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Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Child's Christmas In Wales

In what has become an annual tradition here at Zombie Politics,  we turn to Dylan Thomas' "A Child's Christmas in Wales." (full text here).

There are so many elements that I love to this story that they are just too numerous to count. I suppose my personal story is the one that resonates the most. I was part of a dramatic ensemble that read it a church on Christmas Eve, 1984. I had never heard the story before and was sort of dragged into doing it by our drama teacher. I even forgot to read a line!

Yet, by the end of the reading, something magical happened to me. "All the Christmases rolled down" in a wonderfully warm bundle of memories and, as I left the church, the words cemented themselves in my soul. I realized this story would be with me forever...especially at Christmas.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Memories

These photos are absolutely hilarious. This one is my favorite.




























I get the dog but why the black baby doll?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Christmas!!

I've always looked at the celebration of Christmas Day with inquisitive fascination. Why do we honor the birth of Jesus Christ when it's likely he was born in March? In fact, the reason why we celebrate the nativity on December 25th stems from an effort by 4th Century Christians to make their religion more prominent.

These early believers saw the pagan festivities associated with Mithraism as a threat to their fledgling movement and so they switched the birthday of Christ to be on the same day as the birthday of the Invincible Sun God, Natalis Solis Invincti. The Christians of this time were already emboldened by the Roman Emperor Constantine's edict of 313 CE which allowed them to practice their faith so plans were made to supplant Mithraism with Christianity.

They did this by focusing on the festive nature of the sun god cult worship and essentially making it their own. A Christian mass was developed complete with prayers and ceremony-all in the hopes of luring Mithraists away from their religion to Christianity. In short, it was a PR campaign and it worked.

The irony here (for all your scriptural literalists out there) is that the celebration of Jesus' birthday isn't "pure." It's based on pagan ritual and, in the centuries since that time, is a day that has gone through many other twists and turns. Puritans here in America had outlawed any celebration of Christmas until finally losing out on June 26, 1870 when Christmas became a national holiday. Christmas trees were considered pagan and also forbidden  until the late 17th century. Santa himself began as an amalgamation (partially pagan) of St. Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra (modern-day Turkey), the Norse god, Woden, and the Celtic Holly King and ended up being the creation of a modern day cartoonist (Thomas Nash) for Harper's Weekly in 1860.

So, as we begin to drift off today from an overdose of tryptophan, let's remember that this is not a rigid holiday and is, as it has always been, free loose, and open to interpretation:)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas For Me! (1 of 20)

I guess I must've been nice as opposed to naughty because Santa has given me a very large present in the form of this year in the form of Ben Steverman's article/power point presentation over at Bloomberg Businessweek.

Each section details exactly how the wealthy of this country have far more advantages than the rest of us and have set up a system to not only keep it that way but to net them more money and, with it, more power. Since this has been the overall and ongoing argument in comments for the last year or more, I thought it would be cool to showcase his 20 points and see if I can make any sort of headway through the 1,000 feet of rock granite minds that make up some of my regular readers. Let's dive in and take a look at his first point.

Under U.S. law, certain investment products are only available to accredited investors, who must have a household net worth of $1 million or more. A key advantage of many of these so-called "alternative investments" is that, at least in theory, they help diversify a portfolio because they don't move in lockstep with traditional stock and bond investments, and so help balance out returns. Alternative investments include venture capital funds, private equity funds, direct investments in commodities such as timber, and stakes in private companies.

Available only to accredited investors...hmmm...but I thought that the market was free and we all had the same choices as everyone else? Apparently, we don't.

Of course, I'm certain that many of you will look at the first three words and leap into the usual GUBMINT BAD rhetoric but I'm hoping that you are smart enough to operate on the higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy and figure out why and how this law exists the way that it does.

Here's to hoping!