Saturday, January 05, 2002

Last night I clicked on a site that appeared in the "most recently updated blogs" column at Blogger. The title, "relapsed catholic," hooked me. It is quite a good site for those interested in how the media reports on religion. I don't necessarily agree always with the compiler's opinions, but she has pulled together some interesting articles, including a couple I had already seen and was planning on citing here.

For now, this funny article/column from the Toronto Globe and Mail by Margaret Wente. One of my colleagues at work, who used to live in Toronto and who is Jewish, found it and gave us all a good laugh. (HMV is a music store, similar to Tower Records, etc.)
I found myself recently in a store that sells the kind of clothing you sometimes see worn in ads by models pretending to be upper-crust WASPS frolicking après-ski at Aspen. There, I went into some kind of trance, and now I own a pink woollen sweater with reindeer prancing across the chest.

"What's with those sweaters?" asked my friend Barbara, who is Jewish. She claims that all her Christian friends have one. They are only worn at Christmas, and are remarkably unbecoming.

I explained to her that the sweater represents a sort of magical thinking.

If I own the sweater, then I might become a better and more competent person -- the kind of person who likes to make gingerbread houses and organize jolly carolling parties, instead of the kind of person who approaches Christmas with scarcely veiled hostility and a sincere desire that, like a root canal, it will be over quickly.

Another quote:
The more commercialized that Christmas gets, the more value that sophisticated modern people place on authenticity. The more time that we spend in shopping malls, the more we're supposed to deck the halls with wreaths we made ourselves from pine cones and rose hips. This explains the rise of Martha Stewart. She has packaged the idea of the handmade, the individual and the unique, and sold it back to us. She has commercialized authenticity.

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