Ban All Christmas Songs

News broke just as the first weekend in December showed up on everyone’s doorstep that Cleveland (OH) radio station WDOK Christmas 102.1 had pulled “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” from its around-the-clock rotation of Christmas music after receiving a call from a listener who suggested it is inappropriate in 2018 and the poll they ran on their website showed that 8% of their listening audience felt the song was inappropriate to play.

According to news reports, the radio station claimed a “clear majority of respondents supported the decision to remove the song from the station’s line-up” but really, can society consider 8% of poll respondents as a “clear majority” when 92% of poll respondents were in favor of the song being played?

I’m not going to debate whether “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is a song about date rape, and that’s mostly because I don’t agree with applying current social justice warrior rules to the past, and then holding it up as so-called proof that past generations were filled with terrible people.  I’m also not going to debate whether the song is about date rape when current social justice warrior rules are selectively applied to some things and not to others.  I’m certainly not going to debate whether it’s about date rape on the basis that the song triggers a segment of society.

However, if we’re going to apply social justice warrior rules to Christmas songs that have been sung and recorded to years, maybe we should just pull all Christmas songs because of their potential for triggering minorities, people living with disabilities, survivors of criminal acts, and more.  Let’s deconstruct well-loved heartfelt Christmas songs and demonize the daylights out of them just because current social justice warrior rules make it so easy to demonize whatever displeases social justice warriors.

For example, let’s take one of my favorite Christmas songs, “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire.”  For starters, can you really believe a Christmas song that was written in August?  I mean, August is a summer month, so obviously by writing a Christmas song in August, during a blistering heat wave, is seasonal appropriation.  To add insult to injury, the song was recorded and released the following autumn, so you would think makes it double seasonal appropriation.

It was also written in California, which means you have to question the references like snow and Eskimos and such.   Mind you, Mel Tormé was born in Chicago (IL), and Robert Wells was in Raymond (WA) so perhaps we should give them a pass on the basis that they were probably writing from childhood memories, assuming they spent winters — not just spring, summer, and autumn — in their respective home towns.

Setting aside the seasonal appropriation and the possible location appropriation, there’s still a lot for social justice warriors to hold up as reasons to ban “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire.”

NOTE 1:  I am not suggesting or advocating that “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire” be pulled from play lists. 

For one thing, this song has TWO titles:  The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire).  Why does this song need TWO identities?  Is this song promoting something about two separate lives — one as “The Christmas Song” and one as “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire?”  Or does that mean the song is the only Christmas song worth playing, and all the others are lesser Christmas songs or maybe counterfeit Christmas songs?  Doesn’t that title set a dangerous precedent?

And what about those lyrics?

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

That open fire is a serious fire hazard especially if children are around as they may not know they shouldn’t play with fire or get too close to an open fire or otherwise endanger themselves where fire is an element.

Jack Frost nipping on your nose

This is a clear description of as assault, and could possibly also include sexual harassment and threatening behavior.

Yuletide carols being sung by a choir

That line is a double-header problem.  Yuletide carols are being sung which is insensitive to people who are not Christians, and having those carols sung by a choir implies an intolerant mob just waiting to riot and cause civil unrest.

And folks dressed up like Eskimos

This reference to Inuit people is insensitive as well as cultural appropriation which makes that line another double-header problem!

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe

The songwriters really loaded up those double-headed problems from line to line.  The reference to the turkey is PETA-unfriendly ergo it’s animal abuse, and since mistletoe can allegedly be used to poison people (or so claim some of those murder mystery books I’ve read), this implies that murder — or attempted murder if it fails — at the dinner table is being suggested.

Help to make the season bright

This is obviously a great big, huge, clearly stated nod to global warming.

Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow

If those tots have glowing eyes, there are two possible explanations:  Either these tiny tots already suffer from Internet addiction and are glued to their techno-gadgets or they are demon possessed.  Neither of those options are very reassuring.

Will find it hard to sleep tonight

That line is particularly insensitive to people living with insomnia or other sleep disorders.

