A Nativity for Our Times

Sometime last year, right around Christmas, I came across the following drawing:

(Jose y Maria by Everett Patterson)

The drawing was done in 2014 by comics artist Everett Patterson. Since I came across this in a tweet or someone’s blog post after last Christmas had come and gone, I saved the image knowing I’d likely, and unfortunately, have a chance to use it this year. Here’s Patterson’s description of his drawing (emphasis mine):

This was our Christmas card for 2014, depicting Jesus’s parents in a modern setting. I was inspired by a number of evocative “imagine what it would have been like”-type sermons I heard earlier this year, and also (as usual) by the work of Will Eisner, who so often depicted, with religious reverence, noble individuals enduring the many minor discomforts and petty indignities of urban America.

The main goal of this illustration was to pack as many clever biblical references into the scene as possible. I won’t list every one (there are at least a dozen), but a few that I’m proudest of are: the verse from the prophet Ezekiel in the graffiti on the phone kiosk, the way the “Save More!” behind Mary’s head looks kinda like “Ave Maria!,” and the two ads for “Glad” and “Tide” on the newspaper (get it?).

A word on perspective: for this image, I chose very, very wide vanishing points. The result is what I occasionally call “middle-class white people perspective.” Rather than feeling immersed in the scene, the viewer is looking at it as if from across the street or from the warmth and safety of his or her passing car. I have a small hope that this Christmas image will come to mind when we see other “down and out” people huddling outside of gas stations, reminding us that our Savior’s parents (and indeed, Jesus himself) were at one time similarly troubled.

As I’m sure everyone is aware by now, I’m not a Christian, but it seems to me that all of the winter holidays – Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa – of 2018 are being celebrated by many in what seems to be the twilight of America. A twilight that has brought the rudest, meanest, smallest in terms of their ethical and moral stature, small minded, and bigoted people to power who seek, for a variety of reasons, to rule not to govern. Some, like the President, his family, the Secretary of Commerce, and the former Secretaries of HHS and Interior, and the Director of the EPA, seek merely to enrich themselves. Some, like the Vice President, the Secretaries of Education and HUD, the former Attorney General, the Acting Attorney General, and the White House Press Secretary, seek to impose a white, largely evangelical* Christian herrenvolk democracy. Some, like Senator McConnell, Leonard Leo, Stephen Miller, John Bolton, and far too many others, seek to manipulate the President into fulfilling their own personal revanchist, anti-liberal democracy agendas. These men and women, some true believers, some merely opportunists, would have turned away Joseph, Mary, and Jesus as they fled from the danger of Herod through the dangers of the desert to the dangers of being strangers in the Land of Egypt even though most of them profess to be the most devoted followers of Jesus and his teachings.

There is, however, always hope. There are people who are doing good things for others. Who are trying to make a difference one good act, act of kindness, and/or act of charity at a time. Who are doing their best to embody the real meaning and ethic of the Christmas holiday season.

Hope is not a strategy, but it is essential for survival. And America is not simply an outline on a map, it is an ideal. So keep the faith and hold the line.

Merry Christmas to all those Juicers and jackals who observe it!

Open thread!

* The coalition of religious conservatives is, of course, larger than just those from the evangelical Christian denominations that we refer to as Evangelicals, Charismatics, and Fundamentalists. It also includes traditionalist Catholics, some members of the Church of Latter Day Saints, and some ultra-Orthodox Jews. The reality, however, is that if the goals of religious conservatives are ever achieved in the US, the evangelical Christians will turn on the traditionalist Catholics, the Mormons, and the ultra-Orthodox Jews. Then they will turn on each other as the Evangelicals, the Charismatics, and the Fundamentalists don’t actually agree on matters of theology and dogma. The pursuit of doctrinal purity can only lead to purge after purge.

115 replies
  1. 1
    feebog says:

    I’m beginning to think this O’Rourke guy is the real deal

  2. 2
    trollhattan says:

    “NEW
    MAN GER”
    Love it.

    And a merry everything to you all. We’re going to a paella feast at the inlaws tomorrow and I’ll think of those folks down south from time to time. Keep hope alive.

  3. 3
    Ohio Mom says:

    Every time I read or hear about “unaccompanied minors” and “chain migration” I think, Hey, those were my grandparents!

