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come again?

The Fat Guy pointed me to this post at Anil Dash's place (Anil also made a rather bah-humbug appearance here while Laurence was at the helm. I'm wondering if Anil has made it his mission to seek out every non-PC post in certain parts of the blogosphere and reply to them). The post was regarding the celebration of Christmas in mostly non-Christian countries.

Anyhow, it's not so much Anil's post I have the problem with, but a comment from one of his readers:

In a post 9/11 world celebrating Christmas is aligning yourself with the Western modernity.

A dollar to the first person who can fully explain the thinking behind that sentence. Thank you.


It's got to have something to do with the candy canes. Perhaps peppermint to Muslims is like garlic to vampires?

LOL. good theory, Laurence, but I think the real reasoning behind the statement is that, post 9/11, we're supposed to be overly sensitive to other cultures and religions, and by celebrating Christmas, we're saying that "we support Christianity and Western life (though I disagree with the fact that the two are entwined) above any other religion and culture".

Hey. I never said I agreed with it.

I'm with Laurence on this one....

What a bunch of schmoes...especially young Mr. PC who doesn't want to be a Christian because it's too "commonplace". Maybe he should become a Raelist?

The thinking behind that sentence is that there ain't none.
Besides, it's Western HEGEMONY not "Western modernity." Sheesh.

Someone's got a screw loose, and it sure as hell ain't you, girl!

Where's my fucking dollar?

>In a post 9/11 world celebrating Christmas is aligning yourself with the Western modernity.

He says that like it's a bad thing...

Anus dropped by my site and called me un-American. - I think I'll cry.

Anus told me that criticizing the left and the pro-PC crowd was un-American.

Hells Bells man! I can't think of anything more pro-American than bashing the left and the smarmy PC twits.

Unbelievable these sheep!

Hey, Brent, that's clever how you made that play on my name! You're smart and funny!

Now, just out of curiousity, if people on the left are Americans, and you're bashing them, how is that pro-American? Perhaps you can pause from your unending stream of witticisms ("Anus"! That's brililant!) to explain why criticizing fellow Americans is bad unless you're the one doing it.

More to the point of this thread, I found that commenter's post as inscrutable as Michelle did. But I'm sure it made sense to them at hte time.

So, does Anil's wife make that "Mrs. Dash" seasoning stuff? And, Anil, not that that I really care about what your politics are, but if your last name really is dash, I could make SO many freaking jokes...

What it all boils down to is that disagreeing with each other IS the American way. If we all got along, we'd be pitiful. Bring on the fights, bring on the bashing.

It would be nice if we were all more respectful of each other while we were doing it, but how is THAT the American way?

it's the use of the word modernity that's the problem, inasmuch as modernity in that form refers to a period of cultural, historical and social practice and discourse that took place from late 1800s through to around 1960, although by then it was disintegrating, fracturing into post modernity, abstractionsim already on the rise, pop art and eventually pop culture as well as the post-structuralist and generally referred to deconstructionist period.
The thinking I assume would be made more clearer if the text read contemporary western values, or something similar.
Which would lead to an assumption being made that the text is arguing that by celebrating xmas, we participate in arituals of gross consumerism and wastage, at t he expense of those who have to serve us, manufacture our products etc at a substandard wage. There are many discourses that also go along with Xmas, above all that of a christian god superior to all other gods. Actually no, a christian god being the only god, and that faith is best represented by 1st world christian countries on television and via other media images that can be used to generate (legitimate?) resentment throughout non-christian/non-xmas celebrating countries.

Geez, I would HOPE so. So does using my coffee maker....and if the terrorists take that away from me, I'm an instant warblogger.

Anything I can do to piss of the seething masses is OK by me... and if I can get a couple of pair of new socks out of the deal, all the better.

This bullshit about we/us/me being responsible for someone's resentment is just that... bullshit... people choose to be resentful rather than doing the hard work of improving their own condition.

It's easy to get pissed off, it's easy to look at what other people have and resent not having it... the hard task is doing the work required to actually get those things.

And to all the BAH-HUMBUG folks out there... it isn't our fault you didn't get that present you just had to have for your fifth Christmas... Daddy probably spent the money on a pint of ginger brandy, that's why he never came home. Ii think I saw him hanging with the hookers in the Bowery last night.

