Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Christmas and Mental Instability

I had hoped to put my satirical wit to work this Christmas poking fun at the poor misguided souls who are offended at the word Christmas. I had expected to point out that, despite years of clinical studies, the cause of the mental disorder that resulted in these fits of inexplicable irrationality had not been clearly identified. I had every reason to believe that I’d be able to stand here on my soap box and laugh at the sad people who whine about Christmas. I had planned on saying things like:

“It has never ceased to amaze me how those in power in our society so often defer to the wishes of the mentally disturbed. You know – the people who have a neurotic predisposition to being offended. Like the people who are offended at the word Christmas. Clearly these people don’t need understanding. And they certainly don’t need to be given influence over our politicians. After all, politicians should concentrate on listening to normal people, not deranged people. Anyone who is offended by the word Christmas should be housed in a caring, compassionate environment and given oodles of drugs and shock treatment to cure them of their horrible malady.”

Drat. I should have created this blog last year and posted those comments then.

Since last year two things have happened to advance the development of our society and to help it become a more sensible, sane place to live.

1. The Truth is Revealed.
First, it appears that some of our politicians have finally come to realize that virtually no one in Canada is actually offended at the word Christmas. In reality, it was really only one or two people with nothing better to do who voiced their negative opinions about Christmas. Unfortunately, for awhile, our governments became as weird as the sad, lippy complainers. They heard their complaints and were frightened. That’s what politicians do. They figure that, for every comment that is sent to them, there are thousands of others who feel the same. Gee, there goes a perfectly good political theory down the drain. Looking back, it appears that for every cerebrally challenged oddball who contacted the government to complain about the use of the word Christmas, there were actually only 2.6 other Canadians who felt the same, sitting in the same room as the caller, drooling in their porridge. The general public never felt this way.

So, given that there is really no political advantage in disrespecting Christmas, it appears that some of our brave principled politicians have decided that Christmas is back in fashion.

2. Commercialism Rules our Sensibilities.
We can always count on business to gage the needs of the general public. Sometimes, however, it takes them a while to do so.

Not long ago our stores and businesses refused to use the word ‘Christmas’ in any of their promotions. They too were taken in by the myth that Christmas offended people. So they expunged the word from their vocabulary. And we should all be aware of the power of commercialism. When businesses start refusing to use a particular word, so too will the rest of society. But, in reality, virtually no one was actually offended by the word ‘Christmas’. Businesses, however, given their need to appeal to everyone and anyone and their fear of offending anyone, weren’t taking any chances. They replaced ‘Christmas’ with the more benign and safe ‘Holiday Season’ What Canadians really wanted, however, was the truth.

This year, we are seeing a more sane rational approach taken by our retailers. Apparently, they have realized that only a small, mentally deficient segment of our population are actually offended by the word ‘Christmas’. And the majority of Canadians are either not offended by the word or actually offended by the absence of it.

Whoopee. Sanity and rationality have eventually won the day. Or, at least, they're gaining ground. This year, Sears, the Bay, Canadian Tire, HMV, and many other Commercial retailers are using the word ‘Christmas’ in their ads and promotions. They would not do this if they felt that it would harm their sales. I guess they have finally come to realize, as most rational Canadians have, that the word ‘Christmas’ is not a commercial liability. Rather, it is a simple truth.

We are living in a culture of insane political correctness. Its followers will continue to try and deprive our society of the joys of ‘Christmas’. I was actually scared there for awhile. But I have faith in human nature. This too shall pass. After all we haven’t risen to the top of the food chain and created the most successful, affluent and tolerant societies in history by accident. (Tolerance, however, need not extend to accepting the ill-founded and ridiculous views of a few imbalanced people. Our way of life is not their's to disassemble - rather, it is ours to lose, if we are not willing to stand up to them.)

In the end, the few mean-spirited and neurotic complainers will never win.

This is Christmas. Not the Holiday Season.

Merry Christmas to you and may the spirit of Christmas – the spirit of truth, peace, forgiveness and new beginnings - be yours for now and for the rest of your life. And may no one ever take that away, despite how hard they try.


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