Friday, January 02, 2009


Have the scolds taken the holiday out of the holidays? The scolds are those people, lobbying groups, government agencies and public service announcements devoted to finding the gloomy side of every situation and then scolding us less conscientious citizens for enjoying ourselves when there are so many bad things out there. Shame on us! A holiday once was defined as a festive, homey, joyous occasion that the populous celebrated. Today, the recently concluded holiday season, which includes Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year ( the gluttons for holidays also include Halloween), has become a time for the Politically Correct scolds to berate the populous with gloom, doom and guilt.

We old folks have a memory of a world that was, but the young today will only remember the scoldings they get for celebrating each holiday and the reasons they should feel guilt and not joy. Listen to the television news, read the newspapers and endure the government warnings on the radio. I would guess that for every joyous expression in the media there are twenty warnings of dangers or scoldings about something to be regretted or avoided. Halloween equals fear. Thanksgiving is now the holiday of hunger. The reason for the season of Christmas is to remind us of suffering and homelessness. And New Years Eve - holy hangover, Batman - you better heed the warnings about excess love and drink.

Halloween once was a holiday in which unsupervised children in costumes ran about the neighborhood gathering bags of sugar- laden candy. Cares and fears were thrown to the wind. Tricks like waxing windows represented the worse of the bad behavior of the little beggars (mostly of the male persuasion). A holiday of youthful exuberance, neighborhood friendliness and and sweet treats now is a holiday of fear, poisoned treats, kidnaping, dangerous costumes and rotted teeth. The scolds whip up a frenzy of imaginary fears into a national hysteria.
Thanksgiving once was a holiday to give the Lord thanks for all the blessings of our nation. It ended in a feast during which we stuffed ourselves on turkey. Instead, we get warnings of food poisoning, diets crashing, gluttony, waste and slaughter on the highways as a result of family visitations. Always there is the report from the animal rights group PETA that we are committing genocide on our brother, the turkey. The scolds assume we common people have no common sense or self control. The new meaning of Thanksgiving in the media is hunger. Gone is the Normal Rockwell picture, ‘Home for Thanksgiving’; rather we see pictures of food lines at shelters and news anchors intoning self-righteous sermons on how most of the nation wants and suffers as only uncaring hedonists stuff their faces.

Christmas once was a holiday for one and all that celebrated the birth of Jesus with church (dare I use the word?) and gifts, both useful and frivolous. Seizing upon the fact that Jesus was born in a stable and equating that with being ‘homeless,’ the scolds get their Christmas jollies by making the day into a media event of reporting on homeless shelters, showing the poor receiving free dinners and giving heart rending reports of families ejected from their homes by unfeeling bankers (and, of course, George Bush ). Try counting the few scenes of joy shown by the media as opposed to the multiple anguished reports of widespread misery gripping the nation. What was once a blessed occasion for family gatherings and gift exchanges now is an opportunity for the scolds to ‘tut-tut’ us about the dangers of materialism, excessive spending, imported Chinese toys, third world exploitation of workers for the sake of our economy and misuse of the earth’s resources. I actually saw one article titled "Is Christmas Bad for the Environment?" Does the crackling of a small fire to burn the ‘happy’ trash previously ripped from packages really sadden mother Earth because of the toxic fumes?

And lastly, New Year Eve, which was once a joyous event in which food and drink were used to welcome a New and hopefully better Year than the last. Partying is bemoaned and buried under dire warnings about police blockades, sobriety checkpoints ( " and you will be arrested ") and excessive revelry and reports on hangover recipes and fatal accidents. I think the a scold’s greatest joy would be if the 12 foot Crystal Ball dropping in New York’s Times Square actually crashed down on a drunken, hungry, homeless person who was fleeing in fear from an abusive relationship. What headlines and warnings could be spun from that. What a start of a new year! All news reports this past holiday season have included the words, "in these tough economic times." What can we expect for 2009?

Ho, ho, ho, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas must go. P.S. New Year’s Eve too.