O'Rielly/Gibson's "War On Christmas" And How "The Thought" No Longer Counts (Part One)Wheaton's got more balls than I do. After reading his tale, I can guarantee that if anyone in my immediate or extended family did to me what Wil's father did to him, I would've spared no second packing up my wife, kids, and leaving. The family would've been dead to me until they've retrieved their brains from off of Gibson & O'Reilly's demagogic crucifix. On the way out the door, someone would've said, "What about the Christmas gifts we got for you," I'd have told them to return them and then use the refunds towards their cable bill since Dad spared no hesitation in telling me O'Reilly & Gibson's thoughts mean more to him than those of his own flesh-and-blood. I'd also deliberately forget all the Christmas presents I had gotten for my family. I've done it before ...
When I was a teenager, my Mother and I were at odds one Christmas season and she give the ultimatum I've heard all my life: "You had better behave or I'll take all your Christmas presents back to the store." After over 15 years of being shocked into obedience by such a threat, I finally got sick and tired of it. In response I said, "Good! Take 'em back -- ever single damned one of them! Get your refund from them and stick it up your damned ass, Mother dear!" She hauled off and slapped me right accross the face ... and it was the last time she ever did because my reaction wasn't the reaction she had expected: the wail of a child scared of not just having no presents but that the child had crossed that proverbial line of no return where a parent's love turns to hatred and excommunication all because their authority was questioned.
On the contrary, my reaction was the exact opposite for I shed no tears at all and instead let my wild eyed stare and curled lip speak volumes. I let that blaze of welled up anger bore right into the very core of her soul ... and rejoiced as it ate her alive. In that instance, the idea of my continued innocence as a child in the mind of my mother -- her youngest child of six total -- burned up like a peice of flash paper only to be replaced with the dawning revelation that her son; the "baby of the family" has become a man -- not just any man but a man who has decided once and for all that when it came to physical or psychological abuse, that man would go where her other 5 siblings dared not: fighting fire with fire. Knowing full well that such a fire would consume her if she continued to gape into the abyss that was my own face, she moved on to address other family members that would play the game to her rules and, needless to say, Christmas to her was a way to cultivate attention. My mother always had a streak of "attention whoredom" in her and always will and it's mainly because of her own upbringing. That's where the cycles of abuse always turn and continue to turn -- generation after generation. I was determined to stop the cycle ... and since Christmas is nothing but another day among 364 others, it seemed a fine to start.
What happened next was my second salvo and the irony is I never intended it to be a salvo at all; I simply communicated the truth and it cut my mother to the quick. One of my nieces approached me (which was a act of courage in and of itself for I loathed kids up until I had one of my own 4 years ago) and asked me, "Uncle Jay, are you going to return the gifts you got for Gramma since she's gonna return yours?" Here is a young neice of mine and already the wheels of abuse and fucked up logical reasoning has been drummed into her small little skull -- a skull that doesn't know much about anything. In her reasoning, it would be justified for me to engage in a little "eye for an eye" -- to return the gifts I had gotten for my mother since she's going to the same thing. It's a line a reasoning that not only goes against every single solitary principal of common sense but also against every single solitary principal a man named Jesus hung on the goddamned cross for in the first fucking place -- LOVE!
"No," I said, "I'm not going to."
My neice asked, "Why?"
My answer carried through the air, into my mother's ear drums, where it had the effect of causing her to drop the wrapped presents she was handing out for one of her other grandchildren, and when she went into her bedroom to retrieve more presents for them, she stayed there for a great ammount of time to the extent that my father had to put down his beer and video camera and take over Mom's job. It was an answer that I thought would've stopped the cycle of abuse in this family once and for all because, quite frankly, it should have: "Because my love for Gramma isn't that damned shallow."
It did stop the wheels of abuse for a while but it cropped back up last Christmas when my daughter -- whom was 3 at the time -- was being a real pistol like I was that Christmas some decade and a half previous and my sister piped up, "Gwen, you better behave or else Santa will return all your presents to the store!" and my little girl's reaction was the same reaction she gave me when I realized spanking doesn't work: after wailing a wild-eyed "Noooo!" her small hands went to her face and she wept bitterly. My sister had humilated my little girl exactly like my spanking of her did before I myself even knew better ... and seeing my daughter like that lit a fire under my ass that, upon looking back, I literally have to thank God that I had gotten rid of all my guns prior to Gwen being born otherwise my Sister would've been looking down the barrel of one. That ammount of foresight not only kept me from the horror of possibly having Gwen blow her own head off at a young age in the event I neglected proper weapon storage but it also kept me experiancing life in prison and it forces me to load a different "gun" altogether -- my tongue.
Boy, was it ever loaded. After I had communicated inches from my sister's face that under no circumstance will I ever tolerate such talk around my daughter, she and my Mother poo-pooed it off saying, "Oh, you're over-reacting! You know we'd never take her presents back! We're just saying that!" My response to that was it had better be the last time they ever say that because if I hear such of a groundless, baseless, threat that just teaches my child a very myopic, shallow, and selfish idea of love and gives her the impression that it's okay to humilate people using such a psychological damaging tactic, I'd be forced to serve them both with restraining orders and/or bringing them up on charges.
When the righting Christian fruitcakes within my ever-so-forked family tree caught wind of my "taking my daughter away from her aunt and gramma" (notice how I'm already declared guilty before I put ink to paper?), they had a shitfit and smeared me as a rotten parent whose "Michael Moore" liberalism is un-Biblical and typical of the "downfall of society". My response towards the Catholics in my family was a curt and unapologetic, "For the downfall of society, I need to look no further than the Catholic Church whose Pope told it's parishioners that a vote for Kerry is a vote for Terrorists. Thus, using the Pope's own logic, your vote for Bush was a vote for the Pope and a vote for the Pope is a vote for pedophiles and child-fuckers within the very Catholic Church itself. As a result, I'd rather have unabashed and open fags and lesbians such as Rosie O'Donnell or Freddie Mercury kiss and play with my child than you candle-carrying bunch of sickos." The same went for the Baptists in my family tree as well -- the day Catholic and Protestant members of the Sizemore clan can clean up their own churches, then and only then will I welcome their parenting advice.
Reactions like these from family aren't just limited to the Christmas season though, folks. On the contrary, the Christmas season tends bring out the worst of families because of the stress involved and the old "Never Bring Up Politics/Religion Up At Christmas Family Gatherings" is simply unavoidable due to how damned starkly divided the country is. AM talk radio and cable television loaded to the gills with useless bastions of sanctimony found at the elbows of O'Reilly and Gibson is just par for the course -- they look forward to families getting stressed out over Christmas because that's their meal ticket. Their paycheck. They milk it for the expressed purpose of dividing and conquering them all for the false God they trully serve -- Mammon; the Great Balaam of Capitalism. But that's not the only thing their "War" is being waged for. Much like Art Silber's contention that Krauthammer's opinions on torture is to turn us all into monsters because we feel compelled to do so, the "War On Christmas" tries to turn families into strict One-Man/One-Woman armies of eliminationism and elitism where the adage "It's the thought that counts" no longer applies. I'll explain how in Part II of this series tomorrow.