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December 24, 2009

Goodbye to a “low dishonest decade.” Merry Christmas anyway!
Posted by Patrick at 06:55 PM *

“Veni Veni Emmanuel,” Beth Nielsen Chapman
“In the Bleak Midwinter,” The Blind Boys of Alabama, Chrissie Hynde, & Richard Thompson
“Fairytale Of New York,” The Pogues
“First Snow on Brooklyn,” Jethro Tull
“Angels From The Realms Of Glory,” John Fahey
“Coventry Carol,” Joan Baez
“Jesus Christ,” U2
“Christmas In Washington,” Steve Earle
“What Do Bad Girls Get?” Joan Osborne
“Chiron Beta Prime,” Jonathan Coulton
“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen / We Three Kings,” Barenaked Ladies
“St. Stephen’s Day Murders,” The Chieftains with Elvis Costello
“All I Ever Get For Christmas Is Blue,” Over The Rhine
“Gloria In Excelsis,” The Waverly Consort
“Ding Dong Merrily On High,” Maddy Prior with The Carnival Band
“Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring,” California Guitar Trio
“Linus And Lucy,” Built to Spill
“Africa,” The Waverly Consort
“White Christmas,” Patti Smith
“Gaudete,” Steeleye Span
“Christmas Time (Is Here Again),” The Beatles
“Ring Out, Solstice Bells,” Jethro Tull
“Spem in Alium,” Kronos Quartet
“7 O’Clock News / Silent Night,” Simon & Garfunkel
“Bright Morning Star,” Oysterband

“In other words, life is good. And next year is going to be even better. So quit your bitching and be happy. Be glad you’re alive. Hug someone. Hell, kiss someone. As my ex-girlfriend Joan Baez said, If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go get some mango eggnog and fire up the bong. Back at you soon. Peace on earth. Namaste. Much love.”
Fake Steve Jobs

Comments on Goodbye to a "low dishonest decade." Merry Christmas anyway!:
#1 ::: MacAllister ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2009, 07:07 PM:

Merry Christmas, fluorosphere, and here's wishing all of you a joyous New Year full of love and beauty.

#2 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2009, 07:37 PM:

Merry Christmas, all ye fellow denizens of the fluorosphere.

Two songs:

On a Quiet Christmas Morn, Mary Chapin Carpenter

River, Joni Mitchell

#4 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2009, 08:05 PM:

Merry Christmas and a better year--and decade--ahead, to all the Bright Lights in the big city.

#5 ::: Tony Zbaraschuk ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2009, 08:08 PM:

Silent Night, The Carolers At Your Front Door

#6 ::: Rob Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2009, 08:25 PM:

And another tune for you:

Jesus Christ by Big Star

Happy Christmas from a merry olde agnostic.

#7 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2009, 08:34 PM:

If you don't get the CBC's "As It Happens" radio program(me), you won't hear their grand old man Alan Maitland (now deceased) reading Frederick Forsyth's wonderful ghost story "The Shepherd."

Fear not, though, as it's available via podcast.

#8 ::: Tucker ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2009, 08:54 PM:

Happy Dies natalis solis invicti to all.

"Thanks for the Roses (Merry Christmas)", Antje Duvekot / Winterbloom.

#9 ::: Maggie Brinkley ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2009, 09:03 PM:

Seasons Greetings, all! You have all made 2009 very interesting for me. Thank you! And best wishes for 2010, the last year of the first decade of the 21st century.

I know, I know, I'm being very fussy here, but this decade doesn't end until Dec 31 2010 and I am fighting a rearguard action here, but since there was no 'Year 0' between BC and AD simple maths must show that the 20th century ends at Dec 31st 2000 and the 1st decade ends at Dec 31st 2010 - I mean, even I, a numeral illiterate, can see this!

I'm on a losing streak here, aren't I?

Anyway, I wish you all a great holiday and a wonderful New Year, whichever decade this may be.

