Friday, December 16, 2005

More 2005 "Christmas" Tidbits

Here's a few more stories of a Christmas-related nature. That is to say, they have nothing to do whatsoever with Jesus' birth, but rather are about the cultural quirks that have arisen surrounding this time of year. First off here's an article out of San Francisco that should eliminate any doubt you may have once had that everyone in that town is absolutely insane:
The cultural minefield of December has another politically loaded question to tiptoe around: Will you purchase a real tree or an artificial one?

And then, what will you call it?

Your answer will speak to your commitment to protecting American jobs, reducing the trade deficit, preventing environmental destruction, helping us breathe and, of course, showing where you stand on the Rev. Jerry Falwell's efforts to counter what he calls the anti-Christian "war on Christmas."
Wow. And here I thought I just liked the yearly trek to find "the one tree" and the smell of fresh evergreen in my house. Who knew that some people would be capable of taking something so simple and turning it into something mind-bogglingly over-complicated.

poor rudolphSecondly, I would like to draw your attention to two "Christmas" displays from around the country that I found particularly amusing. I should explain that the reason I am so tickled by these displays is that they openly mock the symbols and traditions of Christmas that in fact do not relate to Jesus' birth at all. That, and I'm just a fan of senseless violence. So anyway, from Miami Beach comes hanging santa, which is literally a blindfolded life-sized santa with a noose around his neck hanging from a tree. And from Orlando we have bleeding Rudolph, where one of those lighted reindeer is hanging by the back legs from a tree with a string of red lights coming out of it like blood.

Maybe these homeowners are trying to send a "message" about the over-commercialization of Christmas, or how Santa and reindeer are stupid distractions from the real meaning of Christmas. Or maybe they just wanted to piss off their neighbors and make little children cry. Whatever their motivations, I endorse this kind of behavior. Way to go, you crazy Floridians.

Lastly, I'd like to talk a bit about radio again. I listen to a fair amount of AM radio, and 570 AM is one of my stations of choice. One thing that the local hosts on 570 like to talk a lot about lately is the whole "war on Christmas" thing. They make a big deal out of saying "Merry Christmas" and pointing out stores and businesses that sterile Christmas by only referring to the "holiday" or the "season." That's all well and good, and I mostly agree with their commentary on our culture, but as I listened to the advertisements that would play during the (all too frequent) commercial breaks, I began to notice an interesting pattern—most of their own advertisers don't refer to Christmas by name, either.

I listened for a few hours this morning and jotted down some notes so I would have some actual numbers to post here. Here's what I found:
  • Ads that refer to Christmas: 6
  • Ads that refer to the "holiday" but not Christmas: 17
  • Ads that don't refer to Christmas or "holidays" at all: 26
So it turns out that advertisers on 570 KVI are sterilizing Christmas by nearly a 3:1 margin, and yet I have not once heard the hosts criticize even one of them. [Update: see below] Gee, I wonder why that could be. Don't get me wrong, I still quite enjoy listening to KVI, but I do find it somewhat hypocritical to criticize others for something that your own station is guilty of.

Nevertheless, for those of us that do not have to live under the cloud of "do as I say, not as I do," I have compiled a list of the companies whose advertisements I heard. I'll be updating this list as I listen to the station more between now and December 25th. Do with this information what you will. Whichever side you're on, I'm sure you can think of something useful to do with a list like this, such as sending handmade doilies to the companies that agree with you and leave flaming bags of poo on the doorstep of the offenders. You know, whatever.

View/Hide the list of advertisers.
    Refer to Christmas:
  1. Kiel Mortgage (specifically wishes a Merry Christmas)
  2. Sleepytime Toe Tent (specifically wishes a Merry Christmas)
  3. Hallmark Gold Crown
  4. Christmas In The Northwest
  5. KONG 6/16 (uses "holiday" 4-5 times, 1 mention of "Christmas in the Northwest")
  6. Karaoke Sound & Lighting (passing mention of Christmas music, wishes "Happy Holidays")
    Refer to the "holiday" but not Christmas:
  1. Friedlander's Jewelers
  2. TomTom GPS
  3. Zales
  4. Mariners
  5. USPS
  6. See's Candies
  7. Weisfield Jewelers
  8. Ben Bridge
  9. BMW
  10. AutoZone
  11. Buzztime Home Trivia System
  12. Greg's Japanese Auto
  13. Philip's Norelco
  14. CompUSA
  15. Borders
  16. The Home Depot
  17. Les Schwab
    No mention of Christmas or holidays:
  1. Kiel Real Estate
  2. Interstate Battery
  3. Mountain River Lodge
  4. Geico
  5. Big O Tires
  6. Clearly LASIK
  7. LASIK Vision Institute
  8. Travelocity
  9. Redhead Steering Gears
  10. Avacor Hair Treatment
  11. Dr. Scholls Fungal Nail Treatment
  12. Glaxo Smith Kline
  13. Kohl's
  14. National Veterans Services Fund
  15. Oreck Air Purifier
  16. Geico Motorcycle Insurance
  17. Miller Construction
  19. Sears
  20. Washington State Department of Health
  21. Super Supplements
  22. Advil
  23. Toyota
  24. AutoZone (wipers)
  25. NeoVita
  26. Parkland Chevrolet

Hide the list of advertisers.

Merry Christmas!

Update (12.20.2005): Kudos to Kirby Wilbur (morning KVI host), who was heard on the air this morning chastising the Mariners for their "What are you getting Bob for a holiday gift" ad. He said he would not be buying any Mariners tickets, and that his wife actually called the Mariners to express their disappointment. So I take back the "hypocritical" label from Kirby.

Sources: San Francisco Chronicle, Local 6, WFTV
Categories: Culture, Capitalism, Religion


Anonymous Cydney said...

I have noticed the exact same thing, Skor. I was just thinking to myself: "Hmm...the hosts at KVI seem to make it a point to wish us all a Merry Christmas, but not that many of their advertisers do...interesting."

Yeah, it is somewhat hypocritical. But they are in the business to make money, and advertisers are that money. And one shouldn't criticize his advertisers for the fear of them pulling out alone. It's really about money, not hypocrisy.

7:13 PM, December 16, 2005  
Anonymous Timothy said...

My favorite is the Seattle Mariners ad, in which one woman asks another what she's getting her husband for a "holiday gift". I find that hilarious. No one actually talks like that, do they?

I suppose if they did, it would just be more funny.

11:01 PM, December 17, 2005  

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