Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
But the tea-party thing is just hilarious. I can't come up with a decent hilarious metaphor for why backers of one of the most expensive, expansive and intrusive administrations in history suddenly have adopted the stance of Crimethinc operatives a few months into the next administration. Maybe I don't need one. It's like when Bill O'reilly claimed to be an anarchist in an interview with John Stewart. Seriously. It's that ridiculous.
The Hard-to-pin-down Andrew Sullivan pretty much nails it:
"What it looks like to me is some kind of amorphous, generalized rage on the part of those who were used to running the country and now don't feel part of the culture at all. But the only word for that is: tantrum.
These are not tea-parties. They are tea-tantrums. And the adolescent, unserious hysteria is a function not of a movement regrouping and refinding itself. It's a function of a movement's intellectual collapse and a party's fast-accelerating nervous breakdown."
Friday, April 10, 2009
- The Maundy Thursday celebrations in the United Kingdom today involve the Monarch (since 1952, Queen Elizabeth II) offering "alms" to deserving senior citizens (one man and one woman for each year of the sovereign's age). These coins, known as Maundy money or Royal Maundy, are distributed in red and white purses. This custom dates back to King Edward I. The red purse contains regular currency and is given in place of food and clothing. The white purse contains currency in the amount of one penny for each year of the Sovereign's age. Since 1822, rather than ordinary money, the Sovereign gives out Maundy coins. which are specially minted 1, 2, 3 and 4 penny pieces, and are legal tender. The service at which this takes place rotates around English and Welsh churches, though in 2008 it took place for the first time in Northern Ireland at Armagh Cathedral. Up until the death of King James II, the Monarch would also wash the feet of the selected poor people. There is an old sketch, done from life, of Queen Elizabeth I washing people's feet on Maundy Thursday.
- In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the day is called Zelený čtvrtek or Zelený štvrtok respectively, again meaning "Green Thursday". Because the church bells fall silent until Holy Saturday, here called "White Saturday", because "they have flown to Rome", in some regions they are replaced by groups of children walking round their village and making noise with wooden rattles. People come out of the door and give them coffee.
- In Sweden Maundy Thursday (skärtorsdagen) is connected to old folklore as the day of the witches. Young children often dress up as witches and knock on doors getting coins or candy for easter eggs.