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There are some days where the Rapture seems closer than others. Not because of any particular Biblical sign, mind you, but simply because of some ephemeral, wafting scent through the air, a scent that seems to convey stupidity like nothing else, and which seems to hint that the end must surely be near, because the human race reached apogee with the invention of tempered safety glass, and it's been all downhill since then.

In this case, that particular scent of apocalypse smells like a mix between weak pot and strong battery acid, which is pretty much exactly what I would expect a World Net Daily commentary by Chuck Norris -- yes, that Chuck Freaking Norris, the commentary in this case about how to keep Christmas holy via your shopping habits -- to smell like.

The National Retail Federation, the largest retail trade association, is projecting only a 5 percent increase in Christmas season sales over last year, to the tune of $457.4 billion. That compares with last year's 6.1 percent increase. [...]

What alarms me most, however, are not any economic forecasts, but the progressive disappearance of retail Christmas terminology.

What ever happened to ''Christmas?"

Dude, it's f@$#ing November. If someone in retail did wish me a "Merry Christmas" on November twentysomethingeth, I'd probably have to give them a roundhouse kick to the mistletoe just out of personal spite.

But just out of morbid curiosity, how many people here believe that Chuck Freaking Norris keeps close tabs on the doings of the National Retail Federation and their holiday retail forecasts?

I enjoy giving and receiving Christmas gifts as much as anyone else, though I prefer those presents that build up mind, body and spirit, like the educational gifts found at or the fitness and other items found at our online store (the proceeds of which go to benefit our Kick Start program).

I want to challenge corporate management, private businesses, and the American public to keep the word ''Christmas'' in their displays and advertisements, rather than replacing it with any generic ''holiday'' language.

This is truly advice worthy of both Christmas and Chuck Norris. Among the products available to educate you and build your mind, body and spirit is a Christmas Tree Comma Baby Jesus auto magnet, and a erudite tome from Tom Tancredo on how the Mexicans are coming to steal your job and marry your daughter.

If we don't stop the decline of Christmas language now, imagine what the yuletide will be like in a few years: full of ''holiday'' trees, ''holiday'' gifts, ''holiday'' wreaths, ''holiday'' dinners, ''holiday'' music, and ''holiday'' church services. Come to think of it: we're almost there!

Zing! Yes, I think this is what it must be like to get your intellectual ass kicked by Chuck Norris. It's pretty much the same as getting your intellectual ass kicked by someone from National Review, except it has more of a "grandpa's letters to the editor" quality and less of a "I have more money than God, so do what I say" quality. Or maybe it's like getting your intellectual ass kicked by a surly duck. I know I'm feeling something, here, I just can't pin it down.

I can't do it. I have lost my will to live. I can't keep breathing oxygen in a world in which Chuck Freaking Norris takes time out from pretending to beat the crap out of make-believe car thieves and drug runners on the Hallmark Channel in order to lecture me about my Christmas shopping habits, and get preemptively pissed off that someone, somewhere, might accidentally blurt out the too-New-Year's-encompassing "Happy Holidays", thus necessitating a Very Jesus Asskicking.

You see, this is why I have lost all hope of ever being able to take "conservatism" seriously again. Listening to Newt Gingrich lecture anybody about marriage was the start. Hearing wingnuts everywhere bitch about Hollywood celebrities having the audacity to speak their mind, while simultaneously pondering whether or not to hurriedly change the Constitution of the United States in order to give Arnold "Give Me a Break, I Married A Kennedy" Schwarzenegger a shot at the presidency -- that was pushing the edge. And don't get me started on Saint Rudy, Bill Bennett, Pat Robertson, John Bolton, Rick Santorum, Mark Foley, Ted Haggard, or anyone who ever opined that we just needed a few more months in Iraq and then everything would turn around -- for sure, this time!

I suffered for a long time at the notion that one of the pillars of conservative "intellectual thought" was a guy whose most significant recent claim to the mantle was playing a Smart Guy on a Comedy Central game show. Hey, here's a question for you -- anyone have an idea for how to get us the hell out of Iraq after a neoconservative fiasco that has left hundreds of thousands of dead and no actual real-world plan for either occupation or exit? Bueller? Bueller?

But having Chuck Norris tell me how to celebrate the holiness of Christmas by buying cheap remaindered crap from a wingnut website while threatening all those that oppose him via stern e-mails -- that's pushing the envelope of what the higher spirits of this world should be willing to allow.

It's all a deadly game, I'm beginning to believe. They're trying to kill us, via the ongoing institutionalizing of dumbfuckery that would, in a just and holy world, be reason for institutionalizing someone, not presenting them with column inches to fill.

Oh, but there's a special November Christmas bonus to all this, because I'm on sale this week, and because the enemies of all that is light and airy and slightly cinnamonish with a little cream on the top and where did you get these place settings by-the-way do not take time off from wankery, not for the Holy Days of post-Thanksgiving low low prices or for anyone else, not in this kingdom or the next. No sooner am I lectured by Walker Texas Ranger on how Baby Jesus requires you to buy wingnut crap from then I find myself backed into sanity's ill-painted corner by one of the true stars of wingnut welfare, Ben Shapiro. Good ol' Ben, you see, has just gotten around to freaking out about what the rest of the wingnutosphere has been freaking out about for days -- Ay-Rabs. On Planes!

