Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos
Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight
They know that Santa’s on his way
He’s loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh
And every mother’s child is gonna spy
To see if reindeer really know how to fly
And so, I’m offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Altho’ it’s been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you.
President-elect Donald Trump has made it clear that political correctness has gone too far. Indeed, he is flagellating PC. But there are still vast legions making a career out of PC. Mr. Trump won the Electoral College but not the popular vote, and the PC lobby is by no means supine. It is possible Mr. Trump has underestimated this challenge, as the following interpretation of “The Christmas Song” suggests.
The roasting of anything can be construed as a hostile act. It conveys a severe, top down, aggressive command-and-control posture, not a cuddly, lateral matrix such as the European Union or United Nations. Indeed, it is an act that could be perpetrated by a sadist. An open fire suggests social irresponsibility about environmental contamination and potential danger. It is heedless of the carbon signature and shows disrespect for the natural order. It also implies a lack of management oversight and the need for an operational audit by dozens of G-Men and federal auditors in gray suits.
Jack Frost, who symbolizes winter, is thought to have Anglo-Saxon or Nordic antecedents and therefore cannot appeal to broad-based multiculturalism. “Nipping” is suggestive of risky indulgence in alcohol, possibly in a furtive or non-transparent fashion. This is anathema to Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley, which prescribe systemic risk mitigation, personal responsibility, and the integrity of disclosures. Further, the fact that carols are sung collectively by a choir in the spirit of teamwork could rob the individual of personal initiative, indeed the very freedom of choice that our Founding Fathers envisioned. And dressing up like Eskimos is verboten. It conveys a condescending cultural imperialism: it says that what to some is a way of life becomes a way of quaint self-display for urban Anglo-centric or Western narcissists. One can only dress up in his or her own “vertical.”
Turkey itself is offensive to vegetarians and there can be no place for it. Not only that, the country by that name is a key member of NATO that we should not offend.
Embracing under mistletoe in an entrance hall suggests an Ozzie and Harriet form of wholesomeness — something to be eschewed in our post-industrial society of disparate influences, in which it is much cooler to denigrate and be “in your face” than to project goodness and fine manners. Indeed, embracing is counter to the counterculture — one needs to show anger and emotional incontinence to the core of one’s being 24/7 to be taken seriously.
Further, not all tots wish to be perceived as “tiny.” Indeed, growing up is difficult and many youngsters want to be seen as older than they are. Insomnia is also medically detrimental, and sleep deprivation can be used to enhance the interrogation of prisoners in secret prisons run by the intelligence community.
As for Santa, he is a well-recognized relic of male dominion whose loyal elves have limited upward mobility. Not only that, there are no safe zones for them at the North Pole. His loading of possibly excessive cargo suggests a lack of understanding of Newtonian physics. The reference to “goodies” could be taken to mean a consumption driven society that uses too much debt and does not save enough, where borrowers take out third mortgages to finance Lamborghinis. And “every mother’s child” is a gross generalization that does not recognize the inherent uniqueness of the human experience. With regard to children spying on reindeer, this suggests a loss of innocence, as it is inappropriate to conduct black bag operations at such an early age. It also reflects indecent skepticism about the capabilities of the Kingdom Animalia, essentially devaluing the fauna and handiwork of Nature.
As for flying reindeer, we have enough problems with drones already and a limited legal infrastructure to govern them — we hardly need more airborne objects that also need to relieve themselves periodically in mid-flight.
There is no such thing as a simple phrase. Life is highly nuanced and generalizations do not do justice to its rich tapestry. Even President Obama is driven by his own studied equivocation. As for kids who are 92 years old, this offends anyone who is literally minded. And saying the same thing so many times and ways suggests both a failure to succinctly communicate — indeed a verbose, orally cluttered society with TMI — as well as poor listening skills of the body politic.
Finally, nowhere in the Song is it mentioned that we must leverage technology. It says nothing about Santa needing to wearing a gray hoodie while downloading special apps to appeal to a left-leaning millennial generation — nor does it provide for a rest stop for a tall macadamia latte at Starbucks. In this way, the song is not “cool.”
“The Christmas Song” is offensive to a vast array of the body politic: it must go.
Perhaps this essay could have been written by Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, or Wolf Blitzer — but it was not.