It's That Time of Year Again

I’ve mentioned before that The Wife has a particular fondness for this Christmas movie. I never thought that calling it a Christmas movie would be so controversial.

How about a soundtrack dominated by Christmas music? Does that make it a Christmas movie?

Vaughn Monroe – Let It Snow – Die Hard – Film Version

Making a Nakatomi gingerbread house? Does that make it a Christmas movie?

Imgur

How about an advent calendar? Is that good enough?

Reddit

I saved the best for last. Yes, there is a Die Hard christmas storybook.

Sideshow CollectiblesDie Hard Christmas Book with Steve Blum – Dec 17, 2018

Hat/Tip to Merbrat for all of these. I used to refer to her as a stoic (specifically an email stoic) when I mentioned her on the blog because I thought it was a funny joke to label someone as effusive and outgoing as she is with a philosophy marked by asceticism and reserve. I’m not sure why I thought it was a funny joke back then, but I did. What can I say? I have a weird sense of humor.

Thanksgiving

I had set myself to write an article debunking the myth of Thanksgiving this year, but I deleted it as a gift to the memory of my grandmother Dorothy. Dorothy, from Kansas. Here is a link to the Thanksgiving article I wrote about her and my hometown in 2006. It has been updated to reflect a much larger portion of my memories about Leoti itself, along with a couple more images I’ve stumbled on along the way to 2019 from 2006.

RAnt(hony)-ings

There have been Thanksgivings to remember since I wrote that article. I remember one year in particular where we had the entire family/library room of the house full of friends. We watched movies all the rest of that day, we even let someone watch football in another room while we watched movies, a rarity in this house. That was a good year. Most years it’s a bit of turkey and/or ham with some dressing. Pecan pie is a must, especially one made by my mother-in-law. Forget pumpkin pie, that I can do without. I do miss Grandma Dorothy’s cherry pies. Those were without comparison.


It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders – Chef Samin Nosrat, Plus Dan Pashman Vs. The Thanksgiving Industrial Complex – November 29, 2019

I refused to eat corn on the cob when it was presented to me this year. The first time that I’ve ever just not eaten food that was presented to me to taste on Thanksgiving. I hate corn on the cob, like I hate most foods that get between my teeth. So I sympathize with Dan Pashman on the subject of there being a Thanksgiving Industrial Complex. Pie. Thanksgiving is about pie. Pie, and stuffing with gravy. I haven’t found a holiday meat that I’m fond of yet. Could salmon be the holiday meat? Stay tuned.

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat

I’m going to have to give her show on Netflix a chance to convince me that I can cook. But I’m betting even she can’t achieve that herculean task. Threadgill’s Thanksgiving. Don’t knock it till you try it.

Thriller on Halloween

Michael Jackson – Thriller (Official Video) I wish he hadn’t put a disclaimer on this.

Happy Birthday, Son!

A video from the year after I graduated high school, back in the time when Michael Jackson was just a really good dancer and singer. One of two albums of his that I bought and cherished, after listening to his and his families music all through my childhood.

History

Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

George Santayana 1863-1952 (via Wikiquote)

Happy Labor Day. Go join a union.

It is a measure of just how far we’ve come, and just how big an impact that those laws, regulations, and social safety programs have had, that those who directly benefit the most can complain with full bellies just how terrible they have it.

Stonekettle Station

Patriotism?

A willingness to love your country by looking at it clearly.

Heidi Schreck
Stay Tuned with Preet – What Patriotism Means to You (with Heidi Schreck)

What The Constitution Means To Me, nominated for two Tony Awards, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the show is inspired by her time as a fifteen-year-old high school student competing in American Legion speech and debate contests, where she spoke about the meaning of our founding document.

When I listened to last weeks show I contemplated recording myself reading some of I am a Patriot and sending it to Preet, but as usual my absolute terror of speaking in front of a group (even time-delayed speaking) drowned the idea and hid its body in the woods until the submission time had passed. There were still a respectable number of submissions, and the editor of the podcast (who doesn’t appear to be named anywhere) blended them together in a nice tribute that probably took several hours to get right. This episode is well worth the time it takes to listen. Maybe I’ll be able to catch Heidi Scheck’s show when it goes on the road.

