Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Day Two, War on Christmas

I suppose many of you are wondering, “Why does John Dewey hate Christmas so much? Surely others reject Christianity without waging all out war. You don’t see Rorty or Singer out bludgeoning Salvation Army bell ringers to death and stealing away with their bells and kettles. Perhaps John Dewey has some dark Christmas memory from childhood provoking such strong anti-Christmas reactions.”

Nay, the Christmases of my youth were of the sort people pine for these days. Those frigid Christmas mornings in Burlington, when we’d all pass round a bottle of rye and take turns nibbling at a communal block of specially aged cheddar are cherished memories. For supper, mother would serve the last of the previous year’s maple syrup and we’d all retire to the parlour to read the latest missive from that Marx fellow. Then, we’d read that scientist gentleman, ah what was his name…you know, the one with the finches in the Galapagos…well anyway, we’d have our fill of reading, rye and maple cream and then head out to rough-up the local minister. Great fun, great fun.

In later years, when the dreaded concept of the workplace Christmas party came into vogue, I did my very best to be a sport. In the early days at Chicago, I’d routinely head over to the lab school and spike the children’s punch in a spirit of celebration. Oddly enough, it was at Christmastime that they sacked me, though truth be told, they did me a tremendous favour as Columbia was pleased to have me and as we all know, Columbia is swarming with Jews thereby relieving me of the forced Christmas merriment. I spun many a dreidel in my New York years. Now, the Jews at Columbia…they know how to wage war on Christmas. No “Chanukah Bushes” for the Columbia crowd, thank you very much.

I mean, all that mistletoe, and elderly librarians trying to pin you in the doorway as they forced their withered tongues into your mouth and grabbed a bit of buttock for good measure. Oh, the debauchery of the holidays. Hate it, just hate it. It’s all a lie anyway. Immaculate conception-good one. We used to get more than a few of those back in Burlington.


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