Archive for December, 2004

Part 5: X-Mas

Thursday, December 16th, 2004

Usage Note: Xmas has been used for hundreds of years in religious writing, where the X represents a Greek chi, the first letter of, “Christ.” In this use it is parallel to other forms like Xtian, “Christian.” But people unaware of the Greek origin of this X often mistakenly interpret Xmas as an informal shortening pronounced (ksms). Many therefore frown upon the term Xmas because it seems to them a commercial convenience that omits Christ from Christmas.

If I can’t get the ACLU to act like a cartoon version of themselves, I’ll have to turn to the more extreme offshoot of the ACLU — that is, the ECLU. The ECLU is kind of to the ACLU what Extreme Wrestling Federation was to the WWF, before that company bought EWF…

On the other hand, the American Cow Launchers Union is to the American Civil Liberteries Union what the World Wildlife Federation was to the other WWF before the lawsuit.

Anyway… So you are the Christ you’re the great Jesus Christ
Prove to me that you’re divine – change my water into wine
That’s all you need to do then I’ll know it’s all true
C’mon King of the Jews

Part 4: The Coca Cola Betrayal

Wednesday, December 15th, 2004

Sometime in high school, I was at a seminar in New Mexico where a Coca Cola executive talked before us. He relayed the story of how Coca Cola created the modern image of Santa Clause.

I did not know then but I do know now that the man was lying through his teeth — propping up a corporate myth on the backs of a supposedly great Commercial Holiday for the sake of the bottom line.

But then again, the man reeked like a used car salesman. He also sold us the line about “New Coke” being a clever marketing ploy, a throwaway product to resell Old Coke to the public.

When I was a child, my dad dressed up as Santa Clause. I knew it was my dad, but I went through the motions anyway. I begged him for a Cabbage Patch Kid. I whined and cojoled him, threatening to rip off his beard if he didn’t deliver my Precious Cabbage Patch Kid. The next year I did the same thing only this time for a Transformer.

Coca Cola has destroyed that image of my childhood. They claimed to own that childhood, taking it away from where it belongs: the makers of those Cabbage Patch Kids, the Transformers, and those Saturday Morning cartoon tv commercials that told me I wanted them. I bought into into the Coke myth. And then they sold me out.

A pox on their house!

May Pepsi Cola Eat them alive!

Destroying Your Christmas PART 3

Tuesday, December 14th, 2004

I don’t know if children in other nations do this to their standard songs.

“Jingle Belles, Batman Smells, Robin Laid an Egg, The Batmobile Lost its wheel and the Joker Got Away — Hey!”

The other classic that pops immediately to mind is the “like Pinocchio” “like Monopoly”, etc interspersed after various lines of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.”

I was sitting at a bus stop with a mother and child visiting and trying to escape the city from the suburbs — I think visiting for the lighting of the Christmas Tree. The snot-nosed 10 year old boy jumped into what I guess is the newest rendition of the tradition…

“I believe I can die”
(The second line has two variations: “I got ran over by the ice cream guy” or “I got ran over by the FBI” (Is there any difference between the two? I don’t know.)
“All I wanted was a cherry pie.”
“I believe I can die.”

Take it for what it’s worth. For the life of me I don’t know where these things can from, or how they spread around in the community of elementary school kids.

He’ll be singing at the annual Christmas Children’s Mass, I suppose. An event that nobody anywhere, not the children, not the parents, not the congregation, not the priest, wants any part of… but there it is…


That’s a bad scene. I remember attending one from the pews at the age of 11 or so, quote-in-quote “forgetting” to tell my parents that I had to be at church early for the event (actually taking advantage of being absent a week earlier when the priest reminds everyone what is to come next week), and the CCD music director chewing me out a couple days later for being in the pews and not in the chior section, threatening to drag me out next time by my ears. The only thing I can think is that “Misery loves company”.

Destroying Your Christmas (obliging Bill O’Reilly) PART Two

Monday, December 13th, 2004

I’m trying to find the transcript of the Seinfeld “Festivus Episode”…

One of the final two seasons, I’m pretty sure. I don’t remember what the “main plot” was, so I can’t figure what the title was.

This is the best I have at the moment.:


Destroying Your Christmas Part One.

Monday, December 13th, 2004

Paul deParrie is standing in front of the mall waving a giant poster of an aborted fetus. I know this because I overhear someone a block or two away saying “And there’s this guy standing in front of the mall with a big photograph of an aborted fetus.”

I see the poster. Two cop cars are sitting across the street. There is some disgruntlement from people walking into the mall. The fat guy with the beret is yelling “It’s True! It’s True! It’s the Truth!”

The poster is headlighted “Merry Herod‘s Day”

I consider walking up and saying to the man, “It’s amazing how emotional people get by an obscure biblical reference that mocks Christmas.”

But I don’t, because I really don’t want to.

“Christmas Under Siege”

Sunday, December 12th, 2004

So, Bill O’Reilly is leading the charge to “Save Christmas” from what I’ll call, and I don’t mean this term pergoratively in this instance, lowest-common-demoninators of marketers and gummint officials.

The horror of the situation can be found in Bill O’Reilly‘s commentary here. The horror of Canadian Public Opinion! The horror!!

