From: [Name Withheld]
Did you notice the huge change in the National Review Online Christmas edition this year? (Not that they can quite bring themselves to call it that.)
Last year we were welcomed to NRO's "Holiday Edition," this year there is a "Christmas Greeting from NRO's "staff" (WFB must be in a patriarchal mood). Last year the only article of spiritual substance was David Kopel's essay on Hanukkah, this year there are several; a " holiday verse" section by Michael Graham, which was actually a Christmas poem, is replaced by a declared "Christmas Poem" segment by Jeffrey Hart; and of course there was John O' Sullivan's elegant warning of a few days before
That is why people loved Christmas, still love it, and always will love it. Attempts to make it a celebration of season or snow or mere meteorology will fail — but there is a danger that they will succeed in annoying most Americans to the point where they will wish others a Merry Christmas not from merriment and kindness but as an act of irritation, defiance and aggression.
which I doubt the NRO editors understood. There was of course a celebratory Hanukkah essay, which seems to have become their new seasonal equivalent of the pre-purge War on Christmas competition, but it was placed more appropriately, given the calendar.
At first, I was delighted: the NR editors obviously have become aware of your gentle ribbing. But then I recalled a Richard Brookhiser article (which I can no longer find) about the demise of the WASPs, concluding to the effect that the WASPs had been banished to the background "until they are needed to fight the next war." And I recall that the Soviet regime attacked by Hitler summoned an explosion of films and song on patriotic themes, banned for a generation.
Could it be that NR "staffs" are just in a martial mood?
Happy New Year – I hope!
January 01, 2002