Friday, December 18, 2009

War on Christmas - 2009

Oh, don't you remember the fervor of the War on Christmas back in 2005?

American society was about to crumble because the most extravagant Christians were not allowed to do things like put nativity scenes in the middle of busy intersections or follow you around all day yelling Christmas carols into your ears. Anyone saying "Happy Holidays" was threatened with midnight disappearances to Bill O'Reilly inspired reeducation camps in order to save what was left of our country. Glenn Beck was weeping, but he wasn't a major factor on television yet. Several high profile culture warriors released well timed books on the subject (how did they know it was going to be a topic du jour?) of the coming cultural takeover of American society driven by people...like...me.

Wasn't that fun? It was really important, too. So important, in fact, that the "War On Christmas" meme has been mentioned less and less each year following 2005, despite cultural conditions staying relatively static.

I mean, maybe people are focused on other news stories right now, but I can think of more than a few rather big national news stories the press could have focused on in the final quarter of 2005. Can you name anything more important on which we could have spent our time back then?

But it isn't like the "War on Christmas" is over. It seethes right below the surface, on Facebook status updates and chain emails from folks I know who really believe I am mindlessly supporting a cabal of elite individuals who plan to strip me of my culture and traditions. (They think about this while shopping at Wal-Mart, I'm sure.) Talk radio still hammers the narrative, asking breathlessly for callers to describe how badly affluent, caucasian Christians are oppressed during this woeful time of the year.

Take for example the "kid who got suspended for drawing Jesus on the cross from his public school" meme. How outrageous! Talk radio yammers. If he had drawn a picture of Obama, he'd still be in school! They say. Brainwashing! Oppression! Badness! Outrage! RARRR!!

Until the real story comes out. The real story you won't hear about on Fox News or talk radio. The local media screwed the pooch here and got almost everything wrong. Because the story fit so neatly into the precanned "War on Christmas" narrative, it got play.

No, the teacher hadn't instructed them to draw things that make them think of Christmas.

No, it wasn't a sketch of Jesus on the cross, it was a picture of the student himself on the cross, with eyes 'X'ed out to signify death.

No, the kid didn't get suspended, but he did have to see the school psychologist.

NOW, the father disagrees with the above statements from the school and maintains that all this is about the school oppressing his family's religion. He is demanding compensation from the school for "all the suffering" this has cased the family while inviting the press to publicize the story. There is no indication how the story first came to the media's attention, but the father's quotes give me some idea.

(Remember, folks, only godless liberals take public demands for compensation to frivolous lawsuit status.)

Just as a hypothetical, had the student actually done anything to hurt himself or others, after the teacher had seen such a drawing, the same press driving the "War on Christmas" meme would instead be driving the "Why Weren't Warning Signs Heeded?" narrative.

But we don't get to hear about a teacher doing their job correctly, effectively, and with regard to a student's welfare, or how a school has rather appropriate operating proceedures and didn't overreact to a situation. We hear instead about how that teacher hates Christmas, and how this public school is doing its part to rid America of religion.



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5 comments:

patsbrother said...

Perhaps you should actually visit Fox News before you blithely pontificate on what they will or will not report.

Here you go, senor. These three articles are dated December 16, two days before your post. You could easily have found this had you looked.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,580336,00.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,580282,00.html

http://onthescene.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/12/16/childs-picture-of-jesus-drawing-controversy/

What is more, these three appear to be the ONLY pieces run on Fox News to mention the controversy, and EACH of them discusses the school's side of the story.

What is more, you throw in crap about the War on Christmas always targeting affluent caucasians. Insofar as you belittle people who buy into this as likely Walmart shoppers, I think that negates the affluent part. And, as the second cited article indicates, the family at the center of the Jesus drawing controversy are Black. I guess you just assumed.

I just can't wait until blogs really are the only reportage around.

Also, while I too think the War on Christmas stink was far overblown, I do not remember it focusing on creches at intersections. As I recall, it focused on large chain stores (like Walmart) actually forbidding their employees from uttering the words "Merry Christmas," requiring them instead to say "Happy Holidays," which was more inclusive. I think both of us recognize there is a difference between the first and second situations.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Please. If the other side is allowed to make flagrant use of hyperbole to sell their books, then I will respond in kind to demonstrate the laughable absurdity of their narrative.

And if Fox made continued, 24-hour news cycle investigative reports on this issue, I must have missed it. I mean, I can go dig into every news story with a slant where the initial report was wrong, but that doesn't speak to the point I'm trying to make: it is the narrative that gets driven by stories like these, and inferred justification keeps people from hearing the later, deeper story/retraction.

That's how our popular news/entertainment culture works these days, and if you hadn't noticed, that fact is one of the main focuses of this blog.

And the race of the family in this instance is irrelevant, because the situation feeds the War on Christmas narrative which is specifically directed to increase fear and paranoia among affluent, caucasian Christians.

There is no "War on Christmas" targeting affluent caucasians, because there is no "War on Christmas" in the first place. The whole idea is absurd on its face.

That's the point.

patsbrother said...

As I pointed out, the three articles cited were the ONLY ones that came up from a search on foxnews.com. I fail to see how your evil "narrative" where people don't pay attention to the "later, deeper story/retraction" applies to a situation in which there was no one-sided narrative and in which there was no later, deeper story/retraction (there being all that information there from the beginning).

You went off and flapped your mouth without doing anything to check to see if you were right. And even if "the other side" delves into hyperbole (because liberals never exaggerate), there are organizations like Media Matters that watch them and fly off the chain when there is even the appearance of incorrectness.

For someone who complains about the problems in the media, you sure do like to emulate those problems here.

Somehow, I think you actually want your readers to be able to believe you, but if you don't want your blog to be known as having some semblance of reliability, I suppose I should never make any comment due to the lack of any firm substance against which to respond.

Cheers.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Yes, because satirical commentary has no place in American culture. My bad.

patsbrother said...
This comment has been removed by the author.