Immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers. But we rarely called them fellow humans. This combative year is ending in grief. The urgency of the times hit like punches, but nothing came close to the brutally of sending troops to crush those knocking on our doors. It’s beyond ironic that the America built by foreigners could turn so quickly into the land of arguing over walls. How fast we went from taking toddlers to court, to locking them in cages, gassing moms and kids, to letting a 7-year-old die in Border Patrol custody. Climate crisis, race and social injustice, democracy in mortal danger, some of the curses of the age have paid us a visit or more during 2018. There’s been few breaks, and fewer reasons for celebration. And yet we’re still detaining 14,000 unaccompanied kids.
We’ve just beat an already sickening American record in gunshot victims per year, while a world that includes the U.S., got busy murdering the most journalists. There’s a reward for strangling the truth, and for going after reporters who fact-check and tell it as it is.
Above all, there’s a price on being a witness, and more are needed, as many have already been shut down. We fight climate change for survival, racial hatred for justice, but we must treat everyone with dignity because it’s a moral imperative. YOUR POOR, HUDDLED MASSES
We don’t dehumanize anyone for wanting to join us. We can’t penalize those who’re fleeing a perpetual bombardment much of our own making. We won’t support those harming them, or driving to erase two of America’s most cherished values: empathy and solidarity.
Throwing immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers into jail cannot be a national policy. There are international agreements we must never back down from. Those knocking on our gates aren’t criminals, (more) _________ Read Also: * First Timers * Post Postponed * Crappy Holidays
A quirky centuries-old tradition is an integral part of every nativity scene worth its hay in parts of Spain. Somewhere behind Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus himself, there’s the none-too-holy figure of a paesano, relieving himself with not a worry in this world. The Caganer, a bare-botton icon that originated in Catalonia, is now a familiar sight this time of the year in Portugal and Italy too. And unlike other oh so pious Christmas symbols around the world, it never ceases to draw a little smile from tourists. It’s no wonder. Most celebrities – not just Spaniards – have their own, and love it too. President Obama has it. The Pope? Sure. Queen of England? Definitely. And, we suspect, a certain vomit-yellow haired American lout may soon be getting one too.
Artists, politicians and footballers, they all have their own little squatting clay statues, sