Joel Pett, Miami Herald
One of the things I’ve learned here in the South is why our country – run mostly by Southerners for the past couple of decades (if you count George W as a Texan and Texas as part of the South rather than the West, which is a close call) – is a flaming mess. Apart from the concentration on moolah as the only acceptable criterion of character or success, the chief ingredient of Southern leadership, as in all other areas of Southern life, is a belief that nothing actually has to be good as long as it looks as if it is.
I’ve had a few short-term jobs in construction over the last year or so and this Southern propensity for replacing quality with an illusion of quality shows up very clearly there. It is practically a law that, for example, if you can rebuild a staircase in 3 days but jerryrig it so it will stand for another year in a day, you don’t rebuild; you support it, paint over it, hide the temporary fix, and then everybody pretends it’s as good as new because it looks as though it is. That’s what paint and spackle are for.
But the most significant use of image is, of course, personal. If you dress in a way that suggests you are a successful and financially astute businessman, you can be a rip-off artist extraordinaire, a cheat, a thief and a con-man, and nobody will ever question what you claim as your bona fides. If you dress “like a tramp”, clearly that’s what you are. It is expected here, in a squirt of naivete hardly explainable in the 21st century, that whatever you look like you are, you are. It is as if the old adage, “You can’t judge a book by its cover”, never made it further South than Philly.
You wouldn’t think Iranian President Ahmadinejad and batshit-crazy wingnut blogger Pam “Atlas Juggs” Geller would have anything in common, would you? She hates his guts and he thinks she’s a lunatic. She wants him assassinated and he wants her eviscerated. But you’d be wrong. They’re both Holocaust Deniers. Which is weird because Geller is, like, Jewish.
You know, there is a sort of resemblabce here. They both look like they’ve been injecting way too much botox, Pammy in her forehead and Prez A in his nose. Co-incidence?
And oh yeah, as long as we’re discussing La Juggs, she thinks passing the healthcare “reform” bill on Xmas Eve is blasphemy!!!! (You have to imagine a deep bass voice through an echo chamber on that last word.) I might agree. I tend to suspect that Christ would NEVER want his name associated with a bill that shamelessly molests innocent people. (Via Norwegianity)
That Jack Bauer. He’s a real man! (Via Avedon)
Reprinted from 12.24.06 – And it will continue to be printed until the O’Reilly-originated “War on Christmas” BS ends. There’s no antidote to lies except truth.
This would be the time, if ever there was one, to reflect on the meaning of Christmas, but before we can do that to any purpose we need to clear away some of the dead wood by exploding a couple of the myths that have built up around it since the holiday became popular in the late 19th century. Chief among these is the legend that Christmas is Christian, or even religious.
Myth #1: That Christmas used to be a religious holiday but has been turned into a consumer carnival
It may seem obvious that Christmas is a Christian holiday. The very name of the day suggests a celebration of Christ, and certainly many have bemoaned the fact that Xmas seems to have lost its religious meaning under a barrage of commercialism. Back in the 1950’s the satirist Stan Freberg released a classic record called “$Green Christmas$” which savagely criticized what Christmas had become even then; its chief sound effect was the ringing of a cash register. Behind all the criticism was then – and is now – a belief that Christmas had once meant something it no longer means, that what was originally the celebration of a religious figure has been twisted into a callous, materialist frenzy of buying stuff.
The truth is somewhat different.
O’Reilly’s “War on Christmas” paranoids are fighting back. Below is a Christmas tree you can order online in case your tree doesn’t have the right symbolic configuration. Or something. (Via Bill Berkowitz at TTA)