By The Onion
Reviewed by Jorge Antonio Vallejos
For the past two years I’ve been reviewing Christmas based books by queer men making a farce out of the Holiday Season:
You Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs
Holidays On Ice by David Sedaris
The above are collections of essays by two of Americas most well known writers. Funny as shit essays. Make you laugh out loud essays. At times problematic, sometimes racist, and for the most part comical pieces of life experiences in personal essay form.
Christmas Exposed is funny but it’s not personal. The well known comedy pages posing as a newspaper called The Onion has put together a great collection of articles, stats pages, opinion pieces, and tips about, and for, Christmas. Again, The Onion is not a real newspaper. Read it with that in mind and laugh.
Similar to real newspapers, The Onion uses catchy titles to grab your attention. The difference is that they’re funny, extreme, and really push the envelope:
Emotionally Distant Family Spends Holidays Watching Toughing Family Dramas Together
Jesus Really Dreading This Next Birthday
Ho, Ho, Ho! I Saw You Masturbating!
Activist Judge Cancels Christmas
Fun Toy Banned Because of Three Stupid Dead Kids
Religious Cousin Ruins Family’s Christmas
Weed Delivery Guy Saves Christmas
Some of the articles have you laughing while questioning the politics behind them. Some will just plain piss you off! One in particular, Chicago Rolls Out Cold Weather Prostitutes, shows that sex sells every day of the year. But it has a problematic ring to it. While I liked that there was something about sex work in the collection it was not what I would have written. The article poses a dichotomy between “three season hookers” and those that are “better capable of handling the tough Chicago streets.” There is of course no analysis of the realities of why women would be working in the cold, on the street, and during Christmas.
The article makes up quotes by regular customers ranging from local residents to members of Chicago’s business community: “When temperatures drop below zero, you need prostitutes you can depend on when they’re most needed.”
The Onion proceeds to use degrading, sexist language and makes a farce of the trade:
“More resistant to heavy wear and tear than ordinary street whores, these high performance prostitutes provide Chicago residents with optimal handling under the roughest conditions, a firmer grip on ultra-slick surfaces, as well as a greater rear-end balance. In addition to improved start and stop capabilities, the prostitutes are also able to absorb the bumpiest of rides.”
Street based female sex workers are objectified in this article; they are made to sound like cars as opposed to humans providing an essential service.
While The Onion fucks up on the article described above they do bring light to the antics of one of America’s most important people: Vice President Joe Biden. After Biden’s ridiculous show in his debate with Vice President candidate Paul Ryan, I now see why he might have done the things he did. In the news brief Biden Winks After Offering To Buy Eggnog for Whitehouse Christmas Party Biden is described as carrying a flask and taking swigs at a meeting. “Uncle Joe’s got the nog under control,” says Biden in between sips. Reads like a real news brief to me!
A funny and sad snippet is what I’ll end with: Book Given As Gift Actually Read. How many books have you given to people for the holidays and wondered if they’ve read it or not? How many books have been given to you that you’ve not read? With the deplorable state of books today, the first line was funny and brought some hope to booklovers like me: “The nations publishing industry was rocked by Monday’s news that a book given as a Holiday gift was actually read and enjoyed by its recipient.” Lets hope this line rings true for millions this holiday!
Christmas Exposed challenges the status quo, laughs at the capitalist holiday known as Christmas, and has some hilarious pieces of writing throughout it 144 pages of moch journalism. Enjoy the ride, question its problematic humour, and remember, it’s all bullshit!