Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Kwanzaa in the gloam

Ann Coulter has apparently started an annual tradition around Christmas of re-posting her skewering of the most risible holiday a certain segment of the population pretends real people actually celebrate.

Interest in Kwanzaa--primarily among elementary and middle school teachers obliged by public school curricula to mention it, I presume--has been steadily decreasing each winter and there is little reason to expect this trend to be interrupted. Just look at the holiday's official website. Yikes. Search frequencies on the term over the last ten years, via Google Trends:

With Christmas as a comparison:

Yes, Christmas is searched for far more frequently during June and July than Kwanzaa is during, well, Kwanzaa.

Scholars and authors gave up on it decades ago. The percentages of books published in the US, by year, containing "Kwanzaa" somewhere in the body of their texts:

So long, Kwanzaa. We hardly knew ye.


Dan said...

Part of this is the winner-take-all aspect of mass culture.

* English language wins utterly and globally.
* Men wearing suits and a tie (or jeans for informal cases) wins utterly and globally.
* Coca-Cola, Amazon, McDonalds and KFC win utterly and globally.

Regarding the last example, Warren Buffett made his riches in part by understanding that some things (e.g. soda) are winner-take-all.

You could be successful shorting almost any language that is not English, almost any traditional clothing and so forth.

Christmas wins too. Starbucks disparages Christmas on one hand but then devotes itself to Christmas utterly on the other.

Audacious Epigone said...

Indeed, although in this particular context Hanukkah does punch far above its weight. Still dwarfed by Christmas, but extant, unlike Kwanzaa. Just ten years ago, that wasn't the case--Hanukkah only outdid Kwanzaa by about 50%. Now it does so by about 400% (and that's using what I believe is the most common but not exclusive American English spelling of the holiday).