Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pop Fizzle


GWOC (Great War On Christmas) news, Kentucky edition:
“In the one-hour debate, the candidates, both 60, battled on issues including the economy, the Ohio River Bridges Project, health care, the Iraq war, energy and even how Yarmuth should have voted on a federal resolution. “He did not vote for a resolution honoring Christmas,” Northup said.

Oh, my. Stop him before he strikes again.
Jeepers, people, is it war on Christmas season already?

Town's parade draws fire for dropping 'Christmas'
PATCHOGUE, N.Y. (AP) — A famed fireworks company is pulling out of a holiday boat parade because "Christmas" was dropped from the event's name.

Fireworks by Grucci won't lend its sparkle to Patchogue's Nov. 23 parade — decorated yachts on the Patchogue River — because the organizers have renamed it the Patchogue Holiday Boat Parade. It was the Patchogue Christmas Boat Parade last year, when the Grucci company donated $5,000 worth of fireworks.

The company's vice president, Philip Butler, who has criticized the secularization of Christmas in the past, said parade organizers were "using all the themes of Christmas and plagiarizing all those themes."

Organizers in the Long Island town said the parade has had several names over its roughly 15-year existence. The name was changed again this year after complaints that the use of "Christmas" seemed to make the parade less inclusive.
"When I think about fireworks, I don't think about Christmas anyway," Mayor Paul Pontieri said. "I think about the Fourth of July."

This story surprised me because I actually am familiar with the Grucci fireworks company. Back in another lifetime I worked for an entertainment trade paper and had the opportunity to meet Mr. Butler as well as members of the Grucci family at trade shows and such. Grucci is also one of the world’s largest fireworks companies, producing pyrotechnic extravaganzas at some major national and international events, including the presidential inaugurations of Reagan, Clinton and both Bushes.

This is a big company. They never struck me as the kind of people that would pull out of an event just to make a political statement, but I guess the rancorous past eight years have changed all that. Yet another Bush-era legacy: we have to argue about every little thing these days.

I don’t know why anyone would get their panties in a wad over words like “Christmas” or “Holiday.” Either one works for me, I really don’t give a shit. I certainly wouldn’t trash my legendary company’s good name over it. And I find it really hilarious that folks complaining over the “secularization of Christmas” are the same people providing fireworks at a Christmas boat parade. I mean, dude, a boat parade? Like it's a holy event or something? If you don’t get the irony there then I’ve got nothing more for you.

Anyway, it’s a shame. The Gruccis are nice people. They’ve put on some amazing fireworks displays over the years, both big and small. It’s just too bad to see them get all involved in this “war on Christmas” crap, especially when there's so much more important stuff for us to be worrying about right now.