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December 29, 2008

Dumb Things Guys Say: The Happy Holidays Debate

Apparently some guys get even dumber during the holidays. The following 'conversation' began very early in the morning on December 25th, Christmas day and went on for a few days progressively dissolving into more idiocy as time passed. I started off participating in the debate mainly because I thought it was dumb that he was so outraged, so it was fun to poke at him. (This is clearly not an important issue for me, heh). But then it took on a life of its own. Most of the winter holidays are over by now, but it's so dumb that we felt it deserved its own special place in the Dumb Things Guys Say hall of fame.

On Christmas eve, I received a text message from someone I know telling me "Merry Xmas". So I responded with my typical greeting "Happy Holidays to you too". Instead of "Thank you" or something to that effect, his response was "I HATE Happy Holidays! Wish me a Merry Christmas! I celebrate Christmas too!" (Silly me, not to realize that my Jewish acquaintance celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ). I told him that I've always said "Happy Holidays" because there are a lot of holidays in December, so it just always made more sense to me.

Well apparently it was still incredibly offensive to have wished him Happy Holidays, because later that night (or technically the next morning) he posted the following message online:

Dumb Guy hates it when people say "Happy Holidays"... unless you won't see me for a while, say "Merry Christmas"! It's an American holiday, too.

To protect the dumb guy's privacy, I will refer to him as 'Dumb Guy'. (I used green and red to be festive in the 'holiday' spirit. Heh).

Friend #1
It's capitalist holiday.
Friend #2
It's the PC way to address it. I could care less if people wish me a Merry Christmas since 90% of people away from Long Island don't even realize that I'm Jewish. Happy Holidays covers it all.
Dumb Guy
I know that it's the PC way to address it... that's WHY I hate it. If someone isn't gonna see me for a while, "Happy Holidays" is fine if they also mean New Year's. Otherwise, by your logic "Happy Holidays" is just plain lazy. Any Jew (or non-Christian) offended by being offered a "Merry Christmas" doesn't understand an American tradition.

And [Friend #1] so what? That's part of it. There's a whole other realm within the tradition.
Friend #1
I'm just sayin.' That's the American tradition.

Evil Slut
The way people celebrate Christmas has become secular, but the real point of Christmas is... Christ. I don't know any Jews who would be OFFENDED by being wished a Merry Christmas, but I think it's incredibly stupid to be annoyed by "Happy Holidays".

It's not just PC - which when did being a little PC become a bad thing - but it's just more ACCURATE. There are a lot of holidays in Winter, not just Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year's. "Happy Holidays" covers it all and doesn't make the assumption that you make (that everyone celebrates the 'American' holiday, Christmas).

Friend #1
Good one [Evil Slut]!

Evil Slut
I just get annoyed by people who get annoyed by "Happy Holidays". I've said that since way before people knew to be PC. I say it because 1) I know better than to pretend that everyone celebrates Christmas and 2) I celebrate a minimum of 4 holidays in December myself. So it just makes more sense to be all encompassing. Just because Americans act like there are only two religions that exist, doesn't mean Christmas is an 'American holiday'.

For a list of various holidays that take place in the Winter: Winter festivals
Dumb Guy
It is an American holiday, in that in addition to the meaning ascribed to it by Christians, it has deep traditions NOT rooted in Christianity long shared by people of many religions. "It's a Wonderful Life" was meant to appeal to all, not just those who celebrated the "religious" Christmas.

And I don't "act like there are only two religions"; just today my Taiwanese (Buddhist) friend could not hang out because his family was having their Christmas festivities. They may not include church, but the secular symbols of Christmas coalesce into what is clearly a distinct holiday that's available to all of us.

The fact that not everyone celebrates Christmas doesn't mean that they have any reasonable reason for being offended by the expression; that's hyper-sensitive, and besides that, you can still be wishing that they have a merry day on Christmas day. And by that logic, at least 3 of the four holidays in December are religious, so "Happy New Year" is the only non-offensive greeting.

And [Evil Slut]...
(he actually spelled my name wrong here, despite it being written along side each of my comments... therefore making me 100% sure that it was intentional to piss me off. So he's officially dead to me).
...calling Christmas an American holiday in NO WAY presumes everyone celebrates it. First, it's an officially recognized holiday. Second, there are many, many American traditions that some Americans don't practice or celebrate; that in no way applies they are not equally American.

And being PC has ALWAYS been a bad thing. The disappearance of some previous offenses is good; likewise, being polite, considerate, & generally aware of what you say is good. PC has nothing to do with that. PC is a term, as it was designed and usually & properly practiced, with an inherently negative connotation because it denotes PRESSURE; not that we have learned anything, but that we are AFRAID to say some things, not that we are actually any more considerate. You put words in my mouth.

Evil Slut
Christmas is a Christian holiday. It's the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The 'Christmas traditions' not rooted in Christianity are NOT Christmas traditions, but rather traditions stolen from other cultures.

For information on the actual origins of some 'Christmas traditions': Christmas Traditions
A lot of people (e.g., the ACLU) aren't totally okay with the fact that Christmas is a 'national holiday' because it violates the 1st amendment. But regardless, no one here has suggested that Merry Christmas is offensive, so your repeated insistence that it isn't offensive is both unnecessary and annoying.

What I DO think is absolutely ridiculously stupid is when people are offended by NOT being wished a Merry Christmas. I think most people say Happy Holidays because it makes a lot more sense and because it is more inclusive, not because they're afraid of offending someone.

PS: If you spell my name wrong again, you will officially be dead to me.
For more information on the issues surrounding the national acknowledgment of Christmas:
Christmas Controversy

Oh and by the way, being PC is not a bad thing. The term may only used in the negative because some people have taken it to extremes, but the meaning/intentions are positive. As a concept, being politically 'correct' means just that... Correct. Accurate. For example, calling any Spanish-speaking person 'Hispanic' regardless of their ancestry isn't politically incorrect just because we're afraid of offending them... it's politically incorrect because it's INCORRECT.
To read about the 'Hispanic' vs. 'Latino' debate: LasCulturas.com

I don't say "Merry Christmas" to every person I meet, not because I don't want to offend them, but because I KNOW that not every person I meet celebrates Christmas. Period.
Dumb Guy

[Evil Slut], I never once got personal. We are having a civil discussion.

Friend #1
But if you really hate "Happy Holidays," then aren't you in essence the same as someone who hates "Merry X-mas?"

Someone is giving you their best sentiments in the way they feel most comfortable. Isn't that what's most important?
Evil Slut

Um, where did I get 'personal'? Or un-civil?

(But I am serious about that name thing).

Dumb Guy
"annoying" "absolutely ridiculously stupid" "incredibly stupid to be annoyed by" etc., etc., etc.

And while EFFECTS may be the same the difference between PC and being polite is in REASON; one is based on fear and social pressure, nearly by definition and absolutely by common usage, and the second is the sign of societal growth and inclusiveness we should be encouraging.

Your Spanish/Hispanic example is not helpful, because in that case it's irrelevant whether it's politically incorrect; it's OBJECTIVELY incorrect. But when something is politically incorrect as the term is properly applied and commonly used, it is not because it is INCORRECT, it is because it is "unbroachable", largely because of fear or confusion over what constitutes "acceptable". And a great deal of people, and I would even say the movement toward Happy Holidays, don't say it to be non-offensive, they say it because of job requirements and legal fear. Towns don't wish to be sued by one irate citizen, and large corporations employ policies requiring it, to avoid ANY possible loss (however small) of business.

That's not societal growth, that's societal acquiescence, in my opinion. Calling an El Salvadoran and not a "Mexican" or a "Spanish American" is good when one is doing it to be accurate and polite; it is bad when one is terrified of that one mistatement being amplified and turned into a microcosm of who they are as a person. That's all I mean by this, that the difference between societal growth (good) and PC (bad) is the reasoning, and I feel that in most cases "Happy HOlidays" is a result of the latter, or conditioning to the latter.

Friend #1
Personally I say Happy Holidays usually because it is a lot less effort for the tongue to go from 'i' to 'h' than 'i' to 'kr'

Evil Slut
I think sometimes a little bit of 'fear' is good. It'd be nice if people weren't racist or sexist or heterosexist, etc. out of 'politeness' or 'accuracy', but that's not always life. I think if fear of losing business helps people be less offensive and more inclusive that's still a good thing. But do I actually think that most people who say "Happy Holidays" do it out of fear? No.