    Yeah, it was a hundred years ago, and they were leaving Eastern Europe not Central America, but otherwise, the same thing. Their stories were passed down to me with pride in their gumption and pluck.

    The big difference is, the US wasn’t responsible for the conditions in Europe my grandparents were fleeing from — you can’t say that about Central America.

  4. 4
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @feebog: Yeah. Me too. That’s why we’re seeing all these ‘hit’ pieces on him lately, especially on ‘progressive’ blogs (who should know better).

  5. 5
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    As I’m sure everyone is aware by now, I’m not a Christian

    Le gasp! //

    But seriously, I agree with everything in your post. There’s more of us than there are of them. We can’t let the far right win and extinguish what has been built by countless generations in America.

    Why does the media continue to treat such anti-liberal democracy figures such as Bolton and McConnell as legitimate?

  6. 6
    lafcolleen says:

    Thanks for posting Adam! Made my donation to Annunciation House. Now I am wrapping presents before heading out to Mass.

    Nollaig Shona!

  7. 7
    H.E.Wolf says:

    Thank you Adam for this post, and thank you to all in the BJ community for your warm jackal hearts. May we all find ways to shine our light, and honor the light of others.

  8. 8
    trollhattan says:

    Just staking my flag as the first explorer to land on 2018 Absurdly Early Christmas Island, having emailed my peeps a pic of Costco Christmas wrap display on August 8. “Back to school”? I think not.

  9. 9

    If its twilight then its predawn darkness. America is young, and is facing challenging times right now. But we will come through.

  10. 10
    Schlemazel says:

    @The Thin Black Duke:
    The Bros have started to pull back & the first fallback is “WHat, shouldn’t he be vetted”? The buthurt positivly glows acoss the twitter

  11. 11
    James E Powell says:

    @feebog:

    I’m beginning to think this O’Rourke guy is the real deal

    We’ll know he’s the real deal when the NYT starts running its never-ending series of investigative reports that find no wrong-doing, but shadows & clouds. Shadows & Clouds!

  12. 12
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Emo Phillips had the number of the “conservative” “Christians” years ago.

    The dominionists must be driven back under the rocks from which they oozed.

  13. 13
    Mnemosyne says:

    We’re eating Chinese food, drinking Dark & Stormys, and watching Elf. God bless us, every one!

  14. 14
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    I agree. I always enjoy reading your comments SC. Your comments are always so positive : )

  15. 15
    Miss Bianca says:

    @feebog: And yet, my progressive betters are warning me, via the Grauniad and my FB feed, to beware of Beto because he votes with Republicans sometimes. Or is it that he promotes a Republican agenda, or takes money from GOP donors? It’s so hard to keep up with tje current Dems in Disarray memes.

  16. 16
    smike says:

    @feebog:
    Ramen. He convinced me a while back.

  17. 17
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    I don’t really regret giving up my Guardian subscription. I find the WaPo and BJ meet all my needs. Plus a little New Yorker.

  18. 18
    Raven says:

    We just finished a family meal with half the family, the rest happens tomorrow. We went to the local Unitarian church for their Christmas Eve service and they made a pretty strong appeal to our better angels. If my regular schedule permits I may start going to the Athens UU in the future. It’s cold as shit in Blacksburg and we’ll take a drive in the mountains in the morning

  19. 19

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: Thanks. Merry Christmas everyone and Happy Holidays!

  20. 20
    Another Scott says:

    Thanks for the post, the image, and the pointer, Adam. The sooner we turn out these monsters, the better off we will all be.

    Donated.

    Happy holidays, everyone.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  21. 21
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    Also too, via the Guardian op-ed, Bush is still worse than Trump because, hey, he hasn’t started a war in the Middle East yet. Being a puppet of a foreign autocrat? That ain’t no big deal.

  22. 22
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Miss Bianca: I watched him a bit from afar, and thought “he seems pretty good”. But hey, that’s about what I know about Kamala Harris (ok, well, a bit more). And all the other Dem luminaries. I don’t care which wins the nom: I’m ready with my vote. Now, I’d prefer it be a woman, and honestly, I’ll be a little pissed if it isn’t. B/c She. Was. Robbed.

