To: Santa Claus
Forgive me for not writing to you in almost 40 years. I'd been mis-led to believe that we live in a reality-based world, and that you didn't exist. Shame on me! Please put some extra candy canes in the White House stockings to reward the occupants for helping me understand that the world of make-believe never had to end.
I know you've been watching, but I'll remind you that I've been a nice girl most years since you last heard from me. I show up on time, share malicious gossip, and have two cute little kids, who, as you know, do believe in you whole-heartedly.
I pretty much have everything I want right now, so I'm hard to shop for. I hope you won't mind this little existential wish list instead. If you can deliver even one of these gifts, I'll never forget to leave out cookies for you and the reindeer again.
I'll start with the easy ones first.
In L.A., please drop an Oscar down Clint Eastwood's chimney for his utterly amazing, transgressively anti-war film, Letters from Iwo Jima.
Could you please alight on the roof of the Washington office of the New York Times and hustle down the heat vent and onto Thomas L. Friedman's desk. Once there, please remove his passport and press pass and replace them with a lifetime entrance ticket to Disney World or someplace fun where he can do less harm. It's really awful, Santa, to see a pundit who claims expertise on the Middle East, slurring, as he did the other day, the entire Arab race with generalities only some overpaid, overachieving, parachuting hack would conceive. There are a lot of warring, tribal, conspiracy theorists on the Arab "street" - there are also sane, educated, decent people, Tom, who want peace and democracy. Santa, help Tom step outside the embassy parties and think tank seminars and listen to them for a change.
While you're over at the Times, Santa, drop in on the copy desk and remove the words "fight terror" from the headline copy-writers' lexicon. In fact, if you could do the same at CNN, Gannett, the AP and the rest of the mainstream media you visit, that would be great. Then we'll stop seeing headlines like this, explaining why the president wants more soldiers in Iraq: "A Long-Term Plan to Fight Terror." If headlines must contain the word "Terror" in relation to any of Mr. Bush's plans, please give them accuracy, i.e.: "A Long-Term Plan to CREATE Terror."
I'm guessing you generally bring lumps of coal to Congressional offices, at least before the anthrax scare, when a sooty fat man in a furry red suit could still get into the hallowed halls with a bulging pack on his back, but if you do feel like visiting Nancy Pelosi's office this year, could you drop off a teeny-tiny, nicely-wrapped Articles of Impeachment?
As you cross the United States, could you sweep up the X-boxes and Playstations from under all the trees and replace them with books? That would help our democracy a lot, and, I know it sounds selfish, but it also ensures a future living for me and mine.
When you and your reindeer get over to the Middle East, please give the radical mullahs and the al Qaeda boys what they really want, lifetime subscriptions to Playboy Magazine. Give their women drivers' licenses. No, give them cars too, and visas to the West.
I suppose IED's don't affect you and the reindeer, but do be extra-careful in Iraq, and Santa, if you don't get me anything else on this list, please try to deliver this: bring those miserable people, whose only crime was being born on a crust of earth atop a sea of oil, some peace.
Cookies and milk are on the counter.
Thank you and Merry Christmas!