header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather


 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
May 18
1978 - Concert scene for "KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park" filmed at Magic Mountain [story]
KISS


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Tuesday, Nov 12, 2013
Darryl Manzer

Darryl Manzer

I’m tired. I’m tired of being told I should say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” (In Merry old England they usually say “Happy Christmas.”) I’m tired of being told we put up “holiday decorations.”  I’m tired of being told we can’t say and do things that may offend a small minority of folks.

So guess what? I will be wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, no matter how they do or don’t believe. It is my belief and what I say. I can’t think of a single person I know who is Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Hindu who would take offense to that. Even my atheist friends don’t mind.

I’m doing this because I’m really tired of the “tyranny of the minority.”  Reallyu tired of it. It started for me at Castaic Union Elementary School about 1955.

Remember those little cartons of ice cream and the wooden spoons we would get with them? We were told we had to be very quiet and very good and we would get some if nobody made a sound. If the teacher heard a sound from just one person, we wouldn’t get our ice cream.

Well, one little boy got the giggles … just one little boy. He couldn’t get over them. The rest of us stayed very quiet. And the rest of us didn’t get our ice cream. The kid with the giggles became our tyrant. Twenty-nine quiet kids and one giggler.

That continued in like fashion until one fateful June day in 1968 when I was handed a diploma from William S. Hart High School.

In PE class it was the one kid who did something wrong so we all had to run a couple of extra laps around the track. I hate that track.

Nobody did anything bad in band … Mr. Downs would have killed all of us, we thought. We were sure it was the same way with Mr. Sims and Mr. Alexander.  One kids acts up and everyone gets the punishment.

Tyranny of the minority. It is actually a good method of training for the military. For instance: We were told to take a break and smoke and joke. So even the non-smokers picked up a smoke. They might not actually smoke it, but they didn’t want to cause the whole company not to get a break.

I wonder how many times in boot camp and other schools in the Navy I had to do something over and over until all of us got it right. It made us bring the dummy or uncoordinated up to our standards so we could get on with the real task. The majority helping the minority worked there. Now the standards are lowered so even the dumbest can pass.

And then they got “stress cards.” When the company commander – in Navy boot that could be a Chief or First Class Petty Officer – was a little harsh on a new recruit, said recruit could hold up a “stress card” and stop the usually verbal object lesson. It also meant the rest of the company got additional verbal object lessons. So once again, we helped the minority come to grips with his deficiencies.

Please note that the United States Marines don’t have and never will have stress cards. If you tried to use one in Marine boot camp, the drill instructor might rip off your head and shove said card down your now open windpipe.

In the Marine Corps the majority rules. That majority is your drill instructor. A majority of one.

Out here in civilian society, things are turned around. Heaven forbid we offend anyone. Ever.

I’m not taking that any more. I will say what I want and how I want to say it, and at the same time be polite. I will not repress what I believe because some unknown tyrant might be offended.

Saying “Merry Christmas” is the reason for the season. It isn’t some reason to buy a bunch of material goods. It is a genuine greeting, wishing someone the mirth and merriment of a birth of a child I happen to think and indeed know is the center of my faith.

You’re free to agree or disagree. Your choice. But when you’re making your choice, please don’t attempt to take away mine. That little thing called the Bill of Rights allows me – and indeed a collective “we” – to express ourselves, even if it does offend a minority of folks.

The complaints about Christmas decorations going up too early or “religious” events taking place on public property are inappropriate to the majority. You see, Christmas isn’t just a single day or a single season of the year. It is a feeling of joy and happiness that should last all year. Most of us want to celebrate such joy all year long. And many of us do so.

So stop with the Mr. Scrooge routine and break out in song. Sing Christmas carols or maybe of spinning a top or two. Celebrate your special day any time you want. Don’t let that loud and obnoxious minority that would like to be your tyrant, tell you what to believe.

For me, I will yell at the top of my lungs anytime, “Merry Christmas Everyone!” It is my fight against the tyranny of the minority.

 

Darryl Manzer grew up in the Pico Canyon oil town of Mentryville in the 1960s and attended Hart High School. After a career in the U.S. Navy he returned to live in the Santa Clarita Valley. He can be reached at dmanzer@scvhistory.com and his commentaries, published on Tuesdays and Sundays, are archived at DManzer.com. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].

