Monday, December 24, 2012

It Is Time To Give Christmas Its Due

A selfless volunteer hard at work
(Mod: It's Christmas Eve and it is time to give the year's biggest holiday its due. I'm going to take a day or two off, and I should be back on Wednesday. But rather than just leave a picture of Santa, which is what I'd originally planned to do, I thought I would repost a lightly edited version of what we put here last year on December 24th. It shows a few of the concerns of that time, which mostly had to do with some of the zaniness surrounding the upcoming City Council election. Plus after rereading this I figured it was pretty good and could stand up to another round on the front page. Merry Christmas everyone, and I'll see you again in about 48 hours.)

I don't always know a lot, but I do know this for sure. You would have to be beyond the acceptable limits of popularly accepted sanity to go anywhere near any large metropolitan shopping area or mall today. I don't know what comes over people when the need to purchase gifts reaches such an unhinged frenzy, but it does.

This might sound kind of common, or even trite, but maybe it is so because the truth in it is so obvious. I really do think that whatever religiosity might be left in the Christmas brand after having been crushed beneath more than a few billion dollars worth of advertising is entirely and utterly lost in all the major shopping centers on this day.

Personally I believe that you really ought to go in an entirely different direction. A walk in the mountains is where you will more likely find God. Or in your home with your family. Give the simplest of gifts, that is where you are the most likely to find the joyous complexity in the hearts of those you love. You should never be afraid to share with them your own joyous complexity as well.

I have this theory that God, being almighty, does find that there are places He would not care to go. And that if you are so unwise (or unlucky since we are infinitely fallible and can't possibly know everything about God's preferences) to be in such a place when the cold hand of death decides to take you, then you cannot go to Heaven. Instead you get stuck forever in whatever Godless place you may happen to be at that awful moment. A shopping mall on the 24th of December might very well be one of those. I thought I should warn you.

You'd be much better off doing your last minute shopping here in Sierra Madre. Flawed though we all may be, I don't think the place has been forsaken quite yet. The doors of Heaven are still open above us. Though we will have to see how long that holds.

I have been mulling over the dark heart of the message the so-called "civility crowd" has yet again been attempting to beat us into silence with these last few days, and while I have not been able to put my feelings about this oppressive and ironically uncivil concept into words just yet, somebody I know and respect (a lot) has sent me the words of someone who has. The author's name is Kristin Rawls, and here is what she has to say:

Notwithstanding the fact that "love" is perhaps the vaguest, most unhelpful political prescription of all time, this kind of thinking removes any analysis of power from the conversation. It falsely presumes that we all enter the conversation on equal footing. Indeed, everyone is so busy preaching "unity" and "loving one another" that there is never any interrogation of privilege or power. It's a bit different out in mainstream society, but the message is clear. Love your oppressors ... (We) are accustomed to being silenced because we have a "mean tone." We're asked to speak more respectfully so that we can earn a hearing. We're taught to submit to our oppressors. We're being angry and irrational, and it's our job to make everyone comfortable."

Or, as Alice Roosevelt Longworth so famously put it, "If you haven't got anything nice to say about anyone, come sit next to me."

There was a rather unfortunate incident at the Frosty the Snowman unveiling last night in Kersting Court. Apparently Lady Elizabeth Wistar and some of her peculiar friends decided to stage something of an impromptu demonstration at the event, complete with strange music and God knows what else. A film crew from Austria (of all places) was on hand to film our beloved Frosty event, and they captured the following footage. Which, wouldn't you know, has now gone viral on the web. Let me warn you, much of it is shocking, and you may wish to shield the eyes of the more sensitive. Click here.

A Wikipedia Christmas Eve

I was scouring the Internet to find something inspirational to end this post with, and I couldn't find anything that quite rose to my expectations. But I did stumble across an interesting piece on Wikipedia about Christmas Eve. That being a very matter of fact and almost anthropological essay on the Night Before Christmas. I think that the person who wrote it did so from the perspective of a social scientist rather than a believer. Something that is, of course, a belief system in itself. Here is a Wikipedia Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve refers to the evening or entire day preceding Christmas Day, a widely celebrated festival commemorating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth that takes place on December 25. It is a culturally significant celebration for most of the Western world and is widely observed as a full or partial holiday in anticipation of Christmas Day.

