The genesis of a movement: First there's an idea, then views and opinions are shared, the bandwagon forms, people of all walks of life hop on and, before you know it, you have a full blown movement barreling through society like a runaway train.
Some movements are good: women should vote, for example; all people are equal and, therefore, should have equal rights; and, obviously, we should take care of the environment. Others… well, some are just out of control. How is it we've become a people who must walk on eggshells lest we offend someone?
Don't get me wrong, something needed to be done. We couldn't continue to have Archie Bunker types roaming around, freely spouting off ethnically, insensitive racial slurs – but we are now so far off in the other direction that I had to recently tell my friend Kaoru, when she referred to herself as an Oriental person, that that was politically incorrect. "It is?" she said. "Yeah," I told her, "in fact, you really can't even say you're Japanese anymore." "Why not?" "Because it's insensitive and offensive," I said. "You're Asian." "Oh," was all she said as she processed this information. After a beat, she added, "But I'm from
Now here's another one I just don't understand. First, let me ask you this: Who do you think listens to Christmas music on the radio? People from the Jewish community? Muslims? Jehovah's Witnesses? See, I don't typically think those groups are tuning in to stations that broadcast Christmas music 24/7. And, just to be clear, I don't have any problem with people from the Jewish community, Muslims or Jehovah's Witnesses; and, if there were radio stations that specifically geared their programming to these folks, I wouldn't care. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be tuning in; and I'm also pretty sure that I wouldn't feel offended or excluded by their very existence.
So, how is it that it's seemingly become politically incorrect to play Christmas (root word, Christ) songs that mention the birth of Christ? There are a multitude of Christmas songs out there, probably thousands, but one local station here seems to have about 12 songs that they play over and over and over and over… I am telling you, at this point, I can hardly care any less that George Michael once had his heart broken at Christmas. And, I really don't care, at all, if Clarence has been good this year and gets his new saxophone or not. Furthermore, I do not need to be told, again and again, that there won't be snow in
I don't understand why it's okay to continually walk in a winter wonderland, enjoy chestnuts from an open fire and deck the halls, but not hear anything from the angels up on high.
Why can we roll out the holly and sing praises to our trees, but not go tell it on a mountain that away in a manger, in the little town of
No, for some reason, we must stick with silver bells, jingle bells and sleigh bells. Frosty the Snowman and frosty air – those don't offend. We can hear Eartha Kitt, or Madonna, coo for goodies from that velvet suit wearing sugar daddy, Santa Baby. It's okay to continually hear reports about Rudolph guiding Santa's sleigh. And, we all know that
The thing is, Christmas is not a commercial/retail holiday – oh sure, that aspect has truly taken over, but don't ever forget that long ago, it came upon a midnight clear, when after the shepherds were asked, "Do you hear what I hear?" they met up with the three kings of Orient (Asia…well, Asia Minor) to welcome the baby Jesus on that holy, holy night.
How can it be wrong to air these time-tested, traditional Christmas carols? As I asked before, who's tuning in that would be offended by these yuletide classics? I gotta tell ya, I don't know how it is that we got in this particular handcart, and I don't know where it is, exactly, that we'll end up, but I did actually hear a version of Silent Night on the radio the other day, and in much the way that Christ's birth brought hope to the world, I thought that, perhaps, there may still be a little hope for us yet. And that is what Christmas is all about.
God rest ye merry gentlemen (i.e., mankind – read: humankind)
PS: For the loyal readers out there, I received another Vogel family greeting card this year (see 9-14-08 post Blast from the Past) which has left me, once again, shaking my head...
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