I like to think of myself as a cool customer, almost robotlike in my dealings with what life has to throw at me. Rational. Certainly not emotional. However, I have to face facts. I have to come clean with you all: I pretty much dramatically fall apart seven times a year or so. It’s part of my charm.
Luckily, I have friends who seem to never encourage me to let it all out of my system, and certainly don’t comfort me. They barely endure me, probably! Oh god.
I guess the REAL “luckily” is that this treatment often can snap me out of it somewhat, and I can distract myself with something that can become wildly profitable some day. At the very least, because of the comic below, now you know that writing goth caveman poetry is therapeutic, because doing this cured my Bout on the day this comic was made. Try it yourself sometime.
Ho ho ho, or so I am told. It is Christmas Day both far and wide as I write this. Almost everyone knows everything there is to know about this Christian holiday thanks to television, movies, radio, every single store, and the mouths of anyone you might eavesdrop on. Chances are, someone you know might even celebrate it, religiously!
Here at the Sneer Campaign, we enjoy wrapping and giving gifts, and maybe one of us likes decorating a tree. I’m actually not a very Christmassy person, but Dollissa wrote about Hanukkah, so it’s my turn to take one for the team. Also, I didn’t send out cards in time, and that’s the only tradition for this holiday that I actually enjoy. Sorry!
Please accept this drawing as my card to you, everyone who missed getting real tangible mail from me this year.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Festivus. This cult holiday phenomenon came to the masses from the greatest show ever on television, Seinfeld, 18 years ago. In Season 9, episode 10, The Strike, it comes to light that George’s father does not celebrate Christmas, but a holiday of his own making. He created the holiday, as the story goes, in response to the commercialization of the season (aka he got into a fight with a man over a doll).
It might surprise you to know that people actually celebrate this holiday. Some of those people include my father, and the father of a Seinfeld writer, Dan O’Keefe.
What you should really understand, though, is that Festivus is a state of mind. Just like (some people say) Christmas is more about family and giving selflessly than gathering piles of gifts, Festivus is about living your life a certain way. A Costanza-y way.
The human celebrity is a creature that is much sought-after indeed. For whatever reason, these celebrity people have given up any chance of privacy or normal living so that they can be recognized wherever they go, mobbed by crowds of frightening strangers, followed by photographers, ambushed by undercover police, and hunted by stalkers. I suppose they enjoy all of that attention, and of course also the millions of dollars that are delivered to them by dump truck every morning. It would be all peaches and sunshine if these famous people could get attention, cash dollars, and sprawling mansions without having to feel annoyed or even occasionally terrified. It would be rainbows and roses if they could only be seen in clubs and restaurants and gated communities where only other pretty people with equal levels of wealth and fame could see each other and they’d never ever be bothered by gross icky nobodies like the rest of us.
However, this is simply not the case.
Modern celebrities must indulge us by appearing to be reasonably nice and approachable (preferably without having to demonstrate these traits too often) because if they do not, then their beloved popularity can suffer. And popularity is very, very important. If they fall out of favor, it is sometimes quite difficult to ever return to their former glory.
I am going to explain to you all how to wheedle yourselves into the lives of any celebrity of your choosing by coming across as charming, lovely, and worthwhile through written letters. You’ll thank me when this is all over, although I may get some anger from the famous person quadrant if you don’t get it right, so please pay attention.
There are a lot of different kind of gift-givers out there. Some are good, some are bad. Some are confusing, while some give you comfort. Also, some people don’t give gifts (I’m looking at you, little sister). It’s fine though. Being good or bad, there or not, in regards to presents, does not make you a good or bad person.
If you don’t give gifts because you’re bad at it, I’m here to help. If you don’t give them because you just don’t want to, there is no help for you. I’m also here to help if you’re bad at it, and still give them. Hey you, that’s an A for effort!
I’ll be bringing you a little yuletide cheer this week by talking a little bit about Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey. Oh, wait. Did I say “cheer” because that is actually the opposite of what I meant to say. What I have dredged from my soup of far distant childhood memories is a Christmas special that I saw when I was maybe eight or nine that was SO DEPRESSING that I only saw it once, and it made me cry. It made me cry outrageously hard. This animation AGED ME far beyond my years and I will never forgive it.
I don’t even know how popular this one is. When I was little, I loved animated specials very much, so I would be sure to catch them whenever they were on. Not this one though. I am not sure if it is because I just avoided it magically, or if it was only shown one time because it inspired a wave of angry calls from parents. I can’t really even remember what upset me so much about it, except for one obvious part I will tell you about in a moment, as we watch it together, hand in hand.
So, let’s get this over with, my friends, my strangers. Let’s watch Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey – for the first time in decades. Let’s see if it will stir up more feelings, feelings I have spent a lifetime trying to silence. And for those of you who don’t feel like watching along with me, I’ll just summarize this son of a button for you as it goes along.
Lately I’ve been trying to find something that I can eat for lunch at work that doesn’t come out of that part of the frozen meal section that oh so many middle-aged women huddle around at your local supermarket. While those frozen meals are generally okay, I find myself slowly spiraling into depression more and more with every microwave thawing of one. I have no idea why. Maybe because it makes me sad that I would much rather be eating SpaghettiOs straight out of the can than sitting there deciding if I would rather get another frozen brick of French Mushroom Italian Delight Panini, or Italian Lobster Fish Fart Bake. At least SpaghettiOs have a taste. They taste like SpaghettiOs. All of that frozen stuff just tastes like microwave radiation, no matter how many fancy ingredients you claim are in it.
As much as I would like to just drink a can of SpaghettiOs at work, I feel I need to be a bit more “adult” in my lunch approach. So I did what any confused person that has no clue what the fuck they want does at the supermarket and wandered into the mystical International Foods aisle. I was instantly greeted with more than a few lunch options: mostly a bunch of generic rice packets and other assorted ricey things. But that shit need not even apply because out of the corner of my eye, I spotted these little beauties:
It’s Monkey Day today! That’s right, today is the annual celebration of all things monkey (and other simians). We learned of this observance this year and we’re proud to help bring some awareness.
In celebration, we are honoring a great primate who once lived. Not only did he live, he went to space! And he even came back, unlike poor Laika.
His name was Ham. He was an astrochimp, and the first primate in space. Here are some fun facts about him and a beautiful coloring page (click to enlarge) for you to celebrate with!
My favorite thing about being culturally Jewish is being able to claim Larry David as one of the tribe. One of my other favorite things is Hanukkah.
Hanukkah is fun because, like other exciting holidays from around the world, it brings people together! Also, latkes. I’m a big fan of gift-giving, when the season calls for it. So, here is Sneer Campaign’s Hanukkah gift to you: a drawing of us.
Friends, light your candles and play dreidel if you’d like. But also make sure to give out some hugs, even if you hate being touched.
Happy Hanukkah, from Sneer Campaign.