They know that Santa’s on his way

We all know that criminals use code words to let their posse know what’s happening.  Whoever has been tagged as Santa in this line is most likely the driver of the getaway vehicle that will be used in the commission of one or more crimes.

He’s loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh

If someone is loading lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh, that almost surely confirms this is about stealing high-end ticket items that will wind up in pawn shops, and/or drugs to be delivered to dealers to pass along to their customers.   How is that a good thing for anyone to be doing?

And every mother’s child is going to spy

That line has so much going on that it’s a bonanza of bad decisions.  Every mother’s child is probably an insult to law-abiding citizens who are tagged as mama’s boys which makes that a double insult:  Those people are slammed for being law-abiding citizens, and then they are tagged as being weak-minded people who look to others in authority to tell them what to do.

That bit about spying is either about government surveillance or about Big Brother watching everything everyone does or maybe even the Illuminati.  That’s pretty scary, when you think about it.

To see if reindeer really know how to fly

This is clearly a reference to the effects of getting one’s hands on some highly effective contraband.

And so I’m offering this simple phrase

There are lots of simple phrases out there, usually used by gangs and mobsters and other criminals.  This could be about not crossing anyone involved in criminal activities as all it would take to get whacked — or knocked off or otherwise taught a lesson — is a simple phrase.

To kids from one to ninety-two

Obviously it doesn’t matter how young or how old you are, if you cross someone involved in criminal activities, you are in danger and this line lets you know this without question.  Your friends and family are also in danger if you cross someone involved in criminal activities.  As they say on those TV crime shows, anyone can be gotten to and taken care of.

Although its been said many times, many ways

This is obviously a veiled reference to such things as tags, ties, colors, and all the other ways that the “keep your mouth shut” message is delivered to society as a whole.

Merry Christmas to you

That last line just reinforces the claim that this song marginalizes and disrespects those who are not Christian.

NOTE 2:  I have purposely left out other possible references that are of a sexual nature.

Did you see how easy it was to deconstruct a beautiful song and turn it into something it was never intended to be?

NOTE 3:  I am still not suggesting or advocating
“Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire”
be pulled from play lists. I love this song!

Everything has to be taken in context when determining what is and is not appropriate.  Some people may not like, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”  That’s fine however if the reason for hating a song is based entirely on not understanding the context of the song and not understanding what certain phrases meant back when the song was first written compared to what they may or may not imply in this day and age, you are missing what the song conveys.

Final Note

If you are looking to be offended by someone or something, you will find that someone or something and be offended.  Just because you find that someone or something so you can be offended doesn’t mean that person or thing is offensive, or that all of society has to see the situation from your perspective.

There are so many more serious matters in life that need to be addressed, and so many more dangerous people who need to be taken to task for their dangerous and/or unconscionable actions and words.  The song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” isn’t one of those things, and the songwriters aren’t any of those people.

Maybe it’s time someone knowledgeable on the era in which the song was written to post an explanation of what the song is about, and how all those misinterpreted references are being blown way out of proportion.  Any knowledgeable experts willing to tackle this in a guest article?

Elyse Bruce


Not Always What It Seems

You may have seen this meme being shared on Facebook over the past few days, and perhaps you’ve wondered if the meme is accurate.

Here’s what history has to say on the accuracy of that meme.

Were most African-Americans prevented from voting until 1965?

The 15th Amendment to the Constitution granted African-American men the right to vote by declaring that the “right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

This is because the 14th Amendment had granted African-Americans citizenship, but had not granted them the right to vote. The 15th Amendment addressed that issue. This amendment also prevented federal and state governments from denying the right to vote to citizens based on race.

The final vote in the Senate was 39 to 13, with 14 not voting. The Senate passed the amendment with a vote of 39 Republican votes of “Yea.” Eight Democrat and five Republican voted”Nay” and 13 Republican and 1 Democrat chose not to vote.