National Forensics League?

The National Forensics League is a nationwide organization that gives high school students the opportunity to polish their speaking/acting skills, compete in regulated National tournaments, and be a part of a lifelong organization that promotes solid speaking skills and intelligence. Bruno E. Jacob began to contemplate the foundation of the NFL when asked if there was an honor society for high school debaters. Realizing such a thing did not exist, Jacob drafted a proposal and in 1925 the NFL was born. It is now the oldest and largest honor society for speech and debate high school students. The NFL continues to exude excellence by promoting achievement in debate, speech, and academics. For instance, the NFL awards around $153, 000 in college scholarships every year to help members who otherwise might not be able to afford college.

George Washington on Political Parties

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind, (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight,) the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

George Washington’s Farewell Address

He might as well have named Donald J. Trump, the description fits so well. A hat/tip to Justin Amish and the Washington Post for publishing his opinion piece today. It motivated me to go look up Washington’s farewell address just to verify that was the language in the document.

Today, I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party. No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us. I’m asking you to believe that we can do better than this two-party system — and to work toward it. If we continue to take America for granted, we will lose it.

Justin Amish

This Land is Your Land

One bright sunny morning in the shadow of the steeple
By the Relief Office I saw my people —
As they stood hungry, I stood there wondering if
This land was made for you and me.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

One of the rare verses from Woody Guthrie’s anthem. Another version of the song can be found on the Woody Guthrie website.

The NPR 100 – The Story Of Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land Is Your Land’ – February 15, 2012

When the sun comes shining, then I was strolling,
With the wheat fields waving, the dust clouds rolling,
The voice come a-chanting, and the fog was lifting.
This land was made for you and me.

Memorial Day Quotes

“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” 

Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, Marcy 4, 1861

Robert Reich contrasts the quote from Lincoln’s first inaugural with one of the Orange Hate-Monkey’s recent tweets, in a cynical strategy illustrating just how little of the progressive Republican spirit, so present in the election of 1860 and in the body of Abraham Lincoln and his presidency, remains in the Republican party. I’ve beaten that dead horse enough. Appealing to conservatives (the bulk of modern Republicanism) requires looking to the distant past, preferably a past they hope to emulate. So they get Lincoln from his first inaugural sans any reminders of just how low their current leadership is on the scale of great leaders from American history.

Everyone else can read on and enjoy the paragraph from Stonekettle Station’s latest post on the subject of the military and how we honor them.

You don’t think the military is appreciated in this country? Seriously? There are two national holidays dedicated to the military and I don’t know how many state holidays. None for teachers or doctors or peacemakers. But two for the military and they’re trying to turn all the rest of them into some statement on military service too. Every town in this country suddenly has some sort of park or monument dedicated to veterans. There are parades and fireworks and TV shows. There are two Executive departments of our government dedicated to the military. TWO. We spend more than 50% of the national budget on the military. Every car has one of those idiotic magnets on the back of it, or some sort of bumper sticker. I can see three of them from here. Every goober in this store is wearing some sort of military shirt with eagles and guns and flags on it. We idolize the military. It’s a goddamned fetish! (I might have been shouting by this point). What the hell are you even talking about?”

Stonekettle Station – Thanks, But It Was Never About That

…his other post on the subject of Memorial Day was one written back in 2017.

Snowcraft

Nicholson NY – SnowcraftApple (not available for Android, unfortunately) Editor’s note, 2019: The flash version of the game can’t be played without installing Flash. Something I’m no longer willing to do.

Every December since I can’t remember when I’ve stumbled across this silly game. This, if anything can, will lighten the clouds hanging over your day.

Even when you lose. The giggling of the children as they knock your players out is infectious. You want to laugh along with them and play again.

Enjoy your Winter Solstice celebrations! I know I’ll do my best to try and enjoy mine.