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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Ho Ho Hmm

(UPDATED! Scroll below for more quotes)

Bound & Gagged Santa Hanged From Miami Beach Home Tree

Have you ever lived next to a neighbour who you knew was just no good?

Not violent or dirty, living with a 100 cats, 50 dogs, and quite a few chickens in his backyard, nothing like that, but just...unfriendly?

The kind that always returns your hale "Good Morning!" with a sullen look?

Never goes to your chirpy neighbour's Labour Day clambakes?

And wouldn't condescend to frequent the block Fourth of July celebrations, because if a holiday is not just too commercial, it's too patriotic for some?

Then, brother, have I got a genus misanthropicus scroogius for you!



Now, admit it.

The first reactions we all have when we see this effigy of a hanged Santa (I have to be careful not to Freudian slip that to "hung Santa", which is just grody, eww stop!) are three, coming one after the other in neuron-blinding speed.

1) Oh My God!
2) LOL!
3) What kind of a SICK BASTARD would do this?

One of my neighbours who, upon watching the local news after the MIA shooting on Wednesday, saw the same report we all did about this story on TV, decided to go to the area, and she told me afterwards,

"At first, when you're driving up, if you didn't know he was hanged or bound with black tape, you'd go, 'oh look, someone has a cool Christmas display with a swinging Santa wearing sunglasses!', something Austin Powers might do!



It's only when you get to about a 100 yards away, over the backyard, that you see this ain't no cool Santa."

The story is this, as reported in the link above:

The Santa doll, which neighborhood children can easily see, was put up by homeowner Ron Stroia at his home located on 555 West 50th Street in Miami Beach, the report said.

"It's just wrong, I mean who would want their children to see this, and it reminds adults of lynching," neighbor Estelle Farnsworth said.

"It's just nasty, there is no spirit of Christmas in this", said another of Mr. Stroia's neighbors.

Heh, I love how the NBC6 report mentioned his exact street address, since you know old Ron Stroia is going to be getting LOTS of little treats in the post this Christmas. And every Christmas for the rest of his existence.

I believe dog poo wrapped in Godiva chocolate boxes is very in this year.

(Hey, if it's good enough for Paris Hilton, it's good enough for you)

When questioned by reporters, about why he went to the trouble of doing this, he said there is nothing his neighbours can do about it, because he is not taking this Santa down -- it's his First Amendment right to free speech.

The police, who were called in, confirmed that.

(By the way, I keep wondering to myself, after reading his name, what is his heritage, out of curiosity-like.

Stroia...Romanian? Italian? Spanish? Russian? Is he a Romanian emigré unused to the American all-out frenzy about Christmas and consequently, did this? Well, just a detail, but it did make me curious)

So, okay, we don't know his reasons, but we can guess from his reply it's as many people suspected:

A curmudgeonly protest about the overcommercialisation and hullabaloo of Christmas.

If it were a religious "thing", it might've been a hanging manger scene, complete with hanging Mary, S&M'ed Joseph, and lynched baby Jesus.

He couldn't do that, since THAT is a religious hate crime.

So ole Ron probably figured that Santa might be a more secular target of his ire.

This despite the fact that any moron knows that Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Papai Noël, Weihnachtsmann, Sinte Klaas, Santy Klo (the Cuban-American version) -- use the international version you like! --, is in reality, Saint Nicholas, a canonised saint of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, and ex-bishop of Tyrrhe.

Did I mention the word "moron" yet? Good.

So far, I've approached this story as any adult with a sense of outrage, but still a goodly amount of bemused humour, might.

But that reminds me that the NBC6 newscast didn't only show adults being interviewed. No. It showed several neighbourhood kids too.



This little girl, who caught everyone's eye because she's as cute as a button, although in a semi-JonBenet type of way, was near tears about the hanging Kris Kringl.

She asked, in a small hurt voice, "what kind of a bad person would do this to Santa?".

Indeed.

You know what I would do?

If my child had nightmares after seeing this, and let's face it, children have nightmares about the things you and I would blow off, like bugs, ghosts, and Anna Nicole Smith, I would send the child psychiatrist bills to old Ron Stroia.

Because every cause has an effect, and though you are welcome to act out on your chosen causes, you don't operate in a vacuum in this life, throwing your actions into a black void of nothingness.

You will get effects afterwards.

Can you imagine if this person had a black neighbour who, when a youngster, had witnessed a lynching of a family member or friend in the deep South?

I wonder if the ACLU would represent HIM in a civil action lawsuit against Mr. Stroia?

I doubt it.

Me, I'm not the type to boycott Tar-jay or Sears because they refuse to display "Merry Christmas" prominently on their websites or in their stores.

If they say Season's Greetings, I don't get morally outraged as a practising Roman Catholic that they just dissed Jesus Christ, the birth of whom is the purpose and meaning of Christmas.

Curiously, I might be offended if some sales' assistant greeted me with "Happy Wintervale!", but who am I kidding:

Have you ever tried to get a sales assistant at Target? They don't exist.

