I was going to put in a couple of pictures of myself from the chair race, but I stupidly mailed both of them to my home email in one message, which is taking ages to download. I should probably just have ftp'd them at the office. Maybe tomorrow.
My biggest laugh of the day came from, of all things, The Congressional Record, with this bit of light verse by Representative John D. Dingell of Michigan:
'Twas the week before Christmas and all through the House,
no bills were passed 'bout which Fox News could grouse.
Tax cuts for the wealthy were passed with great cheer,
so vacations in St. Barts soon should be near.
Katrina kids were all nestled snug in motel beds,
while visions of school and home danced in their heads.
In Iraq, our soldiers need supplies and a plan,
and nuclear weapons are being built in Iran.
Gas prices shot up, consumer confidence fell.
Americans feared we were in a fast track to ... well.
Wait, we need a distraction, something divisive and wily,
a fabrication straight from the mouth of O'Reilly.
We will pretend Christmas is under attack,
hold a vote to save it, then pat ourselves on the back.
Silent Night, First Noel, Away in the Manger,
Wake up Congress, they're in no danger.
This time of year, we see Christmas everywhere we go,
From churches to homes to schools and, yes, even Costco.
What we have is an attempt to divide and destroy
when this is the season to unite us with joy.
At Christmastime, we're taught to unite.
We don't need a made-up reason to fight.
So on O'Reilly, on Hannity, on Coulter and those right-wing blogs.
You should sit back and relax, have a few egg nogs.
'Tis the holiday season; enjoy it a pinch.
With all our real problems, do we really need another Grinch?
So to my friends and my colleagues, I say with delight,
a Merry Christmas to all, and to Bill O'Reilly, happy holidays.
Ho, ho, ho. Merry Christmas.
The discussion on either side of the poem is worth reading, by the way. Representatives Ackerman of New York and Scott of Virginia both speak fairly eloquently about the irony of debating the so-called War on Christmas while cutting social services.
My take on the controversy is that it's a remarkable waste of time. The federal holiday is still Christmas. I've never understood the constitutionality of that, as it seems a clear establishment of religion to me, but I know it's an argument I'll lose. I used to be annoyed by the elevation of Chanukah, which is a minor holiday. But Chanukah is actually the perfect holiday for this time of year because it's about not assimilating. (It does annoy me that Chanukah is the only Jewish holiday that about 90% of non-Jews have heard of, but that ignorance is another matter.)
Can we move on to serious things like curing the common cold (which I seem to be coming down with, sigh)?
Copyright 2005 Miriam H. Nadel