Wednesday, December 07, 2005

"Holiday Season"

People on the radio are ranting about the un-Christianification of Christmas, as typified by the trend of saying happy holidays instead of Merry Christmas in stores, etc. This, of course, is rank PC-ness, blahdeeblahblah. But the silliness of the whole thing is that the Christmas season, viewed from non-Christian eyes, is plenty Christian still. It's not Chanuka lights strung from all of the trees throughout the city and campus. It's not Chanuka music that you hear playing as Muzak 24/7. And, as you walk down the streets, the happy holidays messages on the store windows are made slightly more specific by pictures of candy canes and tree ornaments. My dorm had a Christmas carol singing party in the lounge one night this week. For all the hand-wringing and whining, Christmas is plenty alive and well.
And more power to it. I'm all in favor of a more religious country, even if the constant Christmasness is somewhat grating after a while (but no doubt it's annoying for everyone else as well. A month of Christmas music...), and does serve to remind me of the degree to which I am not really part of the general country, as if I needed more reminding. That's why all this PC stuff amuses me as much as the right-wing hand-wringing- both sides are so totally off my reality. I don't celebrate Christmas, I'm not offended by its existance, and I see no signs of its stopping to sweep the nation. It's out there, alive and kicking, and I don't really care. But I do have to say, I'm looking forward to visiting Israel, where the stores are already selling sufganiot, dreydls, and chocolate coins, the taxi drivers will wish me a chag sameach, and for eight days, every street in Jerusalem is a string of lights. It feels...almost like what Christmas season must feel like the Christians.

Bomb Scare?

Just heard about this man getting shot by air-marshalls. Of course, it is far too soon for me to make any intelligent comments on the subject, which is just why I have a blog. First, I couldn't help laughing at the report offered by the person in charge of air-marshalls or something like that, which include the phrase "The air marshalls fired shots...and, in fact, he is now deceased." As if it was a sudden and coincidental heart attack or something.
Then there are all the actual implications of this, which just boggle the mind. A success of security? A failure that he got it on the plane in the first place? Look, terrorism is alive and well? See what happens when we annoy the terrorists in Iraq? What foolishness of patriotic craziness that got an innocent nut-bag killed? Well done alertedness, all? It's a fascinating feeling standing on the cusp of a story that's about to go in a billion crazy directions, before anything has happened, when we are free to say what we will and later feel really really stupid for being wrong. By tomorrow, the story will be swept into the stream of news, but so far the talk show hosts, who actually broadcast hours before I hear them, haven't talked about it, which means that it has a surreal, up-to-the-minute feel to it. And the best part is that it doesn't even have an attendant tragic edge to it, really, unless you feel bad for the poor kook/evil terrorist, depending how it turns out. But since I don't, there is really nothing to mar the joy of watching this story about to unfold.