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Friday, December 10, 2021

Recap: December 10, 2021


The first shot in the War On Christmas.




Fox News' Christmas tree burned down. 

Fox News' Jacques DeGraff is pretty sure it was the work of the Imperial Japanese Navy: 

Somebody asked me, why are you here? I'm here because these colors don't run. 80 years ago, this week, they tried to extinguish the darkness in a place called Pearl Harbor. We didn't fold then, and we won't fold now, because we've come this far by faith. In our tradition we say, this little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine. The red, the white, the blue, and the light of America, we're going to let it shine.   

The forces of evil have declared war on little Baby Jesus! These colors don't run because the Christmas Tree is basically the American flag ... or something, anyway: Open the silos! Deploy the fleet! Get the bombers into the air! Hoist the colors! Sound the trumpet! We won't back down! USA! USA! To be honest, I'm not really certain what "extinguish the darkness" means, but it sounds defiantly patriotic and that's what counts. 

That's what counts.

When the Japanese stage a sneak attack on your ... Christmas tree, I guess?

Well, "Christmas Tree" quote unquote. Given that it wasn't really so much a tree tree as a giant metal cone with a bunch of highly flammable fake evergreen branches stuck on that exploded into flame so fast it made the Hindenburg look like your dad trying to light the charcoal grill on a rainy Friday night. 

A fake tree burns down and, goddamn, it's Pearl Harbor. It's 9/11. It's an attack on Christianity! It's liberalism run amok! It's defund the police! It's the Antifas and the BLMs! This is Joe Biden's America where no tree is safe! It's cities overrun with crime! It's...

What? 

Oh, I see. 

You think I'm engaged in hyperbole, do you? 

Heh. 

No, I'm quoting Fox News hysteria directly

According to Fox News, a homeless guy with mental health issues lights a fake tree on fire and it's a symbol of everything wrong with their world, a direct frontal attack on God himself, and apparently America. 

Never mind that Jesus himself once cursed a fig tree to death because it had pissed him off. 

But then, isn't this one hell of a metaphor for the Republican version of Christmas? 

I mean, isn't it? 

The tree is fake. And flammable. A danger to the public. A fifty foot tall glowing symbol of over-the-top commercialism that was stolen by Christians whole cloth from some ancient pagan winter festival. We gonna learn how some jolly fat man in a red suit is a stand in for Jesus next? The reindeer are The Disciples or something? I mean, they drank a lot of wine in the Bible so maybe the glowing red nose...

What? 

Okay, fine. I'll stop.

But if this was any holiday special from previous decades, the show would end with Fox News learning the true meaning of Christmas. Steve Doocey, Greg Gutfeld, and the stogie puffing ghost of Rush Limbaugh would join hands amidst the ashes and they'd sing Christmas carols with New Yorkers while Tucker Carlson tossed presents to orphans and Rupert Murdoch would lean out the window on Christmas morning and shout in his quavering Australian accent, "You boy, what day is it?" and his shriveled leathery heart would grow two sizes when he learned he hadn't missed it after all because Christmas isn't about giant exploding Nazi Zeppelins but love and kindness and Bill Murray leading everyone in a rousing chorus of Put A Little Love In Your Heart and...

Okay, FINE. I'll stop. Jeez. 

But that's the thing, isn't it? 

Christmas isn't supposed to be about who has the biggest ... Yule log. 

It's supposed to be about the birth of the Christian Savior, right? 

John 3:16. Yeah? Remember that? For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son and so on and so forth forever and ever amen and lets nail him to a cross? 

No? I'm the only one who went to Sunday School? Really?

Okay, but isn't that what these red-face seething Republicans keep telling us? Jesus is the reason for the season! Fuck you, liberals! Peace. Love. Forgiveness. That sort of thing? Charity. Giving. Putting others before yourself. Healing. Spiritual renewal. MERRY CHRISTMAS! Not Happy Holidays, you godless pinko! 

"To give up one's very self — to think only of others — how to bring the greatest happiness to others — that is the true meaning of Christmas.
-- The American magazine, Vol 28, 1889

Isn't that it? 

That, right there? Right? To give up one's very self. To think only of others. Bring the greatest happiness to others.

Do you really need a tree for that?

Do you? 

Instead of rage and chest beating and Pearl Harbor, wouldn't the real lesson of Christmas be to stand in front of the ruins of their silly fake tree and actually honor the birth of their savior? Feed the hungry. Clothe the poor. Heal the sick. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Forgive each other. Love conquers all. Judge not. Deeds, not words. You know, that sort of thing. 

I mean, their God likes to test people. What if this was the test? And they failed? 

I don't know. It's not my religion. But, you gotta wonder: what would Jesus himself have done? 

But then, these people don't really believe in their religion or the lessons of their own supposed savior. 

