Silent Night! Endless night!
All is dark, there’s no light.
Cyclone clouds have blocked out the sky,
We’re almost out of our dry-meat supply. Sleep in uneasy peace.
We may have to eat Aunt Bernice.
What the New Yorker is calling “Climate Change Carols” are a series of Christmas songs whose lyrics have been rewritten to focus on environmental issues, gutting the carols of any relationship to the season of Christ’s birth. Not only that, but the hope and joy characteristic of Christmas has also given way to gloom and doom.
Granted, this dechristianization of carols began years ago with the gradual substitution of ditties about reindeer, snowmen, and sleigh bells for songs about Jesus, Mary, shepherds and angels, but this latest assault on Christmas takes the process a step further.
The only reference to Jesus in the new carols, in fact, comes as an exclamation, or what used to be known as “taking the Lord’s name in vain“…
OH, THE WEATHER outside is frightful,
The heat wave brutal and spiteful.
Our crops have no water to grow–
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Looks like the heat wave ain’t stoppin’,
Our dust-storm coughs are a-whoppin’.
All fish went extinct long ago–
For the love of sweet Christ, let it snow!
This most recent trivialization of a central Christian holiday is the work of Ethan Kuperberg, a contributor for the New Yorker, as well as a writer for the Amazon series “Transparent” – a transgender comedy about a 70-year-old father of three who decides he’s a woman. The show’s creator said that Transparent “stands for gender freedom for all,” and tries to “invent worlds that bridge the binary” with new categories such as “Genderqueer, Boygirl, Girlboy, Macho Princess, and Officer Sweet Slutty Bear Captain.”
Kuperberg is also a film director, with two film credits to his name, one of which is titled, unsurprisingly, “F**K the Parents.”
As the New Yorker and comrades do their best to scrub away the vestiges of religiosity from Christmas, others challenge the secularizing wave, with efforts like live nativity scenes on Capitol Hill.
The battle for the soul of Christmas rages on.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome