Happy Birthday Jesus

Even though we’re late risers on Christmas Day, Santa still hasn’t arrived. We hear there were long delays since he has to show his vaccination certificate at every chimney he climbs down. Then there’s the gifting pandemic which is so bad this year that Jesus is asking God if he can shift his birthday to July to avoid the clash with Christmas.

Oiye and Oh Well…….here’s the Christmas Omnium-Gatherum blog post to bring comfort and joy to your day and your life.

1. On this last week of the year, here’s how we got addicted to ‘weeks’. If every day is still ‘blursday’, the week has become the lingua franca of our calendars. Here’s how that happened and what it means. 

2. Oh, mother of God. Sarah Cooper doesn’t just troll Donald Trump, she mutates Joan Rivers in this wonderful skit about dressing up. 

3. In the art world, there are fakes, and there are Sacklers. Just as dieting is a marker for gaining weight, so too are fakes a driving force in the art world, as this long and rococo tale about a Mark Rothko, Trump’s inauguration and the Art Gallery of Ontario reveals.

Speaking of art, the Sacklers are unique among gazillionaire families who’ve had their names scrubbed from museum donor walls for perfidious behaviour. They’re the first to have artists, and not just administrators and the board, but actual artists call for their heads. And the bankruptcy court that let them buy their way out of bankruptcy and jail for high-gearing the opioid epidemic, has had its decision overturned by a New York Court. Here’s what Justice Colleen McMahon had to say.

4. The periodic table of real estate returns. Not all real estate goes up in value. Houses did well this year. Offices, not. Here’s how well real estate of all kinds has performed over the decades. Yes, it’s America, but there’s no country closer.

5. The top movies and, even better, where to stream them. And this year-end, when we’re all at home snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug, knowing which streaming service to use is life-saving information. Best of all on Wired’s list is trailers for each show.

6. Best obituary of the year. It’s about Renay Mandel Corren who died this month in El Paso. Her son’s summation of her life in the Fayetteville Observer begins: “A plus-sized Jewish lady redneck died” …..then moves to “filthy free speech was really Renay’s thing” and goes from there.

7. Everything’s art, even your mask. The ROM has a wonderful and permanent exhibit of 250 pandemic masks from 23 countries. They’re one reason to head to the museum over the holidays, but there are lots more.

8. Love persevering. You don’t expect business professors to be grief counselors. But Scott Galloway does a great job on himself here.

9. Pay your parking tickets. Just as broken warehouse windows signal a decaying neighbourhood, so too do unpaid parking tickets signal a corrupt society – at all levels, and especially at the top.

10. A whole lift of Christmas memories…..from The Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, to Elvis singing Blue Christmas, to Dylan Thomas reading A Child’s Christmas in Wales, to the Royal Ballet rehearsing Giselle, to an a capella Little Drummer Boy, to why it’s vital to stay fit at Christmas, to an entire 90-minute concert by Ladysmith Black Mambazo…, for all you carol-singing grammarians, the answer to “where is the comma?” in “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen“. 

Pictures From the Past: Here’s this week’s edition of…. the past, which L.P. Hartley called “a foreign country. They do things differently there.”

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