"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Thursday, November 15, 2007

'Tis the Season

"Lowe’s is absolutely committed to the concept of selling Christmas trees."

We suppose that's a good thing. But the company apparently published its Christmas catalog and, on the page where it displayed Christmas trees, those items were described instead as "Family Trees" (whatever they are). Here's the story on the local news in Winston-Salem, North Carolina:

It seems to us a bit early to start this year's round of "Town Cancels Annual Live Creche Display, Cites Complaints From Muslim Lawyers" stories. These have become tedious even for us, and we take second place to none in being cranky and combative. It's just that it's no longer news -- and no longer surprising -- that bashing Christians in particular and public displays of religion in general has become a recognized intramural sport. It's boring.

And we certainly don't think that any grownups at Lowes sat down and decided that they'd best not use the world "Christmas," lest their stores be firebombed by militant Wiccans.

But what we do think is that it has come to the point that certain words (Christmas, Jesus, Christ) stand out in the minds of at least some ordinary people as being terms that probably ought not to be used in polite company.

[This is not limited to Christians. I've often heard the circumlocution "Jewish person" and wondered if the speaker knew the term he was searching for is "Jew." I speculate that in the experience of some, the term "Jew" is so typically preceded by an uncomplimentary adjective or adverb that the root word has itself acquired a negative connotation in their mind. I wonder if the speaker realizes just how much he's revealing about himself in his hesitation to simply say "Jew."]

This occurs because of wrangling and complaints about "Christmas Parties" at schools, and "Christmas decorations" at malls. It occurs when the school principal thoughtlessly blocks the formation of a "Christian Club," while encouraging the "Muslim Students Forum" and the "Black Studies Union" as expressions of mulitcultural tolerance. Normal people -- people not paying particular attention -- acquire the idea that there's something objectionable, offensive, or rude (at least to some) about saying "Jesus" or "Christmas" in public. It's a feeling that just seeps into their fuzzy little brains, which are otherwise largely unoccupied.

So we suspect that some silly catalog writer came upon the "Christmas Trees" and decided that there was no reason to gratuitously irritate non-Christians. And so "Family Trees" were invented.

I rather enjoy adhering to a religion so powerful and dangerous that the basic terms used to describe it are dirty words.

Labels: ,

Comments on "'Tis the Season"


Blogger Julie R. Neidlinger said ... (11:39 AM) : 

"Family Trees" is just stupid-sounding.

Not to sound uneducated, for lack of better phrasing.

Family Trees. Doesn't make a bit of sense. Sounds like genealogy.


Blogger girlfriday said ... (12:16 PM) : 

Eloquently put, Julie.

Course, GF, Christmas trees aren't really Christian. That's not the point, is it? The point is--they're associated with the Christmas Holiday, just like Menorot is associated with Hanukkah. This is just another way to manipulate language. Is it too trite if I start quoting Orwell? If so, I'll just go bang my head against a cement wall for a few minutes.


post a comment