It was your fault.

You were a bad child.

Yes, you caused your parents to get a divorce.

Now, go find a therapist and deal with YOUR issues.

The first M F terrorist who reaches for MY coffee machine loses an arm!

There's no thought, sense or reasoning to that post; just blather.

mike, i admire your protestant work ethic, and in the US where jobs exist, even if they only pay 5 bucks an hour, I think that's a great attitude to have. But you might find that the taiwanese or chinese or indonesian or wherever it is gap and nike are making their clothes these days, well youmight find the average sweat sho worker who earns maybe 5 bucks a month i f they're lucky, well it's easy to understand some resentment towards the white US folk on tele. I'm not agreeing with the terrorists, not sympathising with the guy who wrote the original post, nothing like that - USA, all the way, home of the brave etc, but there is a world of people who don't get those opportuntities that people like you and me take for granted.

You think too much Anil.

IMO - The American left are un-American.

Oh... G... then I guess we better give them everything you have...

Some assumptions you have made (in error I might add)...

I am an agnostic buddist and my work ethic has to do with the fact that self esteem can only be earned... you do productive things and you feel better about yourself... you share what you have, even if it means sacrifice, and you can shave in the mirror without turning on the shower to fog things up...

I don't shop at the Gap and I don't buy anything that has a Nike logo. I'm not gonna advertise for a company after I've paid too much for some POS clothing. I also don't buy anything from China because those folk tend to fill their excess labor needs by arresting people off the streets on "political" charges.

Five bucks a month is better than nothing. That is the alternative. It's a hard lump to swallow but in many places five bucks is a lot of money. Try living on a thousand bucks a month in New York City. I raised two kids on less than 500 a month. Can you say mac and cheese?

Resentment is a choice folks make rather than dealing with their own shit...

"If only America would do something, I would be sitting in roses." quickly becomes "I am sitting in shit because of America"

No, you are sitting where you are because you will not get off your ass and pay the price required to move. Yes, you might die (nobody lives forever) and you might end up worse off than you are now, but if you just sit there, you will remain where you are.

If anyone out there is waiting for someone else to improve their lives they are truely screwed. Most people do not give a small shit whether you are a success or not. That is a human trait, not a particularly American one.

I understand their resentment. I just believe they are responsible for fixing the situation and any bastard that thinks they can improve their situation by destroying anyone who has suceeded deserves all the destruction that comes their way.

I can't speak for you, but I do not take any of this for granted. I have been dirt poor. I've sold blood to feed my kids.

I hope this clears things up for you.

Now, open the phone book, look under Mental Help Professionals and choose a therapist. The first step is admitting you have a problem...

My, my. Such polarization. Whatever happened to disagreement with respect?

Well, Adam, I think the moment someone starts throwing around the word "traitor" politeness should go out the window.

Brent, let me put it this way: the left are traitors, and the right are opportunistic warmongers who would do anything to feed their need to feel superior to all the "dark masses" out there.

Do I believe that? No. But, hell, if you are going to insult me, believe me, I'm not going to sit quietly and take it.

Andy, recheck the definitions of respect.

re·spect ( P ) Pronunciation Key (r-spkt)
tr.v. re·spect·ed, re·spect·ing, re·spects
To feel or show deferential regard for; esteem.
To avoid violation of or interference with: respect the speed limit.
To relate or refer to; concern.

In conversation, only the first applies in the manner you imply. You will notice there is nothing there about sucking up, kissing ass or being gentle. There are times that respect requires a straight-forward vigorous response.

Condecension is one of the ultimate forms of disrespect. Anyone who talks down to me will get verbally bitch slapped into next week. Give me the respect to talk to me as an equal, not some stupid child that is incapable of comprending three syable words.

Emma said it well.
Insult me and I will ask you "Did you mean to say what I think you said?" and if you did... well, then let's party...

btw - I do not believe the Left is anti-American or traitors, just deranged and out of touch with reality.

Uh... that rant was for Adam... damn dyslexia

I was pretty much talking to everyone about the respect thing. I could really care less who was disrespectful first. I usually just don't bother with those who come out disrespectfully in the first place, but hey, do what you want.

