holiday season

Not a Burning Question, But Still

Detail of 'xkcd' #1464, by Randall Munroe, 26 December 2014.Sometimes we might hesitate to ask the question because we do not really wish to know the answer.

And sometimes someone asks the question, anyway.

And I have a punch line, certes, ne’er to be spoken. Written. Whatever. You’re welcome.

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Munroe, Randall. xkcd #1464. 26 December 2014.

The Best Blurb Ever

Detail of cartoon by Brian McFadden, 24 December 2014, via Daily Kos Comics.Okay, not really, but, you know, we needed an excuse.

The image is a detail from Brian McFadden’s look at holiday cinema, via Daily Kos Comics.

One of the Few Times We Get to Say ‘Zombie Jesus’

Jesus CHUD?

Each year we hear all manner of stupid blithering about how there is some sort of “War on Christmas”, which as we all know simply translates to a rejection of religious supremacism, but the conservatives can’t acknowledge that because, well, they’re the religious supremacists. Whatever. But, you know, what about when Christmas declares war on America?

A suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio has ordered one resident to remove a
zombie-themed nativity scene from his property, local TV station WLWT reported Tuesday night.

Jasen Dixon, a Sycamore Township man who manages a haunted house in Indiana, built the manger scene with zombie-like figures standing in for Joseph, Mary, baby Jesus and the three wise men.

But town officials following up on two anonymous complaints found that Dixon’s handmade nativity scene violated zoning codes.

(Thompson)

It’s actually almost funny, because it is an expected coincidence of political assertions and outcomes. That is to say, it’s kind of like TRAP laws, only presumably by accident. You know, a small-government conservatism coinciding with an intrustive governmental action using bureaucratic regulations to stop something Christians might object to.

No, seriously, this allegedly isn’t censorship of content, but, rather, a square-footage issue. As well as a procedural irony we can certainly enjoy that virtually renders the issue moot.

Welcome to Middle America.

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Thompson, Catherine. “Ohio Town Orders Man To Take Down Zombie Nativity Scene”. Talking Points Memo Livewire. 24 December 2014.

Your Feelgood Holiday Moment of the Moment

Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 16 December 2014.Why not kick off the holiday cartoons the Bug Martini way?

The cameos are worth it, although … er … damn it, you know, any other year a Leonard Part 6 joke would do just fine, here.

Never mind.

(sigh)

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Huber, Adam. “Hum Bug”. Bug Martini. 16 December 2014.

A Kick in the Holiday Season

The U.S. Women's National Team heads to Brasilia in December.

The MLS might take a break in the middle of the playoffs for the sake of international fútbol, but the U.S. Women’s National Team has a tough run in December, packing four games into eleven days for the 2014 Brasilia International Tournament.

That said, up in the Pacific Northwest fans are preparing for Sunday night’s showdown in Carson when Sounders FC will meet L.A. Galaxy in the first leg of their Western Conference Final match. Their last meeting was less than a month ago, with the Seattle club taking a 2-0 win and also the Supporters’ Shield, much to the delight of over fifty-seven thousand fans at CenturyLink Field.

Meanwhile, Don Ruiz offers the latest preview of Sunday’s big game:

The Seattle Sounders would be notably short of their best without forward Clint Dempsey and defender DeAndre Yedlin, just as the Los Angeles Galaxy wouldn’t look the same without goals-leader Robbie Keane.

Those realities led Major League Soccer to schedule a break between its conference semifinal and final rounds, going dark during a two-week window for international play.

For the USA, that window closed Tuesday with a 4-1 loss to Ireland in Dublin. The USA played without MLS stars Dempsey, Yedlin and New England midfielders Jermaine Jones and Lee Nguyen. Dempsey wasn’t called for either of the United States friendlies during the MLS break, while the others were released after the first match last week — a 2-1 loss to Colombia — so that they could spend this week in playoff preparations with their club teams. Ireland did the same with Keane.

“It’s good,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said of Yedlin’s early return this week. “Obviously they have Robbie Keane back as well, so it’s the same for everybody. It’s good that (U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann) allowed those guys … to return after the game. That’s what we thought was going to happen, and that happened.”

While Clint Dempsey acknowledges feeling “pretty beat up, pretty tired” from all the running around, DeAndre Yedlin—who will play next season with Tottenham Hotspur—says he’s ready, citing the one asset he has over the veteran superstar: youth.

(more…)