I'm sure you've seen this before, but it's so funny I have to post on it. The War on Christmas annual freak-out is nigh---and it's going to be a doozy this year, as True Believers are going to believe the President himself is part of the conspiracy---and the warm-up act is a freak-out about "Curb Your Enthusiasm", which the True Believers see as further evidence of the oppression of Christians at the hands of all-powerful Jews, Muslims, atheists, etc. Yes, American Christians are a beleaguered, powerless minority, and you can tell, because Larry David made fun of them on his show.


I saw the offensive plot in question, and oh, how I laughed, because well, it was actually pretty funny. Like 99% of "Curb" plots, it centered around Larry's lack of respect for others and his carelessness, and the trouble it causes him. In this case, his medication is causing him to take powerful pisses with lots of splash back, and when at his assistant's house, his splash back hits a painting of Jesus hanging over the toilet. As soon as it happens, you can tell where this is going, because the pee droplet is in the shape of a tear and is under Jesus' eye. Sure enough, the assistant and her mother take it to be a miracle, and are only stopped from hitting the road as miracle-hawking charlatans at the last second by the realization that Larry pee splashes so hard it reaches eye level. (Don't ask---trying to explain the complicated plots of "Curb" is a bad idea---it's usually quicker to watch the episode.) My thoughts upon watching this were:

1) Ha!

2) Giggle.

3) I can't believe this is like the 7th or 8th season of this show, and it's still fucking hilarious.

4) Really, you have to admire the way a good "Curb" episode brings it all around. Everything on the show happens for a reason---almost nothing that happens doesn't come back around for the resolution.

But of course, the wingnuts are all aflutter with outrage. And this brings about hilarious reminders that part of being a wingnut is being artless, humorless, and unable to understand even the basic realities of our world. Take for instance, this weepy email Big Hollywood posted.

I wonder how many other viewers, Christian and non Christian, are similarly shocked and disgusted? Of course, the hypocrisy is that Mr. David would never exhibit such gross contempt for any other religion, especially Islam.

“Can you imagine the shit storm that would follow if David pissed on a painting of the prophet Muhammad? Of course, HBO, the complicit scum that they are, would not have allowed that to air.

Not that Larry David doesn't have the imagination to make that plot work, but I don't see why he would piss on a painting of Muhammad. The reason is that our culture doesn't really have a long tradition of charlatans hawking easily faked Muhammad miracles to morons. Usually, when you're making fun of something, you make fun of something. You don't just make shit up to make fun of it; that's not fun for the audience. I will point out that everyone getting offended by this particular joke has either not thought about the charlatan angle, or more likely, thinks blatantly manipulating people with fake miracles is a fucking great idea.

I'm not so sure this guy saw the episode as he claimed, or that he was a fan before. I think that's a rhetorical device he's using to beef up his argument. When you read the email, the last thing that you think is, "This is someone smart enough to get something out of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'." Also, his recollection of the show is off. He describes the scene incorrectly, implying that Larry put the painting on the ground and pissed all over it. He read about the show or heard about it, and got offended, and wrote this email without seeing it or possibly any other episode of "Curb"---that's what I suspect, anyway. He's just using the "I didn't leave the Democratic party; it left me" lie that every other conservative feels obligated to spout.

At least other wingnuts had the common decency to admit that they were getting offended out of sheer ignorance, because they'd never watch this show. SEK hilariously finds not one, but two bloggers whining that Larry David would never piss on a picture of Obama, which is something you'd never say if you've ever seen the show. After all, a recent episode had Larry shoving a woman in a wheelchair in a closet to hide her from another woman (also in a wheelchair, don't ask) that he was supposed to be on a date with, a crime that garners him a beatdown from Rosie O'Donnell to the cheers of the audience who likes to see Larry just get his ass whipped. The premise of the show is that Larry is an asshole. To say that the character does X, and therefore the real life Larry David is endorsing it and suggesting you should do X is to completely miss the point of the show. If there was a way to make pissing on a picture of Obama funny, Larry David would do it. And those of us who voted for Obama would laugh our asses off, because we're grown-ups who realize that not every story is an edifying lesson in proper moral behavior aimed at children.

Of course, Christians acting like a victimized minority at the hands of all-powerful Hollywood Jews is not the sort of freak-out that comes sans some genuinely offensive baggage. And doing so right at the beginning of their annual War on Christmas freak-out only makes the underlying beliefs that fuel the War on Christmas anger all the more evident. Remember, Larry David was involved in a direct shot across the bow at Christian cultural dominance. "Seinfeld" was his show, you know, and "Seinfeld" is where Festivus was popularized. The whole joke of Festivus was that it was an alternative to Christianity for "the rest of us", which of course suggests that Christians have cultural dominance, and that they are not oppressed by the various religious minorities of the U.S.. And that Christmas, far from being banned, is such an overwhelmingly huge event that non-Christians have a legitimate reason to feel mildly aggrieved.

This inclines me to wonder if David deliberately set out to do this. It suits his sense of humor to create an occasion for a bunch of Christians to freak out about how wealthy Hollywood Jews are out to get them, and how the all-powerful HBO sitcom cabal was able to take away their ability to worship freely. And to do so right as we're about to undergo an onslaught of Christmas carols and baby Jesuses, making their claims about oppression sound even sillier.