“Bad Santa” and Eli Plaut’s “A Kosher Christmas”

[This article was originally posted on Dec. 24, 2013; it is a comment on an article that appeared in Tablet on Dec. 17, 2013. Tablet has seen fit to repost it in 2014, on Christmas eve, so I thought I would repost my comment.]

Billy Bob Thornton and Tony Cox in Bad Santa.

It’s that time of year again. Time for Jewish angst about Christmas. The Tablet has a revealing article by Adam Chandler that gets at the Jewish view of the season (“All-Star Team of Jews Defiles Christmas in Billy Bob Thornton’s ‘Bad Santa’: How the Coen brothers and Terry Zwigoff helped create a holiday classic that angers gentiles“). Described as “the greatest Christmas movie of all time,”

ten years after its release, Terry Zwigoff’s Bad Santa, a rail whiskey blend of Brecht and Bukowski, has become a holiday standard. Brought to life by a Jew from Wisconsin (Zwigoff) and four Jewish brothers (two Coens and two Weinsteins), it is regarded as a classic send-up of Christmas culture gone awry. The crude, brilliant movie is a staple of Comedy Central’s December line-up.  …

With an assault of impiety, the film makes Christmastime in America seem an impossible place to be if you live at the margins. The way that message is conveyed throughout the movie, however, is more fluid than solid. After his introductory monologue, Willie stumbles into the alley behind the bar where, with the Chopin nocturne still lilting, he upchucks loudly into the snow. It’s a beautiful shot, retching Santa and all, that ends with the postcard appearance of the movie title in red lettering.

Uplifting stuff for the holidays. The artistic contribution of the Coen brothers is critical:

In an interview last year, director Terry Zwigoff explained how the Coen Brothers turned Bad Santa from holiday pastiche into scorched earth. “Like the kid would ask Santa, ‘Do you and Mrs. Santa ever think of having kids?’ And in the original script it was just, ‘No, thank God.’ And the Coens made that into, ‘No, thank the fuck Christ.’ That’s their gift. They have a gift for dialogue.”

Such an improvement! The gleeful desecration of all that is held dear by the hated and resented outgroup.

Catholic League President William Donahue expressed the attitude of the rest of America, noting

In a word association game, the mere mention of Santa to kids begets comments like ‘kind,’ ‘cheerful,’ and ‘loving.’ But the Santa in ‘Bad Santa’ is anything but: he is a chain-smoking, drunken, foul-mouthed, suicidal, sexual predator. He is shown soiling himself in Santa’s chair, vomiting in alleys, having sex with a woman bartender in a car, and performing anal sex on a huge woman in a dressing room. And his commentary in front of kids is replete with the ‘F-word.’

Indeed, IMBD reports that “The unrated version of the film furthers the record for the most profanities in a Christmas film, including 170 uses of “fuck”, 74 uses of “shit”, 31 uses of “ass”, 10 uses of “bitch”, and 1 use of “bastard”, in variable forms.”

Now that’s comedy!

And the best part for the Adam Chandlers of the world is that it doesn’t really have a Christmasy ending: “While Bad Santa jerks in the direction of a happy ending, there is little redemption to be had. After all, no one is asking that we get into the spirit of Christmas or channel its goodwill. For a Jew at Christmastime, it’s all we could ever want in a holiday movie.”

The following column on a scholarly book on the Jewish role in subverting Christmas ran last year around this time:

A new book, Joshua Eli Plaut’s A Kosher Christmas: ’Tis the Season to Be Jewish, documents what we have known all along: The Jews did indeed subvert Christmas.  This book deserves a full review, but Ethan Schwartz’s summary and comment (“Twas the night after Christmas“) deserve scrutiny. First the summary:

Jews have been the vanguard of an effort to “transform Christmastime into a holiday season belonging to all Americans,” without religious exclusivity.  The most important Jewish mechanisms of secularization are comedy and parody, for laughter undermines religious awe.  Take, for example, Hanukkah Harry from “Saturday Night Live”, who heroically steps in for a bedridden Santa by delivering presents from a cart pulled by donkeys named Moishe, Hershel, and Shlomo.  Remarkably, Hanukkah Harry has emerged as a real Santa-alternative for many American Jews.  Plaut sees such things not as attempts at assimilation but as an intentional subversion of Christmas traditions.  “Through these parodies,” he writes, “Jews could envision not having to be captivated by the allure of ubiquitous Christmas symbols.”  And it isn’t just Jews: for Americans in general, Jewish parody helps ensure that Christmas “not be taken too seriously” and that the celebrations of other traditions “be accorded equal respect and opportunity.”