If your reasoning for hating it so much is based on 'job requirements and legal fear', then you should have no cause to be annoyed when a private citizen such as myself, says it. I had no reason to fear legal action etc. when I told you to have a happy holiday. The 'polite' response would've be "thank you" or even "Merry Christmas" if you were stubborn, not "I hate happy holidays!"

I don't care if you like or don't like to be wished "Merry Christmas". I don't like to wish it. Period. I think it's silly to be offended by "Merry Christmas" but I think it's even more silly to be offended by "Happy Holidays".

A lot of people oppose 'PC' language as an excuse to be rude. They've turned something good intentioned into something to be mocked. I use what I consider to be the most accurate and respectful language. I don't need fear in order to be a respectful person. It's really lame that so many people do.

But as for getting 'personal'... You basically have said that you hate an expression I use, you hate the reason/s I use it, and you hate all things 'PC'. You've said people who use it (or who dare to be offended by an inaccurate greeting) are lazy, hypersensitive, don't understand a so-called 'American tradition', and fearful. I didn't take any of that as a personal insult, but as someone who says "Happy Holidays" almost exclusively, I could have. I wasn't calling you personally stupid or annoying, but yes, I find a 'behavior' of yours annoying just as you've already said you find a 'behavior' of mine annoying.

But this is me being civil. I just like a good debate. Especially when I'm RIGHT. ;-)

Dumb Guy
Fear is never a good thing... not as a reason to behave a certain way toward other people. PARTICULARLY not as a way of behaving that SHOULD be based on decency. And while I expressed general annoyance at an expression you happen to you use, you expressed specific annoyance, and while not using the term you (i.e. me) you did so in a forum wherein any reasonable person would easily substitute one for the other. The two are not self-same.

And nowhere did I state that I don't ISSUE the polite response of "Thank you";

Of course, he didn't issue that polite response TO ME, which was what I was referring to. His actual, specific response to MY wishing him a "Happy Holidays". Instead of "Thank You" he said "I hate happy holidays!" which is ungrateful and rude.
...rather, in a personal forum, I expressed my discontent with the state of affairs that led to the expression. "Happy Holidays" is NOT an organically created expression; it WAS created as a "top->down requirement; and its usage in personal correspondence or conversation is traceable as SUBSEQUENT to its corporate & governmental adoption.

Being "PC" was NEVER good, and was NEVER well-intentioned. At or around the same time as the term became applicable, some people began choosing to use terminology that they felt was, or indeed was, more sensitive/appropriate; however, the development of PC language was correspondent, chronologically, to this, NOT intertwined with it.

I would rather have a world where people are rude but honest than a world where people are polite but disingenuous. Behaving civilly in no way prevents this; behaving in a PC manner INHERENTLY precludes this. Fear, even when not legally/governmentally initiated, as a means of controlling the populace (and PC is very much a social, and sometimes governmental, way of doing this) is ALWAYS bad.

And "politically correct" language, ironically, is often objectively incorrect, or at the very least utterly unhelpful language.

As for being "RIGHT", other than some historical/chronological/linguistic observances, neither one of us can be "right"; these are our opinions. One opinion, however, can be more well-reasoned than another, and this can be somewhat dispassionately judged by people experienced with logic. I feel that my argument would win in such a case; nevertheless, we have no such professional panel, and it is besides the point anyway. So there is no need to be so supercilious.

And while I expressed disdain for some behaviors which you happen to partake in, I was very much directing the disdain at the behavior, and any refraction onto you was incidental and, in some senses, regrettable. Your way of expressing disdain for my behavior, was much less incidental, contained more sniping, and would by any person not following our whole discussion be assumed to have been directed at me. So don't equate unlike things, por favor.

I'm glad that you, unlike most people, can have a heated discussion like this and understand it is, however impassioned, a discussion about a "thing", and not a reflection of our opinions of one another.

I would, still, argue that my position allows for greater freedom for BOTH sides of any "name-calling" argument. Freedom is always preferable to enforced civility for civility's sake.

