So I’ve been thinking quite a bit about this whole Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays thing. And about "political correctness," the role of language in defining social norms and a bunch of other stuff that comes naturally to a graduate of UC Santa Cruz.
And I’ve tried to put myself out of my normal liberal (but rabidly Christmas-philic) headspace and really look for evidence of a "war on Christmas." Banning of merriment, burning in effigy of Santa Clauses (or Baby Jesuses), mass tearing down of festive garland. Or even corporate policies forbidding employees to say "Merry Christmas." As described in this excerpt from a post at 2Peas:
My reference to political correctness… is this sudden trend that its [sic] no longer acceptable to say Merry Christmas. It might offend someone. So now stores are referring to everything as Happy Holidays, holiday decorations, holiday sales, etc.
So I can’t say Merry Christmas because I might offend someone, yet this person can go out of their way to do something so vile and offensive to me [hanging a Santa Claus in effigy] and yet claim "free speech" as his defense?
Know what? There ain’t no war.
Target is supposedly the great corporate offender, right? (According to the yammering heads on Fox News, anyway.) Well, guess what? I’ve probably been to Target fifteen times and spent at least $600 there since Thanksgiving… and every single time I’ve bought anything Christmasy (ornaments, wrapping paper, awesomely cute faux-berry wreath), the checkers have wished me "Merry Christmas." ‘Cause it’s obvious what I’m celebrating. And they’re just plain nice people. And if I were buying menorah candles and dishwasher soap, they probably would wish me "Happy Holidays" or just keep their sentiments to themselves.
Honestly, the only people who are puking me out about Christmas are the ones who want to cut out our tongues and flay the hides from our backs for uttering the words "Happy Holidays." Just like everything else they come upon and turn into a crusade and beshit like a bunch of Bible-clawing harpies. BILL O’REILLY and his filthy falafel-smearing ilk are the ones declaring a war on Christmas. They’re turning it from something sweet and mellow that everybody likes into another point of mass cultural division. ‘Cause the war in Iraq, the mass corruption in DC that somehow fails to inflame the righties as much as BC’s BJ, the administration’s policy on torture and all those other points of mass cultural division are just not divisive enough.
Everything has to be a battle with these people. We can’t just live and let live… that’s somehow immoral. Everything and everyone needs to toe their line and use their language and ride their hobbyhorses and hate their scapegoats. ‘Cause if anyone feels differently from them, it’s a threat to our Amurrican way of life. If their religion isn’t displayed in public places and taught in schools and enshrined in various patriotic chanteys, well then, government by Satan-worshippin’ infant-stranglin’ terrorist-appeasin’ gay-marryin’ SECULAR HUMANISTS can’t be far behind.
(Side note: Heard George Mencia for the first time last night. I don’t think he’s not funny ’cause he’s un-PC (read: racist). I don’t think he’s funny ’cause he’s… well, just not freakin’ funny. Richard Pryor (RIP), Dave Chapelle, Sarah Silverman… un-PC and utterly hilarious. George Mencia… yawn. Snuggle close to sweetie and fall asleep. But tell ya what, there’s a bunch of those "Christmas under attack!" types who love him.)