WRAPPING UP LOOSE ENDS: CHRISTMAS COMBAT


 Daily Kos
By Hunter
December 25, 2016
Christmas Day

This holiday season, let us take a moment to—yet again—reflect on whether or not saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” is a sign that America is going right down the crapper.
For much of the United States’s history, it would have been given and accepted by Christians without a bat of the eye, understanding that the holidays in question were those of Advent, or perhaps Christmas and the Gregorian new year. Only relatively recently has it become a catch-all for people of other religions.
This sensitivity didn’t always provoke backlash from the right. Political science professor David Greenburg noted a few years back in Slate that Dwight Eisenhower had mailed non-denominational cards in the 1950s, to little outcry.
Because a large portion of America was not functionally insane back then. Or, perhaps, because cable television did not yet exist, which means that when a young Bill O'Reilly wanted to make his opinions known he had to scream into a hollowed-out gourd and have the now-defiled fruit shipped to one of the nation's foremost editorial rooms at his own personal expense.

Ironically, what seems to have happened is that about 10 years back or so, Certain Televised Bullshit Artists decided they could turn a dime—or, at least, stoke viewer outrage and sell a few deeply paranoid books to deeply paranoid conservative viewers—pretending liberals secretly hated Christmas and the holiday was about this close to being banned outright because that's what evil Jews and Muslims and atheists and elitist ivory tower college professors sipping their goddamn satanic loose-leaf teas were really after. And by Certain Televised Bullshit Artists we primarily mean Bill O'Reilly, the original master of Fake News and a man whose prime goal in life appears to be the enstupiding of America on ever-grander scales.
A study by Fairleigh Dickinson University found that watching Fox News increased the likelihood that someone would believe in the War on Christmas by 5 to 10 percent.
Mr. O’Reilly returned to the War on Christmas this year, but his tone has been triumphant.
“That culture war issue ignited and we won,” he said last Tuesday, later adding, “Donald Trump is on the case.”
As longtime unwilling watchers of Bill O'Reilly, we can vouch for the man's obsession with the air-quotes "issue." We have made a habit over the years of pointing and laughing when Captain Blowhard airs one of his War on Christmas segments about which retailers or politicians are saying Happy Holidays and why it is a plot against Joe Christian to make him feel bad.
For example, the time he hosted a psychotherapist to explain that atheists are trying to "bully" Christians into not celebrating Christmas at all.
Or the time we compared the explicit statements of Bill O'Reilly and other supposed Christmas defenders to the extraordinarily similar statements of white supremacist groups and, in fact, to Henry Ford's original 1921 tract The International Jew, which posited precisely the same “war.”
Or the time we pointed out, for example, that while he was bending himself and his audience out of shape over these things, even the National Rifle Association's own cards said Happy Holidays, not Merry Christmas, and what the hell was up with that?
In fact, mocking Bill O'Reilly personally for his invented War on Christmas has over the years become something of a holiday tradition for certain other political pundits. Consider it a yule log of sorts: the ceremonial burning of Bill O’Reilly’s ego in the warm, glowing fireplace of our hearts.
But we digress. Our original question is whether or not saying Happy Holidays is a sign of American and/or Christian and/or cultural demise. Whether the very phrase Happy Holidays denotes personal animosity towards the Baby Jesus or whether, instead, users of the phrase are generally referring to more than one holiday at once, hence the use of the plural form, thus making it less an expression of cultural warfare than a cheap way for sign-makers and card-senders to extend the "holiday" season through New Year's without having to spend extra coinage and calligraphy required to acknowledge each holiday separately.
After a decade of research on this very subject, we have come to a conclusion. We can categorically say that we do not give a flying monkey biscuit lawnmower herpes damn either way, because doing so would require 1.) taking Bill O'Reilly's flagrant bullshit seriously for a moment, 2.) hashing out how Bill O'Reilly's flagrant bullshit is any different from the flagrant bullshit of the white supremacists he cribbed his key arguments from, and/or 3.) listening to the elderly drunk-dialing pervert talk for even one tiny additional moment of our already busy lives—and screw all of those things very, very much.
Luckily it no longer matters, as Falafel Bill now declares that electing Donald Trump our president has fixed the problem. It was that easy. For $100 plus tax, Donald Trump will sell Christmas back to you in the form of an expired steak, or sub-par liquor, or water bottled from the purest source on earth—his own gilded toilet.
And somehow that fixed the whole thing, so we don't have to care anymore. Never let it be said that Donald never made a difference. Never let it be said that Bill O'Reilly was unwilling to admit his victory. Happy holidays to you, Bill, and may Donald Trump grace you with the gift of gilded toilet water at a 20 percent discount for your service to the cause.


NOTE:  Let's hope that we will never again have to deal with the "War On Christmas"  BULLSHIT ever again!!!


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