    But I’ll vote just the same. B/c I’m voting for Democratic governance and Democratic appointments, far more than I am for whichever charismatic whatever-the-fuck-we’re-calling-it-this-week.

    But yeah, it seems like Beto might be more than a fad. Which would be nice. Then again, he’s a “he”. Which is a demerit in this year of our lord MMXVIII.

  23. 23
    James E Powell says:

    The reality, however, is that if the goals of religious conservatives are ever achieved in the US, the evangelical Christians will turn on the traditionalist Catholics, the Mormons, and the ultra-Orthodox Jews.

    Because the Thirty Years War never really ended.

  24. 24
    NotMax says:

    Gee, must have misplaced their Obamaphone.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    satby says:

    @Miss Bianca: Sirota is still tweeting about it, but his whinyness shows that the pushback is leaving a mark. Hoping that more than one old white faker politician strokes out in the new year.

  27. 27
    debbie says:

    @The Thin Black Duke:

    Moscow wastes no time.

  28. 28
    satby says:

    That’s a great cartoon Adam, thanks for sharing it.

  29. 29
    J R in WV says:

    Mr. Silverman says

    the evangelical Christians will turn on the traditionalist Catholics, the Mormons, and the ultra-Orthodox Jews. Then they will turn on each other as the Evangelicals, the Charismatics, and the Fundamentalists don’t actually agree on matters of theology and dogma. The pursuit of doctrinal purity can only lead to purge after purge.

    And he speaks the truth of a long history of religious strife. “Purge after Purge” which led Europe into centuries of bloody internecine warfare over obscure interpretations of doctrine.

    These people do not believe in our Constitution, freedom of speech, religion, none of that means anything to them. They prefer to have an authoritarian leader telling them what to believe, how to pray, and when to attack the others who won’t follow that authoritarian leader. If they come to power we as a nation are over.

    Thanks, Adam, for everything! Your contribution to our knowledge is like being in grad school again. Except for the tests and papers… no grading for you either!

  30. 30
    plato says:

    Two more Kansas lawmakers, Sen. Dinah Sykes and Rep. Stephanie Clayton, are leaving the Republican Party to become Democrats,

    Clayton called out what she described as "recent moves to support chaos in public policy" that caused her great concern.https://t.co/ukz9MPGLbk— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 25, 2018

    It’s a xmas miracle?

  31. 31
    debbie says:

    @Raven:

    I’ve known a few Unitarians. Sweet but kind of sneaky!

  32. 32
    Raven says:

    @debbie: I was surprised to see a dude ina Vietnam Veteran cap there. I went up to him after the service and said “50 years ago did you think you’d be here tonight”. Nope.

  33. 33
    smike says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    He is not going to mislead you about this goals and concerns, and answers questions using unambiguous language. Anyone who wants to help with said goals is welcome to pitch in. At least, that is how I read him.

  34. 34
    NotMax says:

    Dunno why, but it made me think of this as jazz accompaniment.

  35. 35
    zhena gogolia says:

    Nice little speech here by Tim Ryan, D-Ohio. I think I was impressed by him at the Democratic Convention. This is satisfying:

    https://twitter.com/briantylercohen/status/1075959276349349888

  36. 36
    NotMax says:

    Kwanza
    Kwanzaa.

    Hanukah

    Unorthodox (pun intended) but acceptable.

  37. 37
    NotMax says:

    Code fail. Fix.

    Kwanza

    Kwanzaa.

    Hanukah

    Unorthodox (pun intended) but acceptable.

  38. 38
    Yutsano says:

    @Mnemosyne: We’re having our traditional enchiladas for Christmas dinner. No one is sure how it got started, but it’s been done for so long now it’s automatic. And my brother also makes amazing chicken enchiladas that we’ll be having as well.

    It doesn’t help all the Chinese restaurants around here are run by Christians. Not a one will be open tomorrow!

  39. 39
    Miss Bianca says:

    @smike: seems very in keeping with the Reason for the Season, if you know what I mean.

  40. 40
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @James E Powell: Eventually it’ll be over by Christmas!

  41. 41
    NotMax says:

    @Yutsano

    Jack in the Box eggrolls won’t cut it. Jews wandering the streets, downcast and unsated.

