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December 05, 1969 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-12-05

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Friday, December 5, 1969

ON IGNORING IT
An existential approach to the Christmas problem

By STEVE ANZALONE
Editorial Page Editor
R EMEMBER Christmas Eve
when you were little and
Eddie Fisher would host the
Christmas television specials. At
the end of the show he would
wish one and all, "Happy holi-
days." You never thought any-
thing about it until your old
man told you that Eddie didn't
say "Merry Christmas" because
he was Jewish and Jews don't
celebrate Christmas.
It really bothered you. You
felt sorry for all the little Jewish

kids who didn't get toys for
Christmas; somehow they were
like the starving children in
India you heard about when
you didn't clean your plate.
Now you're in college and
your Jewish friends seem to
have done well without benefit
of Santa. In fact, they may be
better for the lack of holiday
cheer.
After a couple years in col-
lege, the lesson of Christmas
becomes clear. There is nothing
you can do about it. You go
home for a couple weeks and

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ope you survive. You have to
uy presents, there is all that
inocuous Christmas music, and
our relatives are a real pain.
But what is to be done? Noth-
ig. The idealistic aight claim
hat radical politics must have
n answer to the Christmas
alaise. But our radical politi-
al forms have not yet even
ented the American war ma-
hine, let alone hope to be any-
sing but impotent against 2000
ears of Christian tradition.
ook at the possibilities:
Student activists might return
some and organize a boycott of
he products of American indus-
'y. They can picket local mer-
hants and urge people that
hristmas presents will be dis-
ontinued unitl America stops
xploiting the Third World. It
ould be helpful to point out
o the community that .the
ometown merchants are just
ourgeois tools of the American
ar machine.
Or, a good educational pro-
'ram might be built around
hristmas card rhetoric. You
ould begin collecting cards with
essages like, "Peace on earth.
sod will to men." They can be
ad to your family, showing
iem that "peace now" is a re-
Ctionary disguise for those coin-
atting social revolution. People
ust stat learing that peace
n earth is only possible after
ie imperialist aggessors are
mashed.
Another good educatlional de-
ce is Christmas literature.
riends and relatives can be
ead such things as Dickens' "A
'hristmas Carol." The lesson
hat they should learn is that

the Cratchetts' plight is the
only possible outcome of capi-
talism.
You must show them that
Scrooge represents New Deal re-
formism, the paternalistic hand-
out. The folks at home must
come to understand that the
issue is not making the Scrooges
more charitable, but that Bob
Cratchett has the right to de-
termine his own life and his
own wages.
None of these are likely to
meet with much success back
home in the provinces-whether
that be Escanaba, Detroit, Gould
City, or Oak Park. I am afraid
there is really nothing that can
be done to confront Christmas,
other than to acquiesce. Christ-
nas reminds us that man is
condemned to be free and that
we must act in good faith by
bravely facing the human con-
dition. This means accepting
man's fate and going home.
But Christmas need not in-
spire despair. There are many
things that you can do to make
the holiday season pass a little
bit easier. You can pursue an
existential project -- like gettit" -
your incompletes done. And
then, too, are the delights of
Christmas itself: good food and
d rink, merriment. and presents.
On the subject of presents,
the existential man has learned
a few things about Christmas.
Rememberitg getting Soul on
Ice from your brother last
Christmas? And how your Aunt
Sylvia, the one who reads news-
papers, couldn't understand how
a man sent to jail for rape could
be "cool" let alone write a
decent book. You should be

more discreet this year. Christ-
mas is the time to fill in your
library with obscure radical lit-
erature. Your Aunt Sylvia has
probably never heard of Bakun-
in and she won't want to reveal
her ignorance by asking.
Another thing. Remember get-
ting all those nice sweaters and
shirts that you only wear once
in a while if at all? Be a little
more practical this year. Ask for
underwear and socks. After a
couple Christmases, you will be
so well supplied that you will
only have to do your wash once
a semester.
Ultimately, t h e important
thing about Christmas is get-
ting out alive. Avoid talking
politics with your old man, be
nice to your mother, and don't
insult your obnoxious relatives.
It only comes once a year. After
a couple weeks, you'll be back
in the unreal world of Ann Ar-
bor and your parents will be just
as glad as you are,
For those who insist on us-
ing Christmas to provoke social
change, I only have one sug-
gestion Your parents have prob-
ably seen The Graduate a cou-
ple times by now, and probably
have come to like Simon and
Garfunkel. Bring home their
old album, the one with "Seven
O'clock News." They'll enjoy
hearing some of the songs they
hear in the movie, and then
when the boys hit them with a
little social protest to the tune of
"Silent Night," it should really
blow their minds.
Shirt moguls
changing to
wildcolors
You students have finally con-
vinced the shirt industry that
white shirts are dead. Now it's
wild bright colors and groovy co-
ordinates. Dots go with stripes,
plaids go with prints. Anything's
the word, and the word is good.
The very latest innovation comes
in matching dress shirts and ties.
A checked shirt with a checked
tie in the same color and pattern.
The best part is you have two
outfits in one. Wear the tie with
another shirt, the shirt with an-
Iother tie. It's the beginning of a
while new concept in groovy
4 grooming. Available in Ann Arbor
1 at any men's clothing store thats
Aup with the pace.
" i v
II

This Christmas
put Portage shoes
in his stocking
You don't even have to know his size!
Give him a gift certificate for a pair of
Portage shoes for Christmas and he can
experience the joy of picking them out
for himself. And we can be sure he's fit
for comfort.
D"DA1F V

SHOES FOR MEN
MAST'S SHOES A U S T-I N
TWO STORES t DIAMOND
619 E. Liberty and 217 S. Main 1209S. University 663-7151

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