And I am well-aware that FNC's John Gibson has a book out about the attacking of Christmas by the secular West.

But I think he's a weenie, and consequently annoys me, so I won't be putting that book in my Christmas list to buy or to read.

What I am putting on my Santa wish-list this Christmas, is about 2, 3, maybe 4 tins of Tim Hortons coffee, the Maxwell House of Canada -- although that's a deep, deep insult to Tim Hortons.

God, it's soooo good. You should try it!

And I just ran out of my last coffee bean too, voilá!

(I have to use French co-equally, since it's Canada and all)



So let this whole sorry incident be a lesson to my Canadian Santa.

Either you pony up my dozen tins of Tim Hortons punctually for Christmas 2005, or it's curtains for ya!

Comme ça.



ANTI-CHRISTMAS LINKS

The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought

Anti-Christmas Zone

antichristmas (How about being anti-annoying fonts and colours?)

The Anti-Christmas ACLU

IN THE COMMENTS: Ex-co-blogger, Renato, archly mentions that this year, Hollywood has not deemed Christmas sellable to the minions. I suppose after the abysmal Christmas movies of late, especially last year's fiasco-and-a-half, Christmas with the Kranks, they decided to cut their Yuletide losses. Still, how dumb are they? Already certain tom-toms have out the "Hollywood is against our values" meme, and this just feeds into it. And you know what they say -- where there's smoke, there's crackpipes.

UPDATE: Ahh. The media. They never disappoint, do they?

2005 will forever mark the year when the anti anti-Christmas backlash by certain groups, fed up with Christmas being ignored, altered, or obscured by some general "winter" theme, which is as PC-vanilla as one can get, struck back.

And of course, certain media types are putting their oars in, at last.

See, some people thought they had Christian folk whipped into accepting the varying diluted versions of Christmas.

It's like abortion -- once its in the public sphere, they think it's there to stay. They can't conceive of (groan) any kind of reversal of the new policy.

"I pity the fool!", said a wiseman with a mohawk once.

So now that there are incremental backlashes to get the Christ back in Christmas by grassroots activists, the press have come out all huffy in counterattack recently.

(By the way -- when you're lean left, you get tagged an activist. When you lean right, you're a lobby or pressure group. One is a selfless fighter against da man. The other, moneyed bully. Pay close attention to that in future newswires)

Here's this gem of an...oh what shall we call it...not essay...not column...let's call it, a nose-out-of-joint reply by Cynthia Tucker, editor at the Atlanta Constitution-Journal, entitled:

MERRY, MERRY ... WHATEVER

Every year around this time, the harried public -- already worn down by the frenzy of the ah, ahem, holidays -- is subjected to an extended harangue over the name of the season. Shall we say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays"? Will we plan a Christmas break or a winter vacation? Happy Winter Solstice, anyone?

[Do you get the bleeting tone of derision she starts off in the very frist sentence? "Harried", "worn down", "frenzy", "subjected to", "extended harangue".

A Maxim gun of adjectives meant to evoke a feeling of being bothered, chased, and sermoned to by...certain elements. You know who. THE RIGHT-WING TRADITIONALISTS. *shudder*

It's particularly rich that we, the public, are the ones doing the sermonising. Last I checked, your average Joe or Jane America didn't have the bully pulpit of a TV news show or a byline at a paper, major or local.

The ones who harangue about the awfulness of Christmas, are MSM.

She continues, citing Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue's backtrack when his office, after receiving citizen's complaints, had to say he was lighting a Christmas tree, not a holiday tree at the Governor's Mansion]

"The office quickly followed with a second e-mail announcing a "Christmas tree" and attributing the original announcement to a "politically correct brain-freeze."

I do hope we're not nearing a national meltdown over this. With all the bad news bearing down upon us -- the Iraqi quagmire, a huge budget deficit, rising interest rates, Nick and Jessica's split -- are we prepared for an all-out culture war over the decorating of "holiday trees"?


[Where does one begin?

The insinuations of American societal and economic collapse, after the news on the economy this month being almost euphoric, are mind-bloggling. One has to give her props for getting in a dig about the "Iraq quagmire", which that type of person continues to throw out there, in the general, let's-throw-muck-up-and-see-what-sticks, way. I know what would make Ms. Tucker happy this Christmas: if Iraq really became a quagmire]

"This is the most overblown cultural dispute since a national advice columnist dedicated reams of newsprint to an argument over which way toilet tissue should be hung on the holder."

[No, wait, did she just compare the backlash against anti-Christmas secularists, TO TOILET PAPER?

Seriously, this is stunning.

It's Tina Brown commenting on the Pope's funeral all over again. That desperate insider-looking out into a world they just don't get, but whose opinions they anxiously wish to control.

But first, they have to completely disrespect their values.

I'll let you read the rest on your own, but in case you think this is an one-off reply, it's not. Oh no.

