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December 22, 2004

'Tis the Season For Withering Lileks Sarcasm

Once again we're having a few scattered engagements in the ongoing and interminable Christmas Wars. Responding to a typically unhinged James Wolcott piece about how no one hates Christmas at all and, anyway, even if they do hate it, it's perfectly hateful anyway, Lileks launches a few surgical strikes of scarcasm:

I believe it was quite clear in the column, where I explicitly condemned the godless networks for not having an animatronic Baby Jesus read the news the third week of December, or running a crawl below all prime-time programming spelling out the recipe for figgy pudding. As long-time readers of this site will note, I am not just a loud militant Christian who wants to tamp the thick bristling wad of God down everyone’s throat with a miter, I am frequently given to posting long MP3 files of myself sobbing in despair over the fact that advent candles are not forcibly screwed into the facial apertures of government officials. That’s me, all right.

Lilkes makes a point that I think is quite important:

I don’t think people in the Evil Coastal Godless Baal-Loving Media hate Christianity. I’m sure some hold it in disinterested contempt, the way they view NASCAR and Simplicity dress patterns and those giant salad forks some people inexplicably used as kitchen-wall decorations. But for many – yes, the dreaded inexact “many” – religious ideas don’t register at all, so they don’t know how their actions might seem to those who take the whole God thing seriously.

This is the key. I'm not religious myself. But I don't get very flummoxed about anyone's expression of heartfelt religious beliefs -- live and let live, let's be tolerant and all that. And it should be noted the Left is quite tolerant of religion, too, so long as that religion is some sort of hybrid Eastern Mysticism/Kabala/Wiccan-Santeria New Age concoction (assuming that chickens are not in fact slaughtered, as Santanistas occasionally do, but are instead merely photographed upon the altar as some kind of f-stop offering, and then set free into the wild where they can be viciously devoured by wilding raccoons, which I have always considered the Crips of the surburban garbage-can ecosystem).

They always say that it's important to tolerate not the beliefs or practices which you like -- that's not tolerance, after all; that's just doing your thing -- but to tolerate those beliefs and practices which you abhor. Well, most of the people saying this abhor Christianity and all of its expressions; where's this reservoir of good-spirited tolerance I keep hearing so much about?

But Lileks himself can't resist a less-than-tolerant attack on Wolcott, an attack I must say I enjoy. Noting a rather shabby typo of Wolcott's:

But when I read that, I thought: he has cats. Everything about his work suggests that he has cats. Not that there’s anything wrong with cats. I love cats, even though I prefer dogs. But sometimes you just get the impression of a soul whose incessant pissy hauteur is best expressed at the moment when they dump a stinky disk of fish guts into the bowl and mutter something clever to the elegant creatures feasting at their feet.

It turns out Wolcott doesn't have cats, but rather "ocicats," whatever they are, and they're named Roland, Jasper, and Henry.

What-- he couldn't have named one Monsieur Faggsworth? That's every bit as good a name for an "ocicat" as "Pretzel" is for a chocolate lab.

Thanks to NickS.


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posted by Ace at 01:31 PM

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