“Paul, what do you mean???”

In the course of my opinionated life, I have from time to time disappointed people who thought I was their ally by exhibiting—I don’t what else to call it—sanity.

It probably was in the early 90s, for instance, when some of our local Religious Right leaders (who had some reasons to think I was their ally) went on the warpath against our local newspaper with the comic strips (of all things) as the focus.

Specifically, they objected that my beloved “For Better or Worse” (one of the most insightful and humane comic strips in my lifetime) had introduced a gay middle school boy into the strip’s cast of bit players. That was an outrage per se, whatever the lad did or didn’t do or say, and howsoever rarely he appeared at all.

In their war against it, they represented, as I recall, that X-thousand newspapers had decided not to run it, implying that they were dropping it because of the Great Subversion Of All That Is Right And Decent in Amurica (which wasn’t true; the count included all newspapers not running it, including those who never had).

As I say, I loved that strip, as did Mrs. Tipsy, so I responded in a letter to the editor that (a) they were effectively lying about the statistics with their half-truth about newspapers not running it, and (b) it’s just a comic strip, fer cryin’ out loud.

I think it was for that betrayal I got hit with an anonymous call wishing me an eternity in hell along with my 30 pieces of silver—a wish and an anonymity later rescinded, I must admit, though the experience was a wake-up call that left me unwilling to ally with them again.

[UPDATE: It was not for that betrayal. It was for my joining the call for resignation of a not-ready-for-primetime Christianish elected official, who kept stirring up controversy and recently had shot off an objectively anti-semitic email to a Jewish critic.]

That ole Religious Right spirit is alive and well today, but has been taken up by social justice warriors of the Left, who want Baby, It’s Cold Outside banished because she says “no” several times (he not getting her hat and coat at the first “no” is a per se distillation of All That Is Wrong And Rotten in Amerika) and speculates about what is in her drink.

They’re enjoying some success in their little crusade, and as someone who wants to put Mass back in Christmas, I would be churlish to deny them even an iota of grudging gratitude for reducing the rotation frequency of a seduction song during Advent.

And let it not be said that they’re without a sense of humor, albeit a grim one. One of them produced a Funny Or Die video of the song, choreographed as they (the dirty-minded neo-Puritans) see it.

I tip my hat to the New York Times for its story on the controversy, for the video link (with others, too, including one with Ricardo Montalban and another with Red Skelton) and for highlighting this comment to the story:

The “controversy” over this song is just plain silly. I remember Jerry Seinfeld was performing his comedy at a WH function. Paul McCartney was there and Jerry mentioned the song “I Saw Her Standing There.” Jerry quoted the lyrics “Well she was just seventeen….you know what I mean…” and Jerry looked at Paul and said “Paul, what do you mean???” Everyone including Paul laughed. I wonder if the radio stations will eventually ban “I Saw Her Standing There.”

I also thank the grim-jawed and humor-impaired SJWs for reminding us that sometimes a naughty song is, in the end, just a song and not a condensed symbol of ultimate evil.

(Baby, It’s Cold Outside, by the way, was the “party song” of the composers, at a time when, in their social set, you didn’t go to a party without some act ready to perform.)

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