We were catching up on Jon and Stephen (as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are referred to at our house, as if these guys are old friends) the other night, and were treated to news of the latest flip-out by Gretchen Carlson (of Fox News), hot on the heels of Megyn Kelly’s insistence that Santa and Jesus are unquestionably white (which she later passed off as her being humorous, but I watched the clip, and there was no humorous vibe coming through whatsoever; not that I expected there to be).
Evidently, someone has erected a Festivus Pole near the nativity scene at the Florida State Capitol, and Gretchen is livid. She erroneously refers to the Festivus Pole as a protest against the existing nativity scene. It’s unquestionably pointed, but it isn’t a protest. It’s merely pointing out that if one kind of holiday display is permissible on state property, so are others. No reasonable person could argue otherwise. But Carlson is not reasonable.
“Why do I have to drive around with my kids to look for nativity scenes and be like, oh yeah kids, look there’s baby Jesus, behind the Festivus pole made out of beer cans. It’s nuts!”
That’s a good question, Gretchen, and I’ve got a good answer for you, but let me get to that in a moment, because along these same lines is the brouhaha over the “Kinky Boots” performance at this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Evidently, some Americans were outraged and resentful that they had to explain drag queens to their children.
Regarding the latter, if they’d let the parade just keep going, chances are pretty good their kids wouldn’t have even noticed, let alone asked about it. And how hard is it to explain? “Sometimes men wear skirts and dresses, just like many times women wear pants. They’re just clothes, and people can wear what they want, even if we don’t always expect it.” The daring, thoughtful parent would explain in an age-appropriate way that clothing is costume, culturally dictated, and changeable over time, and that thinking of clothes in terms of “boys’ clothes” and “girls’ clothes” is common, but certainly not necessary. But the people complaining are not daring, thoughtful people in the main.
But back to Gretchen’s question, and the plaintive cries of “Why should I have to explain transvestites to my children?” I’m going to make it real simple for y’all:
BECAUSE YOU LIVE IN THE WORLD WITH OTHER PEOPLE, AND IT’S YOUR JOB AS A PARENT TO EXPLAIN THINGS TO YOUR KIDS.
Yes, that’s right–other people live here, too. Other people with their own principles, beliefs, and lives that may or may not look like yours. And the idea that you, and your children, should be shielded from things you don’t understand, don’t want to know about, or disagree with is impractical and silly, especially when those things are harmless. No child will be scarred because they saw a Festivus Pole or a man wearing thigh-high red pleather boots under a miniskirt. Surprised or confused, due to their programming thus far in their life? Maybe, but a little puzzlement never hurt anyone. Did they actually listen to the “Kinky Boots” song? All about positivity and feeling empowered in your life. Yeah…that’s definitely bad for kids. How will we control them and make them grow up into big, strong consumers of crap they don’t need if we don’t remind them constantly how flawed, sinful, and hopeless they are?
It occurs to me that this is the whole problem with regressives: they don’t want to acknowledge that they live in the world with other people who are living other lives. They want to be insulated from that reality, and they don’t want to have to share time, space, resources, or the month of December with anyone who doesn’t believe and live exactly as they do. It explains so much! They want to philosophically terraform the rest of the world to match them, and if they can’t do that, they want to ignore its existence entirely. Which is an emotionally immature response to life:
“Why do I have to know stuff?”
“Why do I have to think about other people?”
“Why do have to consider alternative viewpoints?”
“Why can’t I just do what I want, when I want, wherever I want, regardless of how it might affect others?”
Because that’s what decent people do. Decent people recognize they are not the center of the universe, and that their supposed bubble of rights and entitlement issues ends where the next person’s begins. Willfully ignorant is no way to go through life, and the rest of the world has no obligation to enable your efforts to do so. If the sun is in your eyes, you cover your own eyes; you don’t expect the sun to go out for your benefit. Grow the fuck up and stop being idiots!
Since this is my last post before Christmas, I’d like to wish you all a beautiful Solstice, a Merry Christmas, or a lovely quiet day at home free of any holiday stuff, and offer this song, a song, it should be noted, that has been in the Christmas carol canon for 62 years now, written by the son of a Christian pastor in 1951. Why Megyn Kelly had to get so worked up about her white Jesus and Santa now, when we’ve been singing this song for years, is beyond me. Where’s she been?