Spilling out over the side to anyone who will listen


  Monday, December 23, 2002

Does Anyone Really Like Christmas?

Moose quotes "The Lonely Jew on Christmas," the only "Christmas" carol my wife likes:

I'm a Jew,
A lonely Jew
I can't be merry
'Cause I'm Hebrew
On Christmas.

Personally, I always found the adult's response to Kyle's lament to be perfect:

'Cause its nice to be a Jew on Christmas.
You don't have to deal with the season at all.
You don't have to be on your best behavior or give to charity.
You don't have to have to go to grandma's house with your alcoholic family.

But despite our shared hatred of Christmas, the lonely Jew and I are going out to Kennedy Airport to pick up my step-sister late tonight (that part will be nice), and then we're driving up to Connecticut first thing tomorrow morning (that's where things start to go pear-shaped). Once up there, we'll have to hope that the expected snow isn't too bad for us to get home Wednesday night, when we hope to find the first stage of our kitchen renovations finally finished (that would be a Christmas miracle).

5:43:42 PM     What do you think? ()

Can a Memorial Remember and Deny Reality At the Same Time?

Herbert Muschamp has a populist rant in today's New York Times:

Don't they get it, these gleeful wet blankets, as the data comes in disproving the feasibility of new designs for ground zero? Don't they see that attempting the impossible is the whole and entire point?
Of course they don't. Getting the point would mean acknowledging that their sense of reality is rooted in their fear of change.
In July the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation unveiled six plans for the World Trade Center site. Essentially they were six variations on the same theme: the public-private real estate development, executed in the same retro style that for years had been advertised as the people's choice. Somebody neglected to tell the public about it, however; the plans were roundly booed when presented at the now legendary town hall meeting at the Javits Convention Center.
Last week the development corporation unveiled new designs, six of them offering as many variations on the idea of contemporary architecture. (The seventh was a reworked version of last summer's retro motif.) And public response has reached an extraordinary pitch of enthusiasm.
The phenomenon we're now experiencing far transcends issues like which design is most popular or which is best. It has nothing to do with whether the projects are technically feasible or whether tenants can be found to fill them. In the context of this phenomenon, such questions are details.

Or put another way, "Don't let the Man hold you down with reality, dude." I'm always suspicious of appeals to the "people" or the "public," especially on matters of taste. This is the same public that wanted Milli Vanilli, Jerry Springer, and American Idol. As Eric points out, decision makers have to know when not to give the public what they say they want. I fully agree that whatever goes up in place of the World Trade Center must be boldly imagined, but I think it must also recognize reality, particularly the horrible reality that preceded its construction. I wonder how much of Muschamp's urge to transcend reality is a wish to deny that reality.

11:10:15 AM     What do you think? ()

Aren't There Less Dramatic Ways to Avoid Induction Into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame?

Yesterday, Joe Strummer died of a heart attack. That really sucks.

8:02:50 AM     What do you think? ()

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Last update: 11/2/03; 10:32:45 AM.


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