Democrats in the south began insisting black voters pass literacy tests, mandated the pay-a-tax to cast ballots, and required African-American voters to secure white persons to vouch for them in the white-only Democrat primaries in Southern states. Voter intimidation and violence against African-Americans were two well-known tactics used by Democrats during elections.

Were African-American women prevented from voting until 1965?

The 19th Amendment in 1920 granted non-Native American and non-Asian women the right to vote. This Amendment included African-American women as well as Caucasian women. A woman’s right to vote was something the suffragette movement had fought for since 1848.

Were Native Americans prevented from voting until 1957?

The Snyder Act of 1924 admitted Native Americans born in the U.S. to full U.S. citizenship. Though the Fifteenth Amendment, passed in 1870, granted all U.S. citizens the right to vote regardless of race, it wasn’t until the Snyder Act that Native Americans could enjoy the rights granted by the amendment.

Except that fees and competency tests popped up which prevent many Native Americans from voting, and this continued for decades.

Were Asian-Americans prevented from voting until 1952?

Chinese immigrants were given the right to citizenship and the right to vote by the Magnuson Act in 1943. All other Asian-Americans secured the right to citizenship and the right to vote in 1952 through the McCarran-Walter Act.

That being said, Asian-Americans have the worst voter turnout rates compared to other groups of Americans according to data collected. It is believed it is due to the fact that 75% of Asian-Americans are foreign-born, with 35% of Asian-Americans unable to demonstrate even limited English proficiency.

It took the Voting Rights Act of 1965 for protections and accommodations to be put in place that allowed U.S. citizens of limited English to vote with assistance from translators and ballots in multiple languages. Just a year earlier, Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration ensured that literacy tests and poll taxes were no longer allowed in any state during any election.

Were any other important voting changes enacted since 1965?

In 1971, the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18 due to the Vietnam War. If you were old enough to go to war, you were old enough to vote.

And finally, in 2000, a federal court ruled that citizens of U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico and Guam cannot vote in federal elections.

Final Note

While much of the meme seems rooted in the unfairness of literacy tests and poll taxes, the reality is that the laws existed that allowed for each cultural group to vote earlier than the meme claims, with the exception of the 1920 claim for Caucasian women.

With the U.S. midterm election coming up on Tuesday, November 6, take a moment to find out if the memes you are buying into are accurate or purposely misrepresent historical facts. Then get out there and vote (if you haven’t already) provided you a registered voter eligible to cast a ballot in the U.S. midterm election.

Truth Or Consequences

The following is an OpEd piece based on information published by mainstream media and publicly available.   This blog article is not intended to be used against any individual or group of individuals.  The purpose of this blog article is to give insight into the way many authors view real life events that may or may not provide background for fictional stories that may or may not be written at a later date.

Over the last few days, mainstream media, social media, and alternative media have been buzzing with the accusations one woman has leveled against one man. The allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford against Brett Kavanaugh.

And a large swath of the connected populous has divided itself into two camps with a few on the sidelines taking a hard look at the facts such as they are.

For me, the serious questioning began with this paragraph in a USA Today news article.

“[QUOTE] Ford can’t remember the year the incident happened, she can’t remember how she got to the house party, or how she got home. She told no one about it at the time and the issue came to the forefront during a couples therapy session six years ago. Her therapist’s notes never mention Kavanaugh and actually mention four boys involved, although she says there were only two [END QUOTE].”


Mark Judge, the other person Ms. Ford accused in her letter to Senator Feinstein, has no recollection of any such incident happening.


But you know, there’s Cristina King Miranda who commented on social media that she heard about the incident shortly after it happened back in the day. She also admitted to having a crush on Mark Judge so who knows what’s going on with Ms. Miranda on that point.


Except that Ms. Ford told her couples therapist in 2012 she hadn’t spoken of the incident until 2012.

And so Ms. Miranda deleted her social media posts where she claimed to have heard about the assault back in the day after it allegedly happened.

Now, it’s a fact that Brett Kavanaugh has been thoroughly vetted by the FBI on several occasions — six between 1993 and 2018 to be exact — not just recently, with nothing suspicious or untoward coming up in their investigations. These investigations aren’t superficial or perfunctory. They are rigorous in nature.



