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A Christmas Snuff Story

“We’re going to be saying Merry Christmas a lot more. And we’re going to have fewer criminal aliens to contend with,” promised President-elect Donald Trump on separate occasions.

Alas, Christmas and a criminal alien coalesced tragically, when Bob Clark, director of “A Christmas Story,” was killed by a drunk illegal alien in 2007. Clark’s son, age 22, also died on that day in April.

Like the director of that enchanting film, the family depicted in “A Christmas Story” is all but dead and buried, too—killed by Uncle Sam, the patron saint of social disorder.

Described by a critic as “one of those rare movies you can say is perfect in every way,” “A Christmas Story” debuted in 1983. Set in the 1940s, the film depicts a series of family vignettes through the eyes of 9-year-old Ralphie Parker, who yearns for that gift of all gifts: the Daisy Red Ryder BB gun.

This was boyhood before “bang-bang you’re dead” was banned; family life prior to “One Dad Two Dads Brown Dad Blue Dads,” and Christmas before Saint Nicholas was denounced for his whiteness and “Merry Christmas” condemned for its exclusivity.

If children could choose the family into which they were born, most would opt for the kind depicted in “A Christmas Story,” where mom is a happy homemaker, dad a devoted working stiff, and between them, they have no repertoire of psychobabble to rub together.

Although clearly adored, Ralphie is not encouraged to share his feelings at every turn. Nor is he, in the spirit of gender-neutral parenting, circa 2016, urged to act out like a girl if he’s feeling … girlie. Instead, Ralphie is taught restraint and self-control. And horrors: The little boy even has his mouth washed out with soap and water for uttering the “F” expletive. “My personal preference was for Lux,” reveals Ralphie, “but I found Palmolive had a nice piquant after-dinner flavor—heady but with just a touch of mellow smoothness.” Ralphie is, of course, guilt-tripped with stories about starving Biafrans when he refuses to finish his food.

The parenting practiced so successfully by Mr. and Mrs. Parker fails every progressive commandment. By today’s standards, the delightful, un-precocious protagonist of “A Christmas Story” would be doomed to a lifetime on the therapist’s chaise lounge—and certainly to daily doses of Ritalin, as punishment for unbridled boyishness and daydreaming in class. Yet despite his therapeutically challenged upbringing, Ralphie is a happy little boy. For progressives—for whom it has long been axiomatic that the traditional family is the source of oppression for women and children—this is inexplicable.

Perhaps the first to have conflated the values of the bourgeois family with pathological authoritarianism was philosopher Theodor Adorno. Adorno’s formulations on authoritarianism have informed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. In general, the consensus among these rights advocates has been that the traditional family’s hierarchical structure disempowers children. The solution: Let the State destabilize the parent-child relationship via policies that would define and limit the power of the parent, while increasing the power of child and political proxies.

While America’s founders intended for the family to be left untouched as “the major source of an orderly and free society”—Dr. Allan Carlson’s words—politicians and jurists have ruled to the contrary. What was once the economic and social backbone of American society has been inestimably weakened by both the Welfare State and the Supreme Court—what with the latter’s redefinition of family and marriage, and the former’s incremental steps to trounce parents as the child’s primary socialization agents.

Culturally, the family has been demoted to what broadcaster Charles Sykes once termed a “Therapeutic Family.” Having “adjusted itself to the new demands of the social contract with the Self,” wrote Sykes in “A Nation of Victims,” “the modern family has ceased to inculcate values.” Instead, it exists exclusively for the ostensible unleashing of “self-expression and creativity” in its members.

An aside: In the 1990s, Mr. Sykes was writing this important book protesting “the decay of the American character.” Fast forward to 2016, when Mr. Sykes was vocal in defending an iffy character, reporter Michelle Fields, on grounds he once rejected in his trailblazing book. When Mr. Sykes lamented the “The Decay of the American Character,” no reader was under the impression it was the mettle of Ms. Fields he was hankering for and hoping to see restored.

Back to Ralphie and his family: Progressives have triumphed. Very little remains of the unit that was once a vector for the transmission of values in American society. Women and children are less likely than ever to have to endure the confines of this bête noire of a family, with its typically “oppressed” mother, old-fashioned father and contained kids. Nowadays, women are more likely to be divorced, never married, or to bear children out of wedlock.

Unencumbered by marriage, women are also more prone to poverty, addictions and sexually transmitted diseases. Their children, a third of whom are being raised in households headed by a mother only, are paying the price in a greater propensity for poverty, and higher dropout, addiction and crime rates. Witness the black family. Having survived the perils of slavery, it was still intact until the 1930s, when the dead hand of the Welfare State finished it off. As a social unit, the black American family is near extinct.

Contemporary America’s familial fragmentation—sky-high divorce rates and illegitimacy—has translated into juvenile crime, drug abuse and illiteracy. Yet despite all the State has done to “liberate” children from the strictures of the traditional family, ask any “emancipated” child and he’ll tell you: More than anything, he yearns for a mom and dad like Ralphie’s.

