16 December 2008

Happy generic Holiday

I should first note that I'm not going to give any credit, begrudging or otherwise, to the disingenuous "War on Christmas" silliness of the right-wing Christians. It is, I have long suspected, an invention of the Business Right designed to head off creeping anti-consumerist sentiment among evangelicals and fundamentalists. I can remember a time not too long ago when the main complaint among Christians was that Christmas had become too commercialized and materialistic, and they instead wanted to focus on personal and spiritual gifts. But, in a world where our economy is heavily dependent on your need to buy the acceptance of others with the latest gadget or expensive diamond, this subversive cancer obviously couldn't be allowed to spread. Hence, the War on Christmas was invented to remind good Christians of their duty to capitalism.

But, I must say...

The insistence of our moribund commercial culture to refer to a generic "holiday" really is reaching absurdly asinine levels. I appreciate the goal of being as inclusive as possible, but really, it's not going to kill you to recognize what these mysterious "holidays" you speak of specifically are. On a personal level, perhaps people find it intrusive to ask which holiday you recognize before greeting you, and I pity the poor clerk who asks the wrong fundie Christian and gets a sermon. But, for larger audiences, I don't see any harm in mixing it up a bit. I reckon this would make people from a non-Christian background feel more included rather than lumping them all into a grand homogeneous consumer bacchanalia. Then again, that's rather the point, isn't it?

Credit where it's due, I've actually seen a Best Buy ad reference Hanukkah. That's a step in the right direction.