How is it that Ms. Ford had no recollection of where or when the attack supposedly happened when speaking with the couples therapist she was seeing in 2012?

According to Dr. James Hopper, PhD, and professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, studies have proven that the hippocampus goes into a super-encoding state briefly after fear kicks in, which creates a state where victims of violence remember in incredible detail what was happening, and had happened, up to the point where the fear in an incident kicks in.

This means that scientifically speaking, Ms. Ford should have a recollection of where the attack supposedly happened, if nothing else.

However, self-described filmmaker, columnist, and writer Mark Judge wrote a couple of books early in his career that include drinking, drunkenness, and immorality as interpreted by the main character’s perspective. In one of those books, he named a character Bart O’Kavanaugh who, according to the book, was known to drink until he passed out. He doesn’t do anything worse than that. He’s just an avid drunk. And neither book describes any incidents of sexual violence.



Many authors just starting out (and this happens in Mr. Judge’s first book) give their characters names similar to those of people they have known in their lives.

Mark Twain named Tom Sawyer after an acquaintance of his who lived in San Francisco.

Lucy Maud Montgomery (author of the Anne of Green Gables stories) fashioned Anne Shirley Blythe’s son William after John McCrae, the author of the poem “In Flanders Fields.”

Walt Disney ensured a friend of his diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis would be immortalized when he decided to give one of the seven dwarfs many of the symptoms that are part of MG and then named him Sleepy.

In “The Fast and the Furious” films, fictional Korean Han Seoul-Oh is a nod to George Lucas’ “Star Wars” hero, Han Solo. For example, Han owned a 1970 Plymouth Road Runner which he lost to another character. Han Solo won the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian. And just like Solo who is a pirate, so is Seoul-Oh. Actually, they are both more cowboy scoundrels than space pirates. But nonetheless they are cut from the same cloth.

So it’s not uncommon for fictional characters to have names that are oddly similar to other real or fictional characters.

So where does this put the situation in the grand scheme of things? Who knows?


We do know that Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein seems to be distancing herself from Ms. Ford.  Senator Feinstein admitted to mainstream media two days ago she “can’t say that everything [alleged by Ford] is truthful” and she backs that up by stating it’s because Ms. Feinstein just doesn’t know. Would this be because she doubts the veracity of Ms. Ford’s claims but sees the political leverage that can be gotten by supporting the accusation even though she has her own doubts about Ms. Ford’s allegations against Mr. Kavanaugh?


And what about Democrat Senator Cory Booker?  He has no problem vilifying Mr. Kavanaugh based on Ms. Ford’s say so, and yet, he didn’t see anything wrong with his own inappropriate behavior when he wrote about it in a 1992 column for the Stanford Daily newspaper.  In fact, he didn’t even apologize for what he did years earlier as a teen.


What it looks like right now is that we’ll have to wait for next Tuesday to know the answer to the question of whether there’s going to be a vote for Supreme Court Judge.

© Elyse Bruce, 2018

I Never Regret Mother’s Day

From time to time, I read posts on social media or hear people say in public they regret having had children. That someone would feel that way about their children — adopted, fostered, or biologically created — is shocking.  While I am among the first to say that parenting isn’t something to be taken on lightly or without complete dedication, I am also among the first to say that no one should ever regret having had children.

Back in 1995, I was weeks away from becoming a mom.  My feet were round (based on other people’s observations as I could no longer see my feet), it was gearing up to be the hottest summer on record where I lived (and the weather was making good on that promise already), my then-husband (being a long-haul trucker) was oftentimes hundreds of miles away from home, and I could no longer drive a car.  Why couldn’t I drive a car?  For me to be able to reach the gas and brake pedals, I had to be closer to the steering wheel than my pregnancy would actually allow.

When I went into labor early a few days later, it was a rush to the hospital where things didn’t look very good.  A few hours later, the staff at the hospital had managed to stop labor and I was sent back home.  As scary as that episode was, I didn’t regret being pregnant.  This was part of the journey.