Indeed, lucky is the little boy who has such a family. Luckier still is the lad who has both such a family and … a BB gun.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Christmas, Donald Trump, Political Correctness 
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  1. O Tempore, O mores
    We live in interesting times. Consider:
    *Middle age women fancy teenage boys
    *Young woman and girls covet the Barbie Doll look. All top, no bottom.
    *Grown men fancy toddlers.
    *Priests fancy young boys; seldom young girls or women.
    *Mohels and Rabbis render the first blow job. Sometimes favor the honoree with herpes.
    *Any young person with computer savvy has unlimited access to graphic adult pornography. A single touch to a classmate, however, can be a police issue. more

    https://robertmagill.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/infantilization-anyone/

    Read More
    • Replies: @TheJester
    Robert,

    I visited your blog for the rest of the piece. I find your observation that empires/civilizations in decline infantilize themselves as the lights go out worth a long mull. Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire has been a lifelong interest to me, having used his volumes to read myself to sleep at night over many years.

    I note your reference to Emperor Tiberius and pedophilia. There are similar stories about Mao Tse-tung. Their power allowed them to indulge with impunity ... but you are suggesting more. There is a race to the bottom, as it were, with respect to a declining civilization's interest in sexualized youth. It is a feature of the decline, not an aberration.

    There is a lot to notice. In its nadir, Rome also found foreigners on the throne (Obama?) and the literati played with foreign religions and political arrangements (liberalism and globalization?). There was a lot of self-hate in the newfound obsession with what was foreign. In short, an empire in decline progressively loses faith in itself, it's institutions, and in its accomplishments. In recompense, it reaches out and tries to fill the void with what is new, exotic, alien, and often bizarre, obscene, and deviant.

    I believe the Decline and Fall of the British Empire is a more recent and glaring example than Rome of the process of decline. In the late 19th Century, Great Britain was the "new Rome" as it brought civilization, law, and technology to the rest of the world. Today, it is the new gomorrah, including your point about infantilization and pedophilia. And virulent hate for its past and its culture (amid massive immigration) is glaring.

    Perhaps, as a principle driven by immigration, empire inevitably leads to the suicide of the founding culture as what is new, exotic, alien, bizarre, and deviant in the imperial provinces are progressively accepted on equal terms until they upstage and replace the society's core values -- the ones that made it great. At that point, the people of the empire are no longer a recognizable and distinct "people". Rather, they are a mongrel collection of inconsistent and competing social, moral, political, and cultural values and principles. They express and savor vibrant diversity for its own sake. The end is nigh. We cannot be Europe, Africa, the Levant, Latin America, and Asia at the same time.

    Our lot? As the capital of Rome moved east to Constantinople, the capital of the Anglo-American Empire moved west from London to Washington. Can we resist the patterns of social and moral decline by repudiating empire and immigration to restore the Republic and it virtues? We are trying. Routing Hillary and her imperial party make me hopeful.

    Merry Christmas ...!

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  2. alas, mz mercer is one in a coalition of those who wax poetically over an idealistic version of america that never existed.
    she doesn’t cotton to girlie-men with little muscles and flabby buttocks. back in the good-ole, rugged man forties we usta beat the sissy right outta em. we hated niggas – except for those who knew their place. we hated homos, too. sex outside of marriage got a girl a scarlet letter.
    no, i prefer the progress made in human rights.
    but, the process is eternal.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Don't be silly. The "idealistic" version, while less idealistic, entirely existed. I grew up in one such family and I wasn't even white. Quite evidently, it would be a waste of time for me to either try to be racist, or to be particularly anti-gay then. You made more snide comments and mocked people more, sure, but honestly, the idea that people were going around lynching people left and right is silly.

    Its no great sin to mourn what we have lost, even if you wish to praise what we have "gained." The truth is the way that my family was, while far from perfect, genuinely made me into a better man than I would have otherwise been. And it made for a beautiful world, even with moments of grit and ugliness.

  3. @Robert Magill
    O Tempore, O mores
    We live in interesting times. Consider:
    *Middle age women fancy teenage boys
    *Young woman and girls covet the Barbie Doll look. All top, no bottom.
    *Grown men fancy toddlers.
    *Priests fancy young boys; seldom young girls or women.
    *Mohels and Rabbis render the first blow job. Sometimes favor the honoree with herpes.
    *Any young person with computer savvy has unlimited access to graphic adult pornography. A single touch to a classmate, however, can be a police issue. more

    https://robertmagill.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/infantilization-anyone/

    Robert,

    I visited your blog for the rest of the piece. I find your observation that empires/civilizations in decline infantilize themselves as the lights go out worth a long mull. Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire has been a lifelong interest to me, having used his volumes to read myself to sleep at night over many years.

