BJ Harkness

Life of the Party: When Did We All Get So Damn Dull

Pickled Think


Ignorant as a Miner

Jesus Needs Your Money

Fashion Issues

If It Itches, Scratch It

Chick Chat

Wild Card

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Phat Tat

Ski Bums



by andrew haley

The holidays are here, that bleak but hallowed time of year, lit up everywhere with an internal glow through steamed windows. It's the only time of the year when for an extended period of time, we are willing to break out of our molds, eat more, put on inches, toss back a taste of rum, and put it on the Christmas tab. But in this season of festivities, I've noticed a dismal trend. We have forgotten how to party.

I for one have never seen a single member of my family dance in a room full of strangers, unless to the synthesized piddle of marriage standards. I have never seen a live musician in a relative's home, beside the synthesized piddle of a synthesizer player, or one of the grandkids tinkering out a tune on a new guitar. Let alone dance and sing and throw bottles around and fall down and tip over aunts and tables of meringue. We seem to think music is something to be contemplated like a dying pet, or else a fashion accessory or an elicit cue to do that shuffling, awkward half-dance you'll see at Axis on a Friday night.

Who took the feast out of festivity? When did adults stop dancing with each other? When did drinking become a gloomy activity? In this season of holiday cheer, I wish the average American family would put as much pizzazz into family gatherings as they do into the outfits they wear to the mall. I wish that parties were what they used to be-an excuse to have fun. Sure, everyone reading this who's under thirty might scoff, but why is it parties are something that start late, concern strangers, and end up crashed by the police? That is, what's so ethically shady about having fun? I'm not talking about college ragers, I'm taking about aunts and uncles getting snookered, lighting the tiki torches, taking off their shoes. Hell, I've never even seen most of my relatives barefoot.

When did we all get so damned boring? There's no reason being fat and old means you have to be fat and old and dull. Let's eat too much, get shot-up with booze, hammer out some tunes that actually swing, dance with our grandparents, stay out too late and not worry so damn much about morning. Let's take an extra fifteen dollars out of our pay checks this holiday season, everyone of us, and buy a friend a bottle of port, get together, make some noise, dance together, or at least make physical contact while doing the whiteman shuffle, and try, everybody together, to have fun.

It's the holy days, the holidays, and there's nothing holy about sitting in a flat backed chair snoozing through another rendition of what happened to Bill last week at work. Shut up about your goddamn woes, tap your toes, have a drink, talk to one another, move around, get up and get down. It's Christmas after all, and the holyone did turn water into wine, not the other way around.