To them, Christmas is just another weapon they use to bludgeon those they hate. 


And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made...

-- The Sound of Silence, Simon and Garfunkel 

69 comments:

  1. I am continuously baffled by the conservative absolute dichotomy--preaching the words of the Savior while ignoring what they meant.

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    1. Best of many today. My laugh out loud moments are just you spreading joy.

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    2. I SO AGREE.
      It never occurs to ANY of these mindless Pavlovian automatons that maybe Jesus didn't want to be WORSHIPPED, but LISTENED TOO. :P

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    3. It's only baffling if you forget that for most people, form is much more important than substance. Why that should be the case is an interesting philosophical question, but any fair observation of conduct shows it is true, in particular for people who are in the business of form, such as most media personalities and politicians.

      -- EMH

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    4. Too busy trying to LOOK pious rather than actually doing the work of BEING pious.

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    5. I'm not. It's the hypocrisy of the religious pointed out by Isiah and Jesus--going through the motions of ceremonies without doing the work of helping the poor and powerless.

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  2. Linus can make it look nice again.

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  3. It was completely apropos for Fox. A flaming pile of fake.

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  4. Nailed it as usual Jim. Pardon the pun.

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  5. "pretty sure it was the work of the Imperial Japanese Navy:" caused me prolonged laughter in an otherwise somber day. Thank you.

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  6. The totally buff and weaponized macho-magat Jesus can (and wants to) kick the holy shit outta that liberal candyass Jesus.

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  7. I too am baffled by those shouting war on Christmas who continue to care less about their fellow man. None of these people go out and help feed the homeless. None care if the homeless sleep, but certainly not in town under overpasses that give them a modicum of cover from rain, no let's install spikes on them. Not only do they not know the God they profess to be enraged over him being slighted by all of us, they don't care. Just making noise to hate bait the core followers. It's sad and disgusting.

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  8. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Fox paid that homeless guy to set the tree on fire, so they could scream about the War on Christmas

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  9. No one could have captured the essence of the season for the right than you have here.

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  10. To paraphrase your previous essay.
    If everyone has a happy jolly Christmas then what's the point?

    Or

    How can I feel special on baby Jesus's' birthday if someone else ain't fucked?

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  11. My God I'm still laughing crying and shaking my head all at the same time thank you for brightening my day

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  12. I was going to add the quote from Matthew -- feed the hungry, etc. -- if you hadn't. Isn't it funny how the non-Christians (I was raised Christian, but I'm unchurched now) know the New Testament better that those who claim the title?

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  13. Please don't stop with the over-the-top hyperbole. It perfectly synchronizes with their breathless ranting. As for missing the message, that's been so blatantly obvious for so long, it goes without saying. Irony is dead to them and has been since the golden calf descended the escalator.

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  14. ‘Extinguish the darkness’… you mean bring light? Huh?

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  15. I always enjoy your outspoken point of view! As for extinguishing the darkness, I always thought that's what happened when you turned the light on. As far as I'm concerned, that flaming tree was doing its best to illuminate them, they were just too far into the dark to see it!

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  16. I don't see why people keep blaming the Bureau of Land Management. And Jesus would have driven them from the temple with a whip.

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  17. Exactly! It’s astounding how many of them don’t really understand their scripture.

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    1. They don't understand their own scripture because they have not read their own scripture.

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  18. Seeing now the first words out of the angel's mouth was "Do not be afraid", unfortunately Faux has little use for any "good news" brought by the Almighty & Co., LLC.

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  19. Am I the only one who caught the "reverend's" gaff? " ... they tried to extinguish THE DARKNESS." Unless he's the rev for the church of Satan.

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  20. A fake tree for a fake "news" network. How fitting.

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  21. Ok Jim, 'Fox News' Jacques DeGraff is pretty sure it was the work of the Imperial Japanese Navy:' caused the snorting laugh which took me moments to recover from and I was only three lines in. Stop.

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  22. Your response, Jim, is nothing short of brilliant. Thank you. And Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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  23. So, I just threw away a useless plastic toilet plunger which had John 3:16 embossed on its side. I think that just about sums it up. Some freakish conservative christian nutjob thought it was funny to put John 3:16 on a toilet plunger. John. Toilet. I get it. I already knew that they would stop at nothing but stirring the shit for Jesus? I really don't know what to say to these folks.

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  24. “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”
    ― Brennan Manning

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    1. I've seen that observation quoted before. It's totally apt and deserves to be repeated at random intervals.

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  25. How does one that protests so loud and for so long that he doesn't believe, come up with the reason for the season?

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  26. Great read as always. But what happened to the like buttons?

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  27. Was the homeless guy named Marinus Van Der Lubbe? Asking on behalf of the Reichstag.

