Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Reading..

Was catching up on some reading over the break, and this one Be Very Afraid, But not of Santa" was interesting (if a little sad) reading, a few stories shared in the article:

:: A Santa (AUS) sacked for having said "Ho, ho, ho" to the children waiting before him. - the reason "According to the store, he should have said "Ha, ha, ha" but he was a Bad Santa. "Ho, ho, ho" might be perceived as being derogatory to women, it was strongly argued. A ho is African-American vernacular for a prostitute, or at least a woman of loose morals, so you can't say it any more. Ha, ha, ha.

:: Another (US) Santa Claus was sacked because the children kept pointing out that he had extremely large breasts.

:: Another (UK) Santa Claus was sacked this year for having invited an elderly woman to sit on his lap.

"I do not know what the elderly woman was doing in the queue for the grotto but, of course, it is her right to queue up to meet Santa and get a present, just as it is your right and my right, the right of all people of whatever creed, colour, class or age. But you shouldn't have to put up with an outrage such as being invited to sit on Santa's lap, so Santa was sacked. A statement from Selfridges read: "We do not promote or proactively seek lap-sitting." Read that quote again and try to imagine the sort of person who wrote it: "Promote or proactively seek lap-sitting." 
:: And the funninest one  - "a boy was not allowed to attend his school's Christmas party because his parents had insisted, ever since he joined the school, that he should not be required to attend lessons in religious education. The school presumably thought they were being scrupulous in abiding by the parents' wishes but apparently not. The boy's mum, was incandescent at the cruelty inflicted on her poor son. Christmas parties, she said, "have got absolutely nothing to do with Jesus".

In seriousness the article concludes --

"But it is our fear of pedophilia, or fear of litigation provoked by the intimation of pedophilia (which is, when it comes down to it, much the same thing), that is the most corrosive and damaging. One of the most telling and important political contributions of 2008 came from an old semi-reformed radical Marxist, Frank Furedi, now a professor of sociology, who delivered an attack on the strange and ambivalent manner in which we view children these days. "We cannot organise the world around the default position that we are all pedophiles," Furedi lamented in a magazine interview. He talked, too, about the other side of the coin, the control children seem to have over parents these days. Furedi called it "reverse socialisation", the kids being told to tell their parents to eat healthier food, or recycle their rubbish properly, or not to smoke in the home. And much of it can be dragged back to what Furedi called the pre-political authority of parents disciplining, or failing to discipline, their kids. They do not have an idea any more of right or wrong, he suggested.

Well, indeed; but whose fault is that? Place it alongside all the stuff I mentioned above and it would seem to be the logical consequence of an agenda driven by the liberal middle-class Left over the past 30 years, in which the common denominator is the yearning for an artificial world that is entirely risk-free. Certainly there must be no risk to life or limb, even if that risk is vanishingly small. No risk, either, that anyone could possibly be offended by anything, no matter how barking mad you would have to be to take offence. No risk that anyone's sensibilities (religious or otherwise) might be offended, no matter how thin their skins may have become over the years. It is an aspiration towards a pretend world, a confection every bit as make-believe as Santa's grotto."
And following on another piece about singing Christmas Carols.

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