I came upon this slate article indirectly from a frequent, yet anonymous commenter of this blog (sorry if it annoys you that I'm blogging on this, but it was just too extreme to let slip, and I'm in finals and therefore easily distracted). All I have to say is whoa. That is quite a strongly worded piece directed against Hannukah. Ah the joys of journalism and the internet, where one does not need to cite sources or hold a reasonable respect for the subject of one's inquiry (though in all fairness there are plenty of academics who do the same thing but with bigger words). I'm not saying the history is not generally correct. Though my historical knowledge of this subject comes from a freshman class I mostly slept through, I believe the general facts is somewhere in the reasonable range of the truth (obviously feel free to correct me). But the tone is, well lets just say, not really compatible with our societies generally p.c. pluralism.
Before I continue I should note that the article was written by Christopher Hitchens, and he is definitely not a man who shies away from controversy to say the least. But irregardless, it does raise some interesting questions for us..
If I can guess correctly, our readers are probably thinking one (or many many) of these opinions (hows that for precision?):
1. This is (insert adjective) anti-semitism
2. This is (insert adjective) secularism primarily, but also anti-semitic
2b. This is secularism, but walks a fine line between secularism and anti-semitism
2c. This is secularism, not anti-semitism
3. This is correct, but seriously this author must have (insert non-sexist noun)
4. other (who is Zie to tell me what to think?)
Crazy right? Personally, I think there are ways to say something like this that seek to elucidate the facts and not merely anger a community. History can be told from an unlimited number of viewpoints with an unlimited number of agendas. Almost every year I come upon numerous articles that discuss Christmas as a commercial holiday lacking any actual religious meaning or historical fact. However, I do not know if I have ever read someone saying that Jesus represented backwards ideas and therefore to celebrate his birth is to deny enlightened thinking. hmm..
when did we stop appreciating a good metaphor?? Literalists make me seriously angry! Really takes some of the beauty out of life eh? Try reading Shakespeare literally... really doesn't make much sense. end of digression.
So, what do y'all think?