Posted by James McPherson on December 20, 2013
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone. I hope your appreciation of the season hasn’t been dampened by recent controversy involving those wildly popular but oft-misunderstood bearded guys.
No, I’m not talking about “Daddy Duck” Phil Robertson and the other guys of “reality” television’s “Duck Dynasty” clan, as I see no need to join the discussion over whether clan leader Phil Robertson is a homophobic racist or just a committed Christian (other than to point out that those who claim that Robertson’s free speech rights are being violated are clueless about the First Amendment).
I’m more interested in the controversy involving those other bearded guys — Santa Claus and Jesus — whom a defensive and “very, very blonde” professional spokesmodel Megyn Kelly brought into Fox News’ annual weird, wacky, hypocritical and ultimately pointless (except to fire up viewers and drive up ratings) “war on the war on Christmas” by insisting that both were white guys.
Not surprisingly, Kelly was wrong about both Jesus and the inspiration for Santa. (Incidentally, Bill O’Reilly has now declared the war over, making himself the commanding general in a Christian victory, and the “war on Christmas” is just a subset of the equally ludicrous (at least in this country) “Christians are persecuted” meme, anyway.)
The “white Santa/white Jesus” discussion continued over several days (not much real news before the holidays, apparently), and I actually heard someone on television question whether we even know Santa’s gender. I’m not making that up, though I wasn’t in front of the TV and so don’t know who said it.
Thinking more about it though, it occurred to me that since I am all for gender equality, I should examine the evidence. I then posted my findings on Facebook, but thought I’d share them here, too:
- Santa is beloved, despite his obvious weight problem — in fact, people leave Claus milk and cookies, rather than leaving an obnoxious note saying, “Lose some weight, fatso!”
- Santa spends a lot of time in a “workshop,” and apparently has a thing for toys.
- Santa needs a Rudolph Guidance System to make it through the fog and finds every house — despite no record of having ever asked anyone for directions.
- Mommy was spotted kissing Santa Claus.
- Santa stays out all night on the night before a holiday.
- Claus apparently hasn’t had a wardrobe update for decades.
- Santa has been accused of being a “peeping Tom,” spying on people while they’re sleeping.
- Santa prefers to do things the hard way — i.e., going down the chimney rather than simply using the spare key hidden near the door.
- Santa postpones delivery of gifts until the last possible moment — and then frequently gives you something that someone who really knew you would never give.
- Many people write to Santa, but he never writes back.
I report; you decide.
Posted in History, Journalism, Legal issues, Personal, Politics, Religion | Tagged: Christmas, Duck Dynasty, Fox News, gender, Jesus, Megyn Kelly, Phil Robertson, race, Santa Claus, war on Christmas | 20 Comments »
Posted by James McPherson on December 10, 2009
We’ve had bitter cold temperatures here, and the weather has been even rougher in much of the nation. Shopping remains to be done and vacation plans made, at a time when many Americans suffer from economic hardships they’ve never known before. Meanwhile, people in other parts of the world have it even worse, and I’ve been thinking lately of the verse from Queen that goes,
Oh my love we’ve lived in troubled days
Oh my friend we have the strangest ways
All my friends on this one day of days
Thank God it’s Christmas
With that in mind, I offer the following along a few days early, with the brief heartfelt wish from the same song to “let it be Christmas ev’ry day”
Queen: Thank God It’s Christmas
Posted in Music, Personal, Religion | Tagged: bad weather, Christmas, Christmas song, cold weather, economy, Queen, Thank God It's Christmas | Leave a Comment »
Posted by James McPherson on December 28, 2008
The second-most popular CNN story right now is actually a series of photos taken of the Earth by NASA. They include photos of a hurricane, damaged Gulf Coast wetlands, disintegration of a massive ice shelf, flooding in the Midwest, wildfires in California, clearcutting of forests in Bolivia, and irrigated fields in Sudan.
The most-popular story? “Santa shooter carried secret guilt, attorney says.” Not guilt about dressing up as Santa and killing nine people on Christmas Eve, but over how his ineptitude as a parent left his son (a son that until recently he kept secret from his now-murdered ex-wife) a paraplegic.
In the meantime, Israel continues to celebrate the Christmas season by defying the United Nations–keeping with its long tradition of ignoring the UN and recognizing that sanctions only matter when those sanctions are violated by countries the United States want to invade–and waging war against Palestinians.
