Submitted by: Veronica Coffin
Written by: R.T. Kelley, AZ
I’m not religious. I don’t abide by anyone’s scriptural dogma. But imagination my shock last week when I discovered that Marshall Elementary School in Flagstaff has long since exchanged Christmas for an old “Seinfeld” rerun. Literally.
It’s called “Festivus,” and it is Hollywood’s politically correct replacement for Santa Claus, Christmas carols, the Christ motif, jingle bells and twinkling Christmas tree lights. I couldn’t believe it. At first I thought it was all just a joke.
Then I learned that the profoundly disturbing issue is that Festivus actually was originally formulated as a joke, a flippant fabrication of vacuous artifice by a “Seinfeld” screenwriter that has been rammed like a red-nosed reindeer carcass into the gullible hearts of the kids in our community. Wikipedia even defines Festivus as both a “secular holiday” and a “parody.”
In other words, our school kids are being forced to “celebrate” a blatant farce.
My wife (who was almost in tears) and I just got the letter from our daughter’s school:
“Dear Families, the Holidays are fast approaching and along with them is our own 11th Annual Multi-Age Festivus Extravaganza! It will be held the last week of school before winter break. What is Festivus you say?”
I never heard of it. I didn’t trust what the school declared, so I started researching the Internet. Festivus’s central icon is a bare aluminum pole on a stand (seriously) instead of a Christmas tree – a veritable homage to pop culture nihilism. The inventor (prophet?) of such meaningless nonsense is screenwriter Daniel O’Keefe. In his own words, here is the origin of what our children now celebrate:
“Actually, I didn’t want to put it on TV,” O’Keefe told CNN in 2013. “It was sort of a family disgrace, and then my younger brother let it slip that this went on [as a joke in the O’Keefe home], so the other writers and Jerry [Seinfeld] said, yeah, ‘We’d like to give this to America.’ I said, I don’t think America wants it at all or should have it, but they prevailed upon me …”
“I didn’t pitch it. I fought against it,” O’Keefe told The Wrap in 2013. “I thought it would be embarrassing and drag the show down, but … Jerry liked it.”
“I was honestly surprised anyone gave a flying f—,” he added.
The school letter further invokes parents to provide our kids with desired craft-worthy Festivus items for the wonderful event: “aluminum foil, Oreos, Capri Suns … paper plates … cylindrical objects (TP/paper towel rolls, etc.).” This is, of course, a litany of worthless trivia, meaningless flotsam that has replaced an entire cultural history. Used toilet paper rolls instead of Christmas stockings?
The letter then conflates Festivus with the controversial Common Core curriculum and schoolroom exercises in childhood diversity group think.
Despite all the letter’s spin and blurb, the Flagstaff school’s farcical “fun” ceremony is clearly an administrative avenue out of the knotty problems of political correctness, wherein the majority in a (formerly) democratic society do not have the right to vote on anything anymore. If the parents of even one kid in the school system are offended by Christmas, then it, like the plague, is cleansed from the buildings.
Never mind that I am beyond offended by this cowardly fiasco; I am burning with outrage. Outraged not only by the relative erasure of an important foundation of my own childhood that I wish to pass to – and share with — my daughter, but also disgusted by the educational system’s celebration of patent nonsense invented by an airhead television sitcom which — dare I say — is against my secular religion.
Thank God (or our collective atheism) that at least our kids get the joy of playing with plastic bags full of used toilet paper rolls instead of the oppressive traditions of Christmas that I – and my parents, and my parents’ parents, and my parents’ parents’ parents – used to become decent men and women.
Who really needs any semblance of authentic cultural history when – in our instantly disposable TV society – we can simply strike the delete button, cue up Hollywood’s moral compass and cut-and-paste new traditions for today?
Should we be really surprised, then, when rootless, aimless kids who are spiritually void hit the news again with murderous rampages in America’s schools (anesthetized to mindless, graphic violence by the same medium that provides us with “Seinfeld” and the pointless inanity of Festivus itself), attacking teachers, slaying fellow students, wailing like lost souls in a rootless Arctic wasteland, dancing around bare aluminum poles in a primal joke that celebrates an absolute, secular emptiness?
And who among us secular rationalists would have imagined that there really is a mean, green Xmas Grinch and that it increasingly trolls — like a meticulous insect exterminator — sterile hallways and offices in local school systems, replacing traditional Christmas presents under blue spruce trees with makeshift hollow monuments that have absolutely nothing of value inside of them?
The new “pop” culture introduces these anti-Christmas and anti-Thanksgiving shows through sitcoms, further entrenching this anti-Christian philosophy in young people.