why do we have the same songs for X-MAS?

nic   Friday, November 19, 2004, 13:19 GMT
sorry for all the mystakes i use my keyboard 2 fast
Steve K   Friday, November 19, 2004, 14:21 GMT

Perhaps you remember this exchange some while ago which kind of defined you in my eyes.

Ed Thursday, September 16, 2004, 19:19 GMT


I miss Anne Robinson on TV here in America. She's so good at what she does!

Someone Friday, September 17, 2004, 04:26 GMT

Wasn't she fired after she made an offensive comment about Americans?

Ed Friday, September 17, 2004, 16:55 GMT

I don't know but I'm sure whatever she said was true LOL

Steve K Friday, September 17, 2004, 17:32 GMT

Typical cowardly cheap kick at Americans. I can only imagine what kind of a dink Ed is.

Ed Saturday, September 18, 2004, 02:14 GMT

Steve K,

Take a hike grandpa! Dink was used as an offensive reference to North Vietnamese soldiers during the Vietnamese War - a little bit before steve lost his senses HAHAHA

Steve K Saturday, September 18, 2004, 02:33 GMT

Peter was right. This is Canadian slang used to describe jerks. I have used it since the 1950s, i.e. well before Vietnam.

I had forgotten the anatomical nature of the etymology, as did the Canadian Press no doubt in the headline that I found in a search of the Internet.

1) Headline on Canadian Press website

"Canuck is the dink in the drink"



(about the Canadian streaker at the Athens Olympic pool)

2) Definition from following website


Source is Wayne Magnuson: English Idioms
Prairie House Books
Box 84007 Market Mall, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T3A 5C4, Phone +1 403 202-5438, FAX +1 403 202-5437, Email phbooks@telusplanet.net

dink [B] penis, dork, hoo-haw Did you wash your hands after you touched your dink?
Ed   Friday, November 19, 2004, 14:32 GMT
Steve K,
You were the one who offended me first ;-)
Steve K   Friday, November 19, 2004, 15:37 GMT
That is true. So lets start a new page. I am just against blanket generalizations about any people, including Americans, who are a safe target on the web these days.

The KKK guy with his anit-Mexican drivel is offensive. While there are real issues with the great numbers of Mexicans entering the US illegally, on a recent trip to California I was quite impressed with how hard working they are and how many really fit in to US society and make their way. I guess there are many that do not and there are social problems as well.

In terms of language, which is the subject of this forum, the Mexican presence raises the question of bilingualism in the US South-West and the impact on the educational and economic success of Hispanics.
Toasté   Friday, November 19, 2004, 16:31 GMT
Steve K. You are a complex thinker.

I thought I had you figured out as the kind of person who automatically knows what they think about everything on the basis of one ideological decision. I know SO many people like that on the left wing, too, and it drives me nuts.

Sorry to have underestimated you.

Now back to Christmas....

A lot of what has been written about the neo-pagan roots of Christmas is new-age garbage. The timing of Christmas was pegged by the early Christian church to pre-empt several local festivals and local Christian communities did adopt some of the traditions and imagery that they had always used at that time of the year but there can be no doubt that the roots of Christmas...Noel season are strongly Christian.

In the past century, Christian Christmas has been overcome by a more universal idea of a holiday season. There were a lot of reasons for this but none of them had to do with people wanting to get back to our ancient pagan roots.

The new Christmas songs, writen by Irving Berlin and others idealized family time, warmth, and old fashioned ideas about snow covered fields. They were more about people people being happy and kind to each other instead of praising the birth of a messiah.

Personally, they have more meaning for me than a carol that urges me to "fall on my knees" to listen the the voices of angels.

I don't even want to think about "Good King" Wenceslas, who among other things used to put people to death for making beer with hops that weren't grown in the Czech lands.
Damian   Friday, November 19, 2004, 22:59 GMT
I did not mean to be negative about America and Americans...I just saw a bit of a red mist when I as told by Ed that, in a nutshell, that Christmas is solely about the birth of Jesus, and nothing else comes into the so called Festive Season, as if we should not have fun and be generaous to each other, which includes giving toys to kids.

It's a fault of mine to speak my mind on many occasions without thinking too much of any repurcussions.

I was brought up in the RC religion and no doubt I shall go to Mass on Christmas Eve, so I don't need telling what Christmas is "really all about". Now I have grown up (I hope) I question a lot more about so many things which are personal to myself, and religion is a sore point currently. Holding on to a faith is damned hard work.

