Since Gay Christmas is over (Halloween), the time for Actual Christmas season is officially upon us. And what holiday season would be complete without a a hearty dose of Internet rage?
The greeting card megalith, Hallmark, put its chestnuts in an open fire when it decided to replace the word "gay" with "fun" in an ornament adorned with lyrics from "Deck the Halls." Because everyone knows that "don we now our gay apparel" is about butt fucking.
The ornament, which will set you back $12.95, is supposed to be a statement on trashy sweater parties, or something. From the website: "When it comes to Christmas sweaters, gaudy can be good! Hang up this flashy sweater to make your tree's outfit complete. With its catchy phrase, Don we now our FUN apparel! everyone will be in on the joke."
We're not really sure what the joke is supposed to be, but when it comes to weird gay censorship, the proof is in the figgy pudding. In trying to shy away from making a "statement" about homosexuality, the ornament instead offended just about everyone.
"Hallmark claims to be the keeper of traditional values; then, you change the words to a century's [sic] old Christmas Carol to appease maybe 2 percent of the population ... I am so sick of this PC society that will defer to whatever fringe of society that is yelling the loudest."
Once the ire started pouring in, the company offered this defense: "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. Today it has multiple meanings, which we thought could leave our intent open to misinterpretation. ... So the planning team decided to say what we meant: 'fun.' That's the spirit we intended and the spirit in which we hope ornament buyers will take it."
When that didn't help matters, Hallmark apologized in a more official way: "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. 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."
To play devil's advogayte, we do think that an ornament with "gay" on it probably would have caused a few snickers or eye rolls, but if Hallmark was really that concerned, then why not choose another lyric? There are only about 10,000 Christmas songs in existence. We're sure one of them would have been suitable for their little bejeweled, dress-up tree ritual, which, is, like totally hetero, amirite, brah?
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