Friday, December 23, 2016

Adam Ruins Christmas

Friday, December 25, 2015

The Grinch Who Blogged Christmas

Cyanide & Happiness #4156

Friday, November 27, 2015

#OptOut...side

42 Million Dead In Bloodiest Black Friday Weekend On Record

≖ I joined the #OptOutside movement this year, but unfortunately I had to dodge all the shoppers on their way to and from the carnage. Welcome to the 2015 Xmas Resistance, and Happy Buy Nothing Day!

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Bill O'Reilly's Christmas

Thursday, November 27, 2014

2014 Underway

Blackout Black Friday
≖ Another year, another round of Black Friday protests. So much to do that isn't shopping, hooray! Happy Buy Nothing Day.

Update 1: Friday in Oakland.
Update 2: Friday in Times Square.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Last-Minute Stocking- and Bra-Stuffer

≖ We've survived another non-shopping season. The biggest surprise for me was that relentless self-promoter Sarah Palin didn't saturate the airwaves with this year's "War on Christmas" epic, Good Tidings and Great Joy.  I think she was caught flatfooted when her Fox News colleague Megyn Kelly stole the show with just a little bit of dog-whistling.

Fortunately, Dan Savage took the time to review Ms. Palin's book, or at least the introduction where we learn that Peace on Earth involves buying guns and admiring one's own breasts.  Read his book review, Good Grief and Great Tits, it's the reason for the season!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Spugs Unite!

≖ I don't know how we missed this, but last year Treehugger had an item about the Society for the Prevention of Useless Giving on the occasion of its 100th anniversary.  The group was known as SPUG for short, and its members, Spugs.  Membership was bipartisan, ranging from former President Teddy Roosevelt himself to the daughter of President Woodrow Wilson.

Also around this time every year we get news items about the banning of Christmas by the Puritans.  It was a different sort of celebration then, not really about buying stuff, so it's a bit out of our purview ... but here's an especially good roundup of information about that.

Finally, if you haven't seen the Christmas Resistance Movement page on Facebook, have a look-see!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

I'm Dreaming of a White Nicholas

Saint Nicholas of Myra

≖ To think that only a year ago, Jon Stewart noted that the War On Christmas had become a rote observance, devoid of its original spiritual meaning. I expected a bit of a resurgence this year simply to promote Sarah Palin's latest dumb book, but I never expected it to actually go off the rails into a national debate over whether Santa Claus is white.

Much has been said about this nonsense over the last few days, but I'd like to focus on the man depicted here, St. Nicholas of Myra. This image is from his Wikipedia page, and I'm surprised there haven't been edit wars to replace it with a lighter-skinned depiction. The real Nicholas lived in what is now Turkey and was a swarthy man, though as his fame spread northward, the paintings showed ever-lighter skin. (I imagine it must be hard to maintain a tan at the North Pole.)

Nicholas is one of the most popular Saints there is, even for folks who aren't Catholic or Orthodox. That's because he was by all accounts a vigorous champion of the poor and disadvantaged. Hagiography tends to attribute miracles, supernatural events, and oft-told legends to Saints, which historians naturally tend to be skeptical of. (Personally, my favorite Nicholas legends are in the hardboiled detective genre, but these have yet to be published. Or written.)

One deed stands out as an original and plausible account: A poor family with three daughters could not afford a dowry for them, which meant they would most likely be sold into sexual slavery. When each of these daughters came of age, Nicholas surreptitiously delivered bags of gold, enough for their dowries.

This secret gift-giving has, over the centuries, morphed into a compulsory consumption potlatch ritual. The meaning has been lost. The real Nicholas would probably be called a bleeding-heart socialist by Fox News, the very network that insists he's white (and which is, of course, the primary fabricator of the mythological War On Christmas).

So even if you're resisting what Christmas has become, give a thought to the real Old St. Nick.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Celebrate Without Worshipping Consumerism

≖ For the perplexed, Alternet has a nice Celebrating Without Worshipping Consumerism article this year. A little late for Thanksgivukkah, I'm afraid, but suitable for celebrating Christmas.

Or, if you're Fox News, one of those "Holiday" Celebrations you hear so much about on Fox News.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Pre-Thanksgiving

≖ In the spirit of resistance, we try to hold off the madness until it's absolutely necessary, but Wal-Mart's No Good, Very Bad, Pre-Thanksgiving Week is as good a preamble as any.

In the spirit of resistance, now's a good time to write a letter to the editor about Wal-Mart, and you might want to mention Kohl's, Target, and Toys Backwards-R Us as offenders (not as bad as Wal-Mart on failure to pay a living wage, but they are opening on Thanskgiving).

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

War is Heck


≖ Say, remember the War on Christmas that was such a big deal right up until 2008?  This was a war declared by Fox News, with books and variety shows and whatnot, the subtext being that if you didn't get out there and spend! spend! spend! you were hurting the economy and attacking Jesus.

For some mysterious reason, the network backed off right around the time George W. Bush left office, so that that War on Christmas became, as Jon Stewart mentions up there, a rote observance, devoid of all its original spiritual meaning.

As always, though, there are true believers.  This year, with his network sustaining heavy losses on the economic front, General Bill O'Reilly has concentrated his offense on the cultural front of this war, so now the whole thing is the fault of gays and abortionists.  So, you don't have to go out and spend so much (that might make Obama look good, after all).  Just hate people, like O'Reilly does.

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Sunday, December 09, 2012

Hammer Time

≖ Resisting compulsory consumption extends to other holidays in our multitasking, multicultural modern world.  This "Reason for the Season" free e-card is a creation of our red velvet-clad Satanta, who explains:
As promised, here’s Judah Maccabee hammering Romans as a Chanukah e-card. Please copy and share and all that. ... Any “holiday” gifts more lavish than sharing bits are against my principles ...