politics, media, culture
“I got up one Christmas morning and we didn’t have nothing to eat. We didn’t have an apple, we didn’t have an orange, we didn’t have a cake, we didn’t have nothing.” - Muddy WatersMust have been before television…“If TV has taught me anything, it’s that miracles always happen to poor kids at Christmas. It happened to Tiny Tim, it happened to Charlie Brown, it happened to the Smurfs, and it’s going to happen to us.” - Bart Simpson
“Oh look, yet another Christmas TV special! How touching to have the meaning of Christmas brought to us by cola, fast food, and beer…Who’d have ever guessed that product consumption, popular entertainment, and spirituality would mix so harmoniously?” - Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes
And thank you, Karen, for your efforts. Have a good Christmas day and just think, 8 more days to normal.
As I mentioned yesterday........More Christmas for your money! Guaranteed!- The good folks at WalMart“Like all of our episodes, this episode has an important moral lesson. The moral of this episode is that everyone, regardless of your religion, should celebrate Christmas, because it’s the best holiday.”-Matt Stone (a Jew), creator of South Park, on the show's "Christmas with Charles Manson" episode"As we all know, Christmas is that mystical time of year when the ghost of Jesus rises from the grave to feast on the flesh of the living! So we all sing Christmas Carols to lull him back to sleep."- Peter Griffin (the Family Guy)Peter and Lois Griffin, discussing the need to visit neighbors on Christmas:Peter: Can't we tell them your mother died?Lois: Peter, I'm not gonna lie about something like that!Peter: Fine, I'll kill your mother. When did Christmas have to get so complicated?
Merry Christmas, y'all!Great scene from "Elf":http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp3UoqOkFJoBest version of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" ever. No video, but the song's so good you won't care:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eg4ys5whesEP.S. Merry Christmas up there in heaven, Clarence Clemons!
Nice to stop in here for one last stiff dose of anti-schlock before being cornered by my wall of right-wing relatives, sweet potato casserole in hand. Imminent doom, why pretend? Yup, this is no day for utopian ideals of justice and sweat equity (though the Times can't help itself, editorial pages: "The Miracle and the Means"--Liberal rag!). Just smile wanly at whatever they say, because right-wing myths are warmed-over leftovers we get dished up all year. We know how that rugged individualism and anti-union sentiment is working out for ya, as you've slaved away for 60 years in your "right-to-work" state and you don't expect to retire, EVER, and are proud of your masochism. I am NOT going to pick a fight, just make sure I have enough marshed mallows on top to melt my sharp tongue--ignore my bulging eyeballs--because, after all, this is a PAGAN holiday, and Christianity itself is just a warmed over version of sun worship, Helios being very late to the party--the all-powerful, life-giving and famine-making sun, prone to whimsical furies of floods and drought regardless of pitiful human wishes. Thus we have _Sun_-day as the day of worship. Many thanks to an African-American gentleman waiting for the bus in Takoma Park, MD for providing me an impromptu sermon and lesson about all the pagan intricacies of Christianity--sadly on the day I was rushing to a fellow young nurse colleague's funeral (the untimely deaths occur even to the providers of our so-called "health system"). Reminding me we have hip pockets of this town-- I just don't live in one! But in a land of sea-to -shiny-bauble-sea of consumerism, there are crevices, like this blog, where the chastened/nauseated/and fed up can crouch, before being re-swallowed whole by the adamantly mindless consumerism that mocks the anti-throne, anti-imperialist revolutionary spirit of a few of our forbears. Occupy the pumpkin pie!I'm sure Karen will help us through the post-holiday malaise, as I sure our elected officials will provide plenty more sleaze to grease the more-of-the-same, new year! Merry Christmas!
Some of my fondest past memories of Christmas as a child in South Dakota have come flooding back because of my mother's recent death. She is woven into the tapestry of my holiday memories.Going to the movies with my mother was one of the highlights of Christmas Day. This Tom and Jerry "The night before Christmas" cartoon helped define the holidays of my childhood. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdAG1RYnQ14Tom and Jerry cartoons were our favorites.
@Denis,My condolences on the loss of your mother. That first Christmas without a loved one is so hard, yet so bittersweet with all the memories. I remember that Tom & Jerry cartoon well, one of the all-time classics.