When my son was born in July , the staff at the hospital told me there were problems.  He wasn’t going to make it through the first 24 hours.  I disagreed with that assessment. That night as I visited my son in NICU, I whispered to him, “Thank you for spending your first day with mommy.  I hope you’ll come back again tomorrow.”  Guess what happened?  The following morning, I held him in my arms, gazed into his eyes, and smiled.

A week later, my son was still in NICU and despite all sorts of tests, the staff at the hospital had no idea what was going on with my son.  Two weeks in, and still in NICU, they were none the wiser.  It was a harrowing time, especially for a new mom. but I had no regrets about being my son’s mother.

Over the years, my son’s health was unpredictable and difficult.  My then-husband decided early on to throw in the towel, and walk away from parenthood.  He oftentimes told me he regretted having our son.  Leaving our family created a hardship for me, but that’s how things go in life sometimes.  Despite all the troubles of trying to juggle hardly any money and the demands of ensuring a child with health issues has what he or she needs, I didn’t regret being a mom.  Every night, I would put my son to bed and whisper to him, “Thank you for spending another day with mommy.  I’ll see you tomorrow.”

As a toddler, my son was diagnosed with autism.  There were no services or supports available to help me help him:  Not even when the Children’s Advocate Office in Saskatchewan stepped in and tried to secure some kind of services or supports from the provincial government.  I still didn’t regret being a mom because my focus was on helping my son be the best version of himself possible.

School wasn’t easy for him either as two different school boards in which he was enrolled, struggled to understand how to encourage my son to work through social issues, deal with new experiences, and overcome challenges.  Despite the fact I kept telling them the world wasn’t a Special Needs World, most teachers, school staff, autism experts, and administrators from various levels within both school boards felt that catering to his comforts was the better way to deal with him.  I didn’t agree with them (just as I hadn’t agreed with the hospital staff when he was born) but sometimes you have to live with the fact that the many oftentimes drown out the voices of the few.  I still didn’t regret being my son’s mom.  It just meant I had to work harder with him to nudge him along his journey to become the best version of himself possible.

When he turned 12, he was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis which is a rare, incurable, life-threatening neuromuscular autoimmune disease that strikes 2 in 1 million children, and is 5 times more rare in children than in adults.  Over the years, he had suffered many “mystery” health issues that landed him in hospital, and it was one bad episode in particular that made me ask his pediatrician if he could test my son for Myasthenia Gravis.

“Myasthenia Gravis doesn’t happen in children,” he pronounced sternly with that look I had come to know all too well.  It was the look many closed-minded professionals reserved for parents they dismissed out of hand without considering the validity or the questions asked by those parents they dismissed out of hand.  “It only happens in old men over 60 and women over 40.”

“My brother was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis,” I replied respectfully.  “He wasn’t 60.  He was my son’s age.”

“No,” he insisted.  “This is definitely a tumor behind his eye.”

We discussed the matter for a few more minutes, and he decided to send my son to the Hospital for Sick Children to be tested for a tumor.  Because I insisted, he jotted down a note in the file for the doctors at the Hospital for Sick Children that indicated he felt I was being unreasonable, but to ‘manage’ me by doing a Tensilon test if nothing else showed up on the other tests.  Even with the pediatrician’s dismissive attitude, I didn’t regret being my son’s mother.

The Hospital for Sick Children, taking the pediatrician at his word, very nearly forgot the Tensilon test until I inquired about it.  They were so convinced I was a University of Google parent, they didn’t even have their camera set up to record the results of the Tensilon test.  It’s unfortunate these medical professionals were so convinced the pediatrician was right in his conclusions because that Tensilon test proved my son had Myasthenia Gravis.  Even with that news, I still didn’t regret being my son’s mother.

