O'Rielly/Gibson's "War On Christmas" And How "The Thought" No Longer Counts (Part Two)In my previous post, I finished with the following:
... 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.
Unlike Wil Wheaton, my family doesn't consist of a single solitary Republican or Conservative (save for my brief 7 year heptad as a Fundy Fristian and even then I didn't shove those beliefs down my family's throat -- I only parted with my religious "wisdom" when asked). My parents were diehard Democrats but weren't flower-power Liberals. They didn't engage in Vietnam protests and didn't attend Woodstock. In truth, they actually despised both the millitant eliminationist "Commie Pinko" rhetoric from the pro-Vietnam rightwingers and the loud and noisy acid-rock and partisanship that resulted from the extreme left. However, they were very vocal in their anti-Vietnam/Pro-peace stance. In other words, my parents were more like the old-school Joe Lieberman (back before Obnoxious Joe's spinal collumn got plucked out by Sub-Zero and then replaced it with a PTC membership card).
My father, in particular, was what I'd call a "Two-Faced Democrat" -- on one hand, he thought the ringwing's penchant for selling out was sick and twisted (e.g. "These Republican sonsabitches would sell their own mother for a dollar!") but yet believed if one engaged in any activity that didn't result in money/profit, it was pointless (e.g. "Why do you invest in Nintendo machines and the Internet when neither has made you not one damned dime, boy?!?") There were plenty of times when the old man would come up to me with a newspaper article and say, "See this thing the Republicans are doing here?!? If I was rich, I'd be all for it but since I'm not rich, I'm against it!" Stuff like that -- he was a Democrat that put a price-tag on his politics and his conscience. Often times he made me sick and disgusted and we butted heads often. He was the polar opposite of Bush and your typical Rightwing Fundy Fristian -- a Democrat that believed that enacting policies that he agreed with were "right" and everything else that he did not benefit from was "wrong". Dissenting with him on his hypocracy would earn you one of his typical rejoinders (e.g. "You bonehead!") or a "What kind of son are you?!?" if you happened to come from his loins.
But he often watched O'Reilly and Hannity late in his life and, knowing full well that he couldn't stand these people (he also watched "Hardball" but loathed Chris Matthews because "that motor-mouthed asshole won't let anyone else talk"), I had to ask him, "If you can't stand these obnoxious cretins, why in the hell are you watching them?!?"
"It's like a trainwreck, boy," he'd say, "You know you shouldn't look but you just gotta or you'll go nuts. The degree of the blood, carnage, piss and vinegar that comes out of their mouths ... you can't help it!" See? He felt compelled to tune into their idiocy. Despite his Democratic nature, he was an addict for the ridiculous, factless, logically-devoid opinions and mendacity of rightwing pundits and political water-boys. Every time he watched these shows, he'd get pissed and yell at the TV and even swear, "I'm gonna stop watching these goony bastards for good" only to have his cable box locked in the very next day where he could bitch, threaten, and utter oaths all over again.
The sad irony is he knew he was making these pundits and shills richer than they need to be but wouldn't tune out because, again, he felt compelled to. In his heart, he knew that the sewers below their snotlockers spewed disease and famine for 60 minutes of every day but -- for some strange reason -- felt that the antidote for their poison was the poison itself. The justification for this reminded me of when I was told shortly after the bad LSD trip that scared me straight (by the same friend I dropped the LSD with, go figure) that the effects of the bad LSD trip could be "reversed" if I went on another fuckin' trip and that I should trust him on it because, "I should know -- I OD'ed before, remember?!?"
To put it another way, I was given the choice between living with occassional anxiety attacks for a while (or the rest of my life) which could be triggered whenever I consumed pot and alcohol be it first-hand or second-hand or I could pop another hit of "Face" acid in a 50/50 gamble to "reverse" it all provided that I don't run screaming down the road in a panic after experincing yet again the horror of Dad melting into a blob of flesh attached to bony legs and witnessing the Kellogg's rooster jump off the corn flakes box on the kitchen table, fly over on my mother's shoulder whose trying to curl the hair on her bald head, and then proceed to pull invisible gnats and grubs out of her Techni-color dream-beard. Fuuuuuuck that -- once was enough, thank you very much.
