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Festivus and the Airing of Grievances

Thanks to Facebook and people's contrarian attitudes, Festivus' popularity seems to be growing. The fake holiday, first shared on Seinfeld, was created by George Costanza's father, Frank.

Instead of a tree, they hoisted a plain aluminum pole, noted for its high strength-to-weight ratio, as a direct contrast to the commercialism of the season. Everyone gathered at the Costanza's house for the Festivus Dinner, where everyone would participate in the Airing of Grievances, which is your chance to tell everyone how they have disappointed you in the past year.

"I've got a lot of problems with you people, and now you're going to hear about it!" Frank Costanza told his guests.

As I write this, Festivus was yesterday, and there are a few people I have problems with, so now I'm going to air a few grievances of my own.

Donald Trump is a walking, talking grievance, and I could rant about him until next Festivus. In the last few months, he has mocked a disabled reporter, expressed his support for Japanese internment camps during WWII, proposed a database and special IDs for Muslims, and the British parliament is actually considering banning him from ever entering the country.

You know that one uncle who comes to Thanksgiving dinner and says things that are horribly offensive and racist? When he gets together with his other friends, there's one guy who is so over the top, your uncle says, "Dude, too much." Even that guy thinks Donald Trump is terrible.

Why hasn't William Shatner stolen a starship to go save Leonard Nimoy?

I've got a grievance with people who think they're foot soldiers in the War on Christmas. I'm especially aggrieved at those who are incensed over the plain red cups at Starbucks. Just because Starbucks chose not to put anything wintry, like a snowflake or snowman, on their cups doesn't mean they hate Christmas. Snowflakes are about winter, not Christmas.

Have these so-called defenders of Christmas forgotten all the people living in Florida, Southern California, and Texas who never see snow? Maybe they're tired of being reminded they're missing out on all the seasonal changes. Maybe they're tired of the War on Sunshine. For these snowless millions, the plain red cups reminded them of stepping barefoot on the sidewalk on Christmas morning, and you're trying to take that away from them.

Besides, when I went into my local Starbucks yesterday, they gave me a white cup. Is Starbucks declaring war on the War on Christmas? Where's the outrage now?

If you're truly offended by the plain red cup, just tell yourself the red cup is a closeup of Santa's suit, and then get back to the real meaning of Christmas: trampling complete strangers to save 20% on your third flat-screen TV.

Man buns. I have a bitterness in my heart for man buns. As I said previously, don't put your hair in a bun unless you're a ballerina or a Little House on the Prairie re-enactor.

I have a grievance against the children attending American colleges and universities. I say "children," because that's how they're acting: like precious snowflakes who are at expensive summer camp, and not at a major life milestone.

With their shrill cries of "trigger warnings" and wailing demands that universities keep them safe from controversial ideas, these college students won't be prepared for the cold realities of the real world, and won't be able to go hide behind their mama's skirts any more.

At Yale University, students demanded that a married pair of faculty members resign after one of them said she thought students could make their own adult decisions about whether or not to wear offensive Halloween costumes.

Their complaint? That they shouldn't have to be treated like adults, and that the university should, in fact, tell them not to be offensive.

In a video of the protests, one "child" even swore repeatedly at one of the two faculty members and said his job was "not about creating an intellectual space."

It was as if millions of grown-ups suddenly slapped their foreheads in frustration and then were silenced.

Finally, I have a grievance about people who get their panties in a twist over "spoiler alerts." Yes, I enjoy seeing a movie fresh, but I'm not going to have a full-on freakout whenever someone accidentally lets slip a key point in a TV, movie, or TV show. It's not the end of the world, so quit acting like your life is ruined.

Having said that, if anyone tells me anything about Star Wars, you will face me in the final Festivus tradition, the Feats of Strength.

You can find my books Branding Yourself (affiliate link), No Bullshit Social Media, and The Owned Media Doctrine on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million, or for the Kindle or Nook.


  1. So many tempest in a teapot, eh? The coddling of college students and more importantly the care in not presenting opposing ideas does not bode well. I would say that is imho but it is a fact unlike people who believe climate change is not real.
    Happy festivus and a better Christmas.

  2. So true, Ann! As I hear more and more about what's happening at colleges, it makes me glad I didn't go into higher education as my career choice 22 years ago.

  3. Brilliant as always. My favorite line: "don't put your hair in a bun unless you're a ballerina or a Little House on the Prairie re-enactor."


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