Israel knew, of course, that it would have the full support of the U.S., even as Bush Administration continues to contribute to a potential polar ice cap-like meltdown of the Middle East.
The New York Times leads with a story about the Israeli bombings entering their second day, but its lead sidebar is headlined, “Israeli Foreign Minister Says Hamas Is to Blame.” Now there’s a shock. The next story is more important, in the long run: “Across Mideast, Thousands Protest Israeli Assault.”
As a more positive offering marking the end of the Christmas season and the hopes for a better New Year, I’ll end today’s post with a Christmas version of “From a Distance”:
Posted in Journalism, Politics, Science, Video | Tagged: Bolivia, California wildfires, Christmas, flooding, From a Distance, Gulf Coast, hurricane, Iraq, Iraq War, Israel, Middle East, Midwest, NASA, NASA photos, New York Times, Palestine, Palestinians, polar ice caps, Santa Claus, Santa shooter, Sudan, UN, UN sanctions, United Nations, United States, wildfires | 27 Comments »
Posted by James McPherson on December 24, 2008
After posting for 23 consecutive days (and 33 of 34), I’m taking a few days off for Christmas. As my holiday greeting to all of you, whether you’ve been bad or good, I’m posting YouTube versions of a dozen of my favorite Christmas videos below. Nat King Cole’s “A Christmas Song” might normally top the list, but Queen’s “Thank God It’s Christmas” seems especially appropriate this year.
One warning: The last two are difficult to watch, and therefore perhaps the most important. Frankly I think everyone should see the last one, but if reality bothers you more than reality TV does, you may want to hold off on this video until after Christmas Day–perhaps just before you do your New Year’s resolutions.
Queen: Thank God It’s Christmas
Nat King Cole: The Christmas Song
Mariah Carey: O Holy Night
Mahalia Jackson: Go Tell It On the Mountain
Willie Nelson: Pretty Paper
Celtic Women: In the Bleak Midwinter/The First Noel
David Bowie and Bing Crosby: Little Drummer Boy
Kristin Chenoweth: Do You Hear What I Hear?
Sarah McLachlan: Wintersong
Enya: Silent Night (Irish)
Band Aid: Do They Know It’s Christmas?
John Lennon: Happy Christmas (War is Over)
Posted in History, Music, Personal, Politics, Religion | Tagged: Band Aid, Bing Crosby, Celtic Women, Christmas, Christmas carols, Christmas favorites, Christmas music, Christmas songs, Christmas videos, David Bowie, Do They Know It's Christmas?, Do You Hear What I Hear?, Enya, Go Tell It On the Mountain, Happy Christmas, Happy Christmas War is Over, In the Bleak Midwinter, John Lennon, Kathy Mattea, Kristin Chenoweth, Little Drummer Boy, Mahalia Jackson, Mary Did You Know?, Nat King Cole, New Year's resolutions, Pretty Paper, Queen, reality, reality TV, Sarah McLachlan, Silent Night, Thank God It's Christmas, The Christmas Song, The First Noel, Willie Nelson, Wintersong, YouTube, YouTube Christmas songs | 1 Comment »
Posted by James McPherson on December 23, 2008
Apparently Sarah Palin’s biggest regret of her recent bid to take over Dick Cheney‘s job was she was “not allowed” to spend “enough time with the media.”
Of course Palin has been everywhere in the media since the election, but was kept under largely under wraps during the campaign itself. John McCain talked more about “Joe the Plumber” than he did about his own running mate.
Yet despite the fact that both McCain and Palin complained about the press treatment of her during the campaign, Palin now wishes she had spent more time with the media. On that, I suspect most people in the media agree with her.
Still, now she’s getting almost as much of airtime as her northern neighbor, Santa Claus. Perhaps tomorrow or the next day she could wish us all a Merry Christmas by singing a favorite children’s holiday song about Rudolph (a name, interestingly, that originally meant “famous wolf shot from a helicopter”) while somebody butchers a reindeer in the background.
Posted in Journalism, Politics | Tagged: 2008 election, Christmas, Dick Cheney, famous wolf, Joe the Plumber, John McCain, Media, media bias, media coverage, Merry Christmas, origin of Rudolph, Palin coverage, Palin media coverage, presidential campaign, reindeer, Rudolph, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus, Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin's Christmas | 2 Comments »