One reason celebrations occur on Christmas Eve is because the traditional Christian liturgical day starts at sunset, an inheritance from Jewish tradition, which in turn is based in the story of creation in Genesis: "And there was evening, and there was morning - the first day." This liturgical day is followed for all days in the Eastern rite and the custom of beginning Christmas celebration (as well as Sunday and the other major festivals) in the preceding evening is preserved in western Churches that have altered the liturgical day to start at midnight, for example the Roman Catholic Church. Many churches still ring their church bells and hold prayers in the evening before holidays; for example the Nordic Lutheran churches. In some languages, such as the Scandinavian, Christmas Eve is simply referred to as "Christmas Evening."

Since Christian tradition holds that Jesus was born at night (based in Luke 2:6-8), Midnight Mass is celebrated on Christmas Eve, traditionally at midnight, in commemoration of his birth. The idea of Jesus being born at night is reflected in the fact that Christmas Eve is referred to as "Heilige Nacht" ("Holy Night") in German. "Nochebuena" ("the Good Night") in Spanish and similarly in other expressions of Christmas spirituality, such as the song, "Silent Night, Holy Night."

Nominally religious people, or people who are not formal with definitions, may see the whole day as a day of celebration or as just the day before Christmas. Millions of people around the world with no Christian or religious affiliation or background also celebrate Christmas and Christmas Eve. The emphasis of celebration on Christmas Eve varies from country to country and region to region.

The Blogger's Union (Local 14) doesn't allow me to work on Christmas, so I will be taking tomorrow off. The Tattler will resume its normal publishing schedule on Wednesday, December 26. With something controversial, I'm sure. Isn't that why so many people come here?

Have a great Christmas!

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

91 comments:

  1. No, I come here for the same reason I watch Fox News, then I turn it off and rejoin the real world.

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    1. Uh oh, somebody is cranky for Christmas. Just so you know I don't watch Fox News, either. Or any of the cable news outlets. I prefer Comedy Central. But enjoy your real world, and watch out for the unicorns. They're not as friendly as they look.

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    3. christmas. humbug.

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    4. Will you be joining the gang of whos around the tree in Kerstig court 6:24? They'll be singing a rousing rendition of Welcome Christmas and there's no sign of Krampas this year.

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    5. Moderator, what's wrong with Fox news? We have it blasting through our home most afternoons. All the guys yelling at each other about who knows what? It gets us ready to greet the world as well informed citizens.

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    6. Krampas enjoy dining on Whos.

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    7. 8:19 - I OD'd on cable news years ago. All of them. I get most of my news on the internet. It is much quieter.

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    8. i have see krampus at a christmas parade in spain. it blew my feeble little mind. the kids were crying, and hiding.

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    9. exiled to the north poleDecember 24, 2012 at 8:39 AM

      Oh! Sorry mod, I read krapus, not Krampus.

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    10. Do you think krampus would want to join Sierra Madre's 4th of July parade?

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    11. Only if he could sit next to the naughty principal from across the Michillinda divide.

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    12. bluemel and krampus in the 4th of july parade

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    13. How would you tell the difference?

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    14. Krampus doesmt bleach his grey hair

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    15. California Krampus does.

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    16. Bleach baby Krampua

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    17. Nothing could be more Hollywood than tanned Krampus in Gucci and Versace.

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    18. Grandma got run over by a Krampus

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  2. I enjoyed the frosty the snowman demonstration, saw some of our locals there, Josh, John, Bart and Nancy

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    1. Nice to see Josh in town. He is down in Long Beach so much these days.

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    2. love that krampus video. those austrians know how to throw a party. of interest to those who care, graz is where arnold schwarzenegger is from. they used to have a statue of him there but got rid of it during his trnure here as governor. i hope they replaced it with krampus.