There seem to be two messages here. One is the message of subversion utilizing ridicule among other methods. The other is that Jews are seen as high-mindedly making Christmas  “into a holiday season belonging to all Americans.” The end result is that Christmas is not “taken too seriously” and the Christian religious aspect central to the traditional holiday is de-emphasized.

People who take their religion seriously do not allow their religion to be ridiculed. One need only think of the Muslim reactions to cartoons ridiculing Mohammed. The fact that Jews have been able to ridicule Christianity without any serious negative consequences is an important marker of Jewish power and an equally strong indication of the decline of Christian religious belief. I suspect that the organized Jewish community would react in outrage if non-Jews ridiculed religious Judaism. One can only imagine the elite outrage if one ridiculed the Holocaust which has become a religious symbol of the new culture.  Indeed, any criticism of Jews as Jews is off limits in the mainstream media. (A topical short list of verboten topics: the loyalties of neocon Jews and their role in promoting the war in Iraq, the Jewish aspect of the Ivy League admissions scandal, how Jewish control of Hollywood influences media content.)

Schwartz doesn’t quarrel with Plaut’s evidence, but wonders if it’s good for the Jews that such a book be written:

There is something disconcerting about this thesis, summoning up classic anti-Semitic images of conspiracy and sabotage.  Without a trace of irony, Plaut recounts incidents in which fundamentalist Christian groups complained that “certain Americans, particularly Jews, were trying to take the ‘Christ’ out of Christmas.”  He adds that “anti-Semitic comments often ensued.”  Those Christian fundamentalists might well feel vindicated by Plaut’s argument; yet Plaut is unfazed by this connection, and rightly so.  It is not inherently anti-Christian, he recognizes, to oppose Christianity’s domination of a secular democracy.  If Jews have helped to make American society more open, they should be proud of it.

So Jews subverted Christmas but their motives were pure and idealistic. [Somehow Adam Chandler’s pure idealism fails to come through in his comments on Bad Santa.] But such an account ignores the Jewish role in conceptualizing America as a proposition nation—a major topic of The Culture of Critique. The Jewish stress on cultural pluralism (which has now morphed into multiculturalism) was an explicit rejection of the ethnocultural strand of American identity, an important part of which was Christianity. (Indeed, until the recent wave of immigration resulting from the 1965 law, Jews constituting 2–3 percent of the population, were the only identifiable American group that was not Christian.) Jews were central to building a wall between religion and the public square which has resulted in the “war on Christmas” that we still see raging. Jews were also central to changing U.S. immigration policy to be open to all the peoples of the world, again with an ideology that America is merely a set of abstract principles and has no ethnic or cultural core; therefore it should be open to all peoples and these peoples should be able to retain their own culture as part of the American mosaic.

I realize that many good people shy away from saying it, but the reality is that Jews have very aggressively pursued policies that benefit them and are opposed to the interests of the traditional people of America and the West. And because Jews attained status as an intellectual and media elite, they have been able to have a very large effect on public policy and even on the attitudes of non-Jews.

Plaut emphasizes the difference between the very aggressive behavior of Eastern European immigrants with their hatred of Christianity contrasted with the German Jews who arrived in the mid-19th century and “embraced the holiday.” It’s an important distinction, at least in the American context. But in any case, Plaut’s description of the motives of the Eastern European as stemming from their hatred of Christianity hardly paints them as idealistic crusaders on behalf of an open society.  It bears repeating once again that Jews react with hostility to the idea that Israel should not have a Jewish ethnocultural core while they have led the campaign against the idea that America and the West have any ethnocultural core. As with their promoting non-White, non-Christian immigration, their advocacy has nothing to do with ideals of moral universalism but everything to do with pursuing what’s good for the Jews, motivated by Jewish hatreds toward the traditional people and cultures of the West. The war on Christmas is thus a central example of the theme of Jews as a hostile elite.