Would you let your child take this flight?

You are sitting in the concourse of an airport, preparing for your flight, when out of the corner of your eye you spot six Arab men praying loudly in Arabic.

"OK," you say to yourself, "that's a bit disquieting. But praying isn't terrorism."

You glance at your watch. It's time to board the plane. Sure enough, there's the boarding announcement. Suddenly, you hear the six Arab men chanting loudly. "Allah! Allah! Allah!"

And so on.

Now, anyone with the mental acuity of dolphin-safe canned tuna might notice the one thing these Arab bastards weren't accused of doing, in Ben's heart-palpitating tale of drama and Bourne Identity-style intrigue -- anything wrong. They prayed (as Muslims are required to do at multiple intervals throughout the day), sat down (not all in a group, because getting seats together as a group on an airplane requires some magical power over time and space that no airline employee this side of Thundarr, Lord of Booking has ever been able to master), and two asked for seatbelt extenders because, um... maybe they have fat asses, like 90% of the rest of America. Or maybe they were planning on using them to flagellate any apostates wanderering down the aisle, how the hell should I know?

No, the entire chickenhawk brigade has been peeing down their pantlegs in collective fear because of six guys being brown while praying. My God! Seatbelt extenders! They're the nunchucks of the airline safety equipment world! What new menace will threaten us next -- are we soon to be facing world jihad over insufficient legroom? And what about the SkyMall catalog -- did those Arab bastards buy anything, or does Chuck F-cking Norris have to deck their Satanic, Christmas-hating halls, seatbelt nunchucks or no seatbelt nunchucks?

I swear, I'm nine-tenths of the way to just getting on an airplane, taking my pants off, and strangling some guy with them. Not because I have any great urge to strangle people on airplanes, but simply because from then on, nobody will be allowed to wear pants on planes. And the chickenhawk brigade will paint visions of a glowing, safe, pantsless future, and everyone will feel a hell of a lot safer until I strangle the next poor bastard with the elastic from my underwear.

Ben, get your chickenshit, vapors-having, race-baiting, flag-waving, porn-"researching", pasty-white wingnut ass over to Iraq, so that one of the soldiers there can come home. If the threat to America is so great that we have to start rationing both praying and the seatbelt extenders, surely it's about time you put your cowardly ass on the line for one measly fun-filled tour in the land that wingnuts built. If, that is, you can manage to get there without freaking out and fragging the first brown officer you run across because you thought the shiny buttons on his uniform might be tiny mind-control devices or something.

Chuck -- get over it. I'm sure, at some point, some sorry bastard is going to wish you "Happy Holidays", and it's not because they hate Jesus or are working to undermine Christianity or are trying to goad you into swiftly crushing them with your muscular, National Retail Association-quoting "intellect." It's just a damn expression that everyone uses to mean "the holidays". You know, Christmas, New Year's, Sacrifice A Small Child For Satan Eve -- the whole panoply between December 24th and January 1. My very Christian family says it all the time, usually right alongside "Merry Christmas", and not once has any one of them suffered through the mental anguish of trying to decide whether or not they should be offended at themselves for treating themselves with such contempt for themselves. If this is the greatest threat to your well being, then truly you've reached a pinnacle of isolated self-absorption that even young Ben there would be hard-pressed to master. Hell, why don't you tell us what you'd do to them nasty Arabs, and give Ben the cushy humvee patrol through Santa's Strife-Torn Village for a while? I think that boy could use the candy cane break, he's cracking up from the strain of so many ethnic people taking scheduled business trips.

I'm always torn, on posts like this. On one hand, why the hell would anyone call attention to Farah's Faucet -- the true dregs of the right, the places we all go to laugh at? Of course they're idiots, they've been hand picked to be idiots. Hell, Ben over there was raised in a test tube from his larval state for the express purpose of someday blooming into full idiocy. He doesn't have the rich genetic legacy of a Jonah Goldberg, truly one of the heirloom varieties in the wingnut vegetable garden, but hell -- Ben could probably at least be a speechwriter for Tom Tancredo one day, if Duncan Hunter or Xenu don't get his ass under contract first.

But on the other hand, if they're going to wave Chuck Norris in my face like a Christmas ham, there's simply no way to ignore the awe-inspiring, Rapture-hastening craptacularness of something like that. It's like dressing up like a giant strip of beef jerky and jumping into the bear habitat at the local zoo -- you can hardly blame the bear for wanting a sweet piece of that action, can you?

So Merry Freakin' Wingnut Christmas to the lot of them. Now, are you folks going to buy something from that SkyMall catalog, or do you want Baby Jesus to die?

Originally posted to Hunter on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 10:50 AM PST.

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