An American Christmas card

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NigelJK
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Re: An American Christmas card

Post by NigelJK » Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:34 am

Now, lets talk about history. The American constitution does grantee "the right to bare arms." .... The idea of "A Nation of Riflemen" is an outdated notion scrapped shortly after it's attempted application.
This and a fair number of other Americanisms are covered in Bill Brysons 'Made in America'.

Only America would have it's own version of the book :roll:

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Re: An American Christmas card

Post by FSOneblin » Mon Dec 14, 2015 1:44 pm

NigelJK wrote:
Now, lets talk about history. The American constitution does grantee "the right to bare arms." .... The idea of "A Nation of Riflemen" is an outdated notion scrapped shortly after it's attempted application.
This and a fair number of other Americanisms are covered in Bill Brysons 'Made in America'.

Only America would have it's own version of the book :roll:
It's probably a language or printing issue. I know some books are printed both in the UK and America at the same time because (I suspect) it's cheaper than printing a bunch of them and chucking half across the pond. Additionally, I've heard of some books (Harry Potter) having an "American English" translation. I believe it's mostly just less Britishisms that Americans would not be familiar with rather than it being an ego thing. The important thing is to not panic about it.
Don't panic

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Re: An American Christmas card

Post by Wildeblood » Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:05 pm

Almost every English-language book published has US and RoW versions. In most cases the only difference is Websterian spelling.

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Re: An American Christmas card

Post by ClymAngus » Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:19 pm

I know exactly where this is going to go. Guns mean different things to different people to some they are a tool designed to kill, to others a right to defend yourself. Personally I have difficulty seeing a ballistic weapon as in anyway effective as a parrying and or blocking tool.

So when we say defense we really mean kill or incapacitate before your killed or incapacitated. Technically that pre-emptive attack not defense. Defense is a bullet proof vest or a ballistic shield or hard cover.

The escalation is the issue. Guns make it easy to escalate a conflict very quickly and easily into a lethal and/or life changing one. Thing is the capacity to escalate is empowering. People love to win and have been brought up on a diet of white hat black hat westerns and their derivative dehumanizing media. It's easier to shoot a man in a mask as they take on the personification of the act you are fighting against, removing the inherent humanity of the situation.

So you are presented with this thing, this faceless monster and you have the means at your disposal to win. Then there is the terror of law enforcement. Police officers are terrified of the possibility of an armed conflict. So they act under the assumption that all conflicts could turn lethal in an instant. This skews the base line and makes their reaction seem unnecessarily harsh after the fact when more information comes to light. It is something of a dark spiral.

With only one out come, more people guilty an innocent die. If you can accept the death toll then fine. Putting it into perspective however there is a lot more that kills more people that people should probably get a handle on at the same time. By far the biggest killers of Americans are from them feeling the need to get high.

Tobacco, comfort eating, alcohol. Who's killing Americans? Their efficiently killing themselves getting a buzz. Guns are just another slightly more oblique (and showy) way of doing it. There is a wider psychological issue here that appears to be somewhat endemic to the human condition. A need to escape, regrets about not being more, having more or being better. No one cares to ask that question as it can be nicely filed under the "They did it to themselves, I have no sympathy" category. Question is what is turning nation after nation into a pack of suicidal pleasure junkies? And can it be stopped?

You see this is why I wanted to just talk about Christmas cards because now one or two people are going to merrily take this and other posts out of context and GET PLEASURE out of using an alternative view to bolster their argument. Then sit back smugly viewing their handy work and a small shot of endorphin's course round their brains.

It's boring. I'm going to find some "Give Santa a hand job" greeting cards to cheer myself up...... :D

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Re: An American Christmas card

Post by Wildeblood » Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:29 pm

ClymAngus wrote:I know exactly where this is going to go. Guns mean different things to different people...
It's boring. I'm going to find some "Give Santa a hand job" greeting cards to cheer myself up...... :D
When I posted the OP I really didn't want to start a discussion about gun culture. My concern was, and is, the way people shamelessly appropriate Christmas for their own purposes. Americans can have their second amendment - it's not up to outsiders to approve or disapprove. But anyone thinking Jesus would have approved is clearly misinformed.

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Re: An American Christmas card

Post by ClymAngus » Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:17 pm

I'm going to hunt down some more rude and amusing Christmas cards....

<Stalks out of the room, wide eyed and mumbling to himself>

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Re: An American Christmas card

Post by Smivs » Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:26 pm

Wildeblood wrote: My concern was, and is, the way people shamelessly appropriate Christmas for their own purposes.
Not just people of course - St Nicholas traditionally wore green until Coco-Cola decided he should be dressed in their corporate colours one year, and the theme stuck.
BTW we never get snow here in the UK at Christmas (well some bits do occasionally) but snow-themed Christmas cards abound. Do Aussie cards do this as well? I'll bet they do even though it's mid-summer there.
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Re: An American Christmas card

Post by Fritz » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:35 pm

I like to remember Christmas in South Africa: No snow of course, but from the pool to the gifts in a few minutes! They had a strange habit there to hang up all the Christmas cards on strings in the living room, but I don't remember if the cards were snow-themed.
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Re: An American Christmas card

Post by Wildeblood » Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:24 pm

Smivs wrote:
Wildeblood wrote: My concern was, and is, the way people shamelessly appropriate Christmas for their own purposes.
Not just people of course - St Nicholas traditionally wore green until Coco-Cola decided he should be dressed in their corporate colours one year, and the theme stuck.
BTW we never get snow here in the UK at Christmas (well some bits do occasionally) but snow-themed Christmas cards abound. Do Aussie cards do this as well? I'll bet they do even though it's mid-summer there.
Snow, reindeer, and the red-suited false-god of consumerism. I've wondered before about the red suit, but that it had a commercial origin never occurred to me. The trend in cards now seems to be toward generic shininess and abstract imagery, of the de-Christianized "happy holidays" genre. But mostly it's still reindeers.

Unless you're a philatelist or rabid Aussie nationalist you won't know this, but the APO, as it was then, was the first post office to issue special stamps for Christmas, in 1957. For decades they had a policy of depicting a nativity scene on even numbered years and Father Christmas on odd-numbered years, so anyone with strong feelings either way could buy enough stamps for next year too. A few years ago they abandoned this obviously reasonable policy, because even the possibility of accidentally catching sight of baby Jesus every second year was too traumatizing for Dawkinsists, who are very delicate snowflakes. Anyway, this is "Surfing Santa" from 1977. Image It's a "famous" image within this context.

The Australian embassy in Washington has put up lights depicting six white boomers towing Surfing Santa. Last week some kid with book-lernin from wikipedia decides to appropriate Christmas for the noble goal of being a dickhead, and tweets a picture of the embassy, complaining it was poor form to depict Rolf Harris in Christmas lights. I immediately recognized it as Surfing Santa, on account of how the figure was standing on a surfbard, not a sleigh, and was wearing board shorts and no jacket, not red or any other colour. I helpfully informed the tweep, "That's not Rolf Harris, it's Surfing Santa."

Now you know one thing generation-NFI won't tolerate is being corrected, even in circumstances where even a momentary application of reason would tell them they must be wrong. So an exchange of flaming tweets ensued, and I learned there ain't no such thing as "Santa Surfing" (sic), because google said so, so there. Plainly my memory is affected by dementia and I just imagined him.

Meanwhile, the leader of the opposition has capped off his Year of Big Ideas (tm) by declaring kids today are so much more mature than previous generations were at that age that the voting age should be lowered to sixteen. Stuff that. If I were running the revolution, we'd make the voting age 35 or 40.

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Re: An American Christmas card

Post by Yah-Ta-Hey » Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:59 pm

Wildeblood posted: "Meanwhile, the leader of the opposition has capped off his Year of Big Ideas (tm) by declaring kids today are so much more mature than previous generations were at that age that the voting age should be lowered to sixteen. Stuff that. If I were running the revolution, we'd make the voting age 35 or 40."

The movie, Wild in the street,(1968) depicted where the 16 year old got the vote and the famous " never trust a person over 30" came from. at the end.. the 13 year olds decide that They want the vote and plan to take it away from the 16 yr olds. Very scary movie.

Went to Hawaii ( wifey said to go or get a divorce) ,came back with Santa on a paddle board in beach bum attire.... so I do have a sense of whimsy and am not a radicalized religionist ( come on... some of you know that is what you have been thinking along with other politically incorrect thoughts) :mrgreen:
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Re: An American Christmas card

Post by ClymAngus » Tue Dec 15, 2015 2:49 pm

Wildeblood wrote:Stuff that. If I were running the revolution, we'd make the voting age 35 or 40.
Kids aren't mature they just tend to shout the loudest. It is dangerous to listen to the loudest voice. The loudest voice can be told a likable fiction and through fervor they will parade it around as truth.

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Re: An American Christmas card

Post by Disembodied » Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:59 pm

The franchise was extended to 16- and 17-year-olds here in Scotland for last year's independence referendum. I have to say, some of the most direct, incisive questioning of both sides during that debate came from that age group. The hooting and shouting was largely done by their elders. Since at 16, you can legally marry, have children, and pay taxes, I see no reason why you can't be trusted with the task of putting an X in a box.

Many teenagers are thoughtful, concerned and informed (far more so than their parents': they tend to google things they don't know, rather than - the besetting sin of my and previous generations - just assume that either they do know, based on their "gut", or that, if they don't know, then it can't be an important question). They also have a tendency to be idealistic and altruistic, because they haven't learned yet what the world normally does to idealistic and altruistic people.

Let's face it, the world is in its current state not because of the teenagers but because of the greedy older generations. We're the ones racking up the debts - economic and ecologic - and blithely leaving our messes to be cleaned up by those who come after us. Meanwhile, we squat on top of the bulk of the resources and demand that ever-increasing amounts of money be spent extending our lives so we can perpetuate our dribbly gerontocracy.


I think I lost it a bit at the end there, but I've fallen in love with the phrase "dribbly gerontocracy" ... I am in favour of giving the vote to 16- and 17-year-olds, though.

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Re: An American Christmas card

Post by ClymAngus » Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:02 am

That's fair enough. Speaking from personal experience however I was a bit of a prat at 16 but thought I owned the world. I'm glad you've found some insightful youth, I don't tend to see it round where I live. :(

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Re: An American Christmas card

Post by Disembodied » Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:31 pm

Yes, I was insufferable when I was 16 (opinion is at least now divided on the matter, now that I'm pressed up quite hard against the half-century) ... although thinking back, I don't think my voting intentions have changed. The 16-year-old me would still cast the same votes that I do now.

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Re: An American Christmas card

Post by Wildeblood » Sun Dec 20, 2015 4:49 pm


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