The Objective Eye

"Every movement that seeks to enslave a country, every dictatorship or potential dictatorship, needs some minority group as a scapegoat which it can blame for the nation's troubles and use as a justification of its own demand for dictatorial powers. In Soviet Russia, the scapegoat was the bourgeoisie; in Nazi Germany, it was the Jewish people; in America, it is the businessmen."
- Ayn Rand, "America's Persecuted Minority: Big Business" (1961)

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Location: Los Angeles, United States

Friday, December 15, 2006

Kill the Holiday "Safety" Nanny. Please.

Now Playing: "Gary Moore & Friends - One Night in Dublin: A Tribute to Phil Lynott (via DVD)

On this, the 215th anniversary of the Bill of Rights, I had a perfect reminder of one of the cultural origins of retro-fascist edicts such as NYC's new "trans fat ban" (see immediately-preceding post) and the scores of smoking bans imposed nationwide in the wake of this country's turn-of-the-century Tobacco Witch Hunt.

It's that sometimes subtle, sometimes in-your-face nattering that now accompanies every single American holiday, as a full replacement for that outmoded and apparently toothless concept of simply...wishing people well. It usually goes like this:

"Have a Safe and happy holiday."

Once in a while I come across one of those little telling details, sometimes positive but in this case negative, that makes me want to shout from the highest mountaintop with the highest-powered Vogon-produced quadraphonic planet-spanning loudspeaker system available. It would go something like this:


Today it was a flier I got in the mailbox from some "safety" organization, warning me frantically about the Grievous Dangers Of Holiday Decoration, including how to avoid turning your Christmas trees, holiday candles, and "loose, flowing clothes," into firebombs. This apparent long-lost-Mommy-of-mine also nattered on about:

- the vital importance of not smoking near flammable decorations (presumably these decorations are located outside?);
- of Christmas light maintenance;
- of creating an "emergency plan";
- of practicing an "emergency plan";
- of not being cold-clocked by that lurking menace, the "early sundown";
- of safely crossing the street;
- of making turns in heavy traffic;

[...takes a breather...]

- "pulling out of a parking lot";
- "darting in front of oncoming vehicles" (hey, everybody fancies the odd game of Cricket or 501 in the middle of the street, eh?);
- ensuring that government safety labels are intact on lights;
- discarding damaged light sets and "cut off one end to prevent someone using a damaged set" (A-ha! Those dumpster-divers are after Christmas lights! I just knew it all along!);
- the fine art of how to determine the condition of your tree - "A fresh tree is green" (!) - This is verbatim, folks...

The sermon, at last, has the utter impudence, the practiced marriage of condescension and irony, to end its litany with:

"Nobody wants an injury to dampen their holiday cheer,"


"Remember, there is no substitute for common sense."

Well we can rest easy in the knowledge that the former problem (or "challenge" if you're a PC cultist,) has been nipped in the bud. Whatever holiday cheer may have been blossoming in the hearts of would-be revelers has been handily obliterated by this now-obligatory rubbing of our noses in Lurking Death, Mayhem and Dismemberment that accompanies everything from Christmas to Arbor Day.

So please - just get out of my face already with this "safety" drool.

How about we all practice saying: "Have a Happy Holiday." Period.


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Here's an eminently bookmarkable website, the Center for Consumer Freedom.

A related must-read is an article about the new report based on the US Census Bureau's 2007 statistical abstract. Care to take a guess as to the two most dangerous consumer products available? Go ahead, guess.






(Christmas trees?)




Number one is bicycles.
Number two is beds.

"'Oughtta ban 'em all, I say."

And given time, they probably will.


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