12 replies
  1. Anon
    Anon says:

    A lot of Christmas movies are quite demoralizing, to be honest. I remember always hating Elf, even when I was a blue-pilled youth and it first came out.

    At the beginning of Elf, Buddy the Elf is humanized quite handily. The audience is led to empathize with him. The camera follows him around the North Pole and he does and says some nice things, he is very likeable. We learn that he is a human (like us!) who accidentally was raised to be an Elf in the North Pole after he sneakily crawled into Santas sack as an infant. But he cannot forever be an Elf in the North Pole, it is not his true home, he has to re-enter the world of humans to find his biological parents. So he moves to NYC.

    For the majority of the movie, we are forced to painfully watch Buddy do a bunch of incredibly embarrassing, shameful things, all out of his love for Christmas. We see him reveal himself to be a total fool. Christmas is, to a great extent, about childhood innocence, and Buddy has too much of it, and we see this get satirized. Christmas involves a lot of sweets, and we see Buddy chug them down in the most disgusting way possible. Buddy gets himself in serious trouble by unintentionally insulting a person with dwarfism by calling him an elf. He gets thrown in jail.

    Everything about Christmas is obnoxiously tacky in this movie, there is nothing reverend or inspiring. It is excruciating and even traumatizing to see our buddy, Buddy, embarrass himself as he tries to express his Christmas spirit. You learn unconsciously to associate Christmas enthusiasm and Christmas traditions with stupidity and shame. I personally did.

    He finds a love interest with a girl named Jovie in the movie, a kind of grinchy-girl. He wins her respect by showing off his magical snowball-throwing and toy-making skills. At the end of the movie, she stops her grinchiness and sings some Christmas songs in order to help Buddy and Santa gain magic from Christmas cheer. Things turn out alright afterwards. The audience is led to believe that Christmas won in the end.

    But Christmas did not win. Buddy won, because he was a good person with magical abilities, and the poor guy needs a home. Nothing about the images portraying the idiocy of Christmas was taken back, only the character of Buddy was actually salvaged. You are still left with the disgusting images about the tacky Christmas holiday.

    The lesson of Elf is that Christmas is really stupid, tacky, and shameful, and so are the people who love it, but that you *also* must not be too much of a grinch, and you must follow along, so as not to make certain silly but pure-hearted children/adults too sad. It is basically a movie about the Jewish experience in December.

  2. Seraphim
    Seraphim says:

    Jews have been at war with Christmas and Easter, the essentially Christian ‘holidays’ wherever they went, not only America. It’s the essence of Judaism. They hate the traditional people and cultures of the West, but they have a special hatred towards peoples and ‘cultures’ of the East (i.e. the Orthodox Church and Russians in particular), because they resisted longer and harder against blasphemy. They hate Christianity and Christians and displays of Christian faith, or which might evoke it only, as their religious duty and fight against them, either directly, or under the mask of promoting ‘democracy’, ‘tolerance’, ‘openness’. The Protestant ‘West’ took over the fight against ‘idolatry’, desensitizing itself against manifestations of hatred of the ‘Bad Santa’ genre, no matter that the ‘X-mas’ as it is practiced in the shopping malls has little to do with real Christmas .

