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Happy Festivus: Air Your Grievances Here, Feats of Strength to Follow

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Slade Sohmer

By Slade Sohmer on December 23, 2012

Frank Costanza: “Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.”

Cosmo Kramer: “What happened to the doll?”

Frank Costanza: “It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born: a Festivus for the rest of us!”

Kramer: “That must have been some kind of doll.”

Frank Costanza: “She was.”

Go type Festivus into Google. Go ‘head, we’ll wait. See that pole? Even Google gets in on the act when it’s time for Festivus.

The Seinfeld-created tradition of Festivus, which falls in the real world on December 23, begins with the “Airing of Grievances.” This is the part of the holiday where the alpha male in your house says “I got a lot of problems with you people, and now, you’re gonna hear about it.”


I’ll go first, then you follow in the comments below:

• I got a problem with people who think lukewarm Knicks fans and casual borough transplants jumping on the Brooklyn Nets bandwagon is a bad thing. There hadn’t been a true home game in Brooklyn in 55 years — this is history, this is Tell Your Grandkids type stuff. If you’d rather give your hard-earned money to one of the worst owners in sports, a man who openly mocks his team’s fans and counts their ticket money, then so be it. We’ll be over here watching Jay-Z and Beyoncé sit courtside watching a six-seed that will be bounced from the first round of the playoffs for the next four years.

• I got a problem with people who use party as a verb.

• I got a problem with people who think Twitter has made the news business worse, especially insiders like New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan. She wrote this weekend: “The Times can’t get pulled into the maelstrom of Twitter-era news. It has to stand apart from those news sources that are getting information out in a fast, piecemeal and frequently inaccurate way.” But breaking news situations ALWAYS lend themselves to false information. Twitter wasn’t around during 9/11 or Columbine, and you know what happened? Same as Sandy Hook. You knew who got facts wrong about Columbine? The New York Times. Twitter isn’t a factual news source — it’s a police radio. There’s lots of information bandied about quickly, some real, some fake calls, and then you have to go and investigate what’s what.

• I got a problem with salad thinking it can be my entire lunch. “Just put chicken in me!” Nice try, salad. You’re not my everything.

• I got a problem with people who say “Ya know, the Internet really is a meritocracy” with a straight face. It’s not. Its rewards system is mostly the same as real life, which is to say, the page views go to the top 2 percent.

• I got a problem with people who print post-election revisionist history without skepticism. The Boston Globe on Sunday quotes Tagg Romney talking about his father thusly: “He wanted to be president less than anyone I’ve met in my life. He had no desire to . . . run.” Sure. That makes sense. It makes sense that a man with no desire to be president put his life on hold for seven years to run twice for the office and did/said anything and everything to achieve that goal. Yeah, just print it as fact, surely someone will believe it.

• I got a problem with people who think Seinfeld is too dated of a reference. It may be 20 years old, but it’s still new to me, dammit.

Okay, okay, I’m moving onto the feats of strength. Your turn for grievances …


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