An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
OK, WE CAN ALL STOP being cute and clever about Christmas carols.
No more tongue-in-cheek demanding that Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer be taken off the airwaves because it’s about bullying. No more insisting White Christmas be banned because it’s racist.
The issue at hand is Baby It’s Cold Outside, which has actually been banned from the CBC and a number of other radio networks because it’s about some guy trying to convince a woman to stay the night.
In the 74 years since it was written, Baby It’s Cold Outside has been accepted as a harmless Christmas tune. Not this year.
Though the male and female voices can easily be switched — as Lady Gaga has shown — lyrics that once seemed innocent and unthreatening are suddenly interpreted as a prelude to date rape.
Every Christmas song is now being examined under a microscope for hidden meanings and questionable origins. Even Jingle Bells is under suspicion.
Christmas has been turned into a silly season of political correctness, with somebody inevitably emerging with some demand or other to neutralize this celebration of peace, hope and love for fear of sending a wrong message.
A shopping mall in Prince George didn’t stop with Baby It’s Cold Outside — it banned carols altogether so as not to offend non-Christians.
Speaking of religion, how about the Victoria City councillor who talked his colleagues into reviewing the City’s Christmas decorations for possible offensive content. On the potential hit list: Christmas trees and poinsettias. Snowflakes are OK, the councillor says.
This kind of brainless revisionism is no longer surprising. What is surprising is the gutlessness of radio stations and civic leaders who go along with it.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.