  3. Alfred
    Alfred says:

    Dr MacDonald has been the antidote to the group who seeks the destruction of the White race.
    This superb, and reread, insight into what goes on with our most sacred days should wake ANYONE up.
    I have to say, after reading deeply into the character of both Jesus and Adolf Hitler that they BOTH told the truth about the enemy of our people.
    While that may shock some, it is only because they have not read both of those the man and Son of Man.
    As a traditional Roman Catholic I saw what happened to the Church after the Jewish efforts at Vatican II. Malachi Martin was just one of their agents. What they did to the Church they are doing to the entire White race.
    Let us pray…

    • Brendan Long
      Brendan Long says:

      Interesting comment about Adolph Hitler, his own bad self. He be da man! Research it and discover how many people agree. Want to piss of the PC crowd when they respond to positive/ accurate comments about him with this question: “And where is he now?” Just tell them that, “He sitteth at the right hand of the father.”

  4. Achilles Wannabe
    Achilles Wannabe says:

    “The fact that Jews have been able to ridicule Christianity without any serious negative consequences is an important marker of Jewish power and an equally strong indication of the decline of Christian religious belief.”

    There is a rub for me. I am against Jewish Power and reject Jewish besmirching of Christian holidays. But my religious belief has declined to zero and I am not hoping for any return to laws against homosexuality
    and abortion rooted in Christian culture. I want a Euro gentile country back but one that is open to some of the ideas or behaviors that Jews have promoted. I like Christmas It has sentimental value for me which really has nothing to do with Christ. I am a Santa Claus guy and that is pagan. I didn’t need Jews to become this way and I am not going to change if Jewish Power is displaced.
    Anyway, if you are Euro-gentile, have yourself a Merry Christmas – Christian or Pagan. And if you are American black or Indian. Merry
    Christmas too. We are going to have to cut a new deal but it is not like you are foreigners

  5. Mark
    Mark says:

    The greatest betrayal of Christ Jesus since Judas’ kiss..
    Trump’s “SUPER SUPERIORITY” Executive Order for Jews. The order will effectively interpret Judaism as a nationality, not just a religion, to trigger a federal law penalizing colleges and universities, and soon expand to cover Worshiping CHRIST since Judaism HATES Christ.
    For the first time since Emperor Constantine recognized Christianity in the 300th Year of Our Lord, Christians are relegated to SECOND CLASS CITIZENSHIP. 1700 years and JUDAS ISCARIOT again betrays CHRIST.
    The first step in legalizing State sponsored Christian Persecution.
    Trump has set the legal precedent for the subjugation of Christianity.
    Trump just set the legal foundation for the TRIBULATION you all chatter about.
    Crosses on Churches ALREADY “offend” Jews . … so do Nativities, Carols, Trees …. Where do you think the “War on CHRISTmas” originates? Jews refuse to acknowledge Jesus or the NEW Testament and Trump just handed them the weapon to attack.
    Talk about “War on Christmas” … Like King Herod attempting to murder the Baby Jesus, King Trump has launched an attack on CHRISTianity by Officially Legalizing the elevation of Judaism ABOVE Christ, just 13 DAYS before CHRISTmas.

    • Achilles Wannabe
      Achilles Wannabe says:

      All told, this latest Trumpian exercise in philosemitism could backfire. Anti Semites have always said Jews are a nation – a nation within other nations, a nation whose primary loyalty is to themselves The Jews and our government have gotten around this by classifying Jews purely as a religion even though the majority of them are secular. Thus the richest, best organized most ethnocentric and nepotistic ethnic group in the Western world gets to indict anyone with “antisemitism” who refers to them as “the Jews” . But now that Jared and Donald have officially proclaimed Jews a nation it becomes logically consistent to refer to Jews as “the Jews” just like we can speak of “the Russians” or “the Iranians” and be within the official legal lexicon. In effect thanks to Trump and Jared, “the Jews” has now become a legitimate category of socio economic and political analysis and we on this site know where that can lead.
      Of course Jared, in good Jewish fashion, is trying to have it both ways by denying that he and Trump have declared Jews a nation while he and Trump have declared Jews a nation. And organized Jewry will go right on pretending to be just a collection of individuals with the support of our Jewish press, media and educational system since our dominant informational culture thinks reality is what they make up providing the themes
      are consonant with Jewish interests. But if there ever is a great white awakening, this official nationalizing of Jewry may come back to bite “the Jews”.
      As for Trump persecuting “the Christians’, it seems as if there aren’t any. Protestants are just Jews who eat pork to paraphrase the Jew Heine and post Vatican 2 Catholics
      are just Protestants who like statues to quote myself, an ex Catholic. What made people Christian was a negative attitude toward Usury. Remember what Jesus did to the money changers in the temple? The Protestants and the Catholics don’t remember.