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    3. I have been watching some other Krampus videos on YouTube as well. The one where they try to check into a hotel is very funny.

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    4. was he with party girl alarcon?

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    5. I can only hope Krampus will visit our home this year. Maybe my naughty kids can teach him what's up in this neck of the woods.

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    7. sinterklaas and zwarte pete

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    8. christmas in europe is so wacky.

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    9. You sure those are Wistarians? Usually they have only one horn.

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  3. Yes, he seems quite wedded to the Long Beach area.

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    1. Funny how his interests never seem to get any older.

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    2. It explains his fascination with chickens. Is there an egg in his future?

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    3. Heard Braudrick moved to Long Beach but now he's back in town? Will he be appearing on the megahit Gene Goss show?

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    4. Tax me, Josh / Nancy / Johnny H!

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    5. Yes. Once he gets out of family Court.

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    6. Oh, that was Josh? Didn't recognize him without the pint glass

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    7. The Long Beach Lotharios have met with an inescapable reality. The flowers of romance almost always come with thorns.

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  4. perhaps. I understand that the rabbit died.

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    1. Natural causes?

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    2. jumped into the reservoir but it had bottomed out

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    3. I hope he knew there is a tax on that.

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    4. jacob robert marleyDecember 24, 2012 at 8:48 AM

      doubled for silly rabbits. triple for chickens.

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  5. Well Mod, since your God is a "He" I can see why omnipresence doesn't apply.

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  6. Being a social scientist 'is a belief system in itself."?

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    1. Science only goes so far. After that thin veneer is stripped away we're still mortal beings clinging to the surface of a spinning dirt ball.

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  7. those words of kristin rawls, that's good business, and in the arena of politics, including school boards, you learn to kiss ass, or you'll get nothing done. i opt for getting nothing done, and prefer being called difficult, unreasonable, and crazy. only a madman would accept this charade with a smile and an "everything is hunky dory" attitude. love is not operationally defined and cannot be quantified, the language needs to be kicked to the curb if ya wanna get anything done in civics- and it's appalling to think that board meetings involve prayer of any kind. if there's a god, she doesn't care about us and said f/u a long time ago.

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  8. I have also given up getting news from TV talking heads.
    The more time I spend away from them, the more I realize they have no qualifications at all to be sources of information. Maybe straight teeth and hair stylists, but that's it.

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    1. One of the best South Parks ever - the boys as newscasters:
      http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s08e11-quest-for-ratings

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  9. So, then, those rumours about an inappropriately younger female being impregnated by a middle aged Sierra Madre politician have legs?

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    1. The rumored marriage is a fact?
      Then I wish them well.

      And an early departure from the city council wouldn't be bad news either.

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  10. I hear he's going to announce his resignation at the end of his term as Mayor and that's why he and the Mayor Pro Tem have been pushing the succession thing, trying to avoid the 2:2 stalemate. OMG! You don't think former Mayor Mosca is coming back to town, do you? Did his house ever sell?

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    1. That would really be something - 2 Dirt mayors resigning. Thanks for your vote & see you later.

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    2. Both will tell you they did it for love.

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  11. No no no no. No no no no. Lyin' Joe? No.

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  12. Koerber was smart enough to see the writing on the wall and advocated for a succession policy. In fact, it was one of the first things he did.

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  13. Get ready for the Dirt 2014 "All Krampus" ticket. Buchanan, Mosca and Cha Cha.

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  14. Is it true that the proud grandmother is shopping for a home in Long Beach for the about to be parents because the distaff side of the couple has refused to live in Sierra Madre? She says the villagers are mean to Josh. Is that why Papa Moran inquires about whether appointees must live within city limits to serve on a commission or committee?

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    1. Anyone who enters politics, even at this simple level, who doesn't know that it's rough stuff? Shouldn't be in it at all.

