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Happy Holi!

[ Comments Off ]Posted on March 19, 2011 by admin in Holidays

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Why the popular Indian festival of Holi hasn’t been cashed in on by American business is beyond me.


What could be more fun than building bonfires while basking under the biggest full moon in decades, and the next day hittin’ the bhang, and splashing bright colors all over your friends in the sunshine? With American capitalism’s gift for commercializing just about any holiday – I mean, this is the country that turns Jesus into a fat guy in a red suit or a bunny, and Christian saints into babies with love darts or leprechauns swilling green beer – I’m AMAZED that no-one has brought the Indian festival of Holi into the mix. I must confess to my own utter ignorance until just yesterday; for years I had seen images on the web of Indian people partying in the street, doused in vivid color, and had no idea what they were doing. Well, now I know that it’s Holi, a celebration at the first full moon of Spring that also commemorates the survival of Prince Prahlada who, in defiance of his father’s wishes, worshiped Lord Vishnu, for which his father sent him to burn in a bonfire on his sister Holika’s lap. Or something like that. You can learn more on Wikipedia or one of the many sites devoted to the festival of Holi. Me, I’m calling Crayola and the makers of Super Soakers to get a licensing deal going. Might as well call a patent lawyer too, Holi is going to need some official Pantone Holi Colors™ as well.

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What The Hell IS Presidents Day, Anyway?

[ Comments Off ]Posted on February 21, 2011 by admin in Holidays

Monday, February 21st, 2011

There seems to be a lot of confusion around what Presidents Day is actually celebrating. We’re here with the facts, and links to OTHER facts, if you don’t like ours. And by the way, Sarah Palin would make one mother of a founding father, don’t you think?

Sarah Palin would make one mother
of a founding father, don’tcha think?

It’s interesting that Presidents Day, in spite of indicating a plurality, only specifically acknowledges one president, i.e. George Washington. To add to the fun, please note that the Uniform Monday Holiday Act did not officially call Washington’s birthday “Presidents Day”, it just placed the official holiday between February 15 and 21, which means it never actually falls on his birthday! In spite of these easily researched facts, the holiday is often inaccurately described in the mainstream, multi-million dollar a year press as a combined celebration of Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthday, as in this AOL piece. But that’s okay. As George himself said: “If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter”. And in this case AOL is only leading us dumb and silent to ignorance, not slaughter or anything. And ignorance is pretty hip these days. Especially when it comes to George Washington and the other founding fathers, who have sort of become the idealized heroes of the teabaggers and Sarah Palin. A phenomena that this USFCA piece observes is probably because they imagine that the founding fathers were “a composite of Atticus Finch, John the Baptist, and Ronald Reagan”. Let’s be clear though, Sarah isn’t partial to George or anything; much like newspapers and magazines, when it comes to founding fathers, she likes “all of ‘em”. Bill Maher gets a little harsher on this topic in the clip below. Enjoy, and Happy Presidents Day! Read the rest of this entry »

More Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

[ Comments Off ]Posted on February 14, 2011 by admin in Holidays

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Don’t be stupid. Be cupid. We have lots of Valentine’s day gift ideas, but if you only give one gift today, give some love. Damn. I wish Facebook had a LOVE button.

