Add Homonym Attacks! #9
Ad Hominem: Appealing to personal considerations rather than to logic or reason.
Ad Hominem Attack: An argument that focuses on a personal attack as opposed to the subject in question.
Add Homonym Attacks!: The process by which one inserts a homophone and it bites you.
(It also serves as the title to Inside Pulse’s representative column in the world of Critical Thinking, Science and Skepticism.)
Thinking About Santa
Well, it is after Thanksgiving. Thus the full onslaught of Christmas is upon us. The earliest harbingers of this holiday beast now seem to trickle in before Halloween (or, since this section is Lucard’s baby, Hallowe’en). As Bill Maher once said, “If I wanted to hear about Jesus 365 days a year, I would’ve voted for George W. Bush.”
Now normally this section is not above saying naughty and sinful things about Jesus. The magic carpenter will not be the issue today, as I effectively take the Christ out of Christmas. Although, I should add, I am leaving the *cha* in Chanukah. (It’s funnier coming from Ted Cohen).
Anyway, I think it is obvious that Jesus IS the reason for the season. I mean, OBVIOUSLY this wood working demigod was born in the town of Bethlehem (which didn’t actually exist in 0 AD) sometime near the Winter Solstice, and subsequently the local peoples of the Holy Land celebrated by decorating their fir trees, hanging the red socks of the Giants (they survived Noah’s flood ya know?), quaffing egg nog, and singing “Jingle Bell Rock.”
Sucks to all that though, I want to talk about Santa.
You see, I think that reasonable kids all over the world stop believing in Santa through logic. Why trust mothers and fathers who flip-flop on this important issue anyway?
Now the reasonable kid thinks, “no way can Santa give presents to all the houses in my town in one night, let alone the whole world! Think about it; it takes all night to trick or treat, and all you are dealing with then is candy. Bowling balls and kittens make things a lot trickier, especially if you attempt to carry both in the same bag.”
So let’s think about the math. Just North America has over 300 million people. Give Santa twelve hours worth of night, being generous with the differences in time zones and all that. Santa should use the time zone thing to his advantage.
Now most people don’t live alone, so figure that 300 million people means maybe 100 million houses. This is just a guess, but it seems reasonable. That might be high, so we’ll estimate low this time and say that Santa only visits 12% of these houses. Not every home contains kids who get presents from Santa right? That sounds reasonable.
So, we have 12 million households to visit in twelve hours. That is a rate of 1 million houses per hour. There are 3,600 seconds in each hour. That makes about 275 houses each second.
That’s a lot of dimp.
Of course, Santa really should visit everybody. And if we include the southern hemisphere it should way increase the amount of houses he has to visit without increasing the time he has to do this thing.
It is at this point that children around the world come to the same conclusion I did at their age: Santa is really a team of robots.
Sadly, I have yet to catch one of these yuletide automatons.
I wonder if they are programmed with Asimov’s rules…
And now for something completely different.
For background, I live in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago AKA the Mid-west’s capital for hippie liberals.
So I went to a local hangout this Sunday. It is that hockey time of year, so I wear one of the three Blackhawks’ jerseys I bought on the cheap at a thrift store.
Of course the first thing I hear is, “Kennedy, you look so butch today!”
But the comment that was repeated to me over and over that day was this: Wow, you’re not very PC.
We’re in Chicago. This is Chicago’s hockey team.
Numerous people referred to it as an “Indians Jersey.”
No. Our team is called the Blackhawks. The last time I checked, there isn’t anything particularly offensive about the term Blackhawk. It isn’t a derogatory term like “redskin” or “wahoo” or “savage.” Hell, it isn’t even as offensive as “Indian,” which isn’t very offensive either.
Chief Black Hawk (or Makataimeshekiakiak) was a leader of the Sauk in the 19th century. He helped his people (and the Fox) fight forced migration and keep their land, i.e. Illinois. The Chicago hockey team was called the Black Hawks until 1986 when they smooshed the two words into one. (The Makataimeshekiakiaks isn’t quite as catchy, I gather.)
The logo is a reverent profile shot of a Native American (presumably Chief Black Hawk) with feather headdress. Is it offensive to even see an Aboriginous American? What the f*ck? I’ve never seen anybody take any flack over wearing a “Fightin’ Irish” sweater. Isn’t that more offensive? Buffalo Bill nearly wiped out a species, but we don’t seem to mind him as a mascot. What the f*ck?
Are these people offended by teams called the Spartans? Isn’t “the Avalanche” to those who have lost loved ones to such tragedy?
And f*ck you PC mother f*ckers. I grew up 10 miles from a reservation. I went to school with American Indians. My grandmother is Native American. You mother f*ckers don’t know the Iroquois league from Seneca Nation Bingo.
Catch you in two weeks when, among other things, I’ll bitch about these dumbass homeopathic remedies…
…and probably something Christmas-y too.