In a holiday season ordinarily consumed with notions of gifting, the approach of a Trump administration puts an unpleasant twist on the sentiment. Andy Feeney enumerates some kinds of gifts and gestures that are intended to counter the triumphalist Right, and perhaps get under its skin.
Hints for Saturnalia Season
The Washington Socialist <> December 2016
By Andy Feeney
To be perfectly honest, some of us are disappointed with the election results. Assuming you feel that way – and many leftists do – yet you still want to celebrate some kind of mid-winter holiday with your friends and family – be it Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, a neo-pagan solstice celebration or some secular humanist alternative – what can you do this season to save you and your loved ones from sheer depression?
As our readers probably already know, Democratic Socialists of America actually is not a political party, [BM1] so no one should mistake the following suggestions for any kind of partisan advice about future elections. But in the spirit of educating our members about how to feel good for the holidays, we’d like to suggest the following:
1. As this Washington Socialist item is being written, President-elect Trump seems to have some hostility toward the uber-respectable New York Times, although apparently he’s still willing (albeit reluctantly) to give them interviews. If you’re worried that the President-elect’s hostility may be making the Times newsroom feel unloved, why not give a gift subscription to the paper to your favorite aunt for Christmas/ /Hanukkah /Kwanza/ and/or Saturnalia? For details on how to subscribe, click here: https://www.nytimes.com/subscriptions/Multiproduct/lp8XKUR.html?campaignId=6HR46&gclid=CLn7k_OPvdACFcEbgQodnHwKXg .
2. According to today’s New York Times (coincidentally), a Washington pizzeria called Comet Ping Pong has been falsely identified on a variety of far right web sites as the home of an occult pedophilia and child-trafficking ring associated with Hillary Clinton. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/technology/fact-check-this-pizzeria-is-not-a-child-trafficking-site.html?_r=0
The owner, James Alefantis, has been a supporter of Hillary and is a friend of her ardent media defender David Brock, but says he has never met Hillary, and he doesn’t operate a pedophilia ring. But as the Times and Fortune magazine have both reported, bogus accusations on social media have resulted in Comet Ping Pong and its staff receiving a deluge of hostile Instagram messages over the past few weeks, some involving death threats.
So if you’d like during the holiday season to stand up against the evil influence of fake news sites and sexual slurs, why not take a friend or family member out for pizza? As far as we can tell, Comet Ping Pong’s real web site can be accessed here: http://www.cometpingpong.com/ . Yes, you’ll be supporting a capitalist enterprise when you eat there, but you might also be supporting political democracy and the right to dissent under the Constitution.
3. On the other hand, for socialists with enough money to spare, what about riding the Acela up to New York and taking in a show? The popular Broadway production of Hamilton is getting a lot of media attention lately, and even Vice-President Elect Mike Pence gives it a rave review. For information on tickets and show times, click here: http://www.boxofficeticket.center/venues/richard-rodgers-theatre-tickets?gclid=CO7-6bySvdACFZA7gQodGbAO7Q .
4. To be sure, there may also be other ways for you and your loved ones to spend a cheery holiday season even if you’re not joyful about the election. For example, some Washingtonians who didn’t vote for Trump, but want to greet him on Inauguration Day anyway, plan to attend a counter-inauguration event being organized by International A.N.S.W.E.R. http://www.answercoalition.org/
Others may feel happier making end-of-year donations to favored social or political organizations, such as Dream Act Defenders, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP or Black Lives Matter, or perhaps the Sierra Club and the Union of Concerned Scientists.
5. Finally, of course, DSA always can use your financial support and your regular participation (or irregular participation!) at local socialist events. Just watch this space, or follow our DSA chapter on Meetup, Facebook, and Twitter.
In any case – Happy Holidays!
And let’s hope we can all make 2017 a better year than 2016 has been.
About The Washington Socialist
.The Washington Socialist is Metro DC DSA's monthly e-newsletter. Focusing on our local's events, socialist analyses of current events and book reviews, among other topics, The Washington Socialist is a great way to stay on top of the progressive goings-on in DC, Maryland and northern Virginia. We also encourage our readers to submit their own articles! Contact Editor Woody Woodruff for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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