There are dozens, hundreds in fact, about the "War against Christmas" and how MSM and CO. are trying to react and push back]

Greetings under siege (Chicago Tribune)
O Fight, All Ye Faithful (New York Times Select)
Whose holy day? (Boston Globe)
What 'War on Christmas'? (Washington Post)
Christmas overprotected by Christians (Drury Mirror)
Not-so-merry militants fighting for the wrong side (Arizona Republic)
Retailers say 'Christmas' isn't under siege (Waco Tribune)
Since when did 'Happy Holidays' become controversial? (Jacksonville Daily News)
Froma Harrop: Trumped-up Christmas kerfuffle (Providence Journal)

10 Comments:

  • I always suspected those rednecked, er, rednosed raindeer of being some kinda animal kingdom posse commitatus!

    Oh, Santa, we hardly knew ye!

    "Oh the weather outside is frightful..."

    By Blogger Ron, at Sun Dec 11, 12:32:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Tough Christmas for the Claus, first no Santa movies, now this. Hey, it could have been worse, kids could have been expose to a Paris Hilton Christmas. Ho ho ho takes on a whole new meaning!

    he should at least have the courage to come out and defend what you're doing. Don't cower and act like a mouse on the night before Christmas.

    Ah timmies, haven't you heard? There was such a run on Tim Hortons coffee that it's not allowed to be exported! Taster's Choice isn't that bad right? :)

    /me ducks!

    I kid, I kid *g*

    By Blogger Renato, at Sun Dec 11, 02:24:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Unrelated: You've evolved up the ecosystem. Might wanna' change the sidebar picture. A frog might do...how about Kermit? You'll be slithering on up soon enough, so indulge me.
    [Spoken like a real Catholic].

    By Blogger Ruth Anne Adams, at Sun Dec 11, 05:38:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I always suspected those rednecked, er, rednosed raindeer of being some kinda animal kingdom posse commitatus!

    Dos puntos for getting commitatus in a sentence in a commentary. 3 if you can segue "varmint" here somewhere.

    Oh, Santa, we hardly knew ye!

    Talking about hardly knowing ye, any COINCIDENCE...RON...that this guy and you share the same first name, hmm, hmm??

    Out with it! I saw you giggling when you put spandex shorts under that Santa.

    The truth is out there!

    "Oh the weather outside is frightful..."

    So is my hair today. Ugh.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sun Dec 11, 05:43:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Tough Christmas for the Claus, first no Santa movies, now this.

    Good point, Renato! Hollywood has forsworn Christmas after the abysmal Christmas with the Kranks.

    Sounds like dinner on 25 Dec at Chez Stroia.

    Hey, it could have been worse, kids could have been expose to a Paris Hilton Christmas. Ho ho ho takes on a whole new meaning!

    Eww. If that is that Carl Jr.'s advert, I'm banning you from Chez Vicky.

    he should at least have the courage to come out and defend what you're doing. Don't cower and act like a mouse on the night before Christmas.

    Good one!

    "The Mouse Roared" would be my alternate blog title now.

    Ah timmies, haven't you heard? There was such a run on Tim Hortons coffee that it's not allowed to be exported! Taster's Choice isn't that bad right? :)

    /me ducks!

    I kid, I kid *g*


    If you don't send me some, I will kidnapp your panettones and hold them for ransom.

    Put up or shut up, Canuck!

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sun Dec 11, 05:48:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Unrelated: You've evolved up the ecosystem. Might wanna' change the sidebar picture.

    Woohoo, Ruth Anne!

    Soon, if I work REALLY REALLY hard, and get a bazillion more Michelle Malkin linkbacks, I might work myself up to the position I was a fortnight ago.

    In a year, maybe...

    A frog might do...how about Kermit? You'll be slithering on up soon enough, so indulge me.
    [Spoken like a real Catholic].


    Kermit der Frosch? I prefer Miss Piggy. She was an amphibian, yes?

    Oh really sick Muppets joke!

    Q:Why does Miss Piggy douche with vinegar and honey?

    A: Because Kermie likes sweet-and-sour pork!

    Hmm. I could've sworn that was funny when I was 8 years-old.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sun Dec 11, 05:55:00 pm GMT-5  

  • It's not that easy bein' green.

    By Blogger Ruth Anne Adams, at Sun Dec 11, 09:38:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Talking about hardly knowing ye, any COINCIDENCE...RON...that this guy and you share the same first name, hmm, hmm??

    There I go again!


    The saddest thing to me is that my name is the URL of a furniture store in Iowa!

    By Blogger Ron, at Sun Dec 11, 10:09:00 pm GMT-5  

  • It's not that easy bein' green.

    Hey, remember those two old guys in the balcony, always raining down critiques at the goings-on?

    Yeah, Siskel and Ebert ruled.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Dec 12, 12:01:00 am GMT-5  

  • There I go again!

    You're so naughty!

    The saddest thing to me is that my name is the URL of a furniture store in Iowa!

    You think you got troubles? I am an insurance company in Germany.

    www.victoria.de

    I mean, INSURANCE -- how declassé. Furniture is where it's at!

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Dec 12, 12:03:00 am GMT-5  

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