In an article titled “A Thoroughly Deplorable Christmas,” The Atlantic says, “Breitbart is peddling holiday goods. But whatever happened to peace on earth and good will?”
In response, I ask, “Whatever happened to The Atlantic‘s sense of humor?”
After two paragraphs of either complaining or bragging (it’s hard to tell from the article’s tone) about how much of Jesus’ birthday is actually included in America’s celebration of Christmas, writer Conor Friedersdorf complains, “But this year, a popular website associated with the populist-right political faction that controls the White House is subverting the Christmas spirit.”
That website, of course, is Breitbart. The subversion of the Christmas spirit is a series of tongue-in-cheek gift ideas sold by Breitbart. As Friedersdorf puts it, “Breitbart readers are being asked to visit an online store that the company has set up called Deplorable Christmas, where the gifts express the values of ‘war’ and ill-will.”
Breitbart lists a mere three items for purchase. Here are The Atlantic‘s descriptions of the items:
“A Breitbart flask with a ‘war’ hashtag and ad copy suggesting that liberal relatives might drive the possessor to drink.”
“A snowflake Christmas ornament marketed by mocking the sensitivities of political rivals.”
“And finally, the classic three-flavor popcorn tin, but with a lid bearing a holiday quote not from the Bible, but from Donald Trump: ‘We’re saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again.'”
Working backward, I find it amusing in a sad way that these obviously tongue-in-cheek Christmas gifts have caused The Atlantic to suddenly begin not only caring what the Bible has to say but wanting to see Bible verses proselytized. I mean, by most people’s definition, I am a fundamentalist Christian, and I do not care if popcorn tin lids have a Bible verse on them or not. In fact, I’m not sure that I’ve ever really paid much attention to a popcorn tin lid; I’ve always been too busy removing the lid so that I can get to the popcorn.
The second of the ornaments is, simply put, funny. No matter what side of the political spectrum you find yourself on, a snowflake telling you that “you’re precious” should bring a smile to your face. In fact, if The Atlantic wasn’t so busy being up in their snowflake feels, they’d realize that they too could make some money off of this. Simply change “love Breitbart” to “love The Atlantic” and they could market and sell a similar ornament to progressives.
Concerning the flask, the fact that The Atlantic is offended that Breitbart suggests that liberals might drive conservatives to drink is puzzling. I’m 100 percent confident that progressives around this country have expressed a similar sentiment about their conservative relatives.
Friedersdorf concludes his article with the self-righteous scold:
“For years, Breitbart has repeatedly complained about the ‘war on Christmas’ as if the most culturally dominant holiday in America was under attack. Now, it has encouraged its readers to do their Christmas shopping in an online store hawking goods that are starkly at odds with everything for which the holiday is supposed to stand. The website, like the president it loves, has put politics upstream of Christmas.”
I’m no fan of Breitbart, not by any stretch of the imagination, but The Atlantic‘s whining about some silly Christmas gift ideas betrays that partisanship trumps a sense of humor for progressives. The irony is that the peace and goodwill that The Atlantic seemingly desires would actually be bolstered by some light-hearted chuckling at Breitbart‘s Christmas gift ideas.