[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Monday, 2019-12-23

“Santa Baby” (1953)

Filed under: Family,Friends,Music,Society — bblackmoor @ 12:55

Two days until Christmas! Here is a classic Christmas song written (as so many were) by Jewish composers, Joan Javits and Philip Springer: “Santa Baby” (1953). It was written specifically for Eartha Kitt, for whom it was an instant hit. Kitt, at 26, was a star on Broadway and considered (by Springer, at least) the “sexiest woman in the world”.

Friday, 2019-12-20

It was the Yuletide…

Filed under: Books,Family,Friends,Society — bblackmoor @ 11:36

Even Lovecraftian cultists love Christmas!

It was the Yuletide, that men call Christmas though they know in their hearts it is older than Bethlehem and Babylon, older than Memphis and mankind. It was the Yuletide, and I had come at last to the ancient sea town where my people had dwelt and kept festival in the elder time when festival was forbidden; where also they had commanded their sons to keep festival once every century, that the memory of primal secrets might not be forgotten.

— “The Festival” (Originally published in Weird Tales, January 1925)

Thursday, 2019-12-19

Christmas is for Buddhists

Filed under: Family,Friends,Society — bblackmoor @ 12:03

This is beautiful. Christmas is so much more than any one religion or culture. Christmas is about love and hope and generosity. It’s about acceptance and kindness to strangers. Christmas truly is a human holiday, for everyone, of all faiths (or no faith), and all cultures.

Wednesday, 2019-12-18

Festivus for the rest of us!

Filed under: Family,Friends,History,Television — bblackmoor @ 16:08

On this day in 1997, the world learned about Festivus, the Seinfeld Christmas alternative. Let the airing of grievances begin!

Tuesday, 2019-12-17

A Muslim Christmas carol

Filed under: Family,Friends,Society — bblackmoor @ 11:51

This is brilliant. Christmas (or Yule or whatever name you know it by) is bigger than any single religion or culture: Christmas is so much more. Christmas is a human holiday, of love and generosity and kindness and friendship, for people of all faiths (or no faith), and all cultures. Christmas is for everyone. Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, 2019-07-10

Suggestions for a happy marriage

Filed under: Family,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 23:41

Here are some tips on how to have a happy marriage, from someone who has been married for 28 years, and is still happy about it.

  1. Date plenty of people long before you even think about marrying any of them. Have at least a few serious relationships. Fall in love. Make mistakes. Have your heart broken. Get over it. Fall in love again. Learn from your mistakes and become a better, wiser person. (Also, learn how to have sex competently, because that is not automatic.)
  2. Live on your own for a few years (but with a roommate if you have to). Be responsible for your own rent, your own food, your own laundry, and your own time. Learn who you are when you are not living with your parents or at a college dorm. Learn how to survive on your own. Learn who you are.
  3. Date someone (or even better, hang out as best friends) for at least a few years before you even think about marrying them. Have arguments. Make up. Be wrong. Apologize. Go on long trips together. Learn how to communicate. Learn what it means to commit to caring about someone long term. Learn how to compromise — and when not to compromise.
  4. When you are finally thinking about marriage, live with someone at least a few months before proposing. Go over the household bills together. Learn everything about each other’s finances. Share a bedroom. Share a bathroom. Learn what it is like to live with this person — and let them learn what it is like to live with you.
  5. Don’t go into debt for the wedding or the honeymoon. Not one penny.
  6. Communicate. Pay attention. Listen, and talk, and listen more.
  7. Don’t lie. Ever.

Wednesday, 2017-11-01

Blackmoor wedding, October 31, 1991

Filed under: About Me,Family,Friends — bblackmoor @ 17:37

The wedding of Brandon and Susan Blackmoor, October 31, 1991. There are a few folks in this who aren’t with us anymore, including Susan’s mother and her uncle. The last half is all present-unwrapping the next day: I recommend skipping that.