The next few months were some of the most trying for both of us, and after 14 months of battling Myasthenia Gravis, it was decided that a thymectomy was the only way to go as his health plummeted.   I knew how unpredictable Myasthenia Gravis could be (my late brother was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis back in the 1970s).  I knew how dangerous surgery could be.  I knew how dangerous the after-effects of surgery could be if he made it through the surgery itself.  These were dark times but I focused on the fact my son was alive and every night, I would say to him what I had said to him every night at bedtime since July 1995:  “Thank you for spending another day with me.  I’ll see you tomorrow.”

He entered high school and even though the school board seemed to overlook the fact that my son wanted to be in a regular class, by the second semester, he was auditing regular classes.  The following year, he began taking regular classes for credit, and by the time he was in Grade 11 he had a 79% average for all the classes he had taken.  He was a geek in that he loved computers, but he also excelled in History and in Religious Studies.

He left high school when his peers left high school, and he continued to make his way in life.  Even when Myasthenia Gravis made it so he could barely do anything (as sometimes happens), he had an interesting life that didn’t always take him where he was originally headed.  For his 20th birthday, I put together and shared this montage celebrating 20 years of him being him.  No regrets.

For his 21st birthday, I made sure I didn’t embarrass him with a mushy mom-style card.  He got this card instead along with a small collection of gifts of things he wanted or things he needed.  Just because he was an independent adult didn’t meant I wasn’t still his mom.  No regrets.

I have a nice collection of scrapbooks I’ve made over the years with pictures of my son:  Places we’ve visited together, difficult times we’ve been through together, and the successes he has had over the years.  So whether it’s this version of him I’m thinking about ….

… or this version of him I’m thinking about …

…. being my son’s mom is something I will never regret.

Happy Mother’s Day, Lewis.  I will always love you wherever life takes you because I have faith in the person you are, and I know you have it in you to be anything you decide to be.



Shakespeare In 5: The Two Gentlemen of Verona

A lot of William Shakespeare’s plays seem to take place in Italy which is strange seeing he lived in England.   Some historians say he did not visit Italy because he did not attend university and only had a grammar school education. Some historians say he was intimately familiar with Italy and must have traveled extensively — at least throughout all of Italy.

What some historians are overlooking is that maybe Will had friends who shared their travels and journeys through Italy with him which would make them today’s version of Internet search engines.

Regardless of how he came by his information about Italy, some of his most popular plays were set in cities in Italy that exist to this day, including Verona and Milan.

After a few weeks of enjoying the “Shakespeare In 5” series, I’m certain you have subscribed to this blog.  If you haven’t, don’t wait a minute longer!  You’ll be glad you clicked that “Follow” button so you can start being the first on your block to read these entries every Friday.

If you would love to follow me on other social media platforms, you can find me at any and all of these links:

Elyse Bruce
Facebook:  @ElyseBruceFanPage
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E.B. Taylor
Facebook:  @TaylorMadeTales

Shakespeare In 5: Othello

William Shakespeare wrote about a great many social issues back in the day.  In fact, he probably wrote some of the earliest #BlackLivesMatter literature published and performed on stage.  He probably would have been the first to direct and produce a film if film had existed back in the 1600s but it wasn’t so he had to just go with print and live performance presentations.  Today’s Literary Schrödinger Equation takes on that well-loved and long misunderstood play, “Othello.”

Now that you have had a chance to take that Literary Schrödinger Equation in, please remember to subscribe to this blog, and if you haven’t already followed me on other social media platforms, be sure to check them out and follow me there as well.

Elyse Bruce
Facebook:  @ElyseBruceFanPage
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E.B. Taylor
Facebook:  @TaylorMadeTales

Shakespeare In 5: The Merchant of Venice

There’s something to be said about the original “Guys and Dolls” style play complete with gambling, crooks, loan sharks, molls, and more.  If you’re looking from something new under the sun, chances are it’s already been covered by William Shakespeare in one of his famous plays.

And as always, I would love for you to subscribe to this blog because, you know, you matter.  If you haven’t already liked me on any of my other social media, be sure to do that as well.  Here are the links:

Elyse Bruce
Facebook:  @ElyseBruceFanPage
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E.B. Taylor
Facebook:  @TaylorMadeTales

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