  42. 42
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @zhena gogolia: Hm. Maybe his spanking at the hands of Nancy SMASH! learned him something *grin*

  43. 43
    JPL says:

    Family and friends are gone, and I’m waiting for the dishwasher to finish so I can start a second load of dishes. Low and behold I look online only to discover that trump is asking children whether or not they still believe in Santa. The year of no christmas miracles.

  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: Maybe you should not drink and pedant?

  45. 45
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Chetan Murthy:

    Oh, no, he was one of those??? Too bad.

  46. 46
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Haha, don’t look now but somebody just said “low and behold.”

  47. 47
    zhena gogolia says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  48. 48
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    No other than coffee drinking hereabouts. Yet. Can I pre-blame the chicken parmigiana?

  49. 49
    NotMax says:

    @zhena gogolia

    What the cattle in the manger did, so timely at any rate.

    ;)

  50. 50
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @zhena gogolia: I’m not a Christian, but we should always [ok ok, well, at some point, we give up hope] admit the possibility of redemption, yes? I’m good with him being chastened and learning how to do his damn job, bringing it to the GrOPers. Sure, I would never vote for him for Preznit-nominee, but then again, he’s a Rep, and we need all we can get.

    Of course, if somebody primaries him from the left ….. *grin*

  51. 51
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Yutsano: Chinese-run liquor store near us has a sign on the door that they will be open normal hours on Christmas Day. I may go by there even though I don’t have any relatives visiting!

  52. 52
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Chetan Murthy: I was wondering about the name “Tim Ryan”! *grin*

  53. 53
    JPL says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Are you sure that you can buy liquor on christmas day in Ga? hmmm

  54. 54
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @zhena gogolia: Maybe he was looking under the couch?

  55. 55
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @JPL: well, my town voted to allow liquor sales an hour and a half earlier on Sundays, so we are at least trending in the right direction. But I think we’re ok on a Tuesday.

  56. 56
    Mike J says:

    @debbie: Woman walks into a fabric store. Says I’d like 30 yards of lace for a nightgown.
    30 yards! exclaims the clerk. What kind of nightgown is that?
    The woman replies, my husband is a Unitarian and he more interested in the search than the answer.

  57. 57
    JPL says:

    So did trump only tell one child there is no santa or was that his general wish. btw this is the president and you don’t believe in santa do you/ Did they take the phone away from him?

  58. 58
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: Sure, whatever makes you happy.

  59. 59
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Miss Bianca: Charlie Pierce of all people is regularly getting swarmed on twitter for being mean to The Chosen One and his Choosers. I even saw Roseann DeMoro telling me how I should think about candidates and politics. This Roseann DeMoro

    OAKLAND — As Washington grapples with health care policy again, the head of the 185,000-member National Nurses United is turning her attention to a seemingly unlikely advocate for a single-payer system. “The one I’m counting on the most is Trump,” RoseAnn DeMoro said, ….
    “He’s a businessman, he has an international perspective — and his wife comes from a country where they have single payer,’’ said DeMoro, who also is an AFL-CIO national vice president and executive board member. “I think that Donald Trump is not about either party; he’s about something very different. He’s the one who can actually rise above this and do what’s right, and he knows as a businessman, it’s the most cost effective,’’ she said.

  60. 60
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: These are not particular smart people. They are very committed and very determined, but they are fanatics.

  61. 61
    Catherine D. says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    Every time I read or hear about “unaccompanied minors” and “chain migration” I think, Hey, those were my grandparents!

    Oh yes! My Trumpian father was blathering about the wall and deport them all. I pointed out that 3 of his 4 grandparents never became citizens and the 4th only was because of the 14th Amendment. He got pissy and bitched about sliding into a socialist hellhole. Sigh. He forgets that his evil liberal daughter holds the pull-the-plug papers while his conservative daughter will never unplug.

  62. 62
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Quiet night here, kids and grandkids asleep, and I’m finishing a bourbon. A little worried about one of my oldest friends, who’s been in and out of the hospital four times since he had a hip replacement in mid-November. Wound isn’t healing because of some undefined infection that they’ve been trying to deal with. I asked him if I could come visit tomorrow, maybe bring him some cookies, but he’s in MRSA isolation – gown and gloves. He suggested it might be better to get together when he’s past this, but as of now he doesn’t have any discharge date. He also doesn’t have any family that he’s at all close to, so it’s a tough situation.

