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Deleted by topic administrator 07-21-2006 09:02 AM
Jonathan Vos Post
01:30 AM ET (US)
Whether or not "telly is evil" as St. Charlie sayeth, not wasting time to watch it has contributed, along with his humongous talent and discipline, to writing so much superior fiction. He will have to trust me that Saturday Night Live had a funny segment starring Jon Lovitz as Hanukkah Harry, who fills in one Christmas for unavailable Santa (bad case of flu).

First broadcast 16 December 1989; host Andie MacDowell;
musical guest Tracy Chapman. Phil Hartman and Nora Dunn as Santa and Mrs. Claus. Victoria Jackson and Mike Myers, in pajamas, as children. Santa's elves. Sleigh.

"On Moshe!" cried Harry.
"On Herschel! On Shlomo!"
The Dumbass (Chris Heinz)
07:35 PM ET (US)
Speaking of filched pagan feasts, on Wednesday, the solstice, I walked into the common development area and loudly and excitedly announced "It's the solstice! The sun god's alive, the sun god's alive!". Sometimes it's good to be the boss ... Living in the bible belt, I feel it is my duty to poke my finger in the eye of traditional religion whenever possible. The old saw re, don't discuss religion or politics, screw it. The fundamentalists are taking over in the US, we've got to fight back.
04:59 PM ET (US)
They've even got Xmas in Iran:
Charlie StrossPerson was signed in when posted
06:05 AM ET (US)

Speaking of Judaism and Christmas, here's the definitive word on the mitzvah of Christmas (if it was a Jewish festival) ...
Peter Hollo
01:02 AM ET (US)
Err... if you are a white guy (and I've seen your picture) and your ancestors lived in "Christendom," how did you get out of having any Christian ancestors?

That would be by being Jewish.

Same here, right there with you on the Christmas thing Charlie. I can't see any regularities between Christmas haterz really. We're both atheist Jews, but I know Jews, practising and non-practising, who aren't fussed about it. Maybe it's having that background and also an inbuilt anti-commercialism that does it.
And then, I find the most reasonable of (Christian-background, generally non-religious) friends get really offended when I complain about Christmas - it's very weird. It's like, "Well, Christmas isn't about being *Christian*. I'm not a Christian but I quite like Christmas."
Well, er, you do realise that, filched pagan feasts aside, we only have it because the religion of your background is the dominant one in these parts? *sigh*
Edited 12-23-2005 01:02 AM
10:30 PM ET (US)
"Telly is evil anyway. What's wrong with books, usenet, or MMORPGs?"

I don't think TV is bad, but I find myself watching very little of in anymore. I pretty much limit myself to Sunday night -- the Simpsons, Family Guy, and Cartoon Network's Adult Swim -- and Lost. Of course, that's US TV so I don't know what's comparable in the UK.

The TV does get a lot of use, just not as a broadcast receiver. When I have a couple hours to spare I'll sit down and watch a bunch of anime episodes back to back. But that's me choosing what I want to watch and when I want to watch it.
Andrew Cummins
08:45 PM ET (US)
My Christmas moment was our local Salvation Army coming down our street playing carols...sure they got more money but they sounded really good...

-- Andrew
08:11 PM ET (US)
Yeah, I find it difficult to get into the Christmas spirit, especially when Christmas decorations and shite gifts were being stacked in Tesco's *three months ago*. Plus family history makes it not an attractive time of year for me, anyway. Plus I'm unemployed this year, so I'm only buying two Xmas presents.

Or it could be down to the fact that my parents chose to give me as a middle name, "Ebenezer".

Merry Winter Solstice!
The Dumbass (Chris Heinz)
07:13 PM ET (US)
I've tried for the last 5 years or so to get people interested in Christmas as an Olympic sport -- every 4 years. Not too many takers. Plus, it would of course crash the entire world economy ...
Even the local student radio station WRFL, Radio Free Lexington, 88.1, all the way to the left, is playing Christmas music (albeit very odd xmas music). There's no escape ...
I'm also curious about the "no christian ancestors". You don't look Jewish ...
06:11 PM ET (US)
Err... if you are a white guy (and I've seen your picture) and your ancestors lived in "Christendom," how did you get out of having any Christian ancestors?

Here's hoping the next two posters aren't Luke and John.
11:47 AM ET (US)
Isn't it healthier instaed of quickly pacing through channels while sitting in suspended animation to actually find the video or event you want with a mouse and keyboard.

Once the media is selected we dont watch too much more or something else comes up. How much media do we really need to intake at one time?
11:43 AM ET (US)
"Telly is evil anyway. What's wrong with books, usenet, or MMORPGs?"

People keep telling me I need more but I keep saying I have the Internet and then they don't say anything back.
11:41 AM ET (US)
“Note that, in 2005, the first day of Hanukkah and Christmas coincide, which has not happened since 1959.”

I can see it. 1959 representing the last bastion of innocence before the 60’s; the holidays now forming a final throw against the singularity we now are witnessing. A constant reminder for a society that quickly wants to forget. The year is 2005 representing a final shake-off of the Old World Order and into the new unknown of the next Vernor Vinge and Charles Stross Novels.

Christmas? We have Halloween here that's allot tougher to avoid with the little night demons trolling about the neighborhood. Overweight too from too much unlawful video gaming. The only escape is lights out and off to the bowling alley. But 'they' are still out there and more equipped then ever with the latest in gadgetry and sadistic tomfoolery. It's anyone’s guess how to compete and just imagine trick or treating robots like Honda's ASIMO running M$ software. Nano trick or treaters?

To me everyday is Halloween and Christmas with the Internet-tech. You can give, worship and do allot of things everyday. I have allot of great memories of those days but those types of ‘locked-in’ dates where when it was needed. They didn’t seem so locked in at the time though. I know it sounds conspiratorial and negative but National Holidays seem like more government control today.
Halloween was cool but it has just lost that mystique for me. And no it's not because I'm getting older. I still like celebrating the seasons though like fall; maybe change Halloween to a summer solstice event. Events are still needed?, but maybe not on such a national scale. I know allot of people refer to Christmastime as Yule tiding etc. to celebrate the season. The mega-churches don’t even take them seriously anymore handing out a DVD for Christmas day with no Mass or church service. Please, so my family can browbeat me all day while brain-watching a non-declared-war on state run T.V. We haven't even declared war since ‘The War to End All Wars 2 - WW2’ for goodness sake!

Times have changed and I definitely think for the way better. More choices.

Coffee shops:
I was really thinking about this watching the Starbucks/Mall Food craze unfold and reading Accelerando. The alternative high seems to have replaced the harder stuff like pot and alcohol. It started like in the early 90’s. Is it so cool to go to a beer bar anymore? I think that’s good because these types of highs are just allot healthier for the body and just as, or more fun. Less annoying for people around you and you can usually drive.

Merry yuletide everyone.
Charlie StrossPerson was signed in when posted
11:03 AM ET (US)
Telly is evil anyway. What's wrong with books, usenet, or MMORPGs?
Tim M.
07:45 AM ET (US)
Agreeing with the said point about no telly. It's vital.

One of my personal ways to cope with christmas is to make the cards I send. (Thus watering the amount of cards to a bare minimum and ensuring that I won't have to send more than ten cards, hehe.)

To cope with christams is to ignore it with a good book, regular trips to coffee shops that too ignore christmas, do something creative and only give good books as gifts to the deserving friends one wants to make smile.
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