December 21, 2007

War is heck

Earlier this week, Time Out New York received the following unsigned fax from a purported reader:

I guess you terribly sophisticated idiots actually believe that the “holiday” that mysteriously has no name and is celebrated in December is the birthday of a guy called Santa Claus. Yes, that must be the reason Time Out New York has a picture of Santa on its cover. I must, however, inform you morons that the no-name generic holiday on December 25 is called Christmas. Perhaps you mentally deficient, politically correct children have heard of Christmas? You know, Christmas shopping, Christmas trees, Christmas decorations, the birth of Christ. Oh, yes: It is the birth of Christ we all celebrate. We give Christmas presents because the Three Wise Men brought gifts to the Baby Jesus. The holiday is really a holy day. Get the picture? Since I do not celebrate no-name holidays—nor the birth of Mr. Claus—I will no longer subscribe to your magazine.

Okay, this person is fucking insane. Apart from the fact that I strongly doubt that he/she is an actual subscriber (the double-penetration shots in the Sex issue were fine; it's a picture of Santa Claus that's really offensive), they're denying reality: The word "Christmas" was used many, many times in that issue, and this person's impression that we refuse to name it is based on complete pessimist fantasy. Moreover, is TONY the only magazine associating Christmas with Santa Claus? Everyone else is putting Jesus on the cover of their magazine, hanging pictures of Jesus in stores, hiring someone to dress as Jesus and sit in a shopping mall, inviting children to sit on his lap and whisper in his ear? Really?

This is part of the whole so-called war on Christmas—if you know me, you know that perhaps nothing just plain pisses me off more. It's yet more hateful bullshit from the right wing, calling anyone who doesn't coddle them bigots and traitors. There is no "war on Christmas": I live in Democratic pacifist secular liberal Communist egghead blame-America-first man-on-man New York City, where Christmas is everywhere; as I write this, it's December 24, and I will kill a human being if I hear "Wonderful Christmas Time" by Paul McCartney one more time. I have never heard of anyone denying the importance of Christmas; "happy holidays" or "season's greetings" is not rejecting Christmas—it's including Christmas, along with New Year's, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and whatever the fuck else people want to celebrate in this country that is fundamentally based on religious freedom. Grow up.

Seriously, is there a "war on Christmas"? Has anyone heard of anyone actively trying to expunge Christmas or Christianity from the American dialog? There are rumors of schools here and there throughout the United States who come down on "Christmas pageants" and the like—are these real? And if they are, is there any trend beyond a few isolated incidents? I really want to know.