Thursday, November 29, 2012

Today's links

  • Kay Martin and her Body Guards from Christmas ’62: ‘I Know Just What You Want for Christmas’. Not for the easily offended! But saucy and funny. By the way, war-on-Christmas stories (‘holiday tree’ is dumb but ‘happy holidays’ is fine in interfaith settings like work) and anti-commercialism Christmas stories are naff so instead here you go. The church appropriated the natural dead-of-winter festival when Europeans cheered themselves up. Enjoy.
  • From Daniel Nichols: anti-war pop songs. Also, I understand, the real meaning of ‘Born in the USA’. Regular readers know I’m not pacifist but anti-war, pro-military. Don’t waste our troops on pointless foreign wars.
  • From Takimag: Derb’s quarterly potpourri.
  • From Fr C: Et in Arcadia ego.
  • Retro-futurism.
  • Modestinus on religion: yeah, what he said.
  • From RR: ways things are better now. The left is nostalgic for reasons (strong unions and high taxes) different from mine, but the things they miss actually made it harder for the working and middle classes. The market makes it better.


  1. A Nice "Good Morning" LOL. I wonder if some of your readers, when recovered from their swoons with the help of smelling salts, are typing away in indignation at this naughty post.

  2. And to think all I want for Xmas is another ham radio! I think I have just changed my mind. :-)

  3. Delightful! Sharing this with my wife when I get home. LOL!
    Thank you, sir. :D

  4. "The church appropriated the natural dead-of-winter festival when Europeans cheered themselves up."

    Once again, a reminder that the Church does not ask any newly-converted people to give up any cultural practices that are not intrinsically harmful or immoral- "You want to have a party with a big bonfire? Sure, you can! Just make sure you're honoring St. So-and-so, not the old bloodthirsy war god you used to have it for."

    Because of this, it was very popular among academics for a long time to say that Christians "stole" their holidays from the pagans, but the sort of people who parrot that kind of thing nowadays are really just betraying their ignorance of pre-industrial European daily life. European farmers and herdsmen, both pagan and Christian, had major festivals in almost every month of the year, sometimes only a few weeks apart. If you know the Birthday Problem in probability theory, you know why Christian festivals always seem to fall near Pagan festivals.

    This makes sense, because unlike modern assembly line or office work, premodern agriculture was extremely cyclical. Some parts of the year (e.g. fall harvest), involved working your fingers to the bone from before dawn until after dusk for several weeks on end. Other parts of the year (winter especially), there was basically nothing to do for months on end but wait for the weather to break, sitting around the fire swapping stories and throwing the occasional party. And of course, one should also throw a party to celebrate once the grindingly hard work of harvesting and sowing were finished. And why not throw a party or two in midsummer, while there's not much to do but wait for crops to grow? The reverse also applies, as with Lenten fasting- coincidentally, the late winter/early spring months that correlate with Lent also happen to be the leanest times of the year, as winter supplies grow scarce but it is still too soon to plant the early, fast-growth spring crops, making it a good time to try stretching one's food by fasting.

    1. ...meat abstinence also tying into basic animal husbandry; livestock kept alive in Spring -to reproduce.

    2. Regarding food and livestock, I never thought of that. Thank you.

  5. Thank you, sir. My wife greatly enjoyed the Kay Martin, with whom we were wholly unacquainted until yesterday.

    Also appreciate your previous links to The Woman and The Dragon blog. Very helpful place.


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