 

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Thursday, May 16, 2024
April has always been one of my favorite months because year after year, it’s the sign that baseball is officially back. As a longtime Dodger fan, I have fond memories of piling into the family Volkswagen with my brothers and parents for a day spent at Dodger Stadium.
Monday, May 13, 2024
May is National Foster Youth Month! It was an honor to coauthor a motion at this week's Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting to celebrate. 
Monday, May 13, 2024
There is no better time to pump up your tires and take your bicycle for a spin.
Thursday, May 9, 2024
As spring blooms, it brings with it a renewed sense of opportunity to embrace the fresh air and physical activity that comes with the season.
Monday, May 6, 2024
Warmer weather, longer days and the sound of baseball is officially back!
Monday, May 6, 2024
In an effort to bolster local businesses, Los Angeles County just launched the Entertainment Business Interruption Fund, a $4.1 million grant program aimed to serve businesses that were impacted by the Hollywood strikes and the pandemic.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1978 - Concert scene for "KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park" filmed at Magic Mountain [story]
KISS
College of the Canyons baseball saw eight players recognized with All-Western State Conference (WSC), South Division honors. 
Eight COC Baseball Players Named to All-WSC Team
College of the Canyons softball was represented with four selections to the 2024 All-Western State Conference (WSC), South Division Team. 
Four Lady Cougs Earn All-WSC Softball Honors
The city of Santa Clarita Planning Commission is holding its regular meeting in City Hall's Council Chambers Tuesday, May 21 at 6 p.m.
May 21: Planning Commission Continues Town Center Public Hearings
The city of Santa Clarita’s Communications division was recently recognized by the California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) for their outreach efforts and impactful campaigns across special events, branding and social media presence in 2023.
City Earns State Communications, Outreach Awards
The Memorial Torch Relay Run was established in 1975 to honor the memory of the brave and dedicated peace officers in Los Angeles County who sacrificed their lives in the performance of their duties.
LASD Torch Relay Honors Ryan Clinkunbroomer, Fallen Heroes
Join ARTree Community Arts Center in building a cleaner, greener community by creating a mural made from thousands of recycled bottle caps!
June 1: ARTree Community Arts Center Bottle Cap Mural Project
The California Association of Public Information Officials recognized Kevin Strauss, Communications Manager for the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency with one of CAPIO's highest honors - the 2024 Communicator of the Year - during the 2024 awards dinner on May 14 in Indian Wells.
SCV Water’s Kevin Strauss Named CAPIO’s Communicator of the Year
Santa Clarita-based Lief Labs, a premier formulation and product development innovator and manufacturer of dietary supplements, is pleased to announced that the company's Lief Cares Donation Program donated 400 jars of Lief Cares Protein Powder nutritional supplements to the Valley Oasis Shelter, which provides services to men, women and children of all ages who are survivors of domestic violence.
Lief Labs’ Nonprofit Program Donates to Domestic Violence Survivors
Get ready Santa Clarita for an unforgettable morning of shopping, entertainment and support!
June 8: Saugus High School Music Program Rummage, Bake Sale
College of the Canyons football student-athlete Joshua Clark knows a thing or two about stepping up.
COC Grad Steps Up After Redshirt Year
The Samuel Dixon Family Health Center is excited to host its second annual Cornhole Tournament Saturday, May 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Lucky Luke Brewery.
May 18: Cornhole Tourney Benefiting Samuel Dixon Health Center
Palmdale Detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are asking for the public’s help locating at-risk, missing juvenile, Brianna Covert.
LASD Seeking Help Locating At-Risk, Missing Agua Dulce Teen
The California Department of Transportation has scheduled lane closures on the northbound and southbound State Route 14 between Technology Drive in Palmdale and Avenue A in Lancaster, closing up to three lanes.
Caltrans Announces SR-14 Lane Closures
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is closely monitoring the ongoing multi-state outbreak of ­­H5N1 bird flu in wild birds, poultry and U.S. dairy cows.
L.A. County Monitoring Nationwide Bird Flu Outbreak
The California Department of Motor Vehicles now offers an improved online customer experience that is faster, easier and can be personalized.
DMV Simplifies Online Customer Services
1993 - Dale Poe, 61, developer of Stevenson Ranch, killed in car crash [story]
Stevenson Ranch fountain
The annual Summer Reading Program is back at the Santa Clarita Public Library. This year's theme is "Read, Renew, Repeat." During the seven-week summer program, residents are encouraged to read a variety of books and/or participate in crafts or activities.
Santa Clarita Summer Library Reading Program Seeks Volunteers
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has been notified of one case of measles in a non-Los Angeles County resident who traveled to Los Angeles International airport while infectious on May 9.
Public Health Confirms Measles Case in Los Angeles County
Mission Opera is looking for volunteers for front of the house at the performances of the "Merry Widow: Madonna" June 6-8.
Ushers Needed for Mission Opera’s ‘Merry Widow: Madonna’
The Old West Masonic Lodge #813 19310 Avenue of The Oaks, Newhall, CA 91321 will host dinner and meeting for those interested in learning about freemasonry and the history of the lodge.
June 4: Old West Masonic Lodge #813 Dinner Meeting
The Santa Clarita Master Chorale, under the direction of Musical Director Allan Robert Petker, will present "Seasons of Song" on Saturday, June 1 at 7 p.m.
June 1: Santa Clarita Master Chorale Presents ‘Seasons of Song’
Online registration will begin May 21-22 for classes offered by the city of Santa Clarita Parks and Recreation Department.
May 21-22: Registration for City Seasons Summer Programs Begins
SCVNews.com