What exactly was Trudeau thinking here?

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So… a Christian father says “Merry Christmas” to his Christian son and that ignites an argument? No, not in this or any other known universe.

This strip could have been written by one of the people who insist that liberals want to ban Christians from saying “Merry Christmas” to other Christians, and I’m pretty sure that isn’t what Trudeau actually believes.

Mallard Fillmore, maybe…

27 Comments

  1. Kilby is probably correct. Still, I could see a scenario where this might make sense: daughter has married a non-Christian (of any sort) and all forms well until the very end. It is not only a religion (arguably cultural as much as religion) issue it is also an “in-law” issue.

  2. But it’s not supposed to be rational, that’s precisely why it is funny: because the behavior is irrational.

  3. I’m afraid I have to disagree, Kilby: humor comes from adding an irrational element to a rational scenario. If the original premise makes no sense…

    Just my thoughts, anyway.

  4. The scenario is the Christian father says “Merry Christmas” to his liberal son who feels that “Happy Holidays” is more inclusive. Christian father feels this is the work of Satan and must be banned from the house.

  5. I agree with Bill. People can behave irrationally, and that irrational behavior can be humorous. But here the problem isn’t that the characters are being irrational – it’s that they’re being irrational in a way that doesn’t seem plausible.

  6. The arrive knowing they have major disagreements with baldy, politically and religiously. Everyone is careful to talk without actually saying anything real (hence *chatter*). Then, at the very end of their time together, baldy spoils it by saying something mustache takes offense at. Baldy then takes offense at the reply. And all of the good feelings from the meal together disappear.

  7. It would have been so easy for Trudeau to make the families not so obviously related and not so obviously both celebrating Christmas.

  8. Except there is not a single person in the entire country who insists upon Happy Holidays and would respond to Merry Christmas that way. It definitely comes off as the “liberal” son who’s the deliberate antagonizing jerk. So I have to wonder does Trudeau truly view “the war on christmas” that way? Or is he trying to be even handed, which considering this is entirely a fabricated one sided issue is not deserved.

  9. “So… a Christian father says ‘Merry Christmas’ to his Christian son and that ignites an argument? No, not in this or any other known universe.”

    Correct, on a technicality… the universe where there is an actual “War on Christmas” is not known to exist. (Except to some people.)
    There really are people who think Christians are oppressed in the United States. Presumably, this is due to not knowing what actual oppression looks like.

  10. It *could* be that he’s trying to be ironic. Obviously no family is going to be set off by “the war on christmas” which doesn’t exist so the joke is how absurd the concept is. If so…. well, too subtle.

  11. This worked for me. But I’m not American, and I watch this US Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays kerfuffle from the sideline. The absurdity of it is satirized in this strip.

    God Jul, everybody!

  12. I’m pretty sure the two men in this strip are brothers, not father-son. Note the presence of a young child in the home being visited. I would guess she is cousin to the boy in the car.

  13. Not sure why you’re assuming Mustache-and-Slightly-Long-Hair guy and his family are Christians. (I’ll agree that Bald Guy and family presumably are, not necessarily because they sport a Christmas tree — which in my experience doesn’t prove much — but because of the offense he takes at being “corrected” by his son or brother or cousin or brother-in-law or whatever.)

    Even if you assume both families are, well, Christians aren’t monolithic, so you can have (over-sensitive) liberal vs. (over-sensitive) conservative/traditionalist adherents, and the joke works just as well or as badly. (I remember from my childhood some relatives whose minister forebade them from setting foot our mainstream Lutheran church, because they were from a more conservative synod.)

    I’m getting geezer flashback vibes of Meathead vs. Archie Bunker arguments here.

  14. ” I watch this US Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays kerfuffle from the sideline. The absurdity of it is satirized in this strip.”

    Well, it *is* absurd and I’m sure it’s fun from a distance but it’s also entirely one-sided. On the one side there are those who think there’s a deliberate trend by secular liberals to make acknowledging the holiday as christmas socially unacceptable…. and there is no other side.

    “Not sure why you’re assuming Mustache-and-Slightly-Long-Hair guy and his family are Christians.”

    Well, presumably they are family. Why else would they be visiting each other at all.

  15. “Well, presumably they are family. Why else would they be visiting each other at all.”

    They’re probably (though not necessarily) family, yes, but if there was a memo out that all relatives/in-laws of Christians must also be such, I must have missed it.

  16. “They’re probably (though not necessarily) family, yes, but if there was a memo out that all relatives/in-laws of Christians must also be such, I must have missed it.”

    I think “christian” here is meaning of a heritage that observes Christmas. The idea being that if “Happy Holidays” is supposed to be “inclusive” that surely doesn’t apply within family.

  17. ” On the one side there are those who think there’s a deliberate trend by secular liberals to make acknowledging the holiday as christmas socially unacceptable…. and there is no other side.”

    The way we got here is that there are people in the country who aren’t Christians. Despite being non-Christian, they continue to observe December, and go to stores and spend money. Stores like people who go to stores and spend money, so they instruct their employees to be more inclusive, specifically to greet customers with “Happy Holidays”, which applies equally well as “Merry Christmas” but without offending people who object to being identified as Christians, even though non-Christians can have a Merry Christmas without participating in any specific Christian activities.
    So, the poor, oppressed Christians, denied the opportunity to say “Merry Christmas” at work, ffeel persecuted. They’re generally pro-business, and don’t want to make waves at work because that sort of thing leads to unemployment, can’t blame the businesses for acting in a way that is genuinely good for business. So, whose fault is it? Why, it must be the same people who forced them to treat other people with dignity, even if their skin was a different color or they prayed to God in a different way (or even, GASP, not at all.), or had sexual habits different from their own. So, once you’ve decided that the durn Hollywood libruls are behind it all, Along with all the other stuff. Sometimes a fair bit of anti-semitism gets stirred in, but sometimes not.

  18. Not relating 100% to Trudeau’s intentions, but this comic reminded me of the family friend who’s a supporter of a particular political party, and always seems to find a way to turn an innocent conversation with me into a political rant.

    Last New Year’s Day I happened to make the mistake of mentioning what I did for New Year’s Eve. I happened to mention I saw Boston stand-up comedian Jimmy Tingle,and the friend said he didn’t like him because he was “too political” and then went on a long rant featuring some of his party’s talking points.

    So can see myself in this comic “chattering”, trying not to trigger a rant. I don’t argue with the friend though, so I don’t expect the next New Year’s Day to end like in the comic.

  19. I spent way more years that I like to remember working in jobs where I’d be on the phone with clients all across Canada. This was the general public, not on business-to-business calls. A lot of the people I spoke to were immigrants, either new or established. I could tell by their names and accents that they probably weren’t Christian. These people were the MOST enthusiastic in wishing me a “Merry Christmas.” I think they understood the spirit of it being a festival and they could participate in wishing me well and, indeed, wanted to as a way of becoming part of the culture of their adopted home.

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