Careful, that Love Gun is loaded, ’cause even
Outkast knows that Every Day Is Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s day everybody. Especially you angry guys that were spreading your anti-romance propaganda all over the comments on our recent piece Last Minute Valentine Gifts For Romance Impaired Misogynists. You probably need some lovin’ more than anybody. Some people feel that Valentine’s Day has become a hollow Hallmark holiday, commercialized into meaninglessness just like Christmas. Which is partly true; I mean, why else would we spend so much time putting together clever but opportunistic Amazon product linkfests like our suggestions for personalized Valentine’s gifts (because you know, nothing says “personalized” like setting up a slave labor manufacturing facility in China and mass producing cheap gifts with customized messages on them). Or Valentines Day & Love Is Like Christmas At The Mall & Jesus . Or Valentine’s Day 2009: Is That Love Gun Loaded? Because nothing says “I Love You” like a $40,000 watch. Or any of our other offbeat Valentine gift ideas . If you really loved us, you’d buy something through those darn product links. Because nothing says “I love you” like a monthly commission check, right? But this crass commercialization of Valentine’s day is only a small part of the fun. If you’ve got your undies in a bunch about the whole thing, you’re doing it wrong. Or wait. I guess that depends on where your undies are in a bunch, and how they got there. The thing is, any holiday can suck, if you try hard enough. You can let external forces make you miserable, pondering things like whether or not edible panties are too intimate a gift for a third date, or whether you got the great table at the right restaurant, or – like those angry men we referenced earlier – sitting around bitching about why SHE isn’t doing all the spending. As we pointed out last year in Love Me, Love My Dog, men outspend women almost two to one. But if you do these things, you’re missing the point, and missing the fun. If you strip Valentine’s Day down to its essential meaning, it’s about expressing LOVE. And there’s nothin’ wrong with love. So do yourself and everybody else a favor. Chill out, and spread a little. If you spent ten bucks on those cheap grade-school Valentine cards for everybody at the office instead of grudgingly buying someone a bunch of roses or a pricey dinner, you’d be surprised at how many more smiles you see today, and how much better you feel. Personally, I think Outkast has it right with the idea that EVERY day is Valentine’s Day, which is why I think I think I’ll give Happy Valentine’s Day a spin right now. Play it yourself with the vid below. Which – looked at one way – is a crappy fan video. Or looked at another way, a fan’s loving tribute to a song about love. So go ahead and spread some love today. It won’t hurt nobody. Oh, and if you’re stuck at a computer and really don’t like Outkast, someone went crazy and put together a playlist of 200 love songs on YouTube. That’s twelve hours of non-stop love! Read the rest of this entry »

Last Minute Valentine Gifts For Romance Impaired Misogynists

[ 21 Comments ]Posted on February 5, 2011 by admin in Holidays

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

The very words “Last Minute Valentine Gifts” kind of suggest a problem. Why not just own up to your misogyny and buy a copy of Marc Rudov’s “Under the Clitoral Hood: How to Crank Her Engine Without Cash, Booze or Jumper Cables”

We’ve already shared a lot of other Valentine Gift Ideas, but are you a man who is sick and tired of these sexist, gender-lopsided traditions of Valentine’s Day? Or perhaps a woman who is sick and tired of the man in your life, who claims he’s sick and tired of the sexist, gender-lopsided traditions of Valentine’s Day, so he can get out of buying you Valentine’s gifts? Well, I think we’ve found the perfect gift for both of you. If you’re the woman in this scenario, you can buy it for the man, to help make him go away. And if you’re the man, you can maintain your thinly-veiled misogynistic pride by buying yourself a copy. And after you’ve validated all your bogus values of equality based on anti-feminism, you can start a bromance with Marc Rudov, and enjoy an endless string of chick-bashing man dates together. I’m referring, of course, to any of the “books” by Mark Rudov, including The Man’s No-Nonsense Guide to Women: How to Succeed in Romance on Planet Earth or Under the Clitoral Hood: How to Crank Her Engine Without Cash, Booze or Jumper Cables. We put the word “books” in quotes, because The Man’s No-Nonsense Guide to Women appears to be the only one that made it into actual book form. The rest are just over-priced eBooks. We were going to pick up a copy of “Under the Clitoral Hood” so we could review it, until we realized it was a 55 PAGE EBOOK FOR $9.95 and decided to pass. Besides, Rudov’s message can easily be overheard any night of the week at a sports bar or strip club for free. And his personality type isn’t hard to suss out either; with free teaser downloads like Her Double-D’s Can Bankrupt You (PDF) and the admonishment on the “buy” page that “You can open and print this document as many times as you wish on the computer in which you installed and unlocked it. I can monitor this usage and deactivate your key if you abuse this privilege“, it’s clear that Rudov is a self-righteous, homophobic, breast-fearing, love-damaged control freak. An assumption we think is probably validated by the warm welcome he seems to receive on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox TV program. So. All you latently homosexual men who hate Valentine’s Day, rejoice! You finally have someone to share bro jobs with. And you can do it on Rudov’s Nomance Day . Oh. And if for some reason you need an image of the cover of one of Rudov’s books, brace yourself if you do a Google Image Search for “Under the Clitoral Hood”.

