Magazine | December 31, 2018, Issue

Holiday Revisions

(Murad Sezer/Reuters)

From “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” words and music by Frank Loesser, with revisions and amendments by the women’s-studies department at Bard College:

I really can’t stay (I respect your personal agency in this matter)

I’ve got to go away (I will do nothing to obstruct your safe departure)

This evening has been (I’m in listening mode)

So very nice (I appreciate and honor your empowerment)

My mother will start to worry (She’s right to, it’s not a safe world for women)

My father will be pacing the floor (I hope not in a patriarchal, cis-male way)

So really I’d better scurry (I respect your choice)

But maybe just a half a drink more (Please sign this release form, in that case)

The neighbors might think (This is a very diverse building, which I like)

Say, what’s in this drink? (It’s kombucha, zero dairy)

I wish I knew how (I wish you would teach me)

To break this spell (Oh, are you into Wicca?)

I ought to say, No, no, no, sir (Um, I’m sort of offended by the “sir,” just saying)

At least I’m gonna say that I tried (That’s how I feel about the hashtag resistance)

I really can’t stay (Understood. As you exit, I will remain seated across the room so as not to alarm you or make you feel unsafe)

But baby, it’s cold outside (That’s the climate change)

From A Christmas Carol, Revised and Corrected Draft, by Charles Dickens, with additional dialogue by the Gender-Studies Colloquy, University of California at Santa Cruz:

Page 58:

Running to the window, he opened it and put out his head. No fog, no mist; clear, bright, jovial, stirring cold; cold piping for the blood to dance to; golden sunlight; heavenly sky; sweet fresh air; merry bells. O, glorious, glorious!

“What’s to-day?” cried Scrooge, calling downward to a gender-
nonconforming person in Sunday clothes who perhaps had loitered in to look about them.

“Eh?” returned the gender-nonconforming person, with all their might of wonder.

“What’s to-day, my fine fellow?” said Scrooge.

“Fellow? Nice assumption.”

“I apologize! I will endeavor to use the preferred pronouns henceforth! And now, my good, er, person, I must ask again: What day is it?”

“Why, it’s Christmas Day!”

“It’s Christmas Day!” said Scrooge to himself. “I haven’t missed it. The Spirits have done it all in one night. They can do anything they like. Of course they can. Of course they can.”

“Yes,” said the gender-nonconforming individual, “it’s Christ­mas. The day when the corporations and marketers create a sense of false need in the working class, in order to trap them into a debt spiral, all the while celebrating the chief myth in a religion that is responsible for the death of millions through genocide and colonialism.”

Scrooge took this in.

“Do you know the poulterer’s in the next street but one, at the corner?” Scrooge inquired.

“No,” was the reply. “I’m a vegan.”

Please replace “Frosty the Snow­man” with “Frosty the SnowTrans” in your holiday songbooks.

Please omit “We Three Kings” from the holiday songbook due to the Islamophobia threaded throughout.

From A Christmas Story, by Jean Shepherd, with revisions and alterations by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America:

Page 33:

It was late November and the Christmas fever was well upon me. I thought about a Red Ryder air rifle in all my waking hours, seven days a week, in school and out. I drew pictures of it in my reader, in my arithmetic book, on my hand in indelible ink, on Helen Weathers’s dress in front of me in crayon. For the first time in my life the initial symptoms of genuine lunacy, of mania, set in.

I imagined innumerable situations presenting the instant and irrevocable need for a BB gun, and it was then that I was called to the school psychologist. As I walked to her office, I noticed that outside the school, swarms of police in full tactical gear were surrounding the building. “We’re on lockdown,” I heard someone shout into an iPhone.

“Lockdown?” I thought. “How odd!”

In the psychologist’s office, I was confronted with my drawings of the Red Ryder air rifle. “Why do you think you need such a weapon?” I was asked. “Who are you so angry at?”

“I’m not angry at anyone, really,” I said. “Maybe my mom sometimes? And I just want the BB gun to shoot at tin cans and whatnot.”

“Tin cans?” asked the school psychologist. “Is that some kind of white-supremacist code?”

“No!” I said. “Tin cans, like what they put soup and beans in. Honest, that’s all I want a BB gun for, that and maybe shooting at raccoons in the garbage — ”

It was then that I felt the powerful blow at my back and fell forward onto the psychologist’s desk. At first I thought I had been punched in the kidneys, but when I saw the pool of blood start to grow from under me, I realized I had been shot.

“Call the police!” I shouted to the psychologist.

“We’re already here, nutjob,” said a voice behind me. “Don’t move.” And as I began to lose consciousness I felt the handcuffs click around my wrists, and I realized I wasn’t getting the Red Ryder air rifle for Christmas.

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Letters

Letters

Readers weigh in on Allen C. Guelzo’s “The Great War’s Great Price” and Kevin D. Williamson’s “Pillars of Fire.”
The Week

The Week

The worst part about getting coal in your stocking isn’t the indignity; it’s the notice of violation from the EPA.
The Long View

Holiday Revisions

From “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” words and music by Frank Loesser, with revisions and amendments by the women’s-studies department at Bard College...
Poetry

Poetry

“Though slave to him I plan to kill, From here on in I mean to do the things I will...”

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Ten Questions for the ‘Squad’

Democratic infighting reached a fever pitch last week with bickering and personal attacks between members of the “Squad” and other House Democrats. During that period, Squad members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley mostly avoided doing interviews. However, that all ... Read More
World

Who Is Boris Johnson?

By next week at this time, Boris Johnson will be prime minister of the United Kingdom. Not since Margaret Thatcher has such an outsized personality resided in Number 10 Downing Street. Not since Winston Churchill has such a wit presided over Her Majesty’s Government. Wit is actually the chief reason for ... Read More
U.S.

The Rise of the Chinese-American Right

On June 13, during a nasty storm, a group of Chinese New Yorkers gathered in front of the gates of Gracie Mansion, the New York mayor’s residence on the Upper East Side, to protest. Inside, Mayor Bill de Blasio was meeting with two dozen or so representatives of the Asian-American community to discuss his ... Read More