Moe you need to stop eating all of the Christmas ball ornaments off of the tree. You’ve been doing it for almost a month now and it needs to stop. How have you not ruined your mouth on shards of glass? I know you think they are crunchy Christmas cheerios but they really aren’t. Please stop.
You know, there’s a not-that-farfetched alternate universe where Space Jam was real except instead of aliens it was Kim Jong-il trying to kidnap Michael Jordan and getting him to play slave basketball for eternity.
Dude had a well-documented mad dictator boner for Jordan.
My friend Ben taught me that there’s only one true way to play Risk: with a dodgy accent, full of jingoistic fervor for countries you don’t really care about and with patriotic anthems blasting from a nearby laptop at strategic moments. Here are my top picks for anthems to play while playing Risk:
Azerbaijan State Anthem — Really, all of those small central Asian republics have some great national anthems, it’s worth listening to a few here.
America, Fuck Yeah! — On the other hand, America has such a shitty national anthem that it’s better to use this song.
Rule, Britannia! Such a badass song. Use it whenever you’re on a winning streak. God Save The Queen can be used in a pinch, but only if it includes the oft elided verse about crushing those rebellious Scots. Rule, Britannia! Britannia rules the waves! Brittons never never never shall be slaves!
La MarseillaiseIt’s actually a good song, but should only be played during a retreat.
O Canada — when you need to stall for time insist on hearing your own national anthem. Remember: once in English, then again in French. That’s the Canadian way. Stand at attention with a hand over your heart. Bonus points if you shed a tear and blubber something about igloos or hakapiks.
People complain that wishing someone happy holidays is kind of using weasel words,
But if ever there’s a time to use it, it’s right now in this liminal week between Christmas and New Years. I mean, you can’t wish someone a merry Christmas because it’s too late for that now, but it’s also kind of early for a happy new year. Right?
Comments from the peanut gallery: Metallica documentary edition
Bro: This is going to be awesome. Metallica rocks. Me: Metallica’s early stuff is okay, but you’re going to be disappointed because this is about St. Anger. Bro: Oh Man. Me: I know, right? I downloaded St. Anger to my recycle bin so I could steal from Metallica without having to listen to their awful music.
Television: We made an angry album without the negative energy. I don’t think an angry album with positive energy was ever thought to be possible, but we did it. Bro: They have a band therapist. This is basically Dethklok without the irony. Who’s the guy with the beard? Me: I have to assume he’s some sort of druid responsible for the necromantic chanting that keeps their careers alive.
Me: Did he just use the phrase “my lifestyle” as a song lyric? That’s not very heavy metal. Bro: If anything he should be singing about his deathstyle.
Bro: Hey look James Hetfield is trying to do a chin up aaaaaaaannnd he can’t quite do it. Me: I’m impressed that he managed to maintain so much of his dignity while failing to do a chin up. I speak from experience when I say that it’s hard to look good while failing at athletics. All things considered, he really acquitted himself with dignity.
Me: I think it’s telling that they’ve decided to end this documentary by playing Ennio Morricone’s The Ecstasy of Gold rather than an actual Metallica song.
oh man, this holiday family Risk thing is getting intense
We just played from 8pm til 2am. No stopping, no breaks. AND WE DIDN’T EVEN FINISH THE GAME. We took an iphone photo of the board and wrote down our positions and stuff so we can pick up tomorrow. The good news is I have South America and a decent chunk of North America plus a strong foothold in Africa. Brother has Australia and enough of Asia to be a threat. Dad was kicking ass with Europe and a bunch of Africa but the Ukraine is weak and he will fall by my sword. Mom’s pretty much finished and I might even snag her cards.
Dad said he hasn’t been awake this late since he was my age.
I love my family and all that but I AM ABOUT TO CRUSH THEM BENEATH MY BOOT HEEL.
Just had the annual yuletide game of Risk with the family and maybe I took it a bit too seriously BUT IT’S KIND OF UPSETTING WHEN YOUR FATHER IS A GODDAMN COWARD NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN WHO WON’T ATTACK YOUR HITLER OF A BROTHER IN GODDAMN ICELAND WHEN HE HAS THE CHANCE. DID YOU HONESTLY THINK HITLER WAS GOING TO KEEP HIS WORD ON CZECHOSLOVAKIA, DAD? JESUS CHRIST. THIS IS WHY GENERAL TOJO HAD TO GO ALL PEARL HARBOR ON YOUR PATHETIC ASS.
Devon was our neighbour and one of the best friends you could ever ask for when I was growing up in Cape Breton and he sent my family the nicest message ever on Facebook today. I don’t speak to him as much as I should these days, but his friendship really means a lot to me.
Still, it does say something about the school system in Cape Breton when you can graduate with honours and not know the correct word choice in this situation is “describe”.
Side note: I can’t post about this morning’s encounter with Crazy Helena tonight because it is too messed up to do it justice and I’m kind of having too much fun making merry and whatnot.
[Note: below is my favourite piece of writing about Christmas. More than Dickens Christmas Carol, more than Seuss’ Grinch. It’s kind of long for Tumblr and I’m sorry for taking up your dashboard feed but it really captures how I feel about this holiday.]
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ‘If you see it in the Sun, it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O’Hanlon, 115 West 95th Street
NO ONE NOTICED, of course, but last year, I did not file a column on Christmas week. This was not because I was too busy with a long schedule of holiday merry-making.
On the contrary: As editor Jeff Koyen can attest, I actually tried to write a column on Christmas last year. I spent three long days reading and rereading the old New York Sun's hideous “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” column, and tried to come up with a satisfying counter-argument. The opening was easy enough:
Your little friends are right. There is no Santa Claus. And not only that, but within about five years, you’ll be on your knees in a Port Authority rest room, sucking a stranger’s cock for a dollar…
The column degenerated into a string of obscenities. If I remember correctly, the ending was something like, “Oh, and incidentally, Francis P. Church died in the arms of another man, broke and scorned by his family.” It was a really angry piece of writing. Too angry to be coherent. At the end of the three days, I gave up and asked Koyen for a mulligan. A week later my fangs had retracted, and I was back cheerfully offering my worthless opinions on the political issues of the day.
I hate Christmas. I hate it more than anyone in the world. Put me in a room with the man you think is the world’s biggest Christmas-hater, and within 10 minutes he’ll be shining my shoes. Christmas is the world’s most compelling argument for immediate nuclear attack against the territory of the United States. American Christmas makes heroes of Osama bin Laden, Jim Jones, the Shining Path, the Baader-Meinhofs, Jack the Ripper and the virus that causes AIDS.
It is true that American Christmas has not yet reached the point where it excuses the crimes of the Nazi Party. Still, even the regime of Adolf Hitler was probably too burdened by humanity to dream up an endless loop of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, blared over the speakers in the escalator entrance to Bed Bath and Beyond. We are the first explorers to set foot on this region of hell.
Commercialism is one thing, but it isn’t the commercialism that really defines Christmas in this country. After all, we expect businesses to feverishly hump the leg of every available sentiment in an attempt to sell us their products. That’s their job.
Warner Bros. and Houghton-Mifflin would really be remiss in their responsibilities to their shareholders if, in making their vile, saccharine Tom Hanks adaptation of the totalitarian Christmas tale ThePolar Express, they did not invite every marketing rapist on both coasts to take their turn at the body politic. It would be morally wrong for these companies to pass up the chance to give humanity special Polar Express Brio train sets and figurines, or Polar tees by Evy and Thunder Creek, or special sleepwear by Wormser (Polar PJs for Polar toddlers!), or an exciting array ofPolar Hallmark products (stationery, plush giftware, albums, gift wrap, paper party goods!), or die-cut Polar book sets, or THQ Polar interactive games, or Hasbro Polarpuzzles, or special Kraft and Pepsi Polar tie-ins and Polar Fritos and train-shaped cardboard Polar books (suggested age range for the All Aboard the Polar Expressboard book: “Birth to three years”) for kids too young to move or speak or do anything but recognize primitive shapes.
Yes, shove these and more, along with a special Polar Express train set by Lionel, into every orifice of every child customer. Then, so that he can spend the holiday season enjoying the wonders of unspoiled wilderness, give him and his family a batch of tickets to a special Polar Express promotion on the Grand Canyon railroad, so that everyone can experience the Christmas magic while they stare at the rocks and the river and the sand and whatever the fuck else is out there, in the wilds of Idaho or New Jersey or whatever goddamn state the Grand Canyon is in. Is it too late to bring in a snow machine and a bunch of billboard towers? Who owns the rights to these cliffs?
I have no problem with this kind of thinking, none at all. Believe me, if I worked for Warner Bros., I’d be spinning off a Polar Confessions tv show about arctic wife-swapping and a Polar porn mag called Polar Inches for the yuletide homosexual. No stone would be left unturned.
It would be madness to get upset. Only a lunatic hates a company for selling things. Hate is an emotion that should be reserved for purely emotional transgressions—traitorous passivity, for instance. What I don’t get is why there’s no backlash from the population. Why aren’t more mall Santas beaten to death? Why weren’t there theater shootings when Jim Carrey’s Lemony Snicket movie opened? How is it that year after year passes without a single Abercrombie & Fitch set on fire?
Every year, like clockwork, nativity scenes in dozens of ass-end small American towns are vandalized. I search for these stories every year, because they are the only things that cheer me up in the last week leading up to Christmas. To date, this year’s best came last Monday, at a Catholic church in Knoxville, TN. According to a wire news service:
"Someone cut off the baby’s head and arms and doused the stumps in red paint. The vandal or vandals also threw the baby’s head through a glass door, scrawled an upside-down cross on Mary’s robe and covered her face with paint."
