Is it possible that Christmas 2018 was the season in which American life reached peak stupid? Of course that’s a rhetorical question — I have no doubt that there are many further depths of stupid …
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Is it possible that Christmas 2018 was the season in which American life reached peak stupid?
Of course that’s a rhetorical question — I have no doubt that there are many further depths of stupid that we can still plumb. And that’s saying something, considering that we are at the end of a year in which Michael Avenatti was actually, seriously, considering a run for President. This guy is a lawyer made most famous by representing porn star Stormy Daniels in a lawsuit against President Trump … which they lost … which caused a judge to order HER to pay almost $300,000 in fees. No, that wasn’t enough for this guy. His next client was a lady who alleged that a Supreme Court nominee participated in organizing gang rapes when he was a youth … and then went on television and foreswore any knowledge of any such incident.
But, just for fun, let’s take a look at the season just passed and see how deep we’ve dug so far.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I submit Exhibit A: “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” which, apparently now, glorifies bullying. Or something. Never mind the message about overcoming challenges and finding your own path, or alternative giftedness, or, you know … fun. I would think people would be more bothered by the idea of a dentist working without any training or anesthetic or disinfectant, but maybe the elves are hypoallergenic.
Exhibit B: Charlie Brown. Within days of “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” being shown on Thanksgiving Eve, the internet erupted with outrage over the seating of Franklin at the Thanksgiving table. It would appear the makeshift meal, put together at the last minute at a picnic table, was racist because Franklin is in a broken lawn chair on the opposite side of the table from the others. So, instead of celebrating that Charles M. Schulz was the first cartoonist anywhere, in 1973, to include black children and white children playing together in his stories, we have to judge everything now through the arrogance of “modern enlightenment.”
Exhibit C: “Kiss the Girl.” No, I know—this isn’t really about Christmas. But it came up at Christmastime. Apparently, one of the famous men’s glee clubs at one of our flagship institutions — the Ivy League — made a habit of asking a woman from the audience onstage while singing this, and then encouraged one of the men to come onstage and kiss her. Okay, I get it — that’s a little passe in this day and age. But, in an attempt to show their enlightenment, not only did the club stop bringing people on stage for this, they have stopped singing the song altogether. And one of the intellectual luminaries at their institution decried the song for encouraging the Prince to kiss the girl without a single affirmative word of consent … from the girl who couldn’t speak … and who would only find her voice if he kissed her. What is truly shocking is that nobody has protested its heteronormative assumptions …yet.
And, finally, Exhibit D: “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” People (and I have a number of adjectives to adjust that title which I will leave out) were offended by the coercive tone of the male trying to talk a young lady into staying at his place for a while longer. Never mind that it was written in the 40s, and the social mores dictated a completely different interpretation of that dialogue. Still, the #MeToo warriors must have their say. Personally, I’m a lot more offended by the money-grubbing dependency of the lady who sings “Santa Baby” and the treacly vacuousness of “A Wonderful Christmas Time,” but, you know, whatever…
As I wait anxiously for the controversy to explode over “Auld Lang Syne” and how it is insensitive to Alzheimer’s patients (“should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind”), I will do my best to resolve to tamp down my outrage reflex in 2019. Not sure I can control my mock reflex, but we’ll do our best.
“Michael Alcorn is a teacher and writer who lives in Arvada with his wife and three children. His new novel, “Charon’s Blade,” is available at Amazon.com, on Kindle, or through MichaelJAlcorn.com.” His opinions are not necessarily those of Colorado Community Media.
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