Sunday, January 3, 2010

In Which I Upset Everyone I have Ever Met, Probably

OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY, It's time for another one of Elly's insane rants that will probably make people mad at her because it dissects common things that lots of people do but look I don't CARE okay!

So hey, you know how all those winter holidays just happened a minute ago? (By the way, I wasn't dead, just computerless due to winter vacation shuffleage. I'll be purchasing a new machine soon, as my actual laptop is now a hunk of useless.) Yeah, 'member them? It seems like there is not a single year that goes by that this exchange does not occur in some manner.

Person A: Happy Holidays!
Person B: Man, that's so PC and lame. Just say Merry Christmas like you're SUPPOSED TO.

Or something similar, with varying degrees of hostility and/or declarations of "j/k."

So, I think we all know what's going to happen now.

No, don't leave. Come back. At least read the whole thing before you click that X button or leave an angry comment about my PC Policery. No, I'm not sure if policery's a real word, but it should be and so I declare that it is.

...This rant is all over the place, huh?

ANYway. The thing about being ZOMG SO PEE-SEE is that it is not intended to be about policing people's language for the lulz and a smug sense of superiority. (It's not INTENDED to be, which doesn't mean it never IS, but my rants on Gotcha Policing BS are for another time.) It's about not being a huge jerk who writes other people off based on the fact that they are different from you.

That in mind: Dear Christians who will say that YOU celebrate CHRISTMAS the was GOD INTENDED or the same thing in a way that isn't so overtly trollish, I am thinking you would kind of hate it if everyone you talked to all winter just said "Happy Hanukkah" with a sneering grin every time you said "Merry Christmas." On top of THAT, imagine that, all winter long, the radio plays maaaaaaybe three novelty songs about Christmas, and about a kajillion about Hanukkah. To say nothing of all the Hanukkah specials on TV, with not a one about the actual one you celebrate, unless they still air that Rugrats special. (I go with Hanukkah here because it's the most mainstream-ly known "alternative" holiday to Christmas, but feel free to substitute any other religious winter celebration you like, as there are a whole lot.) See, as it turns out, the Annual Christmas Smothering that starts ten minutes after kids go Trick-or-Treating these days becomes a lot more obvious and uncomfortable when one isn't actually, you know, Christian.

Let's keep that in mind, here. In America, there is this crazy little thing called "Freedom of Religion." In fact, some craaaazy hippies have interpreted this to mean they can also be free FROM religion, meaning that they can choose to consider themselves Atheist or Agnostic, and have no sort of god in their lives at all. Crazy hippies like me, let's remember. And since it is now 2010, which is officially The Future, and we have become a much more enlightened and intelligent society than we used to be, these people are no longer burned at the stake or even laughed at as quaint novelties (in public, anyway). And yet, while we Americans Of The Future don't blink an eye when someone tells us they are Muslim, or Jewish, or Pagan, or...Norse or something, once the weather turns wintry, so many of us are quick to completely write off the idea that they might have their OWN celebrations, that don't involve decorating trees because a shiny baby was born in a barn. That, in fact, maybe THEY have holidays that might have some tenets about hope and love and togetherness and all that crap that is touted in every Christmas special ever. And when someone says "Happy Holidays" in an attempt to not leave them out or make them feel marginalized despite not being able to tell on sight what holiday(s) they might celebrate, if any, it is kind of rude to sneer back "Merry Christmas," as if that were the only option.

For that matter, even if Christmas IS the only religious holiday you celebrate, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, completely non-denominational holidays based on the REVOLUTION OF THE ENTIRE PLANET as determined by the calendar commonly used in the modern world, are literally a week after Christmas. "Happy Holidays" is a much easier, more convenient and less messy way to wish one has a joyous celebration than "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year." This is to say nothing of typing all that, sweet diety of your choice in a handbasket.

And for all of those scared, or angry, or...whatever at the PC brigade for some supposed violation of your rights to free speech, I have some very simple points to make: One, no one is MAKING you be politically correct, and as soon as such legislation goes into place you can bet your bottom dollar that I will have no kind words for it. Free speech is free speech. But, you know, let me know when it becomes the law, alright? Two: You are still "allowed" to say "Merry Christmas" to people if you KNOW THEY CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS FOR EFF'S SAKE. And Three: It is a known law of the universe that as soon as one opens one's mouth to say they "aren't PC" anything that follows or is justified by this will make one sound like the bag attached to an object used by women to clean out their nether regions. Scientific FACT.

Hopefully my lighthearted tone and reasoning skills of death will have reduced any negative feelings felt as a knee-jerk reaction to the introduction of the topic. Please feel free to not tell me that I am taking things too seriously once again, as I will point and laugh and either ignore you or send you links to some seriously 101 crap. However, any comments asking for legitimate discussion or clarification, offering agreement and a slice of Word pie, or even just agreements to disagree are perfectly welcome. Please, keep in mind that you are discussing t3h ev0l political correctness with someone who frequently makes jokes that her best friend (a WWII history buff for those of you who don't actually know her that well) is actually Adolf Hitler and her father is Josef Stalin.