Reason TV Replay: Be Happy!—Why This is the Best Holiday Season Ever


While the circumstances are as depressingly true today as they were in 2009, the sentiment is as well.

Here is the original text from the Dec. 16, 2009 Reason TV video:

We're going through some tough economic times right now, but this holiday season, take a moment to appreciate how good we really have it.
Need proof? Just think about how much Christmas presents sucked in the 1970s compared to today.
Thanks to our market-based system, we're wealthier, we have more choices, and we enjoy more leisure time than ever before. 
From all of us at, happy holidays! 
Produced by Paul Feine and Hawk Jensen. Hosted by Nick Gillespie.
Approximately 1.45 minutes.

NEXT: Brian Doherty on Atlas Shrugged Part II: Election Edition

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  1. HOLY PRODUCT PLACEMENT, BATMAN! How much are you getting to fill my head with subliminal messages for Netflix, YouTube and Coleco, reason? I hope it’s worth it.

    1. Hey, they’re also giving Bad Idea T-Shirt girl a chance to flaunt here glorious rack in a tight tank top. That’s well worth any other product placement they give us here.

      1. Christmas just isn’t the same without Carpet Humping Guy

  2. Need proof? Just think about how much Christmas presents sucked in the 1970s compared to today

    Yeah, but we didn’t think they sucked so much back then, only now, because the toys have gotten more tech. So it is better for us tech geeks, anyway.

    Just got finished using my early gifts from wifey to build a new badder ass PC. Asus Rampage IV GENE board, 32G corsair vengeance ram, and i7 quad core 3.8ghz Sandy Bridge CPU.

    Borderlands and New Vegas never looked so good. It’s gonna be a gamin and beer holiday fer sure. Now if I can just get that AR-15 for the birthday before they are all gone…

    1. I remember when I was 7 how the most awesome gift ever was the original Super Smash Brothers for the Nintendo 64.

      Now as a working college student I just want new shoes, new pants, and money from my parents.

      1. When I was 7, there were no computer games, no computers to run them either, or any game consoles.

        Then I had to suffer for years, through pong, the commodore 64, Atari 2600, and other such torture devices.

        I think all that long suffering is what makes me appreciate the technology that I have to play with now.

        1. When I was 11 or 12 Mom and Dad popped for an Atari 400 and I spent hours and hours and hours clearing sectors of the pixilated bad guys in Star Raiders. Good times.

        2. A few years later you could have a Magnavox Odyssey. I have an unopened “Odyssy II” somewhere now that I found in a trash pile outside a house someone was renovating.

          1. The internet tells me it is probably an Odyssey 100 or 200. It is most definitely not the Odyssey2. I’ve still never opened the damn thing.

            I do remember playing the original Odyssey.Some kid I knew back then had one. It had no sound but all later pong-style games had to pay patent-tribute.

            1. Anybody else remember Blip? I never had it, but it looked sucky even when I was a kid in the late 1970s

        3. Hyperion| 12.23.12 @ 4:02PM |#
          “When I was 7, there were no computer games, no computers to run them either, or any game consoles.”

          I had to carry the damn reindeer uphill to school both ways through 8’drifts!
          Get off my lawn!

  3. 1970s Christmas presents most certainly did not “suck”.

    Not even the tech gifts:

    JVC Videosphere

    Edmund Scientific Astroscan

    They still sell a shitty cargo-cult Chinese knockoff of the Astroscan

    1. Another cool 1970s high tech toy.

      They make a shitty digital facsimile of these now.

      Nick must have got bell bottoms and platform shoes for Christmas back in the 1970s if he thinks the Christmas presents sucked. Maybe a Black Power-fist pick for his perm.

      1. I had an uncle who gave us nephews and nieces a new pair of pajamas every Christmas. 😐

  4. We’re sinking into the abyss of national bankruptcy, our currency is slowly being decimated, our shit education system is producing the dumbest and most worthless generation of youth in memory, but at least we have really awesome drugs and video games to keep us mindlessly distracted. That’s really great there, Pollyanna.

    1. 1970s drugs most certainly did not “suck”.

      We never used garbage like salvia and bath salts.

      1. In the 70’s the pot wasn’t nearly as potent as it is now — but you could buy an ounce for $15. The acid was very clean and quite plentiful, though. Ecstasy hadn’t emerged yet, but blow was very popular (and more expensive than it is today, which is ridiculous considering the difference in value between $100 in 1978 and today.)

        1. Potent?
          2 words: Thai stick
          2 more: Red Lebanese

          3 letters: MDA

          Coke was ridiculously expensive though.

          1. ‘Ludes

            1. Carnac: A drug bust.
              Ed McMahon: A drug bust.

              [Carnac opens the envelope]

              Carnac: What do you call a bra filled with Quaaludes?

            2. Almost forgot about ludes. Those were pretty fun, great for a night at a dance club.

  5. Because we have such a caring, post-partisan president…..=523048444

    In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn’t reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault.

    At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, “I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?”

    “You get nothing,” the president said. “I get that for free.”

  6. Fist of Etiquette Comment Replay:

    When I was a kid, my brother used his Godzilla Shogun Warrior’s flying fist to hit me in the dick. Did I complain? Did I try to sue? Did I work to get the toy banned? Yes, but it didn’t go anywhere because back then children were expendable.

  7. Santa delivered this toy to me in 1970 or 1971. It didn’t suck. What sucks is I don’t have it anymore and it would be quite expensive to replace.

    1. You got a copy of this discusson thread in 1970 and it was a “cool toy”?

    2. Un-SFed link

      A Marx Vikings and Knights carry-all playset. Believe me, you’d want one today and not just because you could sell it for a lot of money.

      It came with working catapults and I received a same-scale model of another medieval crew-served weapon to go with it: a ballista that fired plastic bolts.

      1. A doll house for boys?

        1. It was a metal suitcase ful of medieval army men that you assembled into a castle.So yes a a doll house that you defended with arrows and imaginary boiling oil against a siege by Vikings (I called them “Barbarians”) armed with oranger catapults,a ballista and a battering ram. As the Barbarians had broadswords, battle axes and siege engines they usually won. The ballista was not a Marx toy and had its own figures. They were “mercenaries” so could fight on either side depending on my mood. The Vikings/Barbarians would use it to snipe knights off the parapets or repel a mounted charge while the knights would use it as a counter-catapult weapon or to take out a mass of Barbarians breaching the draw bridge. Both ballista and catapults fired actual projectiles.

          This toy beat the shit out of the more popular Marx Fort Apache playset. I think they went out of business a year after I got it.

  8. Ya know, I’m almost forced to hide the damn screen. Everywhere I shopped for wife’s gifts is now featured as a display ad, and the screen is very visible to wife.
    Damn cookies.

    1. Delete your cookies.

  9. Gregory Mocks NRA for Proposing Armed Guards, but Sends Kids to High-Security School

    1. “Everything for us, nothing for you.”

      -Every liberal douchebag

  10. I thought George Mason U was a bastion of libertarianism.

    1. The Econ Department generally is. I have not idea what department “Conflict Resolution and Analysis” would fall under, but I’m thinking it’s probably in one of the baby dreams and butterflies magical thinking un-science fields.

      Probably sociology.

      1. Quick Google-webbing yields that it is actually a school at GMU.

        Their staff seems to come from the “peace is the absence of violence” school of thought. Lots of Pali love.

      2. Very baby dreams and butterflies.

        1. Don’t forget pixie dust!

    2. Now that the National Rifle Association is playing hard ball by suggesting today that we provide armed guards in every school across America at a cost of nearly $6bn, it is quite clear that this conversation has gotten completely out of hand.

      The idea that more guns will stem gun violence is categorically false. The data tells us otherwise. In fact, adding a new gun into any situation – at home or at work – greatly increases the likelihood of gun violence.

      I really wish that some congressman had the balls to take this idea and run with it.

      Introduce a bill making the Whitehouse a gun free zone because adding a new gun into any situation – at home or at work – greatly increases the likelihood of gun violence. And if we really cared about the president we’de make sure that he has the same level of protection that we offer our kids.

  11. So the question for this evening is:
    Will Obozo camera-whore another Sunday night ball game to get his mug in front of people who would rather not see it?

    1. If he interrupts the Seahawks game my ragescream will be audible in San Fran.

    2. and interrupt his Hawaii vacay?


        1. San Fran SCOREPWND!

          1. Touchdown #2 for Lynch.

            1. are you still conscious?

              1. I’m barely functional at this point.

            2. At least Green Bay beat Seattle.

              1. And the niners ain’t anywhere close to ready for prime time.

            3. Wow, i never thought of cosmatarians as the football type.

    3. I just read Bill Simmons’s mailbag picks and he was gushing about how he was proud to listen to “the best moment of Obama’s presidency” last week. Perhaps barfman can send him an e-mail.

      1. Perhaps barfman can send him a ziploc bag full of barf, C.O.D. ?

  12. Thought I’d better come over here cause it’s gone past full retard elsewhere. The Connecticut massacre shit will not stop. Now I got my “friends” sending my posts defending 2nd amendment to some neighbor whose in CT…for a funeral. Cause taking away my liberty would have saved those kids retroactively!! Stay classy, libtards.

    Best 70’s Christmas present? Why, my ERECTOR SET, of course! Put me on the road to my love of all things mechanical. Literally YEARS of pleasure making shit, tearing it all apart and making something else.

    Plus my baseball mitt that I had until it got ripped off in High School. Fuckers.

    Merry Christmas, Reasonoids!

    1. This is why I don’t do the Facebook thing.

      1. Best decision I’ve made in the last two years was shutting down my Facebook.

  13. Around 1975 I was at a friend’s house and his older brother had an erector set with tons of parts. He’d built a sort of tower crane with a spool of thread as the winch line. The thing even had a trolley for moving the line out to the end of the arm, which his dad made out of some cabinet rollers. I wanted an erector set so bad it was burning a hole my soul, but I never got one. Come to think of it, that kid later became a Navy Seal.

  14. Actually, the video game console industry is close to dying. Other than COD, not much else sells, with MS and Sony losing money and Nintendo having a hard time with its new console.

    Meanwhile, most gaming in the West seems to be done on phones, where games like Angry Birds and Clash of Clans pull hundreds of million a year.

    And on the PC front, MS is apparently trying to kill the home PC by forcing Windows 8 onto people, which is optimized for touchscreens.

    So I have to think yes, presents are just terrible this year, too, along with everything else..

    1. most gaming in the West seems to be done on phones

      I played a couple iPhone games for maybe 10 minutes each about 4 years ago – and never again. Meanwhile I ride the train in to work and it’s like everyone is playing games on their phones. I don’t get it.

      1. I’m an avid but lousy Go player. If I had a tablet and a commute by mass transit I might look into playing on one of the servers during the commute.

    2. Games like angry birds can never compare to games like COD.

  15. I was 5 when the 70s ended. I don’t remember my gifts. Maybe a toy phone.
    My brother got KerPlunk and Spirograph, so I’m glad I didn’t have to suffer through that.

    1. I loved Spirograph – and when I tried to find it in college in the 90’s, it had become some cheap & gimmicky POS that was nothing like I remembered.

      1. Forgot about Spirograph. That WAS cool. Until the colored pens wore out, cause…no WALMART back then, so obviously no colored pens in my little podunk hometown…

        Good times, good times!

        1. Didn’t you have those pens that had a bunch of different colors from which you could choose?

  16. Merry Christmas, all. I probably shouldn’t log on in the next few days since I’m visiting family and all, but I know I will.

    I’m not optimistic about the coming year, but it should at least be interesting.

    1. Congratulations if you’ve got a real-life family you prefer to your reason “family”.

      1. I even had a happy childhood and I maintain a good relationship with my parents. Shocking.

        1. How the hell did you wind up a libertarian then?

        2. WEIRD! Me, too! I came to it over time. I was a definite NeoCon at one point.

          It got better….

  17. We license cars. Why not guns?

    1. So what kind of diet are you on that makes you think like this, mr. diet-er?
      I’m guessing high-carb vegan.

    2. We license cars. Why not guns?

      Might as well, since we now license people to breathe, curtesy of the health insurance mandate. Also, don’t forget Selective Sevice registration for males only (so much for women’s liberation and equal rights.)

    3. Dieter| 12.24.12 @ 1:36AM |#
      “We license cars. Why not guns?”

      Guns don’t require highways.
      But you were hoping you’re false-equivalence might pass muster, weren’t you?

  18. It’s Xmas eve, and I’m back!!!

  19. Yay, we have super cool video games for our morally bankrupt younger generation! Looking at Facebook, at some of the crap these kids post, it’s amazing their parents go out and spend 300$ on an Xbox for these children. My generation (I’m 28) wasn’t exactly innocent. But at least we had some goddam respect. The girls didn’t brag about how many guys they’ve dated, the boys never got into girly romantic dramas. And they had some goddam respect for their elders. Recently I was meeting my Cousins teenage son. As he was meeting me for the first time in his life, he looked up at me and said “yeah nice to meet you,” then immediately looked back down at his phone and ignored me. I put the blame on the older generation. They seem to think that children are just another accessory to be paid a large monthly bill on and show’d off to the relatives, “look how cute his eyes are!” while his peer group and poor day care worker actually raise the kid. We have kids that spend less than an hour a day in the real company of their parents. Recently my Israeli friend was ranting about how bad his father had it growing up on an Israeli Kibbutz. He said all the usual anti-socialist stuff, but then I realized that many kids don’t really have it all that different. Raised by other women with their mothers working all day, with their parents absorbed in their own concerns, they really are being raised by the mob.

    1. I don’t understand why your nephew was so uninterested in you? You seem like a totally pleasant, interesting, coherent, rational person. Merry Christmas, anyways.

    2. The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for
      authority, they show disrespect to their elders…. They no longer
      rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
      chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their
      legs, and are tyrants over their teachers.


      1. I know you’re be ironic in posting that paraphrase of and aristophanes parody of socrates.

        And it’s totally coincidental that Athens collapsed not too long after that quote was current.

        1. Athens was in decline before Socrates was even born. It had little to do with “moral bankruptcy” of youth.

          Besides, the Macedonians conquered damn near everyone, including moral pillars of nativism (like Sparta) that you and American would just love.

          1. “including moral pillars of nativism (like Sparta)”
            Straw men are all cosmos have.

            1. American Is Back| 12.24.12 @ 6:55PM |#
              “”including moral pillars of nativism (like Sparta)”
              Straw men are all cosmos have.”

              Slimy racists, OTOH, have targets all over the place, right, slimy racist?

  20. Best Christmas gift of the ’70s? Getting to spend Christmas at home for the first time in four years, instead of on an aircraft carrier of the coast of Vietnam.

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