Macys greeters are no longer saying “Merry Christmas” and instead saying “Happy Holidays”? My god — next they’ll be barging into your houses and ripping the bible out of your hands!!

But you know what? I think I’m going to go ahead an oblige him.

I say here and now that I am going to steal your Christmas.

And there won’t be any of this “Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small, as singing! Without any presents at all!” crap.

After I’m done… there won’t be any singing.

Feel free to email this Bill O’Reilly…

The Deficit???

Saturday, December 11th, 2004

There I see the end of their weekly march against wars and war. Actually, I tend to scan around to try to spot whether there’s any ““protest warrior” in the crowd… the answer this night was “Perhaps that guy in a suit on a bike riding across the street with a camera. Perhaps.”

But I wonder about one man’s sign. I think I’ve seen him with this before, and he’s probably a regular.

On a sign with various inflamatory messages against the Israeli government and military policy, and American support thereof…

… a comparison to Hitler here and there…

… number of dead Palestinians…

… reference to Iraq War as more of the same…

There is a sticker. It reads “It’s the Deficit, Stupid.”

I walk up to him, point to the sticker, and say “Isn’t the deficit kind of secondary to your concerns?”

He nods, gives a smirk, and says “Got to start somewhere.”

I still think that message is kind of off target.

Being Alan Colmes

Saturday, December 11th, 2004

Item #1: found here:

From LUKE STANGEL, Palo Alto Daily News: I just got back to the office from the live taping of the Hannity & Colmes Fox News talk show at the Flint Center in Cupertino, Calif. Our newspaper has been following fifth-grade teacher Stephen Williams’ lawsuit against his school district after his principal barred him from handing out literature that she felt amounted to Christian propaganda.

Interestingly, they turned away all reporters at the door, saying the media couldn’t come in. This came hot on the heels of two prominent articles in the San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Chronicle today describing Williams’ planned live interview on Hannity & Colmes. The
interview was Williams’ first public appearance and interview since the media circus came to town.

A private security guard outside the Flint Center shoved my photographer’s camera from his face and said he couldn’t take photos. The same guard said he wouldn’t let me in the building to report on the interview, saying show producers didn’t want the media inside.

I eventually got in anyway — I suppose I wouldn’t be a good reporter if I didn’t — and the show turned out to be fairly enlightening. Although Hannity and Colmes profess to run a somewhat balanced issues-oriented show on the air, the off-air moments with the audience proved rather

“How many liberals are here tonight?” Hannity asked the audience during the last commercial break.

Six people clapped, to overwhelming boos from the audience.

“Stand up and tell me sir: what worthwhile thing has John Kerry done in the last 20 years?” Hannity said pointing to one man, to which the crowd erupted into applause.

Half an hour before the show began, Hannity paraded out in front of the audience, which clapped wildly for him.

“We came to San Francisco and we can’t find one liberal?” he asked, to laughs. “That’s why we came to San Francisco. Listen: we’re taking over San Francisco!”

“Hey! Tell them California is a future red state!” a man yelled.

“On a personal note, for all of you who voted for President George W. Bush, thank you for saving America,” Hannity said, before the tape began rolling.

Item #2:

“Liberal Values are Under Attack”
That’s what Alan Colmes said last night during the final hour of his radio show when he exhorted liberals to “get with the program” and start fighting back against the conservative onslaught.

Specifically, he was referring to the lack of liberals in the audience the night before during his TV show, Hannity & Colmes, in Cupertino, California, home of the latest FOX cause celebre, “Take Back America.”

Warren G Harding

Friday, December 10th, 2004

Looking for a biography of a specific person whose last name begins with “H” in the public library, I noticed a slender and somewhat pathetic biography about President Warren Harding written by preeminent Presidential Tumor Expert John Dean. Considered by the arbitrary Historians who decide these things as the nation’s Worst or Second Worst or Third Worst president, here we have a flattering picture.

I leafed through it. It’s short, but I don’t want to read a biography about Warren G. Harding. What do I find? Mr. Dean believes that Harding’s Scandals weren’t his fault, and he since he was dead he couldn’t defend himself. The Teapot Dome Scandal fades away from my memory — favours for money or something like that? (There’s a teapot domed shape gas station somewhere around Toppenish, Washington that memorializes the Teapot Dome Scandal, but I never knew quite what to make of that.)

Anyway… leafing through the book, it looks like Harding’s biggest presidential accomplishment was pardoning the pacifist Socialist Eugene Debs, which helped heal the bad feelings left over by The Great War. World War I syndrome, I guess it’s called…

And he was greeted by well-wishers as his casket travelled the nation by train. But I think any president would have that same mark. Except Woodrow Wilson, who was deeply hated at that time…

That’s Warren G. Harding… I guess.

The Five Greatest Presidents According to Me at this time:

#1: George Washington
Brilliant minimalist.
#2: Thomas Jefferson
Saved the country from the Fascist Tyranny of John Adams. It’s worth noting that he jettisoned his prior philosophy of “A Revolution Every Twenty Years” when he took office…
#3: Franklin D Roosevelt
#4: Grover Cleveland
Because “Grand Vision” is overrated.
#5: William Henry Harrison
Just name me one bad thing he did while in office.