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countryjake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-11 10:34 PM
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Christopher Hitchens on The True Spirit of Christmas
Christopher Hitchens on Forced Merriment, the True Spirit of Christmas

The Wall Street Journal - December 24, 2011

Mr. Hitchens, who died on Dec. 15, was a columnist for Vanity Fair and the author, most recently, of "Hitch-22: A Memoir" and "Arguably," a collection of his essays. This is a previously unpublished essay commissioned by the Journal, an abridged version of which appears in the print edition of the Review section.


Ever since Tom Lehrer recorded his imperishable anti-Christmas ditty all those years ago, the small but growing minority who view the end of December with existential dread has had a seasonal "carol" all of its own:

Christmas time is here by golly: disapproval would be folly.
Deck the halls with hunks of holly, fill the cup and don't say when.
Kill the turkeys, ducks and chickens, mix the punch, drag out the Dickens.
Even though the prospect sickensbrother, here we go again.

I used to know all the words to this song and can still recall most of them, but unless I am mistaken, the religious character of the festivities is barely if at all mentioned. I suppose there is the line, "Angels we have heard on high, tell us to go out and buy."


read the rest of the article:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204791104...

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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-11 11:44 PM
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1. Man, he sure has a way of nailing it.
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pnorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-27-11 09:21 AM
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2. "in the atmosphere of a one-party state"
I once tried to write an article, perhaps rather straining for effect, describing the experience as too much like living for four weeks in the atmosphere of a one-party state. "Come on," I hear you say. But by how much would I be exaggerating? The same songs and music played everywhere, all the time. The same uniform slogans and exhortations, endlessly displayed and repeated. The same sentimental stress on the sheer joy of having a Dear Leader to adore. As I pressed on I began almost to persuade myself. The serried ranks of beaming schoolchildren, chanting the same uplifting mush. The cowed parents, in terror of being unmasked by their offspring for insufficient participation in the glorious events. "Come on," yourself. How wrong am I"
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-27-11 12:11 PM
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3. "Compulsory bad taste isn't a good cultural sign..."
K&R
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