December 25, 2011
As Fran Lebowitz said, “If you’re going to tell the truth, you better be funny. Otherwise, they will kill you.”
"I think Louis has hit on some sort of subterranean undercurrent of emotion that I didn’t realize might be swelling until I listened more closely: shame." [via]
Nerdcore rock band I Fight Dragons presents I Fight Ganon, a live performance of the Legend Of Zelda Theme song
24 games of Christmas, the Amazing Rock Paper Shotgun Advent Calendar. "Here are the rules of the calendar: 1. The games are in no particular order, except number 24, which is our game of the year. 2. That means that number 5 and number 17 are on an equal footing as a game of the Christmas, do you see?"
Don't become too attached to it, because an insane AI will force you to throw it in a fire when it dries out 12 days from now.
Behold, the Aperture Science Holiday Enrichment Topiary.
SEED. "An egg and an apple build competing broadcast towers that vie for the attention of a transistor radio." [Via]
"Had the spirits been truly desirous of helping the Cratchett family, they would have been better advised to focus their time and energies upon this family rather than upon my client." The Case for Ebenezer by Butler Shaffer
Today, Christmas day, is the 103rd anniversary of the birth of notorious British bon vivant Quentin Crisp. Previously. He was not noteworthy for any achievements, he was the opposite of an activist, but he was full of very good advice - Ubu web has recently made available his 1979 recording, An Evening With Quentin Crisp.
The Truth about Christmas Carols -- Howard Goodall uncovers the surprising and often secret history of the Christmas carol in this hour-long BBC documentary.
Come the apocalypse, the only things that will survive are rats, cockroaches, seagulls, and fruitcake.
As you bake your apple, pumpkin, and mince meat pies, how about some tropical alternatives? Jackfruit, papaya, starfruit, pineapple, mango, durian, and guava.
My name is Jake and I am a bone collector. This is his room, where he keeps his more than 100 skulls (a contender for the years most awesome cataloguing and archiving effort [look at that organization!]). How Jake cleans up animal bones [more inside]
This summer, The Paris Review interviewed two science fiction writers at length, Samuel R. Delany and William Gibson. Below the cut there are two passages, one from each interview. They aren't representative, they are just two of the many, many passages which have been going around in my head for the last few days. [more inside]
Romeo Muller wrote some of the most popular holiday (mostly Christmas) specials of all time for Rankin/Bass, including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Little Drummer Boy, Santa Claus is Comin' to Town (bonus Justin Bieber version with Animagic!), Jack Frost, and Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey. The very last special he wrote was Noel, based on a story he told on the radio every year at Christmas. It aired just days before his death on December 30th, 1992. Another special, called The Twelve Days of Christmas, aired in 1993, and was based on a story by him, but was written by someone else. [more inside]
The EFF's Year End Review The ACLU's This Year in Civil Liberties Amnesty International's Anual Report (video) [more inside]
The special duty of a Jewish Christmas baby by Sheila Heti Most of the people one deals with say, “Oh! You're a Christmas baby! You must get ripped off when it comes to presents, right?” Their eyes light up. It's a hard question to answer. The honest answer is, “I'm a Jew, I don't celebrate Christmas,” but saying this always seems chastising, and the person who asked then feels embarrassed (as they should) and I feel embarrassed that this is my accidental role in the world: reminding everyone that Jews exist. The times I say, gruffly, “I don't know. I'm Jewish,” they usually say, “Oh, I'm sorry!” But this always sounds to me not like, “I'm sorry I assumed you were Christian,” but rather, “I'm sorry that you're Jewish.” Given all this, I usually reply simply, “Yeah, it's awful. I get ripped off every year.” [previously from Sheila Heti]
For fans of either Nicholas Winding Refn's Bronson or The Today Show circa 1982-1997: Gumbel. (single-link video, 4:37) Merry Xmas, all.
The Powers That Be was a short-lived, irreverent sitcom about a dim US Senator (John Forsythe, in his last major starring role on television) and his dysfunctional family, that aired on NBC between 1992 and 1993. Created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, who would go on to create Friends, the show co-starred David Hyde Pierce (pre-Frasier) as the Senator's suicidal son-in-law. [more inside]