It’s been Festive Festivus and a Merry Christmas. We’re hoping for the trifecta and making it a Happy New Year, too. Wishing you and yours the very best this season and hoping you get what you need to make 2022 at least bearable. We followed many of our traditions this year and added a few, too:
- COQUITOS: Who knew that Christmas could be celebrated with a drink of coconutty, creamy, cinnamonny goodness? Well, it can if you follow the Puerto Rican tradition of making coquitos. Follow this recipe and let me know what you think in the comments!
- BOARD GAMES: We played our Christmas Day board game, Dead of Winter. Yes it was a zombie-riffic Christmas.
- FESTIVUS: We managed to avoid any bloodshed and fisticuffs this year by steering the Airing of Grievances away from the personal — never a good idea — and the Feats of Strength to the silly — always a good idea. And, we had pizza and ice cream for dinner.
- PHNOM PENH ADVENTURE: One of the things about living abroad is all the different electricity issues you run into. Most of the world runs on 220, if you didn’t know, but most modern appliances will take 110 or 220 without you doing anything other than plugging them in. Not so Ma Belle Femme’s prized Vitamix. The step-down converter wasn’t up to the task and gave up the ghost, so my Christmas task was to find a new one. That’s the other thing about living abroad: stores don’t always sell the same things they did back home. I spent a couple hours on a sunny afternoon roaming the the electronics and tools hardware section of Phnom Penh using Google Translate to express my plaintive plea until an old woman who knew nothing of such matters started pulling them out of somewhere deep in the bowels of her market stall. Thirty dollars later, my Christmas gift for the missus is taken care of.
The Week’s Reading
From the Blogosphere
- THE BAADER-MEINHOFF PHENOMENON: What do a cognitive tendency, deciding not to send Christmas cards, and a 1970’s German terrorist group have in common? Wendy Weir explains it all in her post explaining (a) why she’s not sending Christmas cards this year, (b) what she’d include in them if she did, and (c) the reason she’s seeing memes about not sending Christmas cards everywhere. (GREATER THAN GRAVITY)
- FESTIVUS FOR THE REST OF US: It’s not just Ye Olde Blogge, JCO uses the backdrop of Festivus and the Airing of Grievances to highlight the political genius of AOC and wishing us all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. (FIRST DRAFT)
- QUAND MEME: While all around is doom and gloom, Hecatedemeter, reminds us of the importance of optimism and resilience. The fight for democracy is long from over no matter the outcome of the ’22 or ’24 elections. It kinda renews the will to continue on in the face of it all. (HECATEDEMETER)
News From Hong Kong
I’ve long said that if we want a glimpse into the future in the coming #GOPDystopia, all we need do is look to Hong Kong. Right now the best source of news from the beleaguered state is The Hong Kong Free Press. Some of their reporting from the week:
- STATUES AND SOCIETAL VALUES: As the Tiananmen Square statues are removed from universities by the victorious single-party pseudo-democratic minority-rule autocracy that recently wrenched control of the government from the pro-democracy forces, it becomes clear what the government values: obedience and reticence from its citizens. If you ever wondered why removing statues honoring traitorous Confederate heroes was important, now you know.
- CORPORATIONS WON’T SAVE US: Corporations will go where their profits flow most abundantly from. As Google and Apple demonstrated in the recent past, Intel reminds us once again. When a government can control the amount of profit a corporation makes, the corporation will not make a stand for social justice. Intel bows to China’s ire over company’s statements expressing displeasure over the enslavement and oppression of the Uyghur in XinJiang Province.
ICYMI in the MSM
WORLD-WIDE VICIOUS MONKEY NEWS: Who knew that the Yuletide would be filled by stories of vicious monkeys doing vicious things in the communities they inhabit?
- Vicious Monkeys Removed: Wat Phnom residents happy after vicious monkeys separated from troop is a story about how the local government has removed vicious monkeys from the Buddhist monastery and temple in the middle of Phnom Penh leaving only “gentle” monkeys. Gentle monkeys. Cracks me up. The article, though, is devoid of any vicious acts that the monkeys may have committed, filled with laments from residents at the removal of all monkeys from the wat, and claims by local government officials of the mess monkeys make with fruit and stealing the food and goods of tourists. Make your own conclusion.
- Revenge killings: Monkeys blamed for hundreds of puppy deaths captured in India is a story about a troop of monkeys that went on a killing rampage murdering a couple of hundred puppies after dogs killed a couple of monkey babies. Eventually, authorities caught up with the culprits and put an end to the spree. Don’t fuck with monkeys, hunh?
CHRISTMAS STORIES: Not all Christmas stories are heartwarming tales of families and individuals learning the lessons of brotherly love in cute and endearing ways. Some of them reflect reality more accurately.
- The weaponization of holiday cards: A Christmas card might seem innocuous. How my dysfunctional family weaponized them is an opinion piece describing how cards that weren’t sent at the exact right time expressing the exact right sentiment could cause family strife until Easter sometimes. I don’t know that opting out of the Christmas card obligation in families like that would actually help much. Dysfunctional families find ways to express their dysfunction no matter what you do.
- A lost and forgotten history: The lost history of Christmas nobody cares about anymore – but should is the heartwarming tale of the annual Christmas lecture of a father to his family as they assemble that year’s tree. The lecture was always the lost history of Christmas about how it used to be about drunken debaucherous riots in the streets by the proletariat until the Coca-Cola made it into a coke (literally in the beginning) and polar bear affair. I know that all the gift giving isn’t the greatest thing, but we are capitalists and most businesses rely on Christmas sales for their profits during the year. Sometimes, the lesson is be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
Friends of Ye Olde Blogge
Christmas is the (now) season of giving, so here’s where we give back to those who have given so much to us.
- CHANGE AND INSIGHT: A nice Christmas gift to start the New Year with is Robert’s Quote of the Day from personal psychotherapy hero, Milton Erickson, Change will lead to insight… (Of Cabbages and Kings).
- IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES: It’s that the time of year when we take stock of the past year and decide on what was the best and worst etc. Tengrain saves us from the drudgery by giving us the best and worst take on the year starring Megyn Kelly and Hugh Hewitt. #ThanksTengrain! (Mock Paper Scissors)
- #THANKSJOE! Only Old Handsome Joe could take a slur and turn it into a positive. Only MAGA Nation could be as crass as to make a Christmas — who’s fighting a war on Christmas now? — tradition and turn it into an ugly meaningless political statement. (Homeless on the High Desert)
- NOT SICK OF CHRISTMAS STORIES YET: Burr Demings chronicles a fair and unbalanced number of them in his weekly round-up of all that is worth reading the Interwebs. If doesn’t make it onto Burr’s list, why bother reading it, know what I’m saying? (Fair and Unbalanced)
- AND THE CHILDREN SHALL LEAD US: I have to say that playing Santa was a good gig while I had it. It was always fun, but then again, I reprised the roll for colleagues, their children, and our educational community. Preaching to the choir. Scottie links to a story of an enterprising tot who kept their cool while on the big man’s lap. Too cute and the perfect ending to the season. (Scottie’s Playtime)
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