"Heat from the sun somedays slowly passes; until then, you'll have to live with yourself."

Evil Slut
I'm not going to continue debating this, lol... but I'll end with this. Yes, fear IS a good thing in some cases. There are certain behaviors (such as 'speaking racism' for example) that should not be done, ever. It's more than just rudeness... Hate speech begets more hate. Embracing stereotypes gives the impression that they are fact. Non-inclusive language suggests that it is okay to be non-inclusive, therefore promoting division.

I think the fact that a CHRISTIAN holiday is considered an 'American tradition' is evidence of this. Christmas should never have become an 'American holiday' regardless of whether it's only the 'secular aspects'. That fact alone suggests that - although we don't have an 'official' U.S. religion - Christianity is the 'norm' or at least the majority, enough so that we've embraced Christian holidays as 'American', but have yet to do so for any other religions.

It's the same reasoning that has politicians making laws based on 'morals' we don't all share.

Dumb Guy
It has nothing to do with politicians, and there is nothing with the "norm", insomuch as it is not actually oppressive, being determined by what actually is most prevalent in society.

It is perfectly okay to be non-inclusive, and perfectly okay to be divided. Not if it stems from government intrusion, but if the social organism gels, even temporarily that way, it may not be desirable from our POV, but it has that "right". Inclusiveness in no way ends division; in fact, one of the most ground-breaking, taboo-shattering, AND well-respected studies performed in recent years showed that communities that are highly diverse and inclusive tend to have MORE isolation, MORE tribalism, and LESS civic engagement. The reasons may be myriad, but to suggest that their is anything wrong with a societal group or organization, or the societal (non-governmental) organism being "non-inclusive" is inherently wrong is just dictatorial, beyond didactic, and reminiscent & redolent of the sort of oppression it seeks to suppress.

Your "hate speech" is another person's honesty; another person's "hate speech" is your honesty. And while we may not desire that people "speak racism", it's not that they "should not be done, ever", its that the society we work toward should not WANT to "speak racism". But if it does, I am terrified of a world where what is publicly spoken is dictated simply by what is more feared to be uttered, rather than what people actually want to say.

You can think "fear IS a good thing in some cases", but you will find yourself living in a world inevitably dictated by fear, and you may be shocked that your modified utopia makes you VERY, VERY afraid.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. THAT'S IT. No one has a "right" to feel "included"; no one has a "right" to feel "comfortable" (whatever that means, other than the absence of physical intimidation), no one has the "right" not to be criticized, no one has the "right" not to be spoken about in honest (whether correct/incorrect, fair/unfair) terms by others. You have no "right" not to be called a kike/gentile, faggot/breeder, nigger/honky, gook/roundeye, spic/wop, or any other names.

No one has any of those rights, nor should they ever. What a terrible world that would be, and what a horrible perversion of our constitution (both our actual Constitution and our society's constitution) would be required to enable it.

And THAT is exactly where he 'lost' the debate. And his mind. And my respect. Forever. It's REALLY easy for a white, upper middle class, heterosexual male to not understand what hate speech is or why it wouldn't be a 'perversion' to protect people from it.

Evil Slut
OK, this goes way beyond the "Happy Holidays" issue, which I was just having some fun with.

I don't think that a world where people are protected from being called any of those horrible slurs can in ANY WAY be considered a 'terrible world'. I feel very strongly about freedom of speech, but I feel just as strongly about protection from hate speech and discrimination. Hate speech is not honesty. Hate speech is intended to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence or prejudicial action. Racist/sexist/homophobic/etc slurs are not honesty and I wish there were more laws protecting people from them.

I was just having fun poking at your Happy Holidays diatribe before, but I'm actually appalled right now. You can take that personally if you like.

Dumb Guy
What if the hate speech IS honesty? And who gets to determine what IS hate speech?

And I hope you don't confuse a world where I think things should be allowed to be a certain way with a world where I WANT them to be that way.

And I didn't even touch on the issue of discrimination.

That's him trying to backpedal. Oh when I said it would be a 'terrible world' if people had the right to NOT be called a nigger or a kike or a faggot... I didn't mean that I WANT people to be called those things. I just don't want them to have the right not to be. Totally different. Uh huh.

