Category Archives: Holiday Fear

December 10, 2014, 9:37 am

Gifts From the Childless


Lots of pieces are critical to the successful present.

It’s that time of year — lots of gifts to buy and no time to buy them. Our buddies over at ProfHacker have some terrific ideas. Alternatively, if you are planning on shopping Amazon, you can go over to the Althouse blog and support a small-business killing megacorporation and a libertarian law professor at the same time.

But in this post I want to address my particular expertise during the holiday season: I am the childless person who buys presents for other people’s kids. If you are childless, and you like the children in your family, you must buy them presents. The parents, not so much! A fruit basket will do for them.  But the key way to be remembered by children who you do not see as much of as you would like (which is, like, all of them in case any …

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July 4, 2013, 11:07 am

Celebrating July Fourth Chez Radical

blog-firework-statue-of-libertyTenured Radicals are not supposed to love July 4. As you know if you kept up with the culture wars, we ruin everything about United States history with our constant harping about race, class and gender. But I do love July 4 — my Dad used to make a big deal of hanging the flag before breakfast (and being a former Eagle Scout, let me tell you — he could hang a flag.) I also love listening to the Declaration of Independence on NPR. This year, they asked ordinary Americans on the Mall to read it, line by line. and then asked participants to talk about what this document means to them.

So how do we think about July 4 without sinking into mindless, uncritical patriotism? (more…)

December 24, 2012, 3:09 pm

It’s A Very Merry Brooklyn Christmas, You Lousy Bastards

Bo Obama sez: “If you see a Christmas tree coming at you, duck!”

This holiday season finds Tenured Radical well settled into the Brooklyn lifestyle. What am I thinking about on Christmas Eve? Naturally that scene in Betty Smith‘s classic novel  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1943) in which twelve year-old Francie Nolan and her younger brother Neeley win a Christmas tree from the sadistic peddler who throws unsold trees at poor people. If the “customer” doesn’t fall down when hit, the tree is free.

This was the only way Francie was going to get anything at all for Christmas. As devotees of the novel know, Francie’s father Johnny is a charming Irish singing waiter who promises all kinds of grand things. He is also an alcoholic who is more likely to drink up every dollar in his pocket than to make a Christmas for his …

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November 24, 2010, 5:54 pm

Over The River And Through The Woods, To The Radicals House We Go!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.  Tenured Radical is off the interwebs for a few days, so take care, empty your pockets of all change when you see a TSA official or a person in need, and don’t eat anything I wouldn’t eat!

November 9, 2010, 12:50 am

Department of Uniquely Tacky Political History Gifts

Seriously? Chia Obama? I saw this on TV tonight and couldn’t wait to run upstairs and log in.

The good news is that Chia Obama is part of the “Proud To Be An American” series that includes Chia Washington, Chia Lincoln and Chia Statue of Liberty.  If you go to this part of the Chia Products website, you will see that Chia Washington has his green hair neatly trimmed colonial style, whereas Chia Lincoln, Chia Obama and Chia Liberty all have a neat ‘fro.

We are living in amazing times. I don’t think a sitting President has ever been honored with his own Chia, come to think of it. So buy one now — for that historian who has everything. For a limited time only. $19.95 + $7.95 shipping and handling. Free shipping with two or more. Buy Chia Obama for the whole American wing of your department. It’s never too soon to start thinking about the holidays.

December 23, 2008, 6:54 pm

Holiday Gifts for the Cheney, Bush and McCain Families To Express Our Gratitude for Their Public Service

Wondering what to get those special federal office holders for Christmas? An outrageous apologia from Bill Kristol? NO! Try this framed photo of Sarah Palin!* Lots of laughs around the Christmas Tree! And some bittersweet thoughts about what could have, you know, been…there. You know.

Or click here to purchase Parables of Pop Culture, a book that will help your favorite “old style” Republican pol talk to the family about how “the power of the words on the Burma Shave signs pale in comparison to the power of God’s words to us in the bible.” Well, yeah! I think so! And maybe God will also explain where the regulatory agencies were sleeping when the CFO buddies of the Bush-Cheney administration were siphoning money from every possible corner of the economy into their own pockets! No, don’t be mad, God — that’s a JOKE! There are no regulatory agencies any more! Ha! Ha!

Or click…

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November 26, 2007, 2:14 pm

It’s Cyber-Monday

I learned two important things this morning on my drive to work.

One: the day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for Rotorooter. Does this tell you something about how much food Americans, as a group, waste? Granted, some of the visits are to pull silverware out of the Dispose-All. But many of the visits are just occasioned by the vast amount of food that we throw away, that then gets clogged in the plumbing, as we try to grind it up and make it go away. Yuck.

Second: Expect the internet to be slower than usual today and, if you are a supervisor of people, your workers to be more unavailable. Apparently those who can no longer face standing in line outside Target at 4 A.M. waiting to get $150 off on a flat screen TV now jump online as soon as they get to work to get their holiday shopping done on the faster connections available at the office. Particularly men, which…

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November 21, 2007, 1:31 pm

Gender, Schmender: Buying Miss Barbie

I just got off the phone with a woman friend whose daughter is having a birthday (note to the childless — birthdays for those whose years number in single digits go on for days. If you are thinking about having a baby you need to know this.) The cupcakes that are going to school today came out of a box, but the cake for last Sunday’s party, while it too came out of a box, was in the shape of a butterfly with multicolored icing. I thought this was a particularly grand gesture and said so.

Although she and her husband used a Williams-Sonoma butterfly cake mold, my friend admitted that the finished product was still a little sloppy around the edges, despite the fact that they both applied their many talents to it. I pointed out that it was the thought that counted, since the little girls were going to eat it anyway, and it was the pinkness and the sugar that really mattered at that age….

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November 15, 2007, 3:13 pm

What Would Jesus Do? Coping with Chrismukkah and Other Romish Plots

“Happy Holidays!” (Boo-hoo) “Happy Holidays!” (sniff-sniff!)

With this variation on a well-known lyric, the Radical gets ready to expound on a fraught subject for many: the inexorable approach of the holiday season. The Good News: Thanksgiving Break and it’s five glorious days off will be here soon. The Bad News? The four subsequent weeks of holiday cheer.

In a town like Zenith, home to Zenith University, people have had plastic turkeys hanging from the trees in the front yard since they took down the fake cobwebs and ghosties on November 1. These are people who never seem to miss a chance to decorate. You have them in your town too — they are perennial patrons of the Christmas Tree Shoppes, people who swooped in on December 26th, 2006, to purchase Blinky Santa on sale. These are the people who are really ready to rip down the plastic birds and get a full creche, with Kings…

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