A lot of information has been introduced in the course of this debate, and I’m afraid it’s not over yet. My opponent and I have each used
information both factual and speculative in our arguments, and there is a place for each. Before I return to the realm of speculative conspiracy
theory, I would like to quickly summarize the debate topic and the main facts that have been introduced.
Again, my opponent was given the task of proving to you that artificial trees are not just equal to real trees in their holiday spirit, but are
more in line with the holiday spirit than are real trees
Throughout this debate, he has relied on portraying me as a heartless tree-killer, with no empathy for the living beings that I would have cut down
and brought into people’s homes.
This would certainly be a valid argument if we were discussing humans, or perhaps if we were discussing animals. He did not, however, raise any
objections to the holiday tradition of eating lots of roast meat, so I am left to speculate that he has no compunction about the death of animals,
only of trees.
Whatever it is that my opponent finds “morbid” about chopping down trees, he presented no supporting evidence for this position. But this is a
position that raises numerous objections, even to a vegetarian: is it morbid to pick an apple? To pull up a carrot? To eat a sunflower seed?
He has made the assumption that trees are not only sentient beings, but are sentient beings who share humanity’s morbid and dysfunctional terror of
death. This is an assertion that would have had more weight had he offered some sort of argument to support it.
The next point my opponent tries to use in support of his untenable position is that he will celebrate his holiday around a polyvinylchloride tree
because he “loves Mother Nature.”
Again, the argument is very close to absurd on its face. There is nothing beneficial to Mother Nature about shipping large petroleum-based products
from labor camps in China to the parlors of the American heartland, where they will shed their lead dust for a few years until a new color or needle
type comes into style, whereupon they will join their fellow plastics in eternal life in the landfills of the world. (Or, if they came to New York
instead of Wisconsin, in the eternal garbage barge ride until a locality is found that will accept our trash).
At two points in this debate my opponent has truly undercut his own position in a most baffling way. The first of these was the exciting appearance of
the Christmas Buddha, who came to explain to us that all matter is one, and thus we cannot differentiate between trees. Since the burden of showing a
difference was on my opponent in this debate, I can only presume that the goodwill and peace of mind generated by the Buddha’s appearance reassured
him that there is no difference between winning and losing.
The next time was when he (accidentally?) misrepresented Herr Bachmann’s mathematics. As I showed in the next post (which went without refutation),
Herr Bachmann proved not that PVCTree has any value, but that the continuing tradition of using real trees in our celebrations is of the utmost
importance in maintaining a positive HolidaySpirit.
In his closing statement he returns again to ad hominem
attacks, accusing me of a violent temperament and warning (in a clear appeal to
anti-Islamic sentiment – which I am confident the judges are not susceptible to) that he thinks I am on the brink of calling for a Jihad against the
PVC trees, which he assures me have nevertheless forgiven me for my hatred.
Now, if it was unclear how he came to the conclusion that real trees are sentient beings, how much more unclear is his assertion of the sentience of
the PVC tree!
Finally, we come to this paragraph:
The truth is that we worship the representation of ideals. Christmas itself being a symbol. A fake tree is precisely that, not a ill-begotten
reminder of the isolation, undignified and murderous aspects of life, like a real tree. But a representation, lovingly crafted by Chinese sweat-shop
workers. Let us not forget that the jobs created by the PVC industry also help to alleviate poverty and provide valuable liquidity in the present
Job loss is indeed a concern in the current economic difficulties, but not generally among political and religious prisoners of the Chinese
government. I suspect that they would not object to being laid off from prison.
So we are left with this: we worship symbols.
And indeed, the pine (or fir, cedar, or cypress) tree that has played such a large role in the celebration of the winter solstice in the West over the
last two hundred years is just that: a symbol. A PVC tree is not the symbol itself, but a cheap imitation of the symbol.
Think if you will of the difference between a movie in a movie theater and a cheap bootlegged version of the same imported from China.
I began this debate by relating episodes of my childhood. Sappy, yes – so are evergreens. Real ones, that is. Fake ones are free of sap and anything
else redolent of life, with the occasional exception of Asian longhorned beetles which make their habitat in the dead wood of the central pole of fake
My opponent would have you believe that a fake tree provides as much or more family togetherness as a real one, citing the Black Friday shopping
nightmare and the process of labeling and placing branches.
Yet Black Friday has become a blood sport, and the exciting news among the fake tree enthusiasts is the introduction of the “pull-up” tree which
takes no longer than five minutes to assemble, including dragging the box out of the garage or basement.
Holiday Spirit? Hardly.
I have given clear examples of the spirit of Christmas in real trees, both in my own stories and in that of Charlie Brown, a young man from the
twentieth century who learned about the Spirit of Christmas thanks to a wisp of a tree and his thumb-sucking friend’s security blanket.
Also in the realm of facts that I have presented are the link between the toilet brush companies and the first modern-style fake trees, the importance
of sugar to the season, the importance of toothbrushes to sugar-consuming Americans (we of the perfect white teeth), and the recent rash of giant
toilet brushes marching across the continents.
Moreover, I provided photographic evidence of the confusion occurring in some minds between Christmas trees and toilet brushes, and of the impending
arrival of a spacecraft carrying two clearly artificial Christmas trees on the planet Mars. Finally, I have cited an expert on the “death towers”
being camouflaged by the upturned giant toilet brushes, who makes it clear that their spread is a sign of NoGoodThings ahead.
Circumstantial evidence I have not had the time or space to introduce includes the interactions between Julius Caesar and the Druids of Gaul (as
immortalized in Caesar’s The Gallic Wars
), who were a secret-bearing sect in charge of the worship of Woden, the god involved in the Great
Hunt (traditionally associated with the nights of Yuletide) and who was hung from a tree for eight days, a sword through his side, before he returned
to the world triumphant.
Sound familiar? That’s right, Caesar met up with the high priests of the ancient god who is said to have contributed to the mythology of Christmas,
and the Christmas tree is considered by many to be a symbol of the Yggdrasil – the tree on which Woden hung.
Now, in this millennial world, the decline of teaching Latin in schools means that for perhaps the first time since that fateful meeting, Caesar’s
words, “All Gaul is divided into three parts,” will not be taught to every student.
Is it mere coincidence that this should occur just as the brushmaker’s fake Christmas tree/toilet bowl brush conspiracy has reached the stage where
Death Towers are erected throughout the landscape?
I think not. And whether you are convinced as to the reality of this conspiracy in whole or in part, I am confident that you can see that:
Artificial trees are less in line with the spirit of family togetherness, “ah”, and singing silly songs that we call the Holiday