#10 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2009, 09:14 PM:

Here's to:

Less anger

More laughter

Realizing that while perfection eludes us, better is always possible

#11 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2009, 09:48 PM:

Merry Christmas! May the holiday be joyous for you all.

#12 ::: Beth Friedman ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2009, 10:01 PM:

Shawn Phillips' Christmas Song was all over the radio back in 1986 or so when I was working at Honeywell and had to compromise on radio stations with co-workers. I found it both sweet and an incredibly catchy melody, so it and songs from Mannheim Steamroller's first Christmas album were the high points in the tidal wave of Christmas music.

Then I left that job and totally forgot the artist and the tune, except that I remembered the first name "Sean." Through the magic of YouTube (and an intelligent search algorithm that found "Shawn" when I typed "Sean"), I found it again this year. Though the video seems to have been yanked from YouTube, the song is available at the link above. I haven't tried the download link (I'd buy it if I wanted a copy to keep), but the play link works.

#13 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2009, 10:39 PM:

Morten Lauridsen's O Magnum Mysterium. Listen to it at midnight.

A joyous Christmas to all.

#14 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2009, 11:16 PM:

Merry Christmas, all.

The Atheist Christmas Carol, Vienna Teng.

#15 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2009, 11:32 PM:

I came this close to including "The Atheist Christmas Carol" by Vienna Teng. Vienna Teng is phenomenal; if you have the chance to see her live, run do not walk.

#16 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2009, 11:37 PM:

Furthermore, Sting performing Gabriel's Message, one of my favorite Christmas carols.

#17 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2009, 11:37 PM:

Next would be Old Crow Medicine Show, "I Hear Them All." Then Duke Ellington, "Portrait of Mahalia Jackson."

Honestly, I was born to be an early-1970s college DJ. This is KDKB, crazy dog, crazy boy.

#19 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2009, 11:49 PM:

God* rest ye merry, Fluorosphere,
Let no one you disdain!
Remember that the Fluorosphere
All knowledge doth contain,
And keeps us all so well-informed
That we risk Bursting Brain;
Oh, blessings of information flow.
(Not overload!)
Oh, blessings of information flow!

Bright Blessings, everyone! Merry and/or Happy Christmas (as your custom dictates) to those who celebrate the holiday, and warmth and joy to all!

(I was going to do some Cthulhu thing with "savor souls" in place of "save our souls," but it just didn't come together, and now I'm all sleepy.)
____
*That is, zero or more god(dess(e)(s)) of any gender or sex (matching or non-matching), or none, which may or may not be called "God," "The God," and by many other names or by any other name or names. Or not.

#20 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2009, 11:52 PM:

Christmas In The Trenches, John McCutcheon and Christmas Passing Through, The Roches

May your days be filled with light and your nights with warmth, and your heart overflow with both.

#21 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 12:22 AM:

I didn't like the Noughts either. OTOH, no decade containing Xopher's comment 19 is a total loss.

#22 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 12:25 AM:

On second thought, no decade in which I discovered the Fluorosphere is a total loss. Thank you for being such a good part of my life!

#23 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 12:29 AM:

The past is the past, and you can't change it [0].
... the future, however - that we can change and brighten - and assuredly shall.

[0] ... but -please- somebody give me an earworm that doesn't include the phrase "... walking 'round in womens underwear..."! I've had it for weeks!

#24 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 12:37 AM:

This decade, not a total loss. Met wife, fell in love, got married, had kids. So personally, it hasn't been half bad.

So happy christmas you all, its just about done.

#25 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 12:37 AM:

And from those of us in the Jewish atheist contingent (as we prepare for tomorrow's feast of traditional dim sum)...

Peace, health, kick ass as needed, and merry Christmas. Yes, the whole decade. Why not. We could use it.

#26 ::: JM ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 12:56 AM:

Merry Christmas to the Fluorosphere from a devoted lurker!