  6. Tom
    Tom says:

    Of course, all Leftist “principles” and “universals” are mere ruses disguising particularistic motives – the motives being ethnic and racial self-interest. And there’s nothing wrong with either self-interest so long as everyone is honest about their true intent. The issue with Jews and other non-whites is that they’re not honest but continuously bullshit people with fake idealism. Personally, I just refer to it all as racism pure and simple, which it is. It’s about time the ridiculous lingo of the Left is used against the assholes. It may be childish but it’s effective. When dealing with mental morons, you do sometimes have to stoop to their level.

  7. Stogumber
    Stogumber says:

    I agree with the gist of the article; nevertheless I think that the danger for Christianism is overestimated. One can indeed show at what points and why the Jesus movement began to differ from the Judaic spirit and in which way this alternative spirit was followed till its logical end and completion at around 200 p.C. And one can and should cultivate this different Christian spirit – but neither Christmas nor St.Nicolas and not at all Santa are relevant parts of that.
    On the other hand it is quite okay to defend one’s own loved customs and traditions, even if they have no relevance for the Judaic/Christian controversy. But at the same time, it is inevitable for any community that some members of it will revolt against these community’s traditions which they feel to be a burden. And the revolting members will look for a means to ridicule or disgrace these traditions. If these means are delivered by hostile Jews, they are perhaps somewhat more acerbic – were they produced by the revolting members themselves, they would probably be more blunt. But all communities must be able to defend themselves from such revolting members at all times.

  8. Ted
    Ted says:

    This movie Bad Santa2 has just been screened on NZ TV on Christmas day!.

    Do Jews control NZ Television?…of course they do,lock stock and barrel.

    The NZ PM Jacinda Ardern is a crypto jew like Morrison of Australia.

    The mayors of Auckland and Christchurch are both Jews and BOTH of them have been involved in corrupt practice….no doubt kept out of court by heavy Jewish influence.
    A NZ Jewish oligarchs son knocked out a female police officer…anyone else would have been jailed…he got a fine.(Dunedin)
    A homosexual Jewish oligarch BRIERLY (financier) was caught at an airport with a laptop full of child pornography images…the case has not gone to court yet…..this will be interesting if he gets off the charges.

  9. Eric
    Eric says:

    I like “Bad Santa.” I don’t see it as an attack on Christmas. It’s a comedy with a serious underlying theme about standing up to bullies.

    ***Spoiler alert.*** Don’t read further if you intend to watch the movie.

    A nerdy kid from a broken home is picked on by the neighborhood bully. He crosses paths with Billy Bob Thornton, who is a misanthropic alcoholic. Thornton and his midget sidekick plan to rob a department store. Thornton gets hired as the store Santa Claus. His sidekick plays an elf.

    The nerdy kid is too old to believe in Santa Claus, but he does believe in him anyway. He keeps pestering Thornton and treats him as a father figure. Thornton has enough of a soft spot that he starts to care about the kid. When he sees bullying going on at the kid’s school, he kicks the ass of one of the bullies.

    Eventually his plan to rob the store fails and he is nabbed by the police while trying to bring a present to the kid. He ends up in prison but he writes to the kid. The kid reads his letter about how tough life is, but “don’t back down, kiddo.” Then he goes outside to ride his bike. The neighborhood bully comes up and demands that he give him the bike. Instead, he kicks the bully in the balls.

    I don’t see this movie as being anti-Christmas or anti-Christian. There is a danger that we might read too much into things. We should always be on guard against that.

    “Bad Santa” is similar to “The Bad News Bears.” I loved both movies. The foul language in “Bad Santa” makes it a movie for adults, not kids. That’s as “un-Christian” as it gets.

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