Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Dec/11

4

Shouldn’t it be OccupyHoliday?

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Cross-posted on the Corner.

Via the Vancouver Sun:

OTTAWA — Adbusters, the Vancouver-based magazine that inspired the worldwide Occupy movement, has a new target: Christmas. Calling its campaign OccupyXmas, the anti-capitalist magazine is calling on consumers to buy nothing for Christmas this year…Christmas, Lasn [the magazine’s founder] said, has been hijacked by commercial forces. “It’s been an empty, soulless kind of ritual that very, very few people enjoy. This is a chance for us occupiers to take Christmas back and have a bit of fun and remind people that Christmas can be a helluva lot more than just shopping and Black Fridays and maxing out on your credit card.”

“Very, very few.” Really?

And just when you think that Lasn cannot get more patronizing:

Lasn said antagonizing people is what the Occupy movement is all about. “It’s about antagonizing people and slapping them around a little bit and waking them up to reality.”

…Buy Nothing Christmas just sounds good, Lasn said. But what it really means is a different kind of Christmas, one that puts “the spiritual side of Christmas back in the game rather than the consumption.”

What humbug. I wouldn’t describe myself as retail’s best friend, but Christmas has evolved a bit over the centuries. The spiritual side is there for those who want it, the consumer splurge is there for those who want that (and there’s room for plenty in-between). As for me, I’ll opt for the made-in-Dickens variety, a marvelous, syncretic festival of food, drink, family, good cheer, nostalgia, tradition and, yes, a present or two.

Food, Drink, Dancing & Other Christmas Horrors

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7 comments

  • John · December 4, 2011 at 1:42 am

    “Spiritual side”? Note that they can’t bring themselves to say “Christian”. Apparently they hate both Santa Claus and Jesus.

    If they don’t want to celebrate Christmas, that’s their business, but don’t even think about slapping me around.

  • Marco · December 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    There was a point to be made here. There’s a pretty big gap between the mutual self sacrifice of the gift giving in O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi”, and people today maxing out their credit cards to fill their houses with more stuff than they even really want, let alone need. If this person had wanted to give some advice on prudent spending, that would be one thing, although people still need to be able to make their own choices, and live with the consequences.

    Agreed, though, that it’s pretty arrogant to lecture people on spirituality here. And I’ve certainly never felt so certain of a philosophical position that I would go around trying to slap people awake.

    For what it’s worth, Merry Christmas from a non-believer! And I hope we all get some sort of enjoyment from it.

  • GTChristie · December 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    That’s what I was thinking, John. Maybe by Christmas spirit they mean eggnog, Jim Beam and Dewar’s on the Rocks.

  • Angie Van De Merwe · December 4, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Enjoyed the article AND the comments! Ditto the comments!

  • Polichinello · December 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    As for me, I’ll opt for the made-in-Dickens variety, a marvelous, syncretic festival of food, drink, family, good cheer, nostalgia, tradition and, yes, a present or two.

    Somewhere Tom Flynn is grinding his teeth, ready to lash out about “dead white males and a queen.”

  • m.d. · December 6, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Nice piece but you forgot to mention that Lasn became wealthy running a market research firm. Lucky for him, he didn’t develop a distaste for “consumerism” until he’d already made his fortune from it.

    What is the “spiritual side” of Christmas anyway? For me its all the cocktail parties but I need confirmation from Lasn or some other expert.

    Perhaps after a successful solstice he can turn his attention to childrens’ birthdays, graduations, weddings and other events that have become soulless rituals that very few people enjoy on account of mindless consumerist gift giving.

  • Don Kenner · December 13, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Okay, so people spend most of the year satisfying themselves (and paying the government), but Christmas is the one time of the year when some (most?) actually think about others. And THIS is the time when bubble-headed socialist millionaires declare we need to spend less?

    Can we at least continue to drink as much as usual?

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