@Denis NevilleMy condolences to you over the loss of your mother. I am, like many others, an orphan, so I can relate. Our parents and loved ones helped make us who we are, and we honor them by how we choose to live our lives. @EveryoneI so enjoy all your thoughts and the unique ways you all express them. Much appreciated!Whether we are Christian or not, (Zen for me), it is significant to note on this Christmas Day that our worldwide Revolution is 'about Jesus things', as noted by the YouTube'd OccupyWallStreet protester (whose name I can't recall).This is just the beginning. Keep the faith, whatever form it takes.
@DenisSorry for your troubles. Enjoyed the T&G cartoon.
And what Christmas would be complete without Tom Lehrer?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtZR3lJobjwDenis: Please accept my condolences.
@DenisI lost my dad in October 2010 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. No matter how much we think we are prepared, nothing really prepares us for the finality of death or the grief of saying good-bye to a beloved parent. My thoughts are with you.
Cheers to everyone--Thanks for all your comments. I love reading them.Thanks to Karen for taking on the usual supsects, for providing this forum, and for making me laugh.@Denis: My condolences on the loss of your mother.
@DenisMy condolences on the loss of your mother. Alzheimer’s took my mother two years ago. While we each process grief in our own way, I found comfort in these words. 'Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.'Robert F. Kennedy quoting Aeschylus, announcing the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. ‘May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face;the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.’- an Irish blessing
Pees on Earth, and in the immortal words of Frank Zappa: “Don’t eat the yellow snow”.Evolutionary biology teaches us that, contrary to what was once thought (and is still thought in some circles), mankind is neither a deity-created unchanging presence nor some foreordained pinnacle of animal development, with an associated grant of dominion over the world.Similarly, an honest reading of political history teaches us that, however much we might wish for a guarantee of progress in the general human condition, the arc of history guarantees only the passage of time, nothing more. As long as politics has been around, it has often been employed for the benefit of individuals and/or tribe, to the detriment of those much needier, and in hypocritical contravention of basic fairness and society’s supposed standards of morality. (Sometimes, the abuse of fellow man reaches extreme levels that are falsely termed “inhuman”, when in fact these abuses are all too often specifically human, simply not seen elsewhere in the animal kingdom). Avoiding such destructive uses of politics and advancing the desirable ones requires an informed and moral citizenry, and I am thankful for sites such as this one, and for all the commenters at these sites, for helping all of us to avoid eating the “yellow snow” that is all too common in the political world.Best wishes for the season and the New Year to everyone.@Denis Neville: I join the others in offering my condolences.@all: To DreamsAmelia’s recent reading recommendation of “The Iron Heel”, I would add Edward Bellamy’s “Looking Backward”. It’s not without faults; decades ago for a college class I wrote a critique of some fundamental assumptions made in it, but it’s definitely worth reading. It’s available via project Gutenberg:http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/624
Thank you Karen for Sardonicky, your political insights and rantings, and for the people I have met through this iconoclast place. May you all enjoy the Christmas and holiday season, and have a New Year that fulfills your ideals. While watching C-Span Washington Journal this morning, with historian Richard Norton Smith, he reminded the viewers of George Washington and his surprise attack December 25, 1776 against the Hessian troops in Trenton, New Jersey. 235 years later it is sometimes hard to believe that America had its founding in a bloody revolution against Great Britain, a superpower, where the upstart American Revolutionaries prevailed. According to Wikipedia: "Morale was given a boost on December 19 by the publication of a new pamphlet by Thomas Paine. Common Sense had served to increase support for the Revolution in its early days, and Paine's new pamphlet, titled The American Crisis, began with words well-known to American schoolchildren:"These are the times that try men's souls; the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."Within a day of its publication in Philadelphia, General Washington ordered it be read to his troops. While Paine's writing could not feed or shelter the troops, it did serve to improve morale and help them feel a little more tolerant of their current conditions. Some provisions, including much-needed blankets, arrived in the Continental Army camp on Christmas Eve."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington%27s_crossing_of_the_Delaware_River
@ Fred"As long as politics has been around, it has often been employed for the benefit of individuals and/or tribe, to the detriment of those much needier, and in hypocritical contravention of basic fairness and society’s supposed standards of morality."True, and this too can be expressed as a spin on evolutionary biology: Social Darwinism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_DarwinismAnd also expressed as economic Darwinism or evolutionary economics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_economicsIt is a paradox that, generally, those who believe in evolutionary biology reject social Darwinism as cruel or unfair; and those who reject evolutionary biology in favor of creationism or intelligent design tend to favor social Darwinism.
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