And finally, speechwriters may indulge in many pleasures over the holidays, but seasonal smarm is poison for us. As preventive medicine, I offer the following passage from writer Joe Queenan:
I decided a couple of years ago that I wanted to be a nice person. Like all satirists, I basically hate nice people. I hate do-gooders. I loathe Ben and Jerry. I loathe all of those people. So did Molière. But, I thought, I’ve been doing this for all of these years, maybe I should try being nice for a change. Who wants to be evil and hated? So, I tried to be a good person for six months. One of the things I did was set up a website where I apologized to all of the people that I’ve been really mean to. Though I must say that I went out of my way to reaffirm my dislike of certain people. You would never apologize to Geraldo for anything. So, I set up that website and shortly after that, I decided that I didn’t want to be a nice person anymore.
And we can all be thankful for that.