I assumed Ed was an American and when he said what he did, I could not help but think back to a recent election in which, to us Europeans, a peculiarly American type of religious fundamentalism seemed to be such an important feature. Many of us see it as quite repressive, rightly or wrongly. Of course Americans are perfectly entitled to be exactly what they want to be, in their politics or anything else. It's just that it all seems alien to the European mind that religion, and that particular type of fundamentalism, should be so prominent politically. I reckon it's all a matter of difference between American and European culture an mentality. The same could be said, to a certain extent, between the British and Continental Europeans, who often accuse us of being too close to the Americans! Wow!

This is all so complex...and it all started through those bloody toys under the Christmas Tree! LOL
Easterner   Saturday, November 20, 2004, 02:17 GMT
Damian said: >>It's just that it all seems alien to the European mind that religion, and that particular type of fundamentalism, should be so prominent politically. <<

I think that is because Europe has been secularised in a greater degree during the last 200 years or so than the USA. That religious zeal was also around long before in America, though, but it has not been so prominent for the rest of the world. As for myself, I cannot take any religious group or ideology seriously when it turns against any group of people, because for me religion is about overcoming negative impulses in yourself and encouraging the positive ones in others, not the other way round. Fortunately there is also a more friendly side to both Christianity and Islam than those hard-line ideologies.
Easterner   Saturday, November 20, 2004, 02:20 GMT
Forgot to say that Europe has had (and still has) its own fundamentalists, but apparently European politics is definitely secularist today.
Easterner   Saturday, November 20, 2004, 02:33 GMT
To Toasté:

I agree that many influences are reflected in the way Christmas is celebrated nowadays. I definitely don't think about the Roman god Mithras at Christmas, and remembering the birth of Jesus on that day is not out of place even if he was most probably born on a different date. I think Christmas is an unifying holiday for the whole western world, both because of its symbolic meaning and of its festive quality, even if it is celebrated differently in various countries. The only thing I don't like is the way it is over-commercialised in most countries. It's a shame to be eager for the Christmas season to be over because you're fed up with all commercials and hassle, while the holiday itself has nothing to do with this.
Steve K   Saturday, November 20, 2004, 03:55 GMT
I have trouble understanding the strong feelings of anti-Americanism expressed by the comfortable classes in Europe. I think it is seen as some sort of expression of one's sophistication, yet it in so many ways it is an expression of one's desire to cease to exist.

The US is much more successful than Europe at integrating and accepting people of different origins and making them part of the mainstream. Its population is growing. The US economy is more dynamic and and more creative. The American people are also friendlier and more optimistic in general.

With the activists among the Moslems on an anti-secular, anti-Western jihad, and the Chinese bent on world domination when the time is ripe, the Europeans are basically moving in the direction of self-denial and self-elimination, rather than asserting their values. The US does assert its values and Europe should do the same, assuming it still remembers what they are, even in opposition to the US. But to deny everything that comes from the US and George Bush as "unspeakable" is a form of hiding from reality.

Take our friend Damian here, most happy fetishizing the superficial folkloresque trivia of Scottishness, while blithely claiming that the 51% of Americans ( more support than any European leader has I would imagine) who voted for Bush were all repressive religious fundamentalists. How can one take him/her seriously?

I suspect the leftist brainwashing by teachers, unfortunately a feature of North American, especially Canadian society, is a major culprit. The denial of freedom of thought and expression in favour of conformity to some "progressive" ideal reminds me Nazi Germany and Communist Russia.

I am saddened. I hope that the new members of the EEC will bring some sense of reality and truthfulness.
lims   Saturday, November 20, 2004, 05:48 GMT
Sorry to interupt here but I was reading Easterner's(your) post in this thread which said 'an universal' which sounded strange to me. I know we have the rule of pronouncing 'the' differently before a word that starts with a vowel and writing 'an' in front of a word that starts with a vowel, but surely there must be exceptions to the rule for words like 'universal'. I think I've always said 'a universal', perhaps I've been mistaking all this time?

To each his own way of celebrating, as long as no one gets hurt.
Adam   Sunday, November 21, 2004, 06:44 GMT
Steve K.,

You are a typical small minded american who believes that what he believes is right and will not take the time to try to understand other peoples' views and opinions on world events. The planet is not centered around the good ole US of A. Why do you think that everyone is out to get you? That is just paranoia, something which has infected modern American society to the point that you would not hesitate to vote in a psychopathic moron back into office for the simple reason that he will not hesitate to make america the new empire building power in the world. Where do you get your information(wait, I forgot about the paranoia) about China wanting to take over the world?
Maybe you should take a step back every once in a while, or maybe it is too late for that in your case. It is possible that you have been completely brainwashed by the American Propaganda machine.

