Monthly Archives: December 2009

Joan Crawford gets hers

I’m having a Bette Davis-fest with a girlfriend of mine, and tonight’s menu was Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Campy bliss!

Of course, I cheered for Bette Davis the entire time. The next movie on the agenda is Hush Hush, Sweet Charlotte. (the biggest peril with that film is getting the song stuck in your head for days afterwards)

What he said:

After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with colour, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn’t it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked — as I am surprisingly often — why I bother to get up in the mornings. To put it the other way round, isn’t it sad to go to your grave without ever wondering why you were born? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed, eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be a part of it?

There is an anaesthetic of familiarity, a sedative of ordinariness which dulls the senses and hides the wonder of existence. For those of us not gifted in poetry, it is at least worth while from time to time making an effort to shake off the anaesthetic. What is the best way of countering the sluggish habitutation brought about by our gradual crawl from babyhood? We can’t actually fly to another planet. But we can recapture that sense of having just tumbled out to life on a new world by looking at our own world in unfamiliar ways.

— Richard Dawkins
from Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder

ho ho ho carbs

Wishing you a happy Christmahanukwanzasolstica.

Happy Festivus to yooooooou!

What he said:

“I’d much rather be a rising ape than a fallen angel.”

Why do I celebrate this time of year?

Why, to piss off asses like this guy (disappointingly, someone who I have fond memories of listening to on many a Saturday night):

Unitarians listen to the Inner Voice and so they have no creed that they all stand up and recite in unison, and that’s their perfect right, but it is wrong, wrong, wrong to rewrite “Silent Night.” If you don’t believe Jesus was God, OK, go write your own damn “Silent Night” and leave ours alone. This is spiritual piracy and cultural elitism and we Christians have stood for it long enough. And all those lousy holiday songs by Jewish guys that trash up the malls every year, Rudolph and the chestnuts and the rest of that dreck. Did one of our guys write “Grab your loafers, come along if you wanna, and we’ll blow that shofar for Rosh Hashanah”? No, we didn’t.

Christmas is a Christian holiday — if you’re not in the club, then buzz off. Celebrate Yule instead or dance around in druid robes for the solstice. Go light a big log, go wassailing and falalaing until you fall down, eat figgy pudding until you puke, but don’t mess with the Messiah.

The Christmas Dividend
Garrison Keillor

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been in several conversations with many of my non-believing friends over what we should be doing during this “holy day” time of the year. Some of my friends think to celebrate any part of the Christmas season (from putting up a tree to taking days off) is to concede the point to believers. Others of my athesty friends still sing the sappy carols and don’t look at me too funny when they see I still have a nativity set.

I suppose our opinions stem from how many of us go about causing reform. For some, the only way to provoke change is to boycott and start anew. But for people like me who still love and celebrate this time of the year, I see reform only happening when I can start to change perceptions from within.

So when someone comes over and sees my nativity set and wonders why someone who is admittedly godless would put up such a supposedly “holy” thing, it gives me a chance to explain myself. For starters, I can talk about how I appreciate a mythic story (one that’s not exclusive to Christianity, btw).

This time of year isn’t reserved for the bigots like Keillor or Bill O’Reilly or anyone else who proclaims “Keep Christ in Christmas!” Fact is, as a species we commemorated these days long before Mary’s boy child was in the picture, and so I’ll keep the lights and trees and gift-giving, etc., thank you very much.

More reasons to keep up that wall

How horrifying. And, hilarious. But more horrifying.