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  15. As I recall that if there is a vacancy, the council can appoint to fill it. However, that person needs to have been a mayor of the town previously and must be voted in unanimously - and it needs 4 votes, not 3. a special election can occur if it falls within a certain amount of days from the resignation to the town's next election.

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    1. So it's Doyle, Hayes, Buchanan, Joffe, Torres, Mosa, or MacGillivray... guess which one definitely won't garner 4 votes for an appointment...

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    2. The only one who DESERVES to be appointed. The only one who is QUALIFIED to be on the council of the above....MacGillivray, and of course she will not get 4 votes. She'll only get 2, from Capoccia and Koerber.

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    3. Who said anything about qualifications?

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  16. 8:19 You speak a contradiction of terms. You can't watch Fox News and be "well informed" at the same time. Your choice!

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    1. Exactly my point 12:05. I don't watch Fox by choice.

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    2. It gets picked up by 2:44's foil cap.

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  17. Moran never has been one to keep his commitments. He doesn't like to be limited to just one partner at a time - if you know what I mean. If all of this is true, then this young, silly girl is in for a miserable life with an immature little tyrant.

    Note to Moran's whatever: RUN while you can from this train wreck. Things never end well with this loser.

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    1. Let's hope that he'll change his ways and that they have a chance.
      It is well known that drug and alcohol abusers stay at the age their bad habits start, so really they might be closer in age than it seems.
      Anyway, I'm always for people to get better.

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    2. Oh you said you are all for people to get better. I thought you said beer batter.

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    3. I have fond memories of beer batter - especially on onion rings.

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  18. Merry Christmas everyone, thought Scrooge might disappear for a couple of days, but I see he is happy to post and make Mod work deleating comments. Lighten up everyone, be positive and save your snipes for the new year, I'm sure there will be plenty to snipe about. In the meantime, be of good cheer (or drink cheer, or whatever one does on Christmas Eve.)

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  19. If he or she did not post them in the first place , he would not have to deleat them later

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    1. One of the blog's moderators deletes them. Usually for bad language.

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    2. I have contacted the Tattler from time to time to request removals of comments that I think are worthy of removal - but that whoever was minding the blog did not find objectionable. The Tattler has been most accommodating to my requests.

      I get it that spelling is an area some people truly have challenges in - but deleat? When the word is all over your computer, and on the keyboard directly in front of you?

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    3. I think of the deleted comments as the Blogger's Pentimento.

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    4. Blog Minder and ModeratorDecember 24, 2012 at 4:11 PM

      Oh, the stories I could tell! And I'm often tempted to correct grammar and spelling but unless requested to by the author I usually let it go thru as it is. I've come to think of style as often times just as important as content. I do delete or edit the names of individuals who are not politically active and in the public arena, especially if the post is from someone else.

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  20. Thank you Moderator!

    Just like it takes some serious backbone to get up before a city council meeting and vent your opinion or your neighbors before city staff etc. Now that these events are recorded they can be seen by many far a wide.

    Thank you again for providing a sounding board for all those who haven't quit moved up to the podium yet.

    Happy;

    Xmas and New Year to you all.

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  21. We could do without Paulie, though

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  22. merry christmas john crawford

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    1. Same back at you, Tony. Merry Christmas to everyone.

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  23. Yes, Merry Christmas to you John Crawford and thanks for all you do!

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  24. Thank you to Crawford, and Gilman, and George Edwardz, and all the people who work to bring greater integrity into their communities.

    Peace on Earth to men of good will.

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  25. The Sierra Madre Police Association is in the Christmas Spirit. Looks like they paid for a regular stamp to mail greetings to each resident. Probably spent about $3,000 on that bit of PR.

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  26. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

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  27. I didn't get my SMPD POA Christmas postcard. Should I sue for discrimination?

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    1. You must be on the naughty list.

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    2. Maybe you should thank them. Personally I would prefer that they not know my address.

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    3. Ours came cheek by jowl with the hit up for donations.

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    4. Given the nature of police services in this town, our taxes could be considered a donation.

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