where you set the bar. How can the government regulate voluntary religious activity in schools without banning it altogether as France has done?

On the other hand, the question of whether the phrase Merry Christmas should be replaced by Happy Holidays is senseless, and again, excessive. Here's a noble thought, we (federal institutions, media outlets, etc.) say 'Happy Hanukkah'during Hanukkah, 'Merry Christmas' during Christmas "time," (these don't overlap) and 'Happy New Year' on New Year's eve and day. Kwanzaa is not a federal holiday not is it affiliated with any particular religion (as Hanukkah is), federal institutions like public school have no duty to officially acknowledge it, and private institutions like Sears and Macys acknowledging Kwanzaa is a pretty ironic idea, Kwanzaa being an alternative to the commericialism of Christmas.

btw, Interesting blog, I like European films (not Fellini so much, more keen on the French New Wave) and anime too ^_^

Fellini 8.5 said...

Thanks for the comment! One thing to remember about those stories you hear that would supposedly piss you off, though, is that you really need to look closer at them and find different sources as to what really happened and who was involved.

There's a concerted effort to force confrontations between the "believer" types and the otherwise normal aspects of society. Just the day before Christmas we were visted by the usual door-to-door evenagelicals (which there have always been and we've always been polite to), but they really don't give up as easily anymore. They're trying harder than ever, with more modern marketing-style techniques at their call, to try and drive wedges into otherwise normal everday life.

That girl who couldn't give candy-canes anymore; 10:1 that she was going over-the-top with her prosthelyzing to the point where the administration had to draw a line as to what was appropriate and what wasn't. But the media outlets are more interested in spreading a sensational conflict than they are finding out the true facts behind the story. So we'll never really know. It's the same with any teacher suspensions or any other symbolic anti-gestures -- they're the result of someone trying very hard to push the envelope on the culture war and make themselves a martyr that Bill O'Reilly or Rush Limbaugh will tout for as long as it takes for a death-threat phone-and-email campaign to be waged against the hapless folks who are just trying to keep peace and sanity in their organizations.

Okay, yeah, I'm a little aggravated by it.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by and please comment all you want!