This was a rather beautiful gif, so why isn't it giffing?
Over at Logodaedalus, Deiniol welcomes the season of peace on Earth, joy and good will to all men with 'Christmas can suck my balls.' Yes, and mine. It's an unkind thought, I know, but if time travel were possible, I'd be tempted to go back to 1946 Walsall and smother Noddy Holder in his cradle. I would also seek out the person or persons responsible for choosing the Christmas decorations now slung across Stamford High Street, and have them humanely put down. Humanely-ish, anyway. Look, Christmas decorations needn't be naff. In Athens in the nineties, Syntagma Square and Vasilissis Sophia Avenue, which was my route home, would be made magical on December nights by thousands of little white lights in the trees, and nothing more. No coloured bulbs, no Santas and snowmen suspended from the lamp posts like gibbeted felons. Stamford High Street's Victorian buildings are already rendered banal enough by the predictable frontages of Boots, Marks and Sparks, Gregg's and all the rest of them. Why disfigure them further by tarting the place up with with rejects from Blackpool illuminations?
I've always had the feeling around this time of year that something extraordinarily...um, extraordinary is about to happen. Fuck knows why: it never has up to now. It's like the inevitability-feeling you get when you know you are about to sneeze or cum, but then it just sort of... wears off, peters out, sort of thing, you know... anyway, I court the feeling while I can. I'm lying here in candlelight listening to my new CD of the wonderful Soeur Marie Keyrouz (thanks, Bo for introducing me to her) performing Maronite Chants for Nativity as darkness gathers on the year's shortest day. The candlelight softens everything, makes the leaves of the plants darker and the tangerines on the table next to me glow as if lit from within. It's a far cry from bloody Slade and sodding Wizzard and all the nauseating cheap tat we get thrust upon us annually even before Hallowe'en's over. I have this odd feeling again of some mysterious and marvellous event being prepared on the Inner Planes, but am resigned to the usual last-minute cancellation. Also, I would like to assure the Saudi student who sent me this e-mail this morning:
Hello how are you like to dedicate to you this link [to a Muslim site] because I would love to know us more...that the putative event on the Inner Planes does NOT involve my conversion to Islam or either of the other Abrahamic faiths. Παπαπαπαπα. Αυτό έλειπε. The presumption of this e-mail reminds me of a Claire Bretécher cartoon in which a straight couple are chatting at the post-coital cigarette stage. After telling the woman how much at ease he feels with her, the man says: 'deep down, you're a bloke.'
You are a good man there is in you all the qualities of a Muslim man
Humility, respect, good
These are all your morals if you will read about Islam, you are close to it, I hope to be a Muslim until I see you in heaven
I hope if you read my message tell me
This will be the last post before I sod off to my sister's in Suffolk for Christmas, so have a good one, καλές γιορτές, and hasta luego.
Christopher Hitchens on the Festive Season:
I once tried to write an article, perhaps rather straining for effect, describing the experience as too much like living for four weeks in the atmosphere of a one-party state. "Come on," I hear you say. But by how much would I be exaggerating? The same songs and music played everywhere, all the time. The same uniform slogans and exhortations, endlessly displayed and repeated. The same sentimental stress on the sheer joy of having a Dear Leader to adore. As I pressed on I began almost to persuade myself. The serried ranks of beaming schoolchildren, chanting the same uplifting mush. The cowed parents, in terror of being unmasked by their offspring for insufficient participation in the glorious events…. "Come on," yourself. How wrong am I?