It is people like you that spread the so-called stereotype that Americans feel they have been stygmatised with.
Damian   Sunday, November 21, 2004, 17:12 GMT
<<Damian here, most happy fetishizing the superficial folkloresque trivia of Scottishness>>

Wow! I thought I had made an effort to stop waving my Saltire about all over the place, after your previous chastisement of me, Sir! Believe me, I have tried very hard, but nothing, but nothing, is going to stop me feeling pride in being exactly what I am, in every way. I am doing absolutely nothing wrong. I happen to be a Scotsman, and so proud of the fact. I happen to be British, and happen to be proud of the fact. English is my native tongue, and I happen to be proud of the fact. I am other things, besides, and still proud of the fact, but if I had the misfortune to live in a small town, backwoods illiberal part of the USA I would certainly be made to feel anything but proud of the fact! They don't take too kindly to gay guys do they?

Britain is still a country where free speech is vital to our way of life. Go to Speakers' Corner in London on any Sunday you can get on your soapbox and say exactly what you like about anbody you like. If it is not criminally slanderous, you can say anything you bloody well like...about Blair, the Queen or the Mayoress of Litlehampton if you feel like it. Our lovely (and cute) UNARMED uniformed bobbies standing nearby will probably shake their heads in disagreement or smile broadly, but that is all. This is Britain.

We do not have a small town in hicksville country where a local newspaper in a strongly Republican area of some superficially ultra religious community is forced to close down because during the recent election it had the temerity to publish an editorial in favour of Kerry. Or other hayseed towns where a guy is forced out of the community simply because he says he is homosexual.

I have never personally attacked anyone in this forum. I speak my mind and thus take advantage of the right to free speech. Britons have had to endure abuse from other people for centuries during their days of being the "superior" power (horrible status, but there you go. Now it is the turn of the Americans. I think Britons react to criticism in a different way to the Americans. As Adam says, Americans generally believe that everything American IS superior! That is why Americans react to any criticism from us Europeans by accusing us of feelings of superiority. The truth of the matter is, much of the world resents the perceived aim of the USA to foist their standards and culture on the rest of us. The UK happens to be a country that does embrace a lot of these standards and cultures already (sadly in many ways) but a lot of the rest of the world doesn't.

Even so, as I said, the UK and Europe is poles apart from the US in a lot of things, and quite frankly, long may it remain so.

From what you say, you went to California. Hey, isn't that one of the so called "Blue States"? Just like Washington DC, New York, and the whole of New England if what I read is correct? Maybe that's where the 49% live. Liberal free spitits abound there maybe. Rightwing Religious brainwashing is as much anathema to me as the opposite appears to be to you, Steve.

<<How can one take him/her seriously?>>

Now you are doubting my gender! As my (real) name Damian suggests, I am male. I have had to live with my name for nearly 23 years and take all the Satanic jibes in my stride ...spelt differently anyway! ;-)

It's a Sunday and I have used my prerogative of using a free speech forum without a soapbox, even though not strictly on the required language topic. It's "getting it off your chest time" and Speaker's corner is too far from SCOTLAND! Take care! ;-)
Steve K   Sunday, November 21, 2004, 17:33 GMT

You do not agree with me. But you cannot assume that I do not take the time to read and consider other people's points of view.

I do not believe the planet is centred on the USA.

I do not think everyone is out to get the USA, although some are. (I am not American btw). Many more people would move there tomorrow if they could.

What do you really know of the motivations of 51% of the US electorate who supported George Bush?

Calling Bush a psychopathic moron says more about you than about him.

I read a great deal, including a great deal in Chinese.I feel that a nation of stridently and tribally nationalistic people, systematically flattering themselves as historically and intellectually superior, deliberately nurturing grievances for past wrongs real and imaginary, and looking for "lebensraum" for their "one quarter" of the world's population will be a challange.

They depend on the US as a market but see the success of the US as a reminder of their own weakness. They want to achieve supriority over the US and I do not think they are too concerned about the means they use to achieve it. I am not saying they cannot be accomodated in a changing world order but it will be difficult. I say this as someone who enjoys going to China, being with Chinese people and hopes that their modernization will bring about greater prosperity and happiness for all. But I hear and read too many things that give me cause to wonder. Only time will tell.
Steve K   Sunday, November 21, 2004, 17:39 GMT

I enjoyed your post. You write with friendly humour which I appreciate and maybe should try to learn from. Your name did not ring a bell at first and nowadays there are so many girls' names like Kimberly and such that are neutral so his/her is always the safest course.

I would enjoy sharing a pint with you one day or whatever they drink after a long day of sheep herding in your part of the world.