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  28. The lyrics at the end...just CLASSIC and completely on the nose.

    As for the rest of it - 100% THIS!

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  29. I know that whenever I see a price on something this time of year I say, "Jesus Christ! They want how much?"

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  30. Nailed it once again. And even though I’m a Christian (Not the kind that needs quotation marks) I can’t disagree with one word of this! Ironic r that Jim knows the truth about the teaching of Jesus far more than these blowhards who thump the Bible but never read it.

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    1. While I was trying to compose a comment, I read yours. It is exactly how I feel.

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  31. Maybe the 'homeless' person lit the fire in front of the FOX network to "extinguish the darkness"

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  32. And did you see the remark on the Faux Gnus morning show. Some ditzy woman, blonde, said that they wouldn't quit. They would "build it back better." The guy beside her almost freaked out. No I didn't watch the whole thing, I watched the recap on a clip from the Tonight show.

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  33. I would have been much more impressed if a crowd of naked Satanists had danced around the burning symbol of rampant consumerism. But Satanists are never around when you need them.

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  34. Can you believe they don’t realize Santa is a flaming liberal who GIVES presents to all the boys and girls..even the black and brown ones. Where is the merit in that? Who is paying for this giveaway?

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  35. Leave it to Fox to blow the story details every time.
    Even Bluto knew it was the Germans who bombed Pearl Harbor.

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  36. Leave it to Fox to blow the story details every time.
    Even Bluto knew it was the Germans who bombed Pearl Harbor.

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  37. I read a comment that referred to the incident at "the Bonfire of the Hannities," and I lost it...

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  38. Leave it to Fox to blow the story details every time.
    Even Bluto knew it was the Germans who bombed Pearl Harbor.

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  39. At a minimum the Fox "News" personalities could have staged a photo op holding hands around the smoldering remains of the tree singing "Fa-who fores Da-Who dores".

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  40. This is the truth, nailed it!! Fake Christians surround us with their own scriptures that Jesus supposedly said. The poor and hungry keep getting more lowly at the hands of Republicans, Trumpeteers and Q... Craziness!

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  41. Please sir, may I have some more.

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  42. If I were homeless, with or without mental "issues," I, too, might be pissed off at such a symbol of pretentious wealth & privilege, while so many were without shelter or food. How much would a tree like this cost ? And wouldn't that amount of money have gone to a better place, like a food bank or homeless shelter ? I, too, might have lit a fire ...

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  43. One-Legged SandpiperDecember 11, 2021 at 9:38 AM

    Will Tannenbaum replace Reichstag or does it sound too Jewish to rally around?

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  44. I think the whole point of religion and getting into heaven is that the book is a complicated dichotomy to see if people figure out that you're supposed to help others add do the best you can. It would explain why only 144k get into heaven, because their all of history God only expects that many to get it right. The rest of us are just SOL.

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  45. Thanks for the coffee spit all over my tablet, Jim. Thought provoking work as usual.

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  46. The only thing missing from the Justin's screed was to ask where we were when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.

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  47. ... and all the Whos in Whoville stood in circle, shaking their fists, and shouted, "Fuck you, Grinch! You're what's wrong with this country!" But the Grinch had no idea what they were talking about, and all their neighbors laughed at them.

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  48. Christ said that he did not come to judge and that "...the word that I have spoken will judge" a person's belief or lack thereof in the last days. It occurred to me that the only way his words could judge anyone is by how well or poorly they were kept. That is, if we claim to honor Christ, the litmus test is do we do as he said.

    Jesus was big on doing, on action. When asked how one could have eternal life, he responded by asking his questioner what the greatest commandment is. It's a two-for, straight from Moses: Love God and love your fellow human beings as you love yourself.

    The questioner, a Jewish legal scholar, gave the correct answer, to which Christ replied: "Do this and you shall live." He then relates the story of the Samaritan who saved a Jew from death and tells the young legal eagle, "Go and do likewise."

    Not "believe this and you shall live," or "go and give lip-service to this but hate the Samaritan or Jew." DO THIS. (Keep in mind the original question and how crucial it is in Christian belief.

    Seeing how far the teaching of the churches I attended in my childhood and youth had come from this elegant, simple, and uncompromising emphasis on how we treat others (even if they hate us and we them) was what pulled me away from the church but, ironically, closer to Christ.

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  49. Chief, this is definitely worthy of a larger contribution than I can currently give. Wish I could drop a couple more zeros in there. No one does over-the-top as expertly as you.

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  50. what was the line from animal house.... " did we give up when the Germans bombed Pear Harbor?"

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  51. would enjoy getting a screed from you on Joe Manchin?

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  52. Another Simon and Garfunkel reference for the mumbles of the Right:

    "All lies and jest
    Still, a man hears what he wants to hear
    And disregards the rest"

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