I know it's been a rough decade for most people, but, well, I graduated from high school in 2000, and since then I've amassed/been blessed with two college degrees, five lovable nieces and nephews, enough self-confidence that I can get on with things instead of moping all the time, and a fiance who is everything I would have asked for in a man if I'd known what to ask for. The noughts were kind to me, and I'm almost sorry to see them go.

#28 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 01:36 AM:

Krall's entire Christmas Songs album is good. Her version of Jingle Bells is lively; she's almost scat-singing.

Tony Bennett released A Swingin' Christmas last year, and it's good too. He's backed by the Count Basie Big Band.

#29 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 01:37 AM:

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone.

Applause to Xopher.

#30 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 01:39 AM:

Merry Christmas and Happy Dim Sum. God bless us, every one.

So many extrasolar planets. Tiny phones with lots of computing power. Cold War long gone. Google. A new generation of SF and fantasy writers. Friends in many nations.

I lost a lot this decade. But it brought us much to be glad for.

(Patrick, I loved early-seventies progressive radio. Might be a "golden age of science fiction" effect.)

#31 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 01:43 AM:

I really wanted to hear this, and spent a while griping to myself about the music industry yadda yadda before remembering Lala.com. Sure enough, and contrary to my expectations, I was able to (mostly) put the playlist together. (\Lala didn't have everything, so I made a few likely-seeming substitutions and left out the ones I couldn't find. My apologies for that, and anyone is welcome to put together a better version than I've managed. Also, it appears you need to sign up to listen to the whole thing, for which my apologies, though it is free to do so. Still, better than nothing. :-)

It's so far an excellent playlist.

#32 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 01:48 AM:

Other excellent and seasonal songs -- White Wine in the Sun, by Tim Minchin. (Yes, I know Neil Gaiman posted it recently, and supposedly everybody's already seen it, but it's so awesome I can't resist mentioning it in case some haven't.)

#33 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 02:01 AM:

Kevin: I hadn't seen it or heard it or even heard of it. Thank you. It is awesome.

#34 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 02:16 AM:

I like the Chad Mitchell Trio's "Twelve Days" and "The Marvelous Toy" for seasonal music.

#35 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 02:23 AM:

Earl @ #34

"It went zip when it moved and bop when it stopped and whirrrrr when it stood still
I never knew just what it was and I guess I never will."

Paul Stookey sang it beautifully with PPM, too. I never realized till I looked it up that Tom Paxson wrote it.

#36 ::: Dr Paisley ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 02:44 AM:

Santa's Got a Brand New Bag, The Bobs


"Santa's Polka," Brave Combo (sadly, no links out there).

Happy Krimble to all.

#37 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 04:53 AM:

I wonder if anyone has tried to make a Marvelous Toy based on the descriptions from the song.

#38 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 05:18 AM:

Cute Overload Alert!

Tiny Carol Singers on Second Life

And a Merry Wootmas to one and all.

#39 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 05:46 AM:

xeger @ 23. Well I've been walking in me winter underwear for 3 weeks now, singing Dana's Two Pairs Of Everything.
Have a Merry, Peaceful and Joyful one.

#41 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 08:46 AM:

I'm going to put a link to my favorite Christmas song here: Stew's "It's Christmas Again".

http://stewsongs.com/music/Stew_ItsChristmasAgain.mp3

I hope that as it ends, 2009 goes out with grace, and 2010 comes in with even more grace and joy.

#42 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 09:59 AM:

In the Bleak Midwinter (Corrinne May, live at Peet's, Tarzana, CA).

#43 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 10:31 AM:

"My dear Mr.Baldricks, I can guarantee that if there's one thing liable to keep Santa from coming down the chimney, it's your sock waiting for him at the end of it."

Merry Christmas to you all!

#44 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 11:29 AM:

Curmudgeonishly oversaturated and cranky at the annual massive overdose onslaught of "seasonal" audio content....

