My Fellow Americans,
Having been continually subjected to the so-called music that permeates our department stores, shopping malls and public airwaves this time of year, I must say that I am deeply offended.
Even though most of these "songs" are no longer explicitly religious (thank goodness we've moved beyond that!), I still find them, as a group, to be sexist, hetero-centric, and biased toward one faith. That is why I am offering a few simple suggestions to bring the holiday season more into line with the current administration's priorities.
First, we must stop referring to these songs as "Christmas Carols." The term "Christmas," artificially connects the holiday to a collection of myths about angels, virgin births and wise men that only about 75 percent of the people in this country actually believe. Personally, I have been involved in public life for over 20 years, and I can assure you that I have never met a wise man, much less a virgin.
Therefore, I recommend that in place of the offensive term "Christmas," we instead use the word "holiday," or "winter" if only two syllables are required (as in "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Winter").
Furthermore, "Carol" is implicitly female and therefore sexist. Since I can't quite bring myself to refer to these compositions as "songs," I therefore suggest that we refer to them as "ditties" -- "winter ditties," to be precise.
In addition, I recommend that we review each ditty carefully and edit specific passages as necessary in order to reflect the progressive view that no one in this country may be offended at any time for any reason, except perhaps for the 75 percent who self-identify as Christian.
For example, a line in one ditty reads, "Someday soon we all will be together, if the Fates allow." I don't know who these "Fates" are or why they presume to control every aspect of people's lives; everyone knows that's the government's job. I have therefore taken the liberty of changing that particular lyric to "if the Feds allow."
Here's another offensive line, from "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" (although I approve of the title):
In the meadow we can build a snowman
And pretend that he is Parson Brown
He'll say are you married, we'll say no man
But you can do the job when you're in town.
Clearly, these lyrics promote so-called traditional marriage to the exclusion of alternative lifestyles. I have therefore made the following change:
Ted and Eric love to build a snowman
And pretend that he's Reverend Lamont
He'll say are you married, they'll say no man
But we can get the job done in Vermont
These are just a few examples of changes that need to be made. I will be announcing more details in the near future, just as soon as I have finished my winter shopping.
Rob Jenkins is associate professor of English at Georgia Perimeter College. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.