Humor

Festivus Airing of Grievances

Gather 'round the pole, kids.

Once upon a time, there was an excellent show called Seinfeld. It may or may not have shaped my twenties and thirties, and I may or may not have bought my very first television set just to watch that one show, every Thursday at 8pm CT, religiously.

I will neither confirm nor deny whether I was obsessed with this show. I will, however, give you this pro tip: if a parent, whom you don’t know at all, is looking for their child at a party, on a playground, in a crowded zoo, or at a school concert, no matter how tempting it might be, do not say, with poorly executed Australian accent, “Maybe the dingo ate your baby.”

And, speaking of religion, Seinfeld also gave birth to a glorious holiday called Festivus. On December 23rd, anyone can celebrate this holiday with an unadorned aluminum pole to symbolize a stance against all the materialism that comes with the other holidays, airing of some grievances, and feats of strength in which a designated person has to wrestle and try to pin down the head of the household. It is truly an all inclusive holiday of this season.

You all know how much I love inclusion.

Without much ado, and in no specific order, here is my list of grievances that I would like to air this year:

1. To the Orange One, a.k.a. #45, a.k.a. #notmypresident (literally), a.k.a. Fuckface Von Clownstick (thank you, Jon Stewart) – I don’t have all day to list everything that is objectionable about Donald Trump. However, as a non-native speaker of the English language who has more respect for the art of communication than Trump has respect for his country, its people, its laws, humanity in general, and basic decency, I am going to pick just one small thing that irks me to no end.

Donald: You do NOT have the best words. You do not even have real words. Stop saying that you have the best words. That doesn’t even make sense. You insult the integrity of the English language when you show up with inferior non-words and parade them as “best words.” Kind of like you showing up with your toupée-wannabe comb-over and pretending you are even remotely presidential or dignified – you are fooling no one. Well, at least no one who has actual words.

2. Melania von Clownstick. I will keep it fittingly simple. YOU ARE NOT “THE MOST BULLIED PERSON ON THE WORLD.” Get a fucking grip. You wore a jacket that says, “I really don’t care, do u?” to visit migrant children. Get a grip and grow a heart.

3. Almost 250K (at the time of writing this) assholes donating to the GoFundMe page to help Trump’s border wall. Going by the demographics of those who voted for Trump, I am going to make an educated guess that most of you are Christians. Perhaps non-practicing Christians – I am starting to see a pattern here. Trump says he has best words, but they are really not even words. Trump’s supporters say that they are Christians, but are they?

Remember all the hubbub about how “politically correct” people are destroying the Christmas spirit? I attended Christian schools, albeit not by choice, and grew up in a Christian household. Since I am one of those “politically correct” persons of color, I probably won’t be able to get through to those who are celebrating their Christmas season by donating toward a border wall. So, while the following is a bit long, I want to share a passage from the Bible:

(Matthew 25:31-46) 
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

In short, what Jesus is saying is that all y’all assholes trying to build that wall and imprisoning asylum-seeking migrant families are going to hell. And we, the ones you so fondly call libtards, are going to heaven to hang with your Jesus.

Hey, I’m just quoting your Bible. And, this is what we call a mic drop.

4. People who say, “I have a ________ who is __________” to justify stupid shit they say or want to support. For example, I was reading the comments on a post about botched cultural appropriation of Asian food, e.g. phở reinvented as a salad (phở is typically broth and noodles, so if you take both out, replace them with lettuce and other greens, drizzle some fish sauce on the dish, and call it a “salad phở”… well, you might get accused of flagrant cultural hijacking), and a woman’s comment stood out. She said, “My husband is Asian, and he is not offended. So this is not offensive.”

Ah. This delusional woman seems to think that she married the one Asian man who speaks for ALL Asians.

Also, lady, why would you out your husband as an Asian Uncle Tom? I mean, if he’s content being that sidelines Asian man who doesn’t want to piss off non-Asians by, god forbid, being offended by others constantly appropriating and butchering Asian culture, why would you out him to a bunch of angry Asians who can now click on your profile and look for a photo of your Asian husband so they can have a face they can hate on?

Right… you think you married our spokesperson. No. Just stop. Your Asian husband saying so does not make it so for ALL Asians.

Same goes for all those people who say shit like, “I can’t be homophobic, I have a gay cousin” or “I am not a racist – look at my beautiful black wife” or “We volunteer for and donate to African charities, so you can’t say our shit smells like elitist white privilege – and we have selfies with poor starving African children to prove it.”

Your implicit biases are not absolved by one person to whom you are related or by a few acts of kindness.

5. People who say “Go back to China.” I am always surprised when I hear this, especially from a grown-ass stranger.

If China is the only country in the entire continent of Asia that you can name, shouldn’t you keep that a secret? I mean, it’s embarrassing. And it confuses me because, while I am angry at your xenophobic and basic as Becky comment, I am embarrassed for you.

You are lucky that I am a first generation immigrant. At least you got one part right; I do have a home country to which I can go back. Can you imagine how mortifyingly embarrassing it would be for you if I were born here? The thing is, there is a good chance that you didn’t tell me to go back to China because you assumed that I was not born in the U.S.. There is a good chance that you told me to go back to China even though you thought I was born here because what you were really saying is that people who look like me and I don’t belong in your color scheme. 

That’s just not cool. That just makes you a pathetic racist fuckwad who is also limited in basic geographic knowledge. That’s a little sad, yo.

6. A woman in my office who made a point to ask me, but no one else, if I “do Christmas.” I assumed that you didn’t mean in the biblical sense, like “do I know Christmas” or “am I doing Christmas.” Which is an odd question coming from someone who probably did not attend church or bible studies or chapel services as much as I did while growing up. (See #3 above.)

I noticed that you did not ask anyone else in the office. My guess, knowing you, is that you were not asking if I do Christmas in the religious or spiritual way, but rather, in the commercial way. The fact that you did not ask anyone else that question, and seeing that I am the only non-white person in the office, you must think Christmas is an automatically white thing.

First of all, you could have been more thoughtful and asked, “What are you doing for the holidays?” See how non-invasive and non-assumptive that was?

Secondly, I know that the “little something” gift bags you distributed to everyone in the office were not equal. You asked me if I “do” Christmas as you were handing out the gift bags, and it became clear to me that you were offering that question as an explanation why others received gift bags that held wrapped bulky gifts while mine was a flat file folder with a mini 5×7 sticky post-it style notepad stuck inside. Sure, I do appreciate the gift, and the file folder was a pretty flowery one that our daughter coveted right away.

I didn’t even get you anything so I am truly grateful that you got me something. But, it stings a little. I don’t know what’s worse – to think that it was just a personal jab because you don’t like me as much as you like everyone else or to think that you are ignorant enough to assume I must not do Christmas because I am not white.

The answer to your question is that I don’t do petty Christmas. And, if you must know, not that it’s any of your business, I am an atheist who celebrates Festivus. You do not want to come to our house for the Airing of Grievances.

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Happy Festivus. Air your grievances, wave your aluminum poles (or dance on them if you got one of those at home), and wrestle the head of your household to see if you can pin her down.