    Sorry to be a downer.

  63. 63
    JPL says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I’m going to add to what Adam said WTF

  64. 64
    Lyrebird says:

    Donated a few coppers. Not much bc I already gave what I could to the Texas Civil Rights folk and I want to give more the the International Rescue Committee.

    Re: the nightmare at the border, it’s hard to find something more Orwellian that people who claim to be Christian turning aside asylum seekers. Great to learn about the Annunciation House on the other hand & what they do!

  65. 65
    Jay says:

    Happy Holidays to all the jackals, thanks for being here, thanks for being good people, and righteous assholes.

  66. 66
    Lyrebird says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Hard situation, no advice to give, but sending non-sectarian wishes of improving health to your good friend.

  67. 67
    satby says:

    @Gin & Tonic: visit him. My friend’s mother ended up with that same infection following a hip replacement, and she didn’t make it. She was a frail elderly lady and had other health issues, but still. Go visit.

  68. 68
    JPL says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Sometimes it’s difficult to know what to do, and I’m so sorry that your friend has to go through this. Maybe just call him tomorrow.

  69. 69
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    “You sit on a throne of lies!” My favorite line.

  70. 70
    smike says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    “@NotMax: Maybe you should not drink and pedant?”

    Hey, now… what kind of talk is that?

  71. 71
    Barbara says:

    @Gin & Tonic: You can go by to try to visit. He will know that you were there. Hospital acquired infections are frightening. I hope he is on the mend.

  72. 72
    geg6 says:

    Merry Christmas to all the jackals who celebrate it. And to those who don’t, have a great and restful holiday. I could not have gotten through the last two years with sanity (mostly) intact without you guys. I’m very thankful for this space Cole made for us. 🎄🎁

  73. 73
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Thanks for the kind words, folks.

  74. 74
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I also say visit. Give the nurses the cookies.

    And find out if your friend will give permission for the medical staff to talk to you so you can stay updated. It’s a simple form, they’ll have plenty of blank ones at the hospital. This isn’t a power of attorney, there isn’t any responsibility for decision-making. It’s just a way around HIPPA so if your friend can’t talk for one reason or another, you can find out what’s going on. Because it doesn’t sound like there is a family contact person.

    Tell your friend you’re doing this for yourself, you hate feeling out of the loop.

    Was that too bossy? Sorry, it’s my nature. I’m working on it.

  75. 75
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I agree that you should try to visit, but cookies probably won’t work out (unless you bring them for the nurses). Is he allowed to have a Kindle? If so, an Amazon gift card may help relieve his boredom.

  76. 76
    satby says:

    @Ohio Mom: that’s a good idea if there’s no family close (or left).

  77. 77
    Steeplejack says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    That DeMoro quote appears to be from January 2017, so it’s hard to see what point you’re trying to make, especially since you didn’t bother to provide a link or citation for anything.

  78. 78
    Amir Khalid says:

    Frohes Weihnachten, Selamat Hari Natal, Joyeuse Noelle, Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas, a belated Happy Festivus, and Chanukkah and Kwanzaa greetings to one and all.

  79. 79
    Yarrow says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Sending good thoughts to your friend and you. I agree with the others–go visit if you can. Sometimes in person you can get more info about how to help and what the patient really needs.

    I think I”m just about ready for Christmas. I’m exhausted but the place is a lot cleaner and hopefully everyone will have a good time.

  80. 80
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Steeplejack:

    It’s one of my all-time favorites now. It doesn’t hurt that it makes affectionate nods to several of my other all-time favorites.

    Now it’s time for The Shop Around the Corner, another movie filled with great lines.

    “All I want is your honest opinion,” as Felix Bressart sneaks back up the stairs. 😂

  81. 81
    Ohio Mom says:

    @satby: I think it’s ridiculous but I’ve had to have Ohio Son and Ohio Dad sign those forms for some of their specialists, just to go into the examination room with them and serve as a second set of ears.

  82. 82
    dww44 says:

    @Gin & Tonic: So sorry about the friend. Do keep us posted. Those sorts of unhealing wounds seem to be a thing in recent years. I’ve a friend whose doctor husband headed up one of the wound treatment centers dealing with those issues.

