Happy Festivus!

Today is Festivus, the anti-Christmas holiday created by Frank Constanza on a classic Seinfeld episode back in 1997.  Rather than celebrate with peace, goodwill, and a tree, the centerpiece of Festivus is a bare aluminum pole and festivus activities include the “feats of strength” and “airing of grievances.”  I just read in the paper, that a Wisconsin company is now actually selling Festivus poles that you can buy.  The perfect gift for any Seinfeld fan. 

I read in another article (which I cannot find now– dial-up internet connection for the holidays) that a politician was proudly displaying his Festivus pole, but felt compelled to take it down after Michael Richard's racist rant.  This is an extraordinary and abuurd example of the lengths that politicians will go to in order to avoid contreversy and offending constitutents.  By his reasoning, perpaps I should burn my Seinfeld DVD's so my students don't get upset.  No, politicians should not try and offend their consitutents, but if they are this afraid of doing so, you really have to wonder about just what they are made of. 

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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