- The Washington Times - Monday, March 29, 2010

Bunny-vs.-Santa

“While many Christians understandably object to the distraction the Easter Bunny causes for the highest of holy days, that is not my real beef. My main issue with the Bunny is the problems he causes for the big man, you know, Santa. I am convinced that I could get my kids to believe in Santa until they are fifteen if it weren’t for the Bunny. Santa is a real guy, after all. And not just any old guy but a heretic punching Bishop and saint. That is a mascot suitable to his adopted holiday. I mean Santa has some magical abilities, chimney squeezing and faster-than-light animal-powered travel, but at least he maintains the air of plausibility.

“But kids know by 3 years old that bunnies don’t talk and they don’t hide eggs. The Bunny doesn’t even have a decent backstory for how he does his perennial breaking and entering. Kids pick up on these things and begin to question early. Oh sure, with bribes of chocolate and jelly beans, they are willing to suspend disbelief for a time, but the questions build. How does the Bunny obtain the plastic eggs and the candy baskets with the Walgreens sticker still attached? OK, that last one may be my bad, but you get the point.

“Once the kiddies start asking questions, it causes nothing but problems for the big guy. My children rightly wonder, ‘If the whole bunny thing is a ruse, what other lies is the man trying to shove down my throat?’ And the man doesn’t have a good answer. … The Bunny must die. Long live Santa.”

- Pat Archbold, writing on “The Easter Bunny Must Die,” on March 25 at his National Catholic Register blog

Terri parody

“As word began to spread this week that the Fox animated comedy Family Guy had aired a musical parody of Terri Schiavo’s death, her relatives in St. Petersburg were still trying to understand why. …

“On Sunday, Family Guy aired an episode featuring children in an elementary school performing ‘Terri Schiavo: The Musical,’ with lines such as ‘Terri Schiavo is kinda alive-o’ and ‘(She’s) the most expensive plant you’ll ever see.’

“Bobby Schindler Jr., Schiavo’s brother, said the charitable foundation named for his sister hopes to enlist the aid of other advocacy groups to protest the episode and perhaps see some sponsors end support of the show. … ‘I’d like to see the show go off the air,’ said Schindler, noting that even though the family had ignored other parodies in the past, this time they wouldn’t overlook it. ‘There’s a clear prejudice that exists toward people like my sister Terri … people just want them to die.’ ”

- Eric Deggans, writing on “Brother of Terri Schiavo calls for Fox to cancel Family Guy” on March 24 at his St. Petersburg Times blog, “The Feed”

Studied neutrality

“In ‘The Flight of the Intellectuals,’ [author Paul] Berman contrasts the way intellectuals have treated [Somali Muslim apostate Ayaan] Hirsi Ali - with ostensible support, in the abstract, but condescension, disdain, and nitpicking criticism in all the best intellectual venues - with the way they and others rallied unequivocally to the support of Salman Rushdie in 1989 over the ‘Satanic Verses’ fatwa.

“And so [Ian] Buruma snipes at ‘her attitude, her style.’ Snarks at what he interprets as a snobbish wave of her hand in a TV clip. All but calls her ‘uppity.’ (‘The racism of the anti-racists.’) As Berman puts it, ‘[T]he Hirsi Ali who emerges from Buruma’s portrait’ - in his book Murder in Amsterdam - is ‘animated by crude ideas’ that evidently lack Oxbridge sophistication, of course. Berman continues, ‘She’s zealous, strident … arrogant, aristocratic.’ Doesn’t know her place among Buruma and his peers. And Timothy Garton Ash chivalrically tells us that if Hirsi Ali ‘had been short, squat and squinting, her story and her views might not have been so closely attended to.’ (Note the tone of donnish disdain - the sexism of the anti-racists.)

“It would almost be as if a Rushdie supporter back then had said, ‘Sure, I’m for his not having his life threatened and all, but I’m tired of all this magic realism stuff, and he seemed arrogant when I saw him interviewed on TV. Maybe he was too contemptuous of the culture of the people who want to murder him.’ ”

- Ron Rosenbaum, writing on “Bonfire of the Intellectuals” on March 25 at Slate

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