And hate speech is not honesty. (I also think it's interesting that he doesn't see the correlation between hate speech and discrimination).

Evil Slut
I have no desire to discuss this further so you can stop responding if you want to. (Just an FYI). I remain appalled.

While I've never really cared much about the "Happy Holidays" vs. "Merry Christmas" debate, after reading his ranting and raving... I think it might actually be important to think about. It's common knowledge that the United States is predominately Christian. So it's understandable that the U.S. might act as though Christianity is the national religion. However, there is no national religion and our constitution clearly states that and protects our right to practice our own faiths as we see fit. That's it on a governmental standpoint.

But think of it from the point of view of a young child who is say, Muslim or Hindu. They go to school and maybe 80% of their class is Christian. They turn on the TV in December and see endless Christmas movies and commercials depicting Christmas celebrations. Never is there any national reference to Ramadan or Diwali or anything else, except maybe Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. They are not represented and therefore they are invisible. It is this lack of inclusion that leads this young child to be ashamed of their own culture. Maybe to try and fit in and be more 'American', they'll start embracing the secular aspects of Christmas.

The 'Christmas is American' myth is a self-perpetuating cycle.

I think it's unfortunate that in a melting pot such as the United States (which really has NO national culture that wasn't stolen from other cultures, except maybe the Native Americans) immigrants feel so much pressure to become Americanized. For example, growing up, so many of my multicultural friends shed their 'ethnic-sounding' names for American versions. The dumb guy may have referenced his Taiwanese friend's family as an example of how 'everyone' celebrates Christmas, but I think that example more accurately proves my point than his. Why does a Buddhist family celebrate a traditionally Christian holiday? Because it's 'American'! Only... it's not.

I understand why groups like the Catholic League try to fight the alleged 'War on Christmas' and I don't blame non-Christians for wanting to embrace the fun, secular aspects of Christmas. But it baffles me to believe that a non-Christian person would feel so strongly about Christmas that he would be offended by being wished "Happy Holidays".

Related Posts:


Anonymous said...

what a dick

Rachel said...

"Fear, even when not legally/governmentally initiated, as a means of controlling the populace (and PC is very much a social, and sometimes governmental, way of doing this) is ALWAYS bad."

Okay, so it's BAD for a human to be afraid of a lion? It's bad to avoid driving in inclement weather because you're afraid of spinning out on the highway and getting killed?

This guy isn't just a dick, he's a MO-Ron. Fear was an evolutionary tactic that allowed the species, in fact, all species, to continue to evolve and reproduce. Fear is not ALWAYS a bad thing, and conflating it to be, even if you're not talking in the generalized "fear as evolutionary mechanism", utilizing an absolute like that demonstrates that this is a person who is not worth conversing with on a even casual level, especially if that involves wishes of merriment and happiness.

Further, if fear (weaponized fear) is ALWAYS bad, that means that religion is bad. Which means that Christmas is bad, which means that wishing someone a Merry (fucking) Christmas is bad. Ergo, his argument against why the PC "happy holidays" is evil, and "Merry Christmas" is fucking saintly, is self-defeating because he just completely destroyed the entire premise for the holiday he wishes you had wished him a happy one of.

What a jackass.

Lawrence said...

Hi, this is Lawrence...obviously the dumb guy. Rachel, I could have been more explicit, but I think it's a bit unreasonable not to grant that I not using the term "fear" in the sense used in the early part of your post.

I don't think I ever said anything was evil, let alone that something else was saintly. Incidentally, however, I do generally hold a negative opinion of religion.

And I just want to go on the record as stating that I was NOT intentionally misspelling your name (except the one joking time related to the Bettie Page error). It may have been pretty stupid to misspell it, given the spelling's availability nearby, but it was stupid and not intentional.
And further... I'd like to go on the record as making clear that once you posted the above "initial admonition" regarding your name, I never misspelled it again.

