Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I'm heading back to Kingwood for a few days to celebrate the Yule with family. As is my custom, I don't even try to blog when I'm on holiday, so Real Art is going dark until probably the twenty seventh or so. But I do want to leave you with some appropriate reading material while I'm gone.

From Wikipedia:


Christmas or Christmas Day is a holiday observed generally on December 25 to commemorate the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity. The date is not known to be the actual birthday of Jesus, and may have initially been chosen to correspond with either the day exactly nine months after some early Christians believed Jesus had been conceived, the date of the Roman winter solstice, or one of various ancient winter festivals. Christmas is central to the Christmas and holiday season, and in Christianity marks the beginning of the larger season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days.

Although nominally a Christian holiday, Christmas is also celebrated by an increasing number of non-Christians worldwide, and many of its popular celebratory customs have pre-Christian or secular themes and origins. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift-giving, music, an exchange of greeting cards, church celebrations, a special meal, and the display of various decorations; including Christmas trees, lights, garlands, mistletoe, nativity scenes, and holly. In addition, several similar mythological figures, known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas and Santa Claus among other names, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season.

Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity among both Christians and non-Christians, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses. The economic impact of Christmas is a factor that has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world.

Read all about Christmas

From the Huffington Post:

Jon Kyl: Harry Reid Would 'Disrespect' Christmas By Extending Senate Session

A top Republican has accused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of potentially 'disrespecting' Christmas.

Reid threatened to get tough with his power over the chamber's calendar Tuesday, when he told reporters that "there's still Congress after Christmas," implying to his colleagues that he would keep the Senate in session until the start of the 112th Congress on January 4th in order to provide time to vote on a laundry list of legislative items that the lame duck Congress had planned to tackle.

GOP Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl quickly took offense to the notion that legislators might be expected to work after December 25 and accused Reid of potentially "disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians."

For more stupid Republican bullshit, click


10 Best Christmas Songs for Atheists

It's widely assumed that atheists, by definition, hate Christmas. And it's an assumption I'm baffled by. I like Christmas. Lots of atheists I know like Christmas. Heck, even Richard Dawkins likes Christmas. Plenty of atheists recognize the need for rituals that strengthen social bonds and mark the passing of the seasons. Especially when the season in question is dark and wet and freezing cold. Add in a culturally- sanctioned excuse to spend a month of Saturdays eating, drinking, flirting, and showing off our most festive shoes, and we're totally there. And we find our own ways to adapt/ create/ subvert the holiday traditions to our own godless ends.


Again from AlterNet:

Holiday Sampler from Wikileaks

Human rights advocates have significant new sources of information to hold the United States accountable. The transparency, which Wikileaks has brought about, unveils many cover-ups of injustices in US relations with Honduras, Spain, Thailand, UK and Yemen over issues of torture at Guantanamo, civilian casualties from drones, and the war in Iraq.


Okay, that ought to just about do it. See you next week, and happy Christmas!