Reading this, it was hard for me not to feel a tremendous kinship with the culprit, and even a hint of professional envy. I’m pretty sure I could have thought up most of those moves, including the upside-down cross, but why cover Mary’s face with paint? Why her face? I have no idea what that means, but I love it.
Most of these nativity desecrations are directed not specifically at Christmas, but at God and religion in general. While this is a noble urge in itself, it really has nothing to do with hating Christmas, an utterly irreligious phenomenon. Jesus has been dead for almost 2000 years—why not throw Kathie Lee Gifford’s head through a glass door?
Besides, the mere fact that we leave the only significant acts of anti-Christmas violence in this country in the hands of a few scattered bands of spiritually confused drunken teenagers says everything you need to know about the adult population in this country. America produces hundreds of thousands of college graduates every year, and not one of them ever does anything to stop Christmas. They just keep entering the workforce, keep dumping giant steel canisters of Holiday Spirit into our reservoirs in the middle of the night on the orders of their bosses, keeping the secret to themselves, never telling their spouses or their children the awful truth about What They Have Done.
So die, Virginia, you little bitch. Die a painful death this Christmas. Die waiting for Santa Claus to come down that chimney. He is not coming. But I am—to eat your corpse.
I say this every December but it is especially poignant this year.
I just can’t enjoy Christmas parades after realizing how much better North Koreans are at marching and parades and shit. I’m not even talking about those stupid “let’s put the People’s Army to pop music” videos. They’re Monday morning marches are better than the best we’ve got.
Honestly all of our high school marching bands should be ashamed of themselves.
“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”—Kim Jong-Il (1941-2011)
In the Netherlands and Belgium, Santa Claus is aided by a man in blackface named Zwarte Piete. Zwarte Piete, or Black Peter, used to kidnap bad children and bring them back to Spain, but these days he mostly just gives out candy.
In Africa, Santa Claus is thought to be from Dublin. He is known to wear sunglasses even though there is no need for them in Ireland and it is thought that he gives out presents to feed his massive ego. He is followed by once beautiful sirens who kidnap bad children to get press attention in their homelands.
In Canada, Santa Claus is said to wear red because he was once a justice of the Supreme Court.
In Britain, Santa Claus knows whether you’ve been bad or good by studying hundreds of hours of CCTV footage.
Krampus is a fun and not at all terrifying tradition in some eastern European countries.
Above: the Supreme Court convenes to decide whether you’ve been naughty or nice.
Babylady is a cat. Eighteen pounds worth of a cat, and male. He has been hanging out in the north end seemingly forever; he pranced through The Coast office occasionally, but mostly hung out around Alteregos as his nominal “owner” Ward Williamson lives in an apartment above the gay bathhouse Seadogs (2199 Gottingen Street, 444-3647), next door. Babylady also managed to end up in the Company House bar across the street most nights. Everyone in the neighbourhood knows Bablylady.
But suddenly, or maybe not so suddenly, last week Babylady disappeared … ”Someone gave my cat Babylady away without asking,” wrote Williamson. “He was a pest to this person’s cafe but she could have called the SPCA. The only thing I know about the woman who was given Babylady is that she lives in Dartmouth.”
"This person" is Michelle Strum, owner of Alteregos. … He had a knack for sneaking into the cafe as customers opened the door, and plopping himself on a chair by the front window, falling asleep in the sun. The health inspectors were forever giving Strum grief about the cat, and so a regular ritual at the cafe was Strum grabbing Babylady and gently shooing him out the door again. I’ve seen her do this dozens of times.
Eventually, Strum put a sign on the door—-“Please don’t let the cat in”—-which never solved the problem. So, utterly frustrated, Strum gave the cat to a customer, who took it to live in Dartmouth.
Honestly, I think the world needs more community cats and more cat news.
I need to learn to let people be wrong on the Internet.
This fucker who is Alan’s friend on Facebook is dragging me into it. First he claims no one knew Hitler was a bad guy when he was awarded Time Magazine’s Man of the Year award in 1938 (not true, there was extensive coverage of Kristallnacht and the Anschluss which both happened before the issue was published) and now he’s trying to redeem himself by saying Hitler was beloved by corporations when the article in question spends a whole paragraph on how the Nazis were confiscating businesses and controlling profit margins.
I try so fucking hard to just let people be wrong on the Internet but I CAN’T DO IT. I CAN’T FUCKING DO IT. THEY NEED TO BE CORRECTED.
I’M READY TO TEAR MY HAIR OUT.
Okay… calm down… breath. The world is full of people in need of education, and many of them I’m connected to via the Internet.