I'm sorry that this whole kerfuffle (sorry, that word was in a movie I watched today and I felt like using it) got to this point; I certainly meant no offense in what I saw as a heated, friendly debate. And I'm very sorry to be declared "dead to you" in any situation, but certainly in one where the behavior you issued the complaint over was immediately terminated. It's not a pleasant state of affairs to find myself in; hopefully, I'm not dead to you, and if I am, I am in a world where a person can be resurrected.

Sincere and best wishes,


Hm. Well this is new. We've never had someone 'out' himself as a Dumb Guy, especially not as 'obviously the dumb guy'.

Anyway, Lawrence/Dumb Guy:

Perhaps Rachel was confused by your incorrect usage of the term 'ALWAYS'. I suppose when you wrote that fear is ALWAYS bad, she thought that you meant that fear is ALWAYS bad. Silly her.

But this is what I find the funniest (and I'm sure the evil slut who posted this would agree):

The only part of your idiotic and offensive ramblings that you felt the need to address and apologize for was the alleged misspelling of her name? Way to get to the core of the issue dude.

Happy holidays Lawrence!

Anonymous said...

Another thought regarding those hypothetical Muslim or Hindu kids you mentioned...

Not only will they personally feel invisible, but think of the point of view of THEIR PREDOMINANTLY CHRISTIAN CLASSMATES. "You don't celebrate Christmas? That's weird!" "Ramadan? What is THAT?" There are a lot of reasons why being inclusive is better. You know how many kids have never even HEARD of Diwali? Inclusive language isn't just about fear, it's about acknowledging and embracing the diversity that exists in our country.

Lauren O said...

I actually had to stop reading the conversation a few paragraphs before the end because I was choking on the stupid.

You, summarized: I'm not offended by Merry Christmas, and people are welcome to say it. I prefer to say Happy Holidays because I think it's more accurate and inclusive.

Him, summarized: No! Everyone has to say Merry Christmas! It's American! I don't care about any other holidays! I hate it when people try not to offend each other!

Who fucking cares how someone gives you good wishes? They're wishing you well. Let it go.

I'm sorry you had to have this conversation in the first place. And impressed you managed to keep going for so long before tiring of the dumb guy's ridiculousness and refusal to listen to any other viewpoint.

Lauren O said...

Oh, and of course now I see that the guy has commented here. Well, my previous comment seems a bit insensitive now. Oops...

Lilith said...

Lauren O- You should really read the whole thing. He produces some real 'gems' towards the end.

But don't worry about your comment seeming insensitive. Apparently he thinks people should be allowed to be as insensitive as they want! It's your RIGHT!

(Dumb) Lawrence said...


There's a good reason why I decided to limit my address, at the time, to the misspelling issue: She clearly stated that she had no further wishes to debate the issue at hand.

I chose to respect that wish on my page; how much more disrespectful would it have been had I then just continued on her own personal page, as if she'd made no request?

I chose to address the misspelling issue because I wanted her to know that the mispelling was genuinely unintentional. It may have been pretty dunder-headed, but it was not intentional nor meant to offend.
I also wanted to make it clear that since she had essentially formulated: Condition A is unacceptable. Further practice of it will lead to Consequence A. She then declared Consequence A, and I wanted to make sure that readers knew, since I felt the structure of her writing would leave the opposite impression, that Condition A was NO LONGER CONTINUED and thus, by her formulation, shouldn't have led to Consequence A (no other admonitions as to what would lead to Consequence A were issued).

I'd also like to clear up her use of the word acquaintance. She couldn't have been referring to the present tense, since if I am dead to her I would not be even that. I can only assume she was referring to the level of our relationship prior to this "death". I can't ultimately define what our relationship was prior to that, but I can assure the readers of this blog that we were closer (in what way, it would be inappropriate for me to elaborate) than "acquaintances", and I am QUITE confident anyone familiar with the situation would agree with me on that.

As for the anonymous poster who wrote regarding "Diwali", among other things, we are in complete agreement. We seem to just be in disagreement in HOW to get there.

Lauren O: I feel confident that if you reread your comment, and then my post, you'll conclude that perhaps you misunderstood me. Perhaps you won't, but will at least acknowledge that my argument was a tad more nuanced than that, in my opinion.

Lilith: I'd like to think that I did produce some "gems" at the end, but I cant detect sarcasm well, and I know I'm not smart enough to have produced "gems".

