The skies will rain fire, the oceans will boil, and the streets will run red with Christmas decorations…
Christmas is awful. Christmas is the worst. Christmas is evil in calendrical form. If the Devil were real, he’d look upon all that is Christmas, smile, and say, “Nice.” There is nothing good about Christmas.
Why is Christmas so terrible? Well, its badness probably cannot be adequately described in human language, but let’s try. For one, Christmas combines two of the worst things in the world: religion and consumerism. At Christmas, people are encouraged to buy a bunch of stuff they don’t need in order to celebrate the birth of a god that doesn’t exist.
But Christmas does something special: Religion and commerce, such potent forces for evil when considered separately, combine with such insidious synergy that they produce a holiday far more nefarious than the sum of its parts. It’s not merely that people spend money and believe in God during the “Christmas season”—which now apparently begins shortly before Halloween—since people do these things all year long. It’s that each of these things brings out the worst in the other. Continue reading
What we read while wondering what it’d be like if we’d never been born…
John S explained why he hates Christmas last year (and the year before that), but it’s all still true:
It probably doesn’t come as much of a shock to you to hear that I hate Christmas: For one, I like hating things that are popular. More substantively, though, Christmas combines two of my least favorite things in the world: religion and consumerism. At Christmas, people are encouraged to buy a bunch of stuff that they don’t need in order to celebrate the birth of a god that doesn’t exist. Continue reading
Yesterday was Flag Day?
*“Major” defined as being either federally recognized or nationally celebrated.
Yesterday was the Great American Bacchanalia known as Flag Day. If, for some reason, you did not attend a Flag Day parade in the morning, host a Flag Day barbecue in the evening, sit beside the Flag Day tree in the evening, and go to bed underneath the Star of Flag Day, then you are not alone: I, too, was not aware that yesterday was Flag Day until this morning.
Anyway, as the title promised, here are the three major holidays that often come and go without me being aware that they happened: Continue reading
I don’t mean to make a habit out of posts that bash beloved holidays (watch out, Arbor Day!), but I feel the need to address tonight’s celebration of the New Year. It’s not that I hate New Year’s like I hate Christmas—I don’t. I just think New Year’s Eve is a poorly conceived holiday.
New Year’s Eve is a celebration built around a technicality. The Gregorian calendar lasts twelve months, but “beginning” in January is totally arbitrary. A continuous revolution, such as the Earth’s around the Sun, has no beginning and no end. In fact, because the length of the aforementioned revolution is technically slightly longer than 365 days (hence the need for Leap years), New Year’s Eve isn’t even consistent on which point signifies a “new” year. (Not to mention the fact that the current calendar has been altered and revised so many times throughout history that historical years have not always even been the same length, let alone had the same starting point.) Continue reading
What we read while pondering Meyer and Manning’s respective “leaves of absence”:
- Some argue that the premise behind this whole Aught Lang Syne feature–that the new decade begins in 2010–is misguided. They’re wrong.
- A few Mondays ago, we linked to an interview with famed Russian translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. In case that didn’t slake your interviews of literary translators thirst, here’s The Mookse and the Gripes with Chris Andrews, who has done most of the translating of Roberto Bolano for New Directions Press (although NHP did not have the rights to The Savage Detectives or 2666, which Natasha Wimmer translated for Picador and Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, respectively).