Friday, 2017-03-17

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Filed under: Family,Food,Friends,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 09:01

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Much like Columbus Day, this day has very little to do with the actual historical St. Patrick. What we are actually celebrating are the good things that we Americans have gained thanks to Irish immigrants and (if we’re lucky) our Irish ancestors: an appreciation of good food, good friends, and good beer. These are things worth celebrating. If you want to go deeper with it, and celebrate more complex aspects of Irish culture and what we’ve gained from it, that’s great, too.

If you use this as an excuse to complain about St. Patrick, the Catholic Church, or cultural stereotypes, you are missing the point.

Thursday, 2016-11-17

Facebook is not news

Filed under: Family,Friends,Journalism,Society — bblackmoor @ 11:09

I will no longer be getting my news from Facebook. Too much of it is fabricated, and what little isn’t has been slanted and overloaded with emotion until any objective facts have been obfuscated beyond recognition. If you share a meme about this or that protest causing the death of someone, or a story about this or that person being assaulted or beaten by people because of their politics, or even the old-fashioned hoaxes like free cruises from Disney, plots to poison our food, or serial killers leaving diseased needles in vending machines, I am going to hide that post, and if you do it often enough, I will quietly “unfollow” you. (If/when this process can be automated, I will happily install an add-on that does it for me. Perhaps based on a list of fake new sites like this one.)

I have had enough of angry accusations and tragic claims made without even a token effort at verification, and that exist only to sell advertising or elicit an emotional response. I have had enough of political propaganda masquerading as news. Too many of these stories have been completely unsubstantiated, and a claim made without verification cannot be treated as true. Facts matter to me, even if they don’t matter to anyone else.

Share with me how your day went. What sort of things have happened to you today? Not a friend of a neighbour of a colleague — you. How was work? How’s your health? What movies have you seen that you liked? Books that you’ve read that you liked? (Hint: if you haven’t seen it or read it, your opinion about it means nothing. And frankly I would much rather hear about something you liked than something you hated.) Hell, I would even prefer that you share photos of your children — as repulsive as most children are, I would rather see photos of your actual child’s actual accomplishments rather than yet another photo of some anonymous child who may want “likes” for whatever reason — but who probably had nothing to do with their photo being shared.

Facebook is not a source of news. The “news” on Facebook is rumour at the best of times, and malicious lies the rest of the time. No more. Not for me.

The safest assumption on Facebook that any “news” you see is false. In my opinion, it’s no longer even worth doing the few minutes of research it takes to invalidate them: I’m more likely to find gold coins in Vixen’s litter box. If I want news, I will go to a respected mainstream news site that employs actual journalists.

P.S. So what is “real news”? My rule of thumb is that real news has a middle initial “B”: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, PBS. The exception is CNN, which takes the place of CBN, which is definitely not real news. (There’s always an exception.)

Friday, 2014-12-12

The three kinds of “Christmas”

Filed under: Family,Fine Living,Friends,Society — bblackmoor @ 08:58

There are really three different holidays, all known as “Christmas”. One is a religious celebration. I don’t practice that religion, so I have nothing to say about that. The second is a business event marked by pleas for conspicuous consumption and frivolous spending. My participation in that event is marginal, although I sympathize with small business owners whose livelihood is dependent upon a good “Christmas season”.

The third “Christmas” is the one I celebrate: a joyous occasion when people of all creeds set aside their petty disagreements and share a sense of good will. Numerous different religions and cultures have contributed traditions to my Christmas — it’s a holiday much richer than any particular religion or culture. It is a time when strangers are treated as friends, friends are treated like family, and family is given the appreciation we really should be giving them every day of the year. It is a time of generosity, kindness, and gratitude. It’s a holiday that belongs to everyone — to anyone who wishes to celebrate the best of what it means to be a part of the human family. By whatever name you wish to call it, that’s the Christmas I celebrate.

Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer.
Cheer to all Whos far and near.
Christmas Day is in our grasp
So long as we have hands to clasp.
Christmas Day will always be
Just as long as we have we.
Welcome, Christmas, while we stand
Heart to heart, and hand in hand.

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