Friday, November 1, 2013

Fred Flintstone, they're coming for you again next...

It's November 1, which means the holiday season will soon be upon us. And with that, comes society's need for increasing politically correctedness, which inevitably winds up upsetting more people than it soothes.

By now, you've probably seen or heard about Hallmark's decision to change the text on its "Deck the Halls" ornament from "Don we now our gay apparel" (the lyrics of the Christmas carol) to "Don we now our fun apparel." Because, you know, the word "gay" has multiple meanings, and Hallmark didn't want the ornament to get misconstrued.

Look, I know there are still lots of people out there who have a problem with the existence of gay people. Heck, the Tennessee state legislature has tried numerous times to pass a law that prohibits schools from even mentioning the word "gay." But honestly, where this Christmas carol is concerned, who out there other than Beavis and Butthead and perhaps others of that same maturity level really think "homosexual" when they're singing Deck the Halls?

Hallmark's original rationale for the name change was as follows: "When the lyrics to 'Deck the Halls' were translated from Gaelic and published in English back in the 1800s, the word 'gay' meant festive or merry," Kristi Ernsting told The Huffington Post in an email. "Today it has multiple meanings ... the trend of wearing festively decorated Christmas sweaters to parties is all about fun, and this ornament is intended to play into that, so the planning team decided to say what we meant: 'fun.'" She added: "That’s the spirit we intended and the spirit in which we hope ornament buyers will take it."

Thankfully, public reaction to this decision has been mostly negative against Hallmark, much to their surprise. The company updated its statement Thursday, saying it was surprised by the public's response and that it now realized it shouldn't have changed the lyrics.

"We've been surprised at the wide range of reactions expressed about the change of lyrics on this ornament, and we're sorry to have caused so much concern," the statement read. "We never intend to offend or make political statements with our products and in hindsight, we realize we shouldn't have changed the lyrics on the ornament."

That being said, they're still selling the ornament.

It reminds me of the time when the lyrics to The Flintstones was changed from "We'll have a gay old time" to "We'll have a great old time," when the cartoon was updated a bit to include the Shmoo. Come on, people.

But then again, it's the holidays. Everyone is always aggravated about something.

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