"protestant work ethic"?? Surely Protestants aren't the only culture that believes in working for a living?

But hey, what do I know? My first real paying job was at the age of 12, making the princely sum of $1.10 a hour, hand grading tomatoes as they rolled by on a conveyor belt. I was damn glad to have it at the time, but now I feel so exploited. (sarcasm intended)

Hey, does anybody want some cookies? I just baked them. They're fresh...

Mmm, cookies...

Oh well, it worked for my aunt.

You think too much Anil.

I can see how lots of thinking might seem like a problem to you.

Oh Anil. You hurt my feelings. I'm going to cry.

Anyone who is an anti-American leftie and thinks political correctness is brilliant, thinks way too much. However, they never seem to come up with anything practical and reality based. All the PC Left has is symbolism over substance. They are arrogant, paternalistic and condescending and continually on almost every major social and political issue. Happy PC holidays to you Anil.

soryr - in australia protestant working ethic is something that isn't specifically religious, it's more a term about working for the sake of self ebtterment, coems fromorigens of baptism and presbetyrianism (sp?) so i wasn't trying to give you a religous nomenaclature, so I do apologise.
And yeah, I do agree with you - individual has to lift self up, has to work to change society they live in. I was trying to explain how resentment forms, and I think you understood that. The resentment isn't productive or helpful (unless you have a terrorist cause you want to promote) and I actually do think globalisation could be very effective in aiding people to improve thier ocnditions - it's the practice of globalisation by companies such as Gap and Nike that lead to exploitation. Again, apologies if I gvae the impression that I thought you wore them.
And yeah, having lived in Sydney on less than 800 a month, which is equal to 400 US, and only Tokyo is more expensive than SYdney, I know what you mean. COngrats on raising the kids - anyone who can do that in the cirumstances you described, and Michele has written about, really gets my admiration.
And Mike, as someone who has several severe psychiatric disorders and is not a nice cocatail of lithium and efexor and temazapan, I can assure you I have a mental health professioanl working closely with me.
Thanks for addressing the concerns, I'm glad we could understand each others viewpoints without resorting to personal attacks.

here's a good explanation of PWE: link

Resentment arises in large part from long-term charity, doesn't it? I mean, give a man a fish often enough, and he starts believing he's entitled to the free fish, resents that you have the fish to give and have control of the fish, and demands that you give him more. It's happened here with our welfare system and such.

On the other hand, sometimes when you try to teach a man to fish, he feels (rightly or wrongly) that you are denigrating his non-fishing culture.

No easy solutions. I do agree, g, that globalisation is an effective aid. But I think companies like Nike and Gap are also an important part. Explotative? Sure. So were the factories during our own Industrial Revolution. They are businesses, they exist to make money. The answer isn't to drive them out of developing countries, but to pressure them into improving working conditions wherever they're located. External pressure by exposure is helpful. Internal pressure by teaching workers how to demand better working conditions would be more so. Look at what unions did here. Not that I'm a big fan of unions, but they did once serve an important role in improving working conditions.

And thanks for explaining what you meant by "protestant work ethic". I see what you're saying now. Here, it's a bit more prejorative, carrying more of an air of smug moral superiority of those who work only to get rich, and look down upon those who don't. Which is probably closer to the Victorian view, with their social Darwinism and all.

Not the way I was brought up. But I was raised to believe that the world doesn't owe me a living, and I have to work for what I want out of life. I suspect I'm like most people, what we all want is the old Maslow's (sp?) hierarchy thing...most people just want a decent place to live, enough food, etc.

I didn't know a person who wears a Jews for Jesus shirt could be considered "PC."


Let's try that link again, no?

I would think it's obvious.
It's all a response to the hegemonic impulses
inherent in the phallo-centric pseudo-myth
represented by a fat man driving a flying
sleigh pulled by 8 reindeer. The fat man with
the beard is your father, the flying sleigh
is how you think when you were a child, the
8 reindeer represent the 8 steps to virtuality
of the judeo-christian ethos. The obvious
phallic symbol of the two towers destroyed on
9/11 only reinforce the ethos.
They represent the fact that in the West your
father tries to destroy your childhood by
canalizing your cortex to assimilate the
male-centric god of the christian pseudo-myth.
When do I get my dollar?