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Today's word on journalism

January 13, 2009

Breakneck:

"I get the feeling that the 24-hour news networks are like the bus in the movie 'Speed.' If they stop talking for a second, they think they'll blow up."

--Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, 2008 (Thanks to alert WORDster Ross Martin)

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Too much Christmas too early, or not enough? Aggies sound off

Early Christmas decorations: Good thing or bad? / Photo by Russell Maxfield

By Russell Maxfield

December 10, 2008 | Can we start Christmas even earlier, please?!!

That's right; it's that time of year again. The time when Christmas decorations start to go up in stores, and local radio stations start playing Christmas music. It's once again time to ask ourselves, when is it too early to start celebrating Christmas? Many students at Utah State University seem to think that it is starting too early and even that it seems to start earlier each year.

"I swear Christmas is the sneakiest most egotistical holiday ever," said Danny Robinson, a USU student studying journalism. "It just keeps sneaking up, earlier and earlier, pushing other holidays like thanksgiving right out of the way. What a bully!"

"Sometimes I think it's just a big joke," said Ether Chong Wong, a USU graduate "Can't people wait just a little longer? What's the big rush? Can't I at least get through Thanksgiving before we plug in the Christmas tree? I can't even enjoy my pumpkin pie because I'm getting Jingle Bells forced down my throat instead. I just get so sick of Christmas before December even arrives!"

Crystal Degen, a journalism student said, "Soon they'll need to change the song from the 12 days of Christmas, to the 112 days of Christmas. That's a lot of lame gifts from your true love."

The heated debate goes both ways. Some say that the Christmas season is so special because it only comes once a year, and by milking it for every last day we possibly can take away from it. Others argue that you can never start Christmas too early and the earlier it starts the better.

"Putting up Christmas decorations and playing Christmas music in November doesn't take anything away from Thanksgiving, and anybody who says different is a moron," said David Neumann, a USU student studying to be an alarm salesman. "It's not like we're missing out on the classic Thanksgiving songs on the radio. And come on, who decorates for thanksgiving besides the elementary schools 2nd grade classes? The people that complain about it are probably still hanging pictures on their walls of turkeys that they have made after tracing their hand with a crayon? Don't get me wrong, I love the thanksgiving feast. But I have no problem eating my turkey while Bing Crosby sings Silent Night in the background."

Still other students would rather skip thanksgiving all together. Dustin Fabis, a student in the business department said, "I don't know what the big deal is; I mean who cares about thanksgiving anyway? It's not even a real holiday. We all get together and talk about what we're thankful for in remembrance of the genocide of the Native American people from the pilgrims. Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492. Yeah, that's what the government wants you to believe. Who even knows the real story behind Columbus and all his conspiracies?"

Rodney Boudrero, a fourth-generation USU student, said that he thinks it's only going to get worse every year. "It used to be that people would wait until after thanksgiving to start playing Christmas music," Boudrero said. "But this year I heard Christmas songs and saw Christmas trees in stores just after Halloween. It won't be long until Christmas has overtaken Halloween, too. Don't be surprised if the number one Halloween costume next year is Santa Claus or his elves. And don't say that I didn't warn you when you buy candy corn next October and it only comes in the colors red, green, and white. Look out 4th of July, Christmas will be coming for you next."

Dana Rasmussen said, "I think Christmas lights should go up in late October. Seeing Christmas up in October is like mankind receiving an injection of brotherly love and the Christmas spirit right into their hearts! Now if we can only get them to leave the lights up until Valentine's Day I believe there would be no more war or children gone hungry."

It seems that everybody has an opinion on this subject. Some are for Christmas being earlier, and some against it. And others just say that they are sick and tired of the complaining. William (Billy) Virgi, a USU student in business said that it's hard for him to even hear the Christmas music over all the complaining that goes on about it.

"I just think people love to complain," Virgi said. "People forget what Christmas is. It's mostly a holiday for children anyway. I was on the campus shuttle the other day and the driver had the radio turned to a station that was playing Christmas music and he just sat there and complained about how lame the music was. I guess he didn't realize that he had the power to reach down and change the station to something else. I just don't understand it."

According to Adam Johnson, a Logan resident who hopes to attend USU in the future, most of the guys he hears complaining about the Christmas music are the guys that always have to try to prove that they are tough guys. "As if saying that they don't like Christmas music shows that they are too macho for it. These are the same guys you might find standing by a kiddie-ride at Lagoon making fun of the little kids and announcing how lame the ride is. I'm secure in my masculinity; I drive a Duramax Diesel truck, so I can admit that I love Christmas songs."

At the end of the argument it's just for each of us to decide. We've all heard how commercialized Christmas has become, and in a lot of ways that is true. But when it comes down to it Christmas is just an excuse. It could be an excuse for stores to sell more merchandise, or to raise their prices. It could be an excuse to spend more time with family, or to spend more time at work and get paid overtime. It could be an excuse to teach children about the birth of Christ, or the spirit of giving. We could use this time of year to get angry about the long lines, or over-played Christmas songs. To treat people a little better, or we could just get a little grumpier. We can be mad about the cold weather, or use it as an excuse to cuddle up to somebody special. There's a long list of things Christmas can mean to us. And the few extra days of Christmas music just gives us a better opportunity to take advantage.

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