Sunday, December 19, 2004

This, I guess, is acceptable discourse on the right:

...When it comes to pushing the multicultural, anti-Christian agenda, you find Jewish judges, Jewish journalists, and the American Civil Liberties Union, at the forefront....

It is the ACLU, which is overwhelmingly Jewish in terms of membership and funding, that is leading the attack against Christianity in America....

These passages come from a World Net Daily article called "The Jewish Grinch Who Stole Christmas."

It should be noted that the author, Burt Prelutsky, identifies himself as Jewish, so when I first read the article, I thought I might be able to apply the rule that says you have leeway to make fun of your own group in a way outsiders can't. Then I realized that that rule doesn't say you have leeway to accuse your own group, in all seriousness, of trying to destroy another group's culture, in words that echo the pronouncements of the other group's most dangerous genocidal hatemongers.

Oh, sorry -- according to Prelutsky, it's Jews who are the genocidal hatemongers, or at least genocidal hatemongers in embryo:

I happen to despise bullies and bigots. I hate them when they represent the majority, but no less when, like Jews in America, they represent an infinitesimal minority. I am getting the idea that too many Jews won't be happy until they pull off their own version of the Spanish Inquisition, forcing Christians to either deny their faith and convert to agnosticism or suffer the consequences.

This isn't a joke, even though Prelutsky has worked as a TV comedy writer. So has Daniel O'Keefe -- he's the Seinfeld writer who gave the world Festivus, the bizarre winter holiday celebrated by George Costanza's father every December 23, with a bare aluminum pole instead of a tree, wrestling matches, and a ritual airing of grievances. When it comes to Christmas, Prelutsky wants Jews, atheists, and the mellower Christians to do exactly what Christian conservatives prescribe; O'Keefe and his real-life father, Dan, who actually made up Festivus and introduced little Daniel to it a few decades ago, are perfectly comfortable if Festivus celebrants deviate from tradition, according to today's New York Times:

Interpretations of the holiday's rules differ among Festivus fundamentalists. Take the pole. On the show Frank Costanza says it must be aluminum and "it requires no decoration." But he does not specify what should hold it up nor its exact height....

Mike Osiecki, 26, a financial analyst in Atlanta, scheduled his Festivus gathering for friends and colleagues for Friday. He said his pole, which he bought for $10 at Home Depot, is suspended by fishing line on his porch, so "people can stare at it or dance around it if they want to."...

Scott McLemee, a writer, and his wife, Rita Tehan, had no pole at all at their party in the Dupont Circle neighborhood in Washington. They are two of the Festivus faithful who held their parties early in December before friends headed home for more traditional affairs.

Both Dan O'Keefe and his son bless the variations.

Festivus seems to be thriving, even though all Festivus celebrations seem to be entirely voluntary and are financed exclusively by the participants, rather than by, say, school taxes. Is there a lesson here?

The Times notes that Daniel O'Keefe is still writing comedy -- he's currently working on the sitcom Listen Up. Mr. Prelutsky now focuses on drama -- I guess he's too much of a scold these days to get work writing TV comedy, something he hasn't done since 1982. The closest he's come to tickling funnybones recently is, it seems, a book with the wince-inducing title Conservatives Are from Mars (Liberals Are from San Francisco), which comes recommended by the King of Comedy himself, Ward Connerly.

No comments: