In 2008, President George Bush’s Surgeon General declared that jolly old Saint Nick was just way too fat to be a good role model for kids.
Dr. Steven K. Galson told the Boston Herald, “It is really important that the people who kids look up to as role models are in good shape, eating well and getting exercise... Santa is no different.”
And so began America’s decline into moral and spiritual decay.
Well, yeah, we are a nation of citizens - old and young alike - who define obesity. We fall all over our chubby selves to get to the latest Huge-Burger from Stuff-Your-Happy-Face, and would you like a half a pound of fries with that?
We play games where we imagine ourselves to be galactic warriors while reaching for the last piece of pizza.
There are horrific health problems cropping up in small children which would have been thought unimaginable years ago.
But dude? Santa Claus?
I worry as much about about Santa's arteries as I do when someone takes a shot at Superman - not a whit.
He ain’t real.
Well, someone should clued some of you in long before now.
No one is trying to emulate Santa Claus when they pig out at a buffet; they are trying to emulate the stupid jackass next to them. Santa Claus does not cause anyone to run out and super-size their meal orders; lack of common sense does.
So what does Santa represent, if not sloth, lounging around on in our Lazy Boys and thinking that yeah, maybe high fructose corn syrup really is good for what makes a body ache?
Santa represents the very best in all of us, whether we celebrate Christmas or not.
He gives to people, which should inspire all of us to do likewise.
He is jolly - which which means that he is always in a good mood, and he is always nice to people, no matter who they are, or their racial or religious makeup. Democrat, Republican, Green Party, you’re okay in Santa’s book.
We could use a few more Santa’s in the world. And he conquered the Martians, albeit with the help of Pia Zadora.
So get off his back.
Star Trek's The City on the Edge of Forever - when TV episodes still had cool episode titles
Gene Roddenberry is honored for creating Star Trek, an SF series which has inspired many people the world over. And thanks to a well-oiled publicity machine, Roddenberry has become known as “The Great Bird of the Galaxy,” a wise and benevolent being who fought heartless studio executives, network censors and other small minds to bring his vision to television viewers.
But in the years following his death, some revisionist history has emerged, from the people who worked closest with him - actors, producers, and writers. His harshest critic is the noted author Harlan Ellison, who penned what would become one of Star Trek's most popular episodes, “The City on the Edge of Forever,” in which James T. Kirk must allow the woman he loves to die on 1930s Earth, so that history can remain unchanged. In Harlan Ellison's The City on the Edge of Forever, he sets the record straight on many parts of the story.
Ellison's experiences with the “Great Bird” reveals a Roddenberry consumed with his own fame - a man who continually tried to grab the credit rightfully due others, and wasn't above lying to do so. To bolster his argument that Roddenberry was at most a pedestrian producer who shamelessly robbed from others, there is a sizable afterward, in which others speak both of Ellison and Roddenberry, and their experiences with both.
The difference between the two men arose from a script which Ellison was commissioned to write, but was rewritten repeatedly, at times by Ellison himself. The reasons why it was rewritten so many times are too numerous to go into here, but the end result was a script - though a fan favorite - which the writer felt was gutted and rewritten beyond all recognition. And for almost 30 years, Ellison found himself lied about by Roddenberry at conventions and in print interviews. The most famous canard uttered by Roddenberry was that the character of Scotty was dealing drugs in the original story. When confronted, Roddenberry would always apologize, and use the same story at yet another convention.
The reader can judge for themselves which script was the finer one. The original (which won the Writer’s Guild Award) or the version which finally aired, since the shooting script is included here, with notes from Ellison. My vote goes to the original, and not simply because Harlan Ellison is among the group of writers I admire tremendously. There is a great deal of magic and emotional poetry missing from the version which finally aired. After 30 years, it is difficult to figure out why so many changes had to be made.
Harlan Ellison was hardly alone in his troubles with Gene Roddenberry. For whatever reasons, very few of the original Trek writers followed him to Star Trek: The Next Generation when it went into production in 1987.
Ultimately, it is a sad story; while eventually Ellison’s bile (no matter how justified) wears down the reader, one is left with a terrible sense of sadness for Gene Roddenberry. His pettiness and grasping for credit (on more than one occasion he was successfully sued by those he stole writing credits from) detract from his real accomplishments.
Quote of the Day
It is hard to do well the things that we are doing constantly. - Frederick W. Faber