The Santa Clause
If you were just listening to him, you might confuse author Neil Gaiman for Alan Rickman, or Benedict Cumberbatch: all three Brits have very deep, slightly nasal and unquestioning authoritative voices that we associate with professors, wizards and Sherlock Holmes. So even though by trade Mr. Gaiman is more well-known for his writing–epic graphic novels like The Sandman, fantasy staples like American Gods and Stardust and Coraline– when Mr. Gaiman decides its time to start talking, everyone else shuts up.
He even managed to make the crowd at the New York Public Library fall silent for over an hour on Sunday to hear him read A Christmas Carol, from a special copy that Charles Dickens had edited himself for live performances, and which were rediscovered by Molly Oldfield in her recent book The Secret Museum, which she spoke about after Mr. Gaiman took off his top hat. (He also wore a fake Dickensian beard throughout to help get into character, which is real commitment.) Which, considering how many children were in the audience, was a miracle on par with Scrooge’s change of heart.
“It’s a wonderful time to tell stories about the dead,” Mr. Gaiman told The Observer earlier that morning over breakfast. He was referring, obviously, to Christmas. “You’ve got winter. You got the depths of winter. You have the whole peddling around a fireside thing. You have long nights.”
For all their talk about how “confusing” it is for children to see gay characters on television (lest they grow up thinking that was normal), Fox & Friends had no qualms about bringing a very busy Santa Claus all the way down from the North Pole to explain why the liberal media is waging a war against Christmas.
Which just makes you wonder … who is this shtick for? (Besides Brian Kilmeade, of course.)
ALBANY—It seemed the only people working at the Capitol on Black Friday were crews from the Office of General Services stringing lights around the state's official holiday tree.
According to a press release, the tree is a 30-foot blue donated by Arlene Blasen of Latham. The lights are LEDs which use less electricity than normal. Read More
The Freakin’ Popper
Christmas is done, and I can’t say I’m displeased or anything.
I mean, come on—a popper? Santa couldn’t do any better than a freakin’ popper?
You know what a popper is? It’s this bubble-thing made out of see-through plastic. Stick’s attached to it. Little blue plastic wheels on the bottom. Fisher-Price puts Read More
I can already see the headlines that will be generated from the following line the mayor just delivered:
“It’s no secret that the state legislature has been giving away the store getting no productivity in return and saddling our children with costly pension giveaways. It’s time for Albany to stop playing Santa Claus with the Read More
Here we are, back in the suicide season: It’s Christmas time. Half of us are thinking not of our fellow man and woman, but of pills and pistols; the other half are out shopping, partying and trying to make the Christmas feast fit the picture they have of a fat, ho-ho-ho Santa in the living Read More
There’s one member of our family who believes above all others that Santa exists. I’m not talking about our 13-year-old. By the age of 5, she was already telling us that she believed in the “spirit of Santa” rather than the flesh. Apparently a classmate with older siblings had tipped her off that the jolly Read More
He’s Alda’t! Yes, firefighters are nice when you need to be swiftly plucked from a burning building, but ladies, think about it for a sec-what kind of fellow do you want to steer you through the emotional horror of war-torn New York? The image that immediately enters our mind is lanky-sensitive 1970′s Read More
Frankly, there were times, when my daughters were in their teen years, that I, too, thought one or another of them had been possessed by a demon. What else could explain the dark looks, the shadows under the eyes, the smell of nicotine, the empty beer bottle found under the bed, the curfews broken, the Read More
What are the most wanted holiday presents for 1998? “All the Balthazar things,” answered no less an authority than Katherine Betts, Vogue ‘s fashion news director, when we met on Madison Avenue between Brooks Brothers and Paul Stuart the other day. “The mood is Wall Street. Everyone is rich. It’s O.K. to be greedy again,” Read More