    I note your reference to Emperor Tiberius and pedophilia. There are similar stories about Mao Tse-tung. Their power allowed them to indulge with impunity … but you are suggesting more. There is a race to the bottom, as it were, with respect to a declining civilization’s interest in sexualized youth. It is a feature of the decline, not an aberration.

    There is a lot to notice. In its nadir, Rome also found foreigners on the throne (Obama?) and the literati played with foreign religions and political arrangements (liberalism and globalization?). There was a lot of self-hate in the newfound obsession with what was foreign. In short, an empire in decline progressively loses faith in itself, it’s institutions, and in its accomplishments. In recompense, it reaches out and tries to fill the void with what is new, exotic, alien, and often bizarre, obscene, and deviant.

    I believe the Decline and Fall of the British Empire is a more recent and glaring example than Rome of the process of decline. In the late 19th Century, Great Britain was the “new Rome” as it brought civilization, law, and technology to the rest of the world. Today, it is the new gomorrah, including your point about infantilization and pedophilia. And virulent hate for its past and its culture (amid massive immigration) is glaring.

    Perhaps, as a principle driven by immigration, empire inevitably leads to the suicide of the founding culture as what is new, exotic, alien, bizarre, and deviant in the imperial provinces are progressively accepted on equal terms until they upstage and replace the society’s core values — the ones that made it great. At that point, the people of the empire are no longer a recognizable and distinct “people”. Rather, they are a mongrel collection of inconsistent and competing social, moral, political, and cultural values and principles. They express and savor vibrant diversity for its own sake. The end is nigh. We cannot be Europe, Africa, the Levant, Latin America, and Asia at the same time.

    Our lot? As the capital of Rome moved east to Constantinople, the capital of the Anglo-American Empire moved west from London to Washington. Can we resist the patterns of social and moral decline by repudiating empire and immigration to restore the Republic and it virtues? We are trying. Routing Hillary and her imperial party make me hopeful.

    Merry Christmas …!

    Read More
  4. @Lawrence Fitton
    alas, mz mercer is one in a coalition of those who wax poetically over an idealistic version of america that never existed.
    she doesn't cotton to girlie-men with little muscles and flabby buttocks. back in the good-ole, rugged man forties we usta beat the sissy right outta em. we hated niggas - except for those who knew their place. we hated homos, too. sex outside of marriage got a girl a scarlet letter.
    no, i prefer the progress made in human rights.
    but, the process is eternal.

    Don’t be silly. The “idealistic” version, while less idealistic, entirely existed. I grew up in one such family and I wasn’t even white. Quite evidently, it would be a waste of time for me to either try to be racist, or to be particularly anti-gay then. You made more snide comments and mocked people more, sure, but honestly, the idea that people were going around lynching people left and right is silly.

    Its no great sin to mourn what we have lost, even if you wish to praise what we have “gained.” The truth is the way that my family was, while far from perfect, genuinely made me into a better man than I would have otherwise been. And it made for a beautiful world, even with moments of grit and ugliness.

    Read More
  5. Good story…but how can you refer to Ralphie’s Red Ryder BB-gun hopes/expectations without mentioning author Jean Shepherd, whose all-night talk radio show many listened to ’til the wee hours back in the ’50s. Shepherd was a master of the solo voice radio drama, especially when he talked about his childhood…how the “old man” came home from the mill in Gary, Ind., cracked a cold one and sat down at the kitchen to recoup from the cares of the day. Shepherd’s cozy voice, brimming with a panoply of emotions, could conjure up great imaginary movements and events–like his book, “I, Libertine,” he told his audience to ask for at bookstores–a book he had yet to write. Finally, his following created such swelling demand, he actually had to sit down and write the damn thing.

    Read More
  6. …. Ralphie is taught restraint and self-control. And horrors: The little boy even has his mouth washed out with soap and water….

    Witness the black family. Having survived the perils of slavery, it was still intact until the 1930s, when the dead hand of the Welfare State finished it off.

    People seemed to realize how resilient and non-fragile human beings were back then. Certainly, any parent can ruin most any child, but it takes an awful lot of work on the parent’s part to get to that place. In some respects, modern government dominated society (let’s call it MGDS) seems to believe that all of us are on the razor’s edge between ruin and happiness as children. In other respects, MGDS seems to think that the environmental setting of the Spotted Owl is more important than the environmental setting of children. Rather schizophrenic.

    Government should stand aside and let culture (not pop culture…the real inter-generational culture) do it’s job. But like the old Soviet Union, MGDS sees culture not as an ally, but an enemy…a competitor.

    Read More
  7. The Charles Sykes anecdote shows how an old world gentleman’s sensibility has not caught up to the current state of mass narcissism across the media landscape, especially among aspiring celebs. There is a cognitive dissonance there, and I suspect Mr Sykes would see Megan Kelly in a similar way as a precious damsel in need of protection. They call this ‘white knighting’ nowadays.

    OT, but Llana, Best wishes for a Great 2017. Looking forward to reading your latest book.
    -C

    Read More
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