But you happen to be correct, I DO believe insensitivity IS a right. It is not any stretch of logic to find that utterly compatible with the sincere wish that people, in POSSESSION of that right, CHOOSE not to exercise that right. And that is not a naive position; I'm well aware of the difficulties. But I think smart people such as those who write and maintain this blog should be willing to take the more difficult but (what I see as the correct) path, rather than the SEEMINGLY easier but (what I see as not only incorrect, but also ineffective, counterproductive, and conducive to the same abuse that it seeks to abolish) path.

I appreciate you for taking the time to read this article/blog, as well as the comments. It shows you are willing to listen to opposing viewpoints, and I respect you for that.

As for the "Evil Slut" that this really relates to, I hope that she'll find it in her heart, mind, duodenum, or some other place to reestablish contact with me if only, and if only so briefly, to hear from my voice what I meant, and if that comes too close to continuing this debate, to hear from my voice my intentions and the level of interpersonal (meaning between two people) upset this has caused me.


Alex said...

I celebrate Winter Solstice, and had the misfortune to get mired in a similar debate with a government employee this year. It was a bit surreal.

While I'm not offended when people wish me Merry Christmas, the phrase also doesn't have any meaning to me, and leaves me feeling a bit hollow. I deeply value my end of the year traditions, and appreciate when people of different beliefs are willing to affirm my own traditions with an inclusive greeting.

I appreciate your determination to wish everyone "Happy Holidays", and wish more people felt the same. I also wish Christmas had never become a "cultural holiday", since it does make it seem like Christian holidays are the only "normal" ones, and leaves little room for diversity. But in all honesty, I think most non-Christians are used to being marginalized, and I imagine that tradition will continue.

MomTFH said...

Hey, Lawrence, who gave you the link to my blog? Because a dumb guy showed up on my blog with a lot of the same BS arguments, and some you missed.

I have to say I am impressed. He didn't defend racial slurs as honest speech and say fear (like fear of prosecutions for crimes, let's say) is always wrong. Those were pretty out there. They make his ridiculous hypotheticals about birthdays seems almost sane.


OK. Some of you may have noticed that Lawrence posted another comment. We were originally weren't going to approve it, because in it he makes implications that he and I had some kind of relationship. He claimed that he wouldn't elaborate on the relationship because it would be inappropriate to do so. However, that line alone suggests so much more and is actually more inappropriate. And is also inaccurate.

Obviously, he really stays true to his 'Dumb Guy' status.

It was for that reason we weren't going to approve the message. But I decided what the hell, he wants to imply things that aren't true... I'll tell it like it is.

Lawrence clearly does not understand the meaning of the word "acquaintance" - someone with whom I am (or used to be) acquainted. Period. This was the extent of our "relationship":

-Drunken hookup
-Brief chatting on AIM/facebook
-Very uncomfortable follow-up meeting (that I decided never to repeat)
-Polite avoidance of future plans

Readers, now that you are "familiar with the situation"... I'm curious, what term do you use to refer to someone with whom you'd had the above relationship? Doesn't "acquaintance" suffice?

Furthermore, whether I accurately described him as an acquaintance or not is IRRELEVANT to the Happy Holidays debate. It was certainly not necessarily to clear up, unless of course he just wanted an excuse to suggest that we were more than acquaintances.

In response to his other statements:

If he honestly wanted to clear up the misspelling issue etc, he could have done so directly. Unless of course he just wanted to publicly defend himself, which I don't blame him for, but it has nothing to do with mending our alleged friendship.

For the record: I want no further contact with him because I see no purpose in maintaining contact. That's it. It's not just because he spelled my name wrong or because he says "Merry Christmas".

Now you may say that my words are harsh (and I agree), but like he said... at least I'm being honest. And apparently insensitivity is my right.

David said...

One is not offended by being wished "Happy Holidays" as this term is applicable to holidays.

Please don't lump Dumb Guy with men who are comfortable with themselves and who treat women respectfully.

The reason for this comment is to ask permission to add your blog title to my sidebar on yogakorunta.blogspot.com.


David Rice


David - don't worry, we would never assume that all guys think the same way that this one does. And of course you can add us!