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Anime Day

By Shamus
on Tuesday Dec 12, 2006
Filed under:


Steven has a post up on the whole deal with Rabbi Elazar Bogomilsky, who has filed suit to be permitted to put up a menorah next to a Christmas display, and…

Oh what’s the use? It’s like part of the holiday now. Every year we turn on the TV and it’s either playing It’s a Wonderful Life or a story about another Christmas-tree lawsuit. The whole thing is so cliché that even the jokes about how cliché it is have themselves become cliché.

But Steven suggests:

If Ron Karenga can do it, so can I. The newly-formed Otaku religion celebrates Anime Day on December 25. It’s a jenn-you-wine traditional Japanese holiday (that I just made up) which otaku celebrate by putting up life-sized cardboard cutouts of Sailor Moon. We demand that Usagi be placed next to Rabbi Bogomilsky’s menorah, and if they won’t do that then we’ll sue.

That is something with which I am down. Er. Anime Day. Not the lawsuit.

Sugar, A Little Snow Fairy

You know what I mean.

Comments (13)

  1. Any post that has Sugar and Saga deserves a comment. And that comment is this one.

  2. FWIW, I thinnk that attempts to de-spiritualize Christmas are both foolish and inevitable. There’s a lot of common ground with which to defend Christmas as something more than another commercial excess. However, Linus’ exposition on what Christmas really means, ultimately gets inevitably softened into a secular equivalent.

    two links in my comment… I am SO going to get nuked by your spam filter :)

  3. Telas says:

    Why do even everyday images from anime seem laden with psychosexual overtones? Here we have two females, one slurping a noodle from the other’s hand. Of course, the noodle is the relative size of, well…

    *heavy sigh*

    I give up.

  4. Telas says:

    Could be… could be.

    But I blame society. It seems to be the thing to do. :)

  5. kellandros says:

    Heh. My old anime club used to try to do a Christmas themed marathon. Most shows that last longer than a single season tend to have some sort of a holiday episode. So we would string together these single Christmas themed episodes into a holiday party marathon.

    It would be pretty hard to plan out though, as it would require specific episodes from many seperate series. Doubly hard to do through NetFlix.

  6. Hikari says:

    I love anime which means i love anime day

  7. Hikari says:

    I love anime which means i love anime day!
    It is on 25th december!

  8. Richard says:

    Imagine, if you will, that you’re a Christian living in an Islamic country. Every day, several times a day, you hear the calls to prayer on loudspeakers. You’re not compelled to answer them, of course, but you’re aware that some portion of the population is kind of nonplussed by that fact, and another (suppressed, if you’re lucky) portion would be perfectly happy to compel you to answer them, using a variety of unpleasant methods. Now imagine that for 1/6 of the year you can’t go to the corner store for bread, or even turn on your radio, without hearing the celebratory music of this dominant, condescending/hostile religion. Imagine you can’t look out your window without seeing decorations devoted to Mohammed. Imagine that during Ramadan everything you see outside of your own home is Ramadan-themed, and most people think you’re a little strange for not taking part in the solemnity and joy of that holiday.

    Many Christians themselves find the barrage of CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS CHRISTFRELLINGMAS for weeks and weeks to be tiresome and overdone. How can other religions not find it, at best, boring? As much as it’s practical to “keep their heads down,” I don’t blame people like Rav Bogomilsky for getting fed up and trying to act on some idea, any idea that occurs to them, to change the culture into something a little less overbearing.

    This Steven seems to imply that everybody should be cool with Christmas decorations filling up the public space… because somehow Christmas decorations aren’t terribly religious without angels or crosses? And his reasons seem to be that 1. In the past, you got killed if you weren’t cool with Christmas, 2. he himself is an atheist, and he’s cool with Christmas, and 3. if you wanted to really be equal, it would be too much of a bother.

    Problems: I dislike being told to keep my head down and think of past pogroms. However unintentionally, that reads like some sort of threat. “You Jews should know to keep your mouths shut, if you’re smart.” Also, while Steven may be a professed atheist, he’s likely a Christian atheist. The god he doesn’t believe in is the Christian one; I find it hard to believe that he carries no pro-Christmas bias. Would his neutrality carry over to some foreign religion’s holiday, I wonder, if it had the same levels of cultural saturation and the same violently hostile history vis-a-vis his own?

    Steven’s suggested equivalence of the Christmas decorations and the pedestrian crosswalk is logically faulty. A footbridge is to protect private property (which I understand railroad land is) and potentially save human lives. Allowing Christian hearts (and atheist Christian hearts) to be cheered by seeing lights in random public locations doesn’t strike me being quite so vital.

    On top of that, there are other ways to give all religions equal weight: instead of giving all your holiday-decoration money to one religion, why not have more modest displays around the year for many religions? Instead of just considering that they might graciously allow a menorah to stand defiantly amidst multiple decorated and lit trees, why not have a handful of strategically placed trees for say a week of Christmas, and appropriate decorations during a non-trivial Jewish holiday like Passover or Purim or Rosh Hashanah, and something similar for a major Islamic holiday, and so on? I agree that trying to celebrate all holidays of all possible religions would become a problem, but how does that justify one religion getting 100% of the pie? If you must be biased in favor of only one religion at a time, why not rotate it every year? Steven’s argument boils down to “We should put up Christmas trees, and only Christmas trees, because we want to have our party and don’t want to care what other people think.” Which is exactly the kind of arrogance that Rav Bogomilsky was reacting to in the first place.

    I agree that the proposed lawsuit was ultimately silly and pointless, and that there’s likely not much that can be done about Christmas as a festering commercialized bother. I wouldn’t mind seeing it curtailed to a more reasonable length (12 days, perhaps?). But I also wouldn’t mind if the Christians took Steven’s advice, thus reducing the hypocrisy quotient of this whole matter, and “kept their heads down” about Christmas, celebrating most of it quietly and sincerely at home, or at least not everywhere they can get their hands on.

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