  83. 83
    satby says:

    @Ohio Mom: @Mnemosyne: unless he’s on a restricted diet they’ll let him have some cookies. The cookies can’t leave the room after, of course.
    And the nurses would like cookies too, but they often get lots. A cheese tray with crackers… We used to swoon over those. You can only eat so much candy and cookies, though all recognition is deeply appreciated.

  84. 84
    tobie says:

    @plato: If a few more state legislators in Kansas switch their party registration from Republican to Democrat, then Democrats will control the governor’s mansion and the state house. Unbelievable! I must say that on election night this year, one of the most satisfying victories was Laura Kelly’s win over Kris Kobach.

  85. 85
    James E Powell says:

    @NotMax:

    Acting on your suggestion, I baked nyåkers pepparkakor. Awesome. They made the team. I owe you. Thanks.

  86. 86
    satby says:

    @Amir Khalid: Selamat bercuti Amir!

  87. 87
    tobie says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Just saw your post. Even if the hospital won’t let you visit your friend, you’re doing more than you can imagine simply by calling him. Knowing people care makes such a difference when you’re alone. Good luck to him and to you as his loyal friend.

  88. 88
    satby says:

    @Ohio Mom: no really, that’s smart. Extra eyes and ears is important with health stuff, people get overwhelmed or upset and lose parts of the conversation.

  89. 89
    Mike in NC says:

    Midnight EST, so Merry Christmas to those who celebrate and also to their loved ones.

  90. 90
    satby says:

    Peace on earth, goodwill to all men!
    Merry Christmas and goodnight, dear jackals.

  91. 91
    Mnemosyne says:

    @satby:

    We have one December birthday in our office, and we always get breakfast burritos because nobody wants cake by the middle of December. 😂

  92. 92
    Mary G says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I spent a few weeks in strict isolation at UCLA hospital when I was three or four and hated it, so I say go, even if you have to gown and mask up; he or she will see your eyes and know they are not forgotten, and the nurses’ station will dispose of the cookies.

    Had a lovely birthday breakfast out with friends, then the housemates made my favorite shrimp and rice dish, gave me some little perfect presents – cat treats, socks infused with aloe for my arthritic feet, and lots of dark chocolate, including See’s. The most touching thing was a card with a written message from everybody, who are not fond of writing and reading. Grocery lists are made by taking the iPhone into the kitchen and snapping a picture of things that are running low. I suspect this may be part of America’s future.

    Sometimes I feel useless, but I have given lots of people, often complete strangers, a roof over their heads in my lifetime, like my dad did. It turns out to be much more valuable a experience for me, and never a negative one, because I listen to my gut before I make the offer.

    They have gone to her mom’s to celebrate from about 10 p.m., when most of them get off work, to sometime in the early morning hours. I’m always invited and decline, because being in a crowd with a lot of drinkers in a house that isn’t adapted for a wheelchair is an ordeal. They will be having those Guatemalan tamales, which are wrapped in plantain leaves, not banana, and are delicious. I am promised a couple, but it never happens.

    Tomorrow dinner with friends coming down from Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara, bunch of old grey hippies who will air all the grievances about the president with gusto. I’m trying to decide if I have enough energy to make cinnamon rolls for breakfast. It appears not.

    Merry Christmas to my favorite crowd on the internets, nobody gets me like Balloon Juicers do.

  93. 93
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mnemosyne: TCM ran The Shop Around the Corner in the last day or two. They’re banging on all the Christmas movies, of course.

    Lubitsch is great. Now I’m jonesin’ for Trouble in Paradise.

  94. 94
    Yutsano says:

    A wonderful and restful December 25th to all! Even if you don’t celebrate, may the day be quiet yet fun.

    And cake. Eat cake.

  95. 95
    Kelly says:

    Four grandchildren 4, 6, 10 and 12 stayed with us Saturday thru this afternoon. First long visit since summer, We had a lot of fun but my wife and I have acquired remarkably virulent colds from our little angels.

  96. 96
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Steeplejack:

    I’m sure you will not be surprised to hear that the two movies share a writer: Samson Raphaelson.

  97. 97
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yes. And who also wrote In the Good Old Summertime, which is on TCM right now.

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    Mnemosyne says:

    @Steeplejack:

    It’s not totally clear if Raphaelson actually wrote that script or if he got credit based on his writing the screenplay for Shop.

