"There's a brand-new holiday display at Florida's state Capitol in Tallahassee: a pole celebrating the...holiday Festivus from the TV show Seinfeld."
"It's the latest protest exhibit after a Nativity scene was set up in the rotunda last week. 'This whole thing is just a serious feat of ... ridiculousness,' says Chaz Stevens, who marched into the Capitol building on Wednesday morning clutching a case of empty Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans and a 6-foot pole made of PVC pipe."
I must admit I agree with Stevens on one point: this is a "feat of ridiculousness" - of his own doing. This man's actions run contrary to the basest American instincts. Everybody knows that Festivus is a time to sit around an unadorned aluminum pole, engage in feats of strength, and tell your family how disappointed you were with them during the past year. In season 9 episode 10 of Seinfeld - the episode from which this glorious day is derived - it is clearly stated that Frank Constanza "hated the commercial and religious aspects of Christmas" and so went on to create his own holiday. Stevens spits on these humble beginnings with his loud, obnoxious display.
|Stevens smirks arrogantly next to his bastardization of an American tradition. Not pictured: his fedora.|
And yet, this is hardly Stevens' most egregious offense. In response to a suggestion by a Christian organization that they may push for manger displays in every state, Stevens replied: "I'll see all 50 capitols then...Why not? Sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon."
Ugh! A corporate sponsorship for the overtly noncommercial Festivus? The mere idea leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth (not unlike Pabst Blue Ribbon). Clearly, this rabble rouser's blatant disregard for the holiday spirit represents a continuing decline in the moral fiber of the American people.
And yet in a way, Stevens' shennanagins merely crystallize a more disturbing trend. Both the public at large and numerous private businesses have adopted the allegedly more inclusive "happy holidays" greeting in place of my preferred "happy Festivus." I find it personally offensive that poorly paid retail employees would dare not to assume which holiday I choose to celebrate.
|Scrooge McDuck: Now with more .jpeg!|
In the spirit of a freedom-loving people I once thought I knew, I encourage you to make your concerns vocal. Post incessantly about it to your facebook or twitter. Start arguments with friends and family when you gather together for Festivus (or whatever other weird holiday thing you do). No matter what, just be sure to complain as much as possible if you even vaguely perceive that something may not be to your liking. After all, that's the American way.