I think I will make this a Christmas season ritual until I exhaust it. Every year Capitalism Magazine republishes a diatribe by Leonard Peikoff called: CHRISTMAS SHOULD BE MORE COMMERCIAL.
Dr. Peikoff, for those who do not know the name (and most don’t) is the foremost protege of philosopher Ayn Rand. I was an acolyte of both for a number of years (never met either – through books, tapes, and so on). In my defense I was never a very good follower. I just wasn’t brought up to have the natural sentiments of a temper throwing, selfish ass!
This year I am going to pick on the last sentence of Peikoff’s article. Don’t worry if you didn’t bother to follow the link and read the article, you’re not missing anything but faulty history, jumps in logic, category errors, and the usual shoddy atheistic (mainly Objectivist) nastiness such as “…and self-sacrifice for Tiny Tim or his equivalent.” as if helping poor Tiny Tim out was like Scrooge taking a bullet for a stranger.
But in Objectivistland it is! Ebenezer Scrooge helping Tiny Tim is self-sacrifice. And self sacrifice is evil.
And thus we get to the sentence:
It is time to take the Christ out of Christmas, and turn the holiday into a guiltlessly egoistic, pro-reason, this-worldly, commercial celebration.
Now let’s have some fun and see what is left after you take out Christ from Christmas. Well, you have mass as in Mass, which is the sacrament of the Eucharist, Holy Communion. That can’t be what he means.
But joking aside, let’s take him at his word. Guiltlessly egoistic, this-worldly, commercial, pro-reason. This last merely means atheistic – it is part of taking Christ out of Christmas- being atheistic is pro-reason, being religious, or having faith is anti-reason (which in Objectivist speak is anti-mind and anti-life and the worship of death).
The key elements are (guiltlessly) egoistic and commercial.
What a fun holiday this would be! But I tell you what. I can guiltlessly buy myself commercial shit ALL YEAR LONG! And if I was a guiltlessly selfish sort wanting to revel in a commercial celebration why would I restrain myself to once a year? Am I not then practicing what you are arguing against the rest of the year? Or am I merely saving up for the giant orgy of shit-buying at the great annual atheist commercial celebration? And I have to ask that because why, if I am a guiltlessly egoistic man, would I buy shit for other people? So they would buy shit for me in return? Perhaps I buy better shit for myself than the shit they would buy for me? Why not skip the middle man and we’ll just go our separate ways and buy shit for ourselves?
You notice we’re halfway there on that already with people buying gift cards for each other. I know people who agree on a dollar limit and then get each other gift cards. How stupid is that? You are exchanging $50 for $50! Keep the money and go with my idea! Buy yourselves some shit!
How much more of an impersonal drudgery are we going to let the apostles of self-esteem make the excitement that was once Christmas?
And when that runty bastard Tiny Tim gets in your way (cuz the lad walks slow) on your walk home, shove past him. Outta my way, cripple! Guiltless, remember? Perhaps it is to my satisfaction to sneer at the bugger, what matters it you? I bought all my shit and I want to play with it. This low person is taking up my time, I only have so much of it to live and he is taking some. HE’S MAKING ME SELF-SACRIFICE!!!
Whether you are religious or not, this definition of Christmas is dead water. It calls for no different behavior than people generally display throughout the regular year.
To be continued….
…Unless I’m out buying myself shit….