    Also, Summertime is the movie that Buster Keaton used to weasel his way back onto the silver screen after MGM had fired him in 1938 because of his heavy drinking.

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    Steeplejack says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Why would he still be coasting on Shop after eight or nine years with multiple credits in between? Makes no sense.

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    Amir Khalid says:

    @satby:
    Thank you. Just so you know, Google Translate isn’t terribly good with context, and it didn’t get “happy holidays” quite right: you just wished me a pleasant vacation. I would have said,”Selamat menyambut musim perayaan.”

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    Duane says:

    The evil of this administration is constant. I expected the worse of these fuckers, but the utter hatefulness is beyond politics. I donated. Fight back. Any way you can, fight back.

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    Mnemosyne says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Oh, not that I think he was coasting, but more that I think it was a credit acknowledging that he wrote the original screenplay. The screenwriter’s guild was still relatively new and I don’t think the credit rules were the same as they are now, so the “based on the screenplay by” credit may not have existed yet.

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    Hob says:

    @Steeplejack: I assumed his point in posting that 2017 quote was along the lines of “anyone who was stupid enough to say that shit last year should not be trying to give us any political advice now, or ever again.” Glancing at DeMoro’s Twitter feed I see she’s a Bernie dead-ender who thinks the only people unimpressed with that Sirota piece are “neoliberal trolls.” Etc. etc.

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    Ruckus says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    All the best to your friend. Infections, especially from hospitals can be brutal. I had 2 major ones in 2016, both times from procedures in hospital, and had to go to the ER in both cases. I was very lucky, they were able to tell what the infection was and fight it. But massive antibiotic shots and extreme antibiotic pills for 10 days worked. And that was after pre procedure antibiotics to guard against infection. It didn’t work.

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    CaseyL says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I also vote “go visit.” Even a short one, just to say hi – and see if there’s anything he’d like you to bring him. Books, audiobooks, magazines, etc. – on top of whatever else is going on, long stays in the hospital are boring for the person stuck in that bed.

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    Hob says:

    Reading this kind of stuff from DeMoro is so depressing. She did some really important work in CNA, but she’s just such a boneheaded ideologue and I think her lack of interest in having allies has hurt the union (at least from my outside perspective – I used to be a nurse but I was in SEIU). She recently retired so I hope some new blood will help. And I hope I don’t have to see her in the media continuing to beat the Bernie drum for the next 20 years.

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    smike says:

    @tobie:
    Ramen w/ x-mas garland sprinkles to taste.

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    Pogonip says:

    Adam, you’re a smart, conscientious gentleman. Can you post your view of the ideal immigration policy? I’d like to read it.

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    Procopius says:

    @feebog: Yeah, I don’t like his politics (too neoconservative), but I really admire his honesty.

    I’m really heartened by the tale of El Paso. I did my Army Basic Training at Fort Riley there and was just thinking a few days ago that, if I’m forced to leave Thailand next year, that would be a place I might be able to survive. It’s wonderful to hear of Christian people actually helping immigrants. It took me many, many years to accept that there really are some Christians in this world, but I’ve been fortunate to meet a few. I really needed the lift. And thanks, Adam, for the drawing “inspired by Will Eisner.” I read all the Mad Comics and his was one of the artist’s names I’ve remembered since. Mad Magazine was OK, but the comic book was the real deal. That was back in the McCarthy Years, my high school years, and I don’t think anybody today understands how liberating that slightly cynical, clear-eyed view of the world was.

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    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @zhena gogolia: Come to think of it, “low & beholden” is a pretty fair short description of Dolt45.

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    NotMax says:

    @Procopius

    You may be thinking of Will Elder. AFAIK, Will Eisner (The Spirit, A Contract with God<, etc.) never did any work at of for MAD.

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    Nancy says:

    @H.E.Wolf: Couldn’t have said it better. There is some actual sunlight shining at this very moment.

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    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Pogonip: I’ll do it sometime this week. How’s that?

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    HinTN says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks for this thread, to which I’m incredibly late. I’ve just donated to Annunciation House through Beto’s link. He IS the real deal and the Rs are deathly afraid of him. This cartoon you posted is the real deal, too. Merry Christmas!

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