Let's steal christmas back from the Christians

What does christmas have to do with Christ, anyway?

Some Christian marketing guy in the fourth century C.E. came up with the idea of piggy backing a new Christian holiday on top of a bunch of pagan holidays, kind of like how Subway opens a location right next to every existing Mr. Sub.

I am sure there is a marketing term for this strategy. The point is, even back then the Christians had it all figured out.

Consulting Wikipedia, the most trustworthy information source IN THE UNIVERSE, we see that christmas was actually orignally a bunch of pagan celebrations from many cultures, all centred around the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice.

Take yuletide, for example. The Christians didn't have any winter celebrations til their big one at Easter (at least it used to be the big one), so they stole it.

Yuletide sounds like a good idea to me, and the twelve wild days of yuletide are not ripping off Adam Sandler, he is ripping off the pagans with his "12 crazy days" or whatever the blazes that movie was called.


Good times, good times

When I arrived home from work today, I took the time to make sure that I hadn't received any new phone messages. I usually don't bother because I rarely receive them, and when I do they are from a) friendly neighborhood realtors; b) my landlord; or c) Jack Layton (in the last federal election, Jack left me an upbeat message a couple of times, even though I don't live in his riding. I suspect he wanted a piece of this weblog's 'juice', since it is regularly read by literally dozens of people).

Anyhoo, my dearth of messages reminded me of 1995, when I moved to Toronto straight from 6 months of hell in Lake Louise Alberta. I didn't know a single person in Toronto, having accepted a job as a cook at Bar Italia after a phone interview. So I had never met my new boss or the owner, let alone laying eyes on the restaurant where I would be working.

Needless to say, I was a bit lonely until I had been here for a few weeks and had made some friends. The strongest memory I have from that period, new in a big city, was getting home and seeing the blinking of my answering machine's 'message' light for my new Toronto number.

It turns out my new number was really the old number of a defunct crisis hotline (probably cancelled by the Harris Conservatives).

Every night, I would get home, and listen to my messages. From day 1, they were desperate pleas for help from lost people. There didn't seem to be any kidders or pranksters. It was just really depressed people leaving a synopsis of their heartaches for someone, anyone, to listen to.

I altered my answering machine message to state "Hi, this is Pete. This telephone number is no longer a Crisis Hot Line".

But it didn't matter. People kept on leaving heartbreaking tales of personal loss and sorrow.

I must admit I fast-forwarded through a lot of the longer messages, but what can you do. It's not my job!

Welcome to the big T.O., bro!


Well, I got what I wished for...

And now Stéphane Dion is the leader of the Liberal Party. I should be happy, and I was very, very happy when I heard the 3rd round results. Why, then, do I now have this feeling of doom in the pit of my stomach?

I'll tell you. By Sunday, columnists in the Toronto Star (?!?), let alone the other papers, were commenting on how pathetic the Liberal Party will be with Dion leading it. A response to my previous posting seems to sum it up: Dion as the Liberal leader is handing Québec to the separatists.

Despite how often I hear this, I still do not understand the logic. What does it matter if Québec sovereigntists will stay away from the Liberals under Dion? Wouldn't they vote BQ anyway?

Would it be better that sovereigntists pretend to support the Liberals under, say, Iggy, then betray them later, Like Bouchard & co. did to the Mulroney Conservatives?

When Dion and Kennedy made a deal to move their support to the stronger of the two on the second ballot, the idea was that Kennedy and Dion were both strong in their home provinces, and almost non-existent in their ally's home ground. So this implies to me that Dion does have strength in Quebec. (Or, that Kennedy isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. Zing!)

Be a little more optimistic, all you Liberal power-hungry sluts. For once, you have chosen (distractedly, it seems) someone who isn't part of the red-tie/expense-account-padding establishment.

The next general election could be framed, for example, as a clear choice between a 'Nice Guy' and an 'Asshole' (as my dad would say). What more can you ask for?

Maybe you won't be seen as such opportunistic whores this time! Cheerfully abandon that perogative to the Conservatives would be my advice.