Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Reason and ridicule
I'm getting tired of Bill O'Reilly and his Fox friends with their silly Global War on Christmas (GWOC). They are a bunch of ignorant and intolerant bullies howling about imagined persecution in order to pump their ratings and sell their books. They wouldn't merit more than a brief mention on News of the Weird except for the fact that so many conservative Christians have bought into their "persecuted majority" nonsense.

The persecution narrative is a powerful tool for fundraising and voter mobilization on the right. From our perspective, that's bad enough, but it has an uglier side. A well-stoked sense of persecution leads a group to separate itself from the rest of society and develop a siege mentality. At the very least, this engenders a black-and-white us-or-them mentality that is contrary to healthy democratic functions like compromise and consensus building. A siege mentality leads people to view the world as one of hostile warring camps. Ultimately, the feelings of fear, encirclement, and hostility can transform their metaphorical war into real violence.

The War on Christmas sounds like a joke, but it is a part of something genuinely dangerous. Unfortunately, the only tools I have to counter ugly trends like this are reason and ridicule. That was the reason; here is the ridicule. December 2, The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
I am not going to let oppressive, totalitarian, anti-Christian forces in this country diminish and denigrate the holiday and the celebration. I am not going to let it happen. I'm gonna use all the power that I have on radio and television to bring horror into the world of people who are trying to do that. And we have succeeded.

Take my word for it, Bill, you bring horror into our world every time you open your mouth.
You know we've succeeded. They are on the run in corporations, in the media, everywhere. They are on the run, because I will put their face and their name on television, and I will talk about them on the radio if they do it.

Promises, promises. You promised to give us links on your website and then backed down. Now you're promising to put our pictures on teevee. I'd like to believe you, Bill, but you've burned us one too many times.
There is no reason on this earth that all of us cannot celebrate a public holiday devoted to generosity, peace, and love together. There is no reason on the earth that we can't do that. So we are going to do it. And anyone who tries to stop us from doing it is gonna face me.

Bill, do you even listen to what comes out of your mouth? "Celebrate generosity, peace, and love, dammit, or I'll make you rue the day you were born!!!" How can I mock you when you parody your own self?

I'll be glad when the holiday season is over and the silly right goes back to worrying about liberal college professors.

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