Let's say you meet someone at a... holiday party. He is introduced to you as Phillip, but when you say, "Nice to meet you, Phillip," (a time-honored way to remember a new acquaintance's name that has never worked for me), he says, "Please call me Phil."
Do you have a problem with that? Is that too politically correct?
If not, I don't understand the uproar (well, upmumble, anyway) that has been going on about political correctness. "The problem with this country is political correctness!" one candidate for President of the United States has cried. That's a statement showing someone's complete and utter ignorance of real problems in this country.
A group of people who share an ethnicity are clear that they wish to be referred to as "African-American." What exactly is the issue with doing that? What does it cost the society to treat people the way they ask to be treated (and the word change is, seriously, the absolute least the majority can do)? Some who meet me at said holiday party will wish me a Merry Christmas. I have never celebrated Christmas in my life, unless you count going to the movies and eating Chinese food, two things I might or might not do on that day except that nobody's working (except me) and nothing else is open.
Yes, it irritates me when people send Christmas cards. Not because I'm anti-Christmas (I have no skin the game and think only that the season goes on too damn long, the same criticism I have of the block party on my street every Labor Day), but because it shows an insensitivity I think is rude. You're celebrating Christmas? Enjoy yourself. I mean that sincerely. But to assume that because I am a human I do the same is to invalidate (on a very minor scale) my own identity. I wouldn't walk up to a total stranger and wish him or her a happy Chanukah. (To be honest, I wouldn't walk up to ANYBODY and wish them a happy Chanukah, but that's just me.) Why should I assume that person celebrates that holiday?
People complain because "Christmas parties" are sometimes called "holiday parties." Because apparently inclusion of other holidays dilutes the fun for the majority. Fine. Call it a Christmas party if that's what it is; I applaud your accuracy. But I won't be coming because I don't have anything to celebrate there. I'm not being obstinate and I'm not trying to make a political or moral point. I choose not to attend events at which I am not included. If there were a reunion of Korean War veterans, I would not expect to be invited.
Say that you should call such a gathering (the one in December, not the Korean War thing) a "holiday party," insist that the separation of church and state be upheld (and yes, that means no religious displays at municipal or governmental properties), and one is accused of participating in a "war on Christmas," possibly the most ridiculous concept of the past 20 years. And it's been a pretty nuts two decades.
There's no "war on Christmas," ladies and gentlemen. I hate to spoil your illusion, but there isn't. If it is a "war" for people outside the majority to ask for civility and courtesy while you're having a holiday, then you have a very odd idea of "war." The same is true in language. It's accuracy I'm hoping for, not linguistic gymnastics necessary to include every possible human being.
A restored movie palace near my home (well, sort of near my home) shows classic films one weekend every month except during the summer because it has not yet air conditioned the huge facility. And not long ago, I received an email informing me of the "holiday features" being screened. They were both Christmas movies.
Now, I have absolutely no problem with that. I can't think of a Chanukah film I would want to see, and I'm not sure there's ever been a Kwanzaa movie. The lame attempts at New Year's Eve movies (the holiday that comes closest to total inclusion) are not worth screening. So if you're going to show films during the month of December and want to tie them to the "holiday season," clearly Christmas films are the way to go.
But that's what they are--Christmas films. Don't call them "holiday movies." 1776 is a holiday movie; it centers on Independence Day. For that matter, Independence Day can be seen as a holiday movie, just as Die Hard is a Christmas movie. But the films being screened in this case were "Christmas in Connecticut" and "A Christmas Carol." They're about Christmas. Christmas is in BOTH titles. Own it. Call them Christmas movies because that's what they are.
Political correctness is about inclusion. It's about courtesy. It's about treating people as they prefer. I don't see a problem in that.
And by the way, happy new year to all, except those who use a calendar other than the Roman. For you, happy one night and a day after!
That was a politically correct statement. Who did it hurt?
P.S. Pitchers and catchers report in 52 days.