"I got a lot of problems with you people, and now, you're gonna hear about it!!"
The above quote was uttered by Frank Costanza, the father of George Costanza of Seinfeld fame. Costanza invented the holiday Festivus, because he wanted to remove the traditional and commercial aspects of Christmas. Instead of a traditional Christmas tree, there is simply an aluminum pole. (Mr. Costanza said that he found tinsel to be "distracting".) And, instead of a traditional Christmas dinner, there is the "airing of grievances" where you tell all of your friends and family how much they have disappointed you over the last year. And finally, at the end of the evening, there are the "feats of strength" where you attempt to pin one of your friends or family members to the floor. (See embed below for the story of Festivus.)
Now, in 2004, The New York Times ran a column reporting that some people actually celebrate Festivus. Well they should know, because Frank Rich apparently celebrates it in July instead of waiting until December. Honestly, it's completely understandable. I mean, why tell just your friends and family how pissed off you are at them when you can tell off the entire country? Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.
So, without any further ado, here is Frank Rich's airing of grievances against America, uh I mean a quick summary of his latest column about America and its history--
--When the Declaration of Independence was signed 234 years ago, slavery was still allowed.
--Fast forward to 1964, you got lynchings in Mississippi, Barry Goldwater voting against the Civil Rights bill, and Robert Byrd filibustering it for 14 hours.
--Now, Mayor Bloomberg doesn't employ enough minorities, yada yada yada.
At this point, he takes a time out from his airing of grievances to praise my home state of South Carolina for the recent elections of Nikki Haley and Tim Scott. However, he immediately gets right back in the Festivus spirit by bringing up the Confederate flag and saying that "we shouldn't read too much into these low turn-out primaries." This from a man who reads racism into every Tea Party protest and any opposition to Obamacare, and hears racial slurs uttered when none were captured on any recording devices, but I digress.
So, in the spirit of Frank Costanza, Frank Rich is basically saying the following with regard to SC--
"Hey South Carolina--don't go getting all full of yourself and thinking that you're so high and mighty with the elections of Nikki Haley and Tim Scott! Remember the Confederate flag?! I still got a lot of problems with you!!"
Now, back to Festivus in July--or the rest of Rich's column.
--Frank Rich is very disappointed in some Republicans for opposing Elena Kagan. It must be because they are racists who hate Thurgood Marshall (and we're flashing back to the 1960's again).
--Rich compared John Kyl, Tom Coburn and Orrin Hatch to Strom Thurmond, because if you have questions about Elena Kagan, then you are against Thurgood Marshall and, therefore, pro-Thurmond.
--Strom Thurmond is the father of the "Southern Strategy" and we can still see that today because Virginia governor, Bob McDonnell, brought back Confederate History Month, blah blah blah.
--Strom Thurmond had a daughter with an African-American teenage maid, yada yada yada....
...It was at this point that my eyes started to glaze over and I realized that I agreed with Kramer when he said, "Frank, no offense, but this holiday of yours is a little out there". In other words, Festivus sucks. From here on out, I'm gonna just stick to celebrating Christmas and the Fourth of July and leave Festivus alone (no offense to anyone else--I am quite tolerant of all religious practices). In other words, let's focus on what's good about America instead of only what's bad--like us recently electing the first African-American president, or Tim Scott (the likely first black congressman since Reconstruction) beating Strom Thurmond's son to represent SC's 1st Congressional District. There is a lot to celebrate about America. Let's ditch the aluminum pole and go light some firecrackers!
PS--Oh, I almost forgot. Happy Festivus in July Mr. Rich! I hope that you didn't tire yourself out too much by airing your grievances with us, and that you saved some energy so Charles "Minstrel Show" Blow doesn't get the best of you during the feats of strength.