Monday, December 22, 2003

Links, from Christmas to carnivores

From Dickens to Disney

A Scrooge-like figure is essential to any Christmas classic. He's the Cromwellian Puritan trying to abolish it. Or the Grinch, in the Dr Seuss book, trying to steal it. Or the dangerous furry mogwais in Gremlins. Or the horrible tycoon Potter in It's A Wonderful Life. Or Raymond Briggs's Father Christmas, grumbling at all the blooming work. But really he's just us -- a voice for the uncharitable sentiments provoked by shopping rage, charity tins, out-of-tune carol singers, office party hangovers and seasonal burnout.
Neighbourhood lights up to real meaning of the season
Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without a plethora of cheap, gaudy and culturally confused decor. Think fake snow-encrusted tinsel, glittering tree balls with Last Supper Santas, reindeers eating turkeys.... No doubt somewhere out there a $2 shop is selling tree decorations in the form of a red-and-white-hatted Jesus carving a roast in a snowbound sleigh.
Bringing it all back home raises an interesting question for the knitting feminist (and sewer and muffin baker and so on):
It is more than 70 years since Virginia Woolf killed the Angel of the House. "She died hard," Woolf wrote of her fight to silence the charming spirit of femininity. "The struggle was severe." Given the severity of the struggle, why is it that women are now enthusiastically trying to revive the goddess of the hearth?
Can you spell 'Hanukkah'? Sure, any way you want
The question of how best to spell "Hanukkah" in English incites first a chuckle, then a pause, then something like: "That's a tricky one" from editors at Merriam Webster, the Associated Press Stylebook and even local rabbis.... [The] executive director of the National Scrabble Association in Greenport, N.Y., mused that if "Hanukkah" were allowed in the game, people would be thrilled: "There are many different ways to spell it -- and a lot of high-value tiles."
'Speed dating' and 'espresso sex' enter the language

Beijing wives to be equipped with 'condom cards' (not husbands, single women, teens, or sex workers, mind you)

Have you heard the joke that the Chinese will eat anything with four legs besides the table? I don't want to pass judgment; I'll only say that I think one of these stories is good news and the other is revolting. Try to guess which is which:

Taiwan lawmakers ban selling of dog meat

Rats on the menu

I'm feeling much better today. My mission tonight is to locate a couple of boxes of stove-top stuffing -- wish me luck!

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