Sunday, December 22, 2013

Someone Knock Me Over With A Feather: Ben Stein Doesn't Like The White House's Holiday Tree

(I know: how can it be, Ben Stein finding fault with the Obama administration? Ben Stein defending a Republican talking point? Ben Stein bravely standing up *cough toady cough cough* for that poor downtrodden group, the American Christians?)

I just found an editorial by Ben Stein's grandfather which originally appeared in the Viennese newspaper Neue Freie Presse in 1935, arguing that this Hitler fellow wasn't so bad and that everyone should just calm down and give the man a chance. Some say it was this editorial which killed Karl Kraus, although of course it's impossible to be sure about such things.

"Happy holidays" is an improvement over "Merry Christmas" as a greeting to complete strangers because the latter will offend some people, whether that offends you or not. But I've had a holiday epiphany and I can improve even upon "Happy holidays" : just say "Have a nice day." Or "Hello." (These both have the great advantage of being equally appropriate all year round.)

Or just keep yr trap shut. That'd work too. Now remember, I'm giving you free advice here about how to behave around complete strangers. I'm not coming after the Christmas tree on yr front lawn, I'm not going to crash your Christmas party and begin shouting angry atheist polemics. And all I'm asking is that you also have the common decency to leave me alone too.

If, that is, you're a complete stranger to me. My friends, my family: don't worry about a thing. We're cool. Say whatever you like.

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