But if only "once was enough" for O'Reilly, Gibson et. al. Clearly, it wasn't for my old man. And it certainly isn't enough for O'Reilly & Gibson, either, since there won't be a Christmas anytime soon that doesn't have a war they can attach to it. Even if future FOX NEWS polls were to show that 100% of Americans claim to be Christian, them fruitcakes would still bleat like stuck pigs about some cockamamie "War On Christmas" being waged by 0% of American infidels simply because that's their meal ticket. They're merely trolling for fools to believe their bullshit and in exchange for higher ratings, book sales, and the militant keeping of Red State Christian Fundamentalists shackled on their idelogical plantation despite the fact that they provide those Christians with all the rope necessary to hang them with via their own rhetoric.
O'Reilly and Gibson's motives are essentially to convince people that anyone that says "Happy Holidays" is deliberately seeking to remove Christ and Christmas out of the public square and they encourage their viewers/listeners to not accept or tolerate it. In other words, when the check-out clerks at Wal-Mart wishes customers, "Happy Holidays", they want those customers to get mad and accuse the clerks of waging a War on Christ, Christmas, and the "American way of life" (read: Capitalism). Remember, it is recorded in each of the 4 Gospels of the Bible that Jesus had no tolerance towards the combining of religion along with the persuit of money hence the reason He took a whip and physically drove out tax-collectors, merchants, and other worshippers of Mammon right the fuck out of the Temple complete with overturning tables and kicking chairs. This fact is conveniently left out of the equation by O'Reilly & Gibson's "War" rhetoric each time they wrap themselves with that fake-assed veneer of religosity.
But also removed from the equation is the fact that by encouraging people to get mad and to rant, rave, and spread O'Rielly & Gibson's pre-packaged "Talking Points" on this war of theirs, they are nothing more than clearly advocating to their audience that it's okay to be a Scrooge! Did you get that? It's just another page of textbook rightwing projectionism -- O'Rielly and Gibson's rhetoric falsely paints people as being Anti-Christian and Anti-Christmas just because they didn't say the "RIGHT" thing at the "RIGHT" time and that "Right" thing simple boils down to "Merry Christmas". Just two fucking words.
Of all the things a person can say to one another, "Happy Holidays" isn't the worst thing in the world. But O'Rielly and Gibson are trying to convince people that saying "Happy Holidays" is the most offensive, discourteous, and disrespectful thing in the world and rightwing Christianity should also consider it the gravest sin of all mankind. That's not unity. That's not merriment. It's divisionary, eliminationist "Rebel Flag" waving rhetoric deliberately designed to keep rightwingers and Fundamentalist Christians in a constant froth for expecting people to be mindreaders at best and asskissers at worst. They want to fester a nation full of Scrooges ... and O'Rielly & Gibson openly admit with their very rhetoric that they are "Activist Scrooges" themselves.
And, of course, after O'Reilly and Gibson's "War" is finished for another year, they're hoping like all hell that nobody puts them on the spot by challenging them to donate every single red cent they made off their bullshit "War" to charity. If O'Reilly and Gibson want to parade themselves as true Holy Soldiers out to protect Christmas, they they should NOT cash in on their "War" and instead DONATE every single dime they've pilfured and pillaged to the poor and homeless. It's not like there's a shortage of them. New Orleans is loaded with both right now. So, none of this "10% tithing" BS, O'Reilly & Gibson -- in your contrivance to filch exhorbitant ammounts of capital from your viewers and listeners with your ridiculous "War On Christmas", then you should do what CHRIST would do: GIVE EVERY SINGLE DIME AWAY!
Prove to them that you really live in the "No Spin/Lipservice Zone".
Talk is cheap ... so do it last.
As for you, the reader, doesn't it just amaze you that people like this exist; that they can be so gullible and fall for O'Reilly and Gibson's horseshit?!? Seriously, do people actually expect people to take the time and think ahead about what kind of greeting we are going to give them before we give it because of some fear of them possibly being offended?!? Look, let me shoot straight with you: if you're so damned hung up on yourself that you can't appreciate common courtesy in the form of someone saying, "Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays", then do us all a favor: STAY THE FUCK HOME! Just keep your cranky Scrooge ass shacked up on the sofa, re-insert the eggnog IV drip, and leave people alone.
Christ Almight, if I say "Happy Holidays" to someone and they get all red-faced accusing me of "taking Christ out of Christmas" or some shit, I'm gonna ask them point blank, "So, it's no longer the thought that counts, eh!?!" If they respond with, "Not from the likes of you who wage war on Christmas", I'm gonna smile wide and say, "Okay, well here's another one of my thoughts that doesn't count: HO-HO-HO AND MERRY GO FUCK YOURSELF!!
Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas to you all (except O'Reilly & Gibson -- they can go fuck themselves).