Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hating Christmas (or at least what you put on your lawn)

Bah Humbug.....

Or so it seems.   Perhaps it's the more eco-maniacal tendencies of some of the staff over at NPR  that spawned an entire article by Linda Holmes attacking the content of ABC's "Christmas Light Fight" programming.

With quotes like:

"Christmas: volume is everything, taste is discouraged, you never use one lighted reindeer when you can use eight, and it's unnecessary to think about the planet because electricity is apparently made by elves for you to use."

Of course this is coming from an author that was compelled to spend 9620 words regurgitating an episode of "Bachelor Pad"  

You'd be excused if after reading the piece you were led to believe that the show was about a bunch of self-serving egomaniacal nut jobs whose only purpose was to bring attention to themselves.

Taste is a subjective thing and like everything else is colored by our experiences.  It's a woefully inadequate term to describe anything outside of your own context.   In fact the very definition of taste includes "individual inclination." as one of the possible meanings of the word.  That's why most reputable news organizations don't use it. 

In other words, choose your nouns carefully, the use of "taste" in this context invalidates your message.

But I digress...

The real problem with such a point of view is myopia.  For example, Should I choose to spend the rest of this post  focusing on nothing but one word that undeniably imparts a personal bias I'd be guilty of  the same sin.  That being ignoring evidence that contradicted my own point of view.

"They are Tim Taylor from Home Improvement come to life, celebrating the season by shrieking at the tops of their figurative lungs that they love Christmas more than you do"

Yes, the participants on "The Great Christmas Light Fight" may indeed be a bit overly enthusiastic about the holiday but what Holmes chooses to ignore is why.

Using one of the show's winners as an example, the author mentions, " El Paso family who said they would give the $50,000 to charity." 

Then follows it up with:

"(Presumably, they're keeping the hilariously cheap-looking trophy.)"

Yes, the light display was over the top but what wasn't mentioned was why El Paso businessman, Fred Loya, did it.  

Loya remarked on the show that he felt gratitude to El paso and wanted to "give back for all El Paso had did for him"  On winning the contest he was quoted in the El Paso Times as saying...

"It's a humbling honor because the underlying goal is to bring honor that reflects on the families of El Paso," Loya said. "It means a lot to us. We've always maintained that (our Christmas light) show belongs to El Paso."

Almost all the contestants had similar motivations such as:  Giving back to the community, a tribute to a cherished loved one or a reverence for the holiday they wanted to share.

But rather than investigate, instead we make references to Coco Chanel quotes and Disney's intellectual property not to mention the suffering of the "planet" because of all the electricity used.  

Never mind that Coco Chanel was talking about fashion sense not taste and that most displays are only on for a few hours a night and use LED's which consume a fraction of the electricity.  I'd wager some of the show contestant light displays use less power than the author's vacuum cleaner!

But it's far more interesting to ridicule and attack what we don't agree with than to dig deeper isn't it.  It's astonishing that NPR would allow an article born out of such biased and mediocre journalism.  Where is the balance?  Where is the journalistic integrity?  Should we infer that anyone who chooses to express their holiday cheer with more than a wreath on the door is a prime target for a hit piece?

You've missed the point Linda Holmes or should I say, Scrooge!