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Chinese New Year 2011 – The Year of The Metal Rabbit

[ Comments Off ]Posted on February 2, 2011 by admin in Holidays

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

It’s interesting that in our anglocentrism we call the first day of the Chinese year 4078 “Chinese New Year 2011″. So what does the Chinese Year of the Metal Rabbit have in store for us? Ask your Feng Shui stockbroker.

Red envelopes with money in them are a
traditional Chinese New Year Gift. We’re
not Chinese, so you can just use Paypal
to wish us a happy new year
if you like.

If – like many Americans – you’re ignorant of even the most basic aspects of other cultures, what better time to learn something about them than Chinese New Year? Especially since if things keep going the way they have been, there’s a good chance that you’ll be providing the cheap labor for their foreign manufacturing instead of the other way around, as you’re accustomed. To paraphrase Yakov Schmirnoff: “In capitalist China, cheap labor utilizes YOU“. So why not prepare to impress your future employer now? My first experience with Chinese New Year was kind of interesting; I once managed a Chinese restaurant for several years. Each year, about a month after the western new year, I created my own tradition by granting myself a kind of amnesty for my failed new year’s resolutions. This seemed totally acceptable at the time; as far as I could ascertain, even after working side by side with Chinese people every day for three years, all Chinese New Year meant was a nice bonus from the boss, eating a huge dinner, playing a lot more Mah Jong than usual, and maybe receiving a brightly-colored tin of Moon Cakes (not to be confused with Moon Pies, of course). Whenever I asked about the traditions of Chinese New Year and the whole “Year of the [Insert Animal]” thing, I got the same kind of answer you’d get from an American when you ask them about their holidays. A sort of muttering “well, I think maybe it’s because, um….” followed by a round of speculative discussion amongst a bunch of people who had no idea what they were talking about, with a stealthy transition back to the partying at hand. For some reason though, this year I couldn’t tolerate my own ignorance any more, and decided to do some research. You should pay attention here too. It’s always good to learn about other cultures, right? Even if it doesn’t promote global harmony and understanding, at least you end up knowing exactly why you fear or hate an entire race of people you’ve never met face to face. So first of all, you need to understand that the reason the date of Chinese New Year is never the same on the western calendar is that the Chinese calendar is Lunisolar, rather than Solar, like the western calendar. Which sounds technical, but it’s actually quite simple. The Chinese calendar has twelve months, just like ours, and every second or third year it has an intercalary month to make things work out. Wikipedia breaks it down for us: “The sun always passes the winter solstice during month 11. If there are 12 months between two successive occurrences of month 11, not counting either month 11, at least one of these 12 months must be a month during which the sun remains within the same zodiac sign throughout (no principal term or cusp occurs within it). If only one such month occurs, it is designated intercalary, but if two such months occur…..” OKAY, OKAY! Never mind that. All you need to do to know what Chinese year it is and when to celebrate the new year is look it up on the internets! For a little background though, you might find it interesting to read a little about the Chinese Zodiac, which explains why the year 4078 (2011 in the west) is the Year of the Rabbit, and what that really means. And if you really want to chase this down the rabbit hole, it happens to be the year of the Metal Rabbit, which according to Feng Shui investment experts is going to be volatile.

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