So:

"Roll on thunder, shine on lightnin'
"....
"Nothing matters anyway and that's the hell of it....
"....all of us are glad you're gone....
"If I could live my life half as worthlessly as you
"I'm convinced that I'd wind up burning too...."

from "The Hell of It" " (or some similar title) from Phantom of the Paradise

#45 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 12:17 PM:

Happy Holidaze to all!

I second the rec for Sting's version of "Gabriel's Message", and in fact everything on his CD "If On a Winter's Night" (except the few where he's trying to sing below his range). "Cherry Tree Carol" is quite charming, with its weird medievalish take on Mary and Joseph plus that tree....

Personal burst of nostalgia: my favorite present this year is a copy of Jim Marshall's book of photographs, Trust -- mostly Sixties and Seventies musicians, from a Bay Area photographer I used to see at shows. Since the cover photo is of Janis Joplin, a sadder related development was reading an obit of her guitarist in Big Brother, James Gurley, in today's New York Times. At least he made it to age 69.

#46 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 12:28 PM:

Merry Christmas!

Still have a bit of a sugar and fat hangover from pre-Christmast get-totogether with my sister's inlaws. I made another batch of fudge, and may make another today.

Today, my brother is playing hooky from celebrations but my other sister is showing up. Parents in Florida, which reminds me that I should be calling...

#47 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 12:42 PM:

"El Arbolito," on the El Gran Combo album, Nuestia Musica, which is not packaged at all like an album of Christmas music, but is stuffed with some the happiest, best dancing Christmas music in the world.

Because Puerto Rico OWNS Christmas -- the season's barely begun, groaning table after table of food is still to be enjoyed, more and more gifts to give and receive, particularly on Three Kings, and so much dancing.

¡Feliz Navidad!

Love, C.

#49 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 12:51 PM:

Also, Bill Adler's annual Christmas Jollies, circulated as his Christmas card, is always a terrific compiliation of of Christmas music of all kinds. You never know what is coming next. Here's a 2008 NY Times piece about his annual effort.

Also, though technically not Christmas music, we really love Ay Luna: Música española del Siglio de Oro. We listened to it through dinner last night, with our friends, in candlelight and Christmas lights lights. Magical.

Love, C.

#50 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 02:33 PM:

Paula @44

The shower incident has to be the _funniest_ piece of cinema this moose has ever seen.

(FX: wanders off and pokes search engine)

Goodness, it's available on DVD.... WANT!

Thank you for mentioning that film.

#51 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 03:51 PM:

May 2010 be a better year.

#52 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 04:40 PM:

Ha ha, Constance, that's why we're going to Puerto Rico this week! Best of both worlds!

Speaking of which: Merry Christmas from The House, showing that some of my beautification effort has paid off.

#53 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 05:43 PM:

Merry Christmas from Toronto!

Yesterday's snow remained through this morning, then the rains ("I'm Dreaming of a Wet Christmas") started.

Soon I will Skype to my sister's house back in California, and then we feast here.

#54 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 05:57 PM:

Can I put in a plug for the Oyster Band's "The Breaking of Our Lord's Birthday"? More Christmas related than the (totally brilliant and chill-bringing) "Bright Morning Star". And perhaps Chumbawamba's version of "The Cutty Wren".

#55 ::: siriosa ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 06:17 PM:

Happy and peaceful day to the Fluorosphere.

I'm having a cheerful day at home alone: my partner's spending the day with a friend who needs company. I've worked on pruning the shrub by the driveway, which was very satisfying. Made persimmon muffins last night (because I took a wrong turn in the cookbook: was aiming for persimmon cookies).

Next year: health care for all. An end to pointless wars. Maybe a drug will be found that fosters clarity of thought, and we can sneak it into the water supply.

Thank you all for the wonderful conversations and links and poetry. You improve my quality of this (mostly) lurker's life.

#56 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2009, 06:57 PM:


This is the world we have
Others may be better,
But this is the one we live in.

This is the world we have,
Imperfect though it be.
We can but try to improve it.

This is the world we have,
Here before our birthings,
And probably after we're gone.

This is the world we have,
Values and goals conceit
Are our choices of them the best?

This is the world we have
On the cusp of the year
Pausing in yearly reflection.

#57 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2009, 02:28 AM:

My favorite Christmas song isn't on YouTube (I think), but these are the lyrics.

Tuesday I bought that Joan Osborne record, and last year the Diana Krall. They're both getting action in the Arkansawyer household this year. I haven't yet put on The Vandals' Oi To The World, but how can you go wrong with "My First Xmas (as a Woman)" and "A Gun for Christmas"?

#58 ::: Pedantka ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2009, 09:44 AM:

I'm ridiculously fond of Hawksley Workman's Almost A Full Moon album. Every single track on it. (That link goes to the 2001 version; the 2002 version has two extra tracks, which are well worth the re-release).

#59 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2009, 10:28 AM:

#23: Earworms... I started an "earworm swap" thread somewhere else, once.

You post your earworm suitably obscured, read through other people's and see if any of them replace yours.

I believe I started it because of "fgnpl'f zbz".

Latest earworm (currently gone):
vggl ovggl grral jrral lryybj cbyxn qbg ovxvav

#60 ::: SeanH ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2009, 05:35 PM:

"People think that the world needs a new republic, a new social order, and a new religion, but it never occurs to anyone that what the world now needs, confused as it is by much knowing, is a new Socrates." Søren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death, 1849, trans. Hannay.

I think this has certainly been a decade confused by much knowing. But I'm not sure we'd know what to do with a Socrates if we got one.

#61 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2009, 08:31 PM:

Been off line the last couple days at my brother's, so merry belated to all and best wishes for 2010!

#62 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2009, 08:45 PM:

#60 SeanH

I scan though supermarket checkout counter magazines. They exist for the purpose mostly of being marketing avenues for the businesses which advertise products in them. The articles are there to attract attention and to get people to flip the pages, so that the "readers" will see the ads, and for Product Placement in the articles....

Note that often the recipes on the publications, list specific brand names for ingredients, or give the brand names as examples of what to use for ingredients....

I remember when Ms magazine was on the checkout counter stands, and when the management decided to stop including advertising because the advertisers wanted editorial control or substantiative influence over content.... note that the publications today on most magazine racks totally ignore/do not address social issues that are the least controversial as regards politics and social values and advertiser interests.....

No railing against contraception suppression and non-availability of pregnancy termination in most of the land area of the USA regardless, no discussion of the effects of the unaffordability of health care to those who are economically unable to pay for medications and treatment and health insurance on-going (as oppose to specific "so and so needs a kidney...." sob stories -- the overall plight of the masses gets glossed over generally, while the exotic exceptions and the sensationalist stuff, gets the print appearances....

Bristol Palin got print appearance as the daughter of a vice presidential candidate, but not as a representative of the face of teen pregnancy--and she's probably a poster child in terms of "family values" of "what are the values structure of the households that give rise to teenagers who get pregnant who are minor children who are not economically self-supporting and whose impregnators also are not economically supporting themselves and capable of providing economically for a household, from socially productive/responsible income sources?"

The magazines are full of fashions which gratuitously redistribute resources to crap--I resent that the shoe industry isn't getting charged for the cost of medical care and insurance industry overhead for every instance of surgery in the USA done on the bodies of women who due to the abuse of their bodies imposed from wearing high heels pointy-toed shoes, are mobility-impaired.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/3228089/Women-turn-to-botox-to-repair-feet-damaged-by-high-heels.html

Doctors are warning that ..."stilettotarsal" - will become more common as heels get higher and women wear them more often.

The Birkdale Clinic in Crosby, Merseyside, have seen a 20 per cent increase in the number of women in their 40s asking for the £295 procedure, which is popular in the US...

...Problems caused by high heel shoes cost £29 million a year in corrective foot surgery, figures have shown.

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