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The Berkeley Wire: 12.24.13

Christmas fantasy: Tilden merry-go-round. Photo: Nancy Rubin

Christmas fantasy: Tilden merry-go-round. Photo: Nancy Rubin

ICYMI, a magazine ranked UC Berkeley graduates as the best new hires to recruit (Daily Cal)
West Berkeley hobbyist wins attention, funding for invention (SF Chronicle)
Campus discusses allocation plans for undocumented student aid initiative (Daily Cal)
Berkeley police log: pedestrian hit with bat loses consciousness during robbery (BANG)

Berkeleyside wishes all our readers a very happy holiday. As always, we are on standby for breaking news; otherwise we will have reduced coverage through January 2, 2014.

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  • Chris J

    Happy holidays to the staff and all of my Berkeley neighbors! No Christmas tree this year very few presents, but a big French-inspired dinner with our son and daughter over in SF. We are both lapsed Catholics and hardly into the spectacle of Christmas, usually quite relieved when the holiday is over.

    Regardless, one thing I miss saying is simply ‘Merry Christmas’ to folks in general: the PC requirement to substitute-so-as-not-to-offend ‘Happy Holidays’ those who don’t celebrate Xmas such as Jews, Kwanzaa-subscribers, EID, or others…well, I wish them well in any case, but I miss simply saying Merry Christmas. Despite the fact that I’m hardly a practicing Christian, I obliquely still appreciate the spirit of the holidays and resolve to use ‘Merry Christmas’ as often as appropriate. For my Jewish friends, I’ll roll out a ‘Happy Hanukkah’ (and no doubt continue misspell it) at the right time. Don’t know anyone who celebrates Kwanzaa, and those few who are into EID I guess I won’t have to wish any thoughts till later next year.

    Merry Christmas and happy late Hanukkah!

  • Joaquin

    Hey, Chris J! What about Festivus observers? No love for us?

  • Chris J

    I confess my ignorance of this event!

  • Tizzielish

    Festivus is a festival for the rest of us — as invented by the writers of the Jerry Seinfeld show. Families gather and share their grievances. George’s dad, if you remember that George was Jerry’s best friend on the show, would kick off the grievances, they’d have a stick with a couple branches that sorta represented a tree . . . and share the year’s grievances.

    Festivus, a festival for the rest of us!

  • Chris J

    Ahh. Jerry Seinfeld show. A show my wife simply refused to watch at all, at times nearly violently taking the control from me should the show come on,to to prevent viewing, all because she simply couldn’t stand ‘those whiny, neurotic New Yorkers!’

    I admit to being one of the few Americans who never got stuck on the show, though I could see humor on the show. My wife never could.

  • Tizzielish

    I was never ‘stuck’ on Seinfeld. And your wife was correct — the show was about whiny neurotic New Yorkers — that was sorta kinda the whole point.

    It was also brilliant art and satire, tapping into universal human foibles artfully and with humour.

    Festivus, a festival for the rest of us was pure genius. Remember, they came up with Festivus before Kwanzaa became a big deal, before Merry Christmas got pressured to become Happy Holidays. Festivus tapped into a near-universal pressure for everyone in this country to joyfully celebrate a Christian holiday.

    I mostly saw Seinfeld in reruns, watching it when there was nothing else on. But as proof that I was never ‘stuck’ on it, a friend gave me a complete set of the whole series on DVD and I sold it on craigslist for $35. The woman who bought the set kept telling me I could get twice as much and I kept telling her “I just want to get rid of them”. I didn’t want to get stuck on a show about whiny, neuerotic New Yorkers just cause it was sitting on a shelf in my home.

    But, come on, Seinfeld and Larry Davis, who co-created the show and co-wrote many seasons of it (before moving on to win many Emmys for “Curb your Enthusiasm” on HBO) . . . those guys were tapped into this culture as creative, artistic geniuses. Whine away, guys. Their art revealed us to ourselves. Maybe that’s what your wife couldn’t stand: seeing her own foibles revealed.

  • Chris J

    I agree that it was well done; as well as the other shows which I’ve only seen peripherally. Reminds me of that Showtime or HBO show ‘Girls’ which has won lots of awards. My wife and I saw the show, the first couple of episodes and I thought it was fantastically well written, acted really well, etc. except… Except I absolutely couldn’t STAND the characters…whiny, privileged, and none of them with much in the way of redeeming characteristics.

    Yes, a tour de force if you will, but a tale can be well told but fail to hold ones interest. Thank god for diversity and thousands of programs to choose from… Even if a large percentage of it is still kinda crap.

  • Chris J

    And another thing–I still kinda bristle a bit when I feel like I have to say ‘happy holidays’ to folks as a generic fallback to prevent ‘offending’ people. Even though I barely acknowledge Xmas despite being raised a Christian, and equally have no problem with folks celebrating Hanukkah or Kwanzaa (two holidays whose singularly worst aspect is remembering how to spell correctly) or EID…I sometimes go against the politically correct grain and just say merry Xmas. Typically I just wish ‘Merry merry!’ to folks and when they respond, I simply say ‘Ho, ho, ho!’