About a hundred people gathered to celebrate the alternative holiday “Festivus” at the state Capitol today.
For those unfamiliar with the rules of Festivus – as laid down by the TV sitcom “Seinfeld” – the “airing of grievances” is key. Everyone gathers around an aluminum pole and complains about whatever they want. At this ceremony, people largely aired grievances about Republicans: “My grievance is my governor and the damage he is doing to my state,” said one participant.
There were plenty of direct grievances like that one, with most “airing grievances” against Gov. Scott Walker. Some took aim at Walker’s policy decisions. For example: “I drove about an hour to get here; my grievance is that I couldn't take a train to get here.”
Some attacked the crackdown on protesters that took place in the rotunda earlier this year: “My grievance is with everybody that is causing our Solidarity Singers to keep going back to court day after day after day.”
A handful of nonpolitical grievances sought common ground on sports (“Ryan Braun lied to us.”) and beer (“I hate 16 ounce beers when you only have 12 ounce glasses.”).
This event and the Festivus display were granted permits by the state of Wisconsin, as were several other Christian and atheist displays in the rotunda. Though Walker was mostly a target at this event, he said earlier this month that the array of holiday displays reflects the diversity of the state.
Republicans have also used the Festivus holiday. Earlier today, Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) aired his own grievances against everything from the recently passed budget deal to the Federal Reserve.