the week that was 5

The big news this week was black.  As in, Friday. Millions of Americans abandoned their Thanksgiving turkeys mid-meal to crowd local malls in a bid to snatch up ten dollar panini presses and 99 cent poinsettias. Unlike the pro-abortion homosexual 9/11 American-hating terrorists at K-Mart who opened their doors on turkey day at 8 am, family-values store Walmart resisted the siren-call of consumerism…opening their doors at 6 pm.  I suppose this makes Walmart better than K-Mart because, really, if you haven’t finished your holiday meal and lapsed into a post-turkey coma by 6 o’clock on Thanksgiving then clearly you must be a pro-abortion homosexual 9/11 American-hating terrorist.

Despite our pro-choice homosexual leanings, my family displayed patriotic superiority waiting until 9 am on Friday to hit the malls.  And while we did miss out on buying a bunch of junk we didn’t need, we did score some great deals on a bunch of junk we really wanted.

After doing our part to keep the economy from teetering off yet another fiscal cliff, we made our annual pilgrimage an hour north of the city to a Christmas tree farm.  Todd and I have been cutting down our own trees for more than a decade now, introducing Chris to the tradition last year.  It’s a comfort to know that nothing changes and every year is the same: Five minutes after we arrive Chris will fall into an icy mud puddle then Todd and I will fight then someone will cry then someone else will storm off in tears and then just when we think it can’t get any worse someone will suggest the other two go “fuck off”.  (FYI: We’re working on curtailing Chris’s potty mouth.)

Of course none of that unpleasantness matters because at the end of the day we gather around our beautifully decorated tree in matching handmade sweaters, sipping homemade cocoa and eating artisan-crafted Christmas cookies.*

It was another week of celebrity retweets, unsourced reposts, and copy-and-paste Wikipedia MLK quotes on Facebook as New York upstaged Missouri. Considering the amount of hand wringing in my news feed, I was a bit surprised when a protest rally parading past my office in downtown Pittsburgh drew just literally tens of people.  Proving once again that while it’s easy to be socially active from the comfort of your smart phone, it’s quite another thing to actually be present in the real world.

From a stalking perspective I love Facebook, but beyond that I just don’t get this hashtag activism or these attempts at engaging others in intelligent discourse.  I mean, how much truth to power and honest change can you hope to affect in a virtual reality populated by anatomically-challenged, overweight 50 year-old men who routinely pass themselves off as well-hung, buff 22 year-old studs?

In the same way we now look back and ask, “Can you believe people used to sit around in wool suits and top coats and stupid hats and dump raw sewage in public streets and rivers and then wonder why it was they had such a low life expectancy?”  I believe our children’s children’s children will one day look back and ask, “Can you believe people used to sit around in skinny jeans and ironic T-shirts and stupid beards and dump raw sewage in public streets and rivers, I mean the internet, and then wonder why it was they couldn’t solve centuries of racial inequality in 160 characters or less?”

*That doesn’t happen.  We aren’t the fucking Waltons.

the war on christmas (shoes)

If you have ever had the misfortune of finding your radio dial stuck on some conservative talk show or, worse, your TV inexplicably tuned to Fox News, then you have probably heard some blowhard babbling on about The War on Christmas.  Now I’m not sure about the specifics of this particular war as it doesn’t involve 9/11 American-hating terrorists or red-and-green plaid awareness ribbons, but from what I can gather based upon the two-and-a-half minutes of research I did on Wikipedia, it has something to do with putting the Christ back in Christmas.

These fringe lunatics like to speechify about how wishing you Seasons Greetings is an unconstitutional affront to your God-given American-right to be wished Merry Christmas.  They argue that the tree on display at the public courthouse where the manger used to be is a big old anti-American (possibly homosexual) kick in your Christian groin.  But that, friends, is a lie.  Oh, I’m not saying The War on Christmas isn’t real.  It is real.  As real as Kim Kardashian’s humanity.  But this war has nothing to do with Christ or Kardashian.  This war is about one thing and one thing only: The Christmas Shoes.

For those of you not in the know, The Christmas Shoes is a “song” about a little boy who wants to buy his soon-to-be dead mother a new pair of shoes so that she can avoid embarrassment when she meets Jesus later that night.  The details are sketchy, but the implication is that Jesus either has a footwear fetish or he’s just been named Joan Rivers’ replacement on Fashion Police.  (It’s also possible that the line when mama meets Jesus tonight hints at a clandestine Jesus-Mother rendezvous, but I rather doubt that.)

Anyway I’m never quite sure why the boy doesn’t just go to the Salvation Army and buy her a used pair of Doc Martens or at least try Famous Footwear for a pair of knock-off Christian Louboutins, I mean, do you even need shoes in heaven?  Whatever the case may be, it’s up to an educated wealthy white guy to save the day.  It’s basically the plot of The Blind Side, except the black kid is a white boy and Sandra Bullock is Rob Lowe (or at least was in the Lifetime movie version of the song).

The “song” is written and performed by some “singing group” called New Song.  Now I don’t know who these New Song people are — although a quick Google image search suggests that New Song might actually be Christian music-speak for closeted homosexual —  but let me just say this: New Song is dangerous and they must be stopped.

They and their saccharine-sweet lyrics and their nonsensical narratives and their bland optimisms and their lazy rhyming (time/line, out/about if you’re Canadian).  Understand that New Song, and New Song alone, is the real enemy to Christmas.  Not the clerk at Rite-Aid who had the politically-correct audacity to wish you A Happy Holidays even though she knows you to be a Merry Christmas-loving Christian and not some Hanukkah-celebrating Jew or, worse, a 9/11 American-hating terrorist.

New Song should offend us.  When they sing, I knew I’d caught a glimpse of heaven’s love as he thanked me and ran out/I knew that God had sent me that little boy to remind me what Christmas is all about, we should all stab out our eyes in collective protest.  I don’t care how not cynical you are, I don’t believe for one minute anyone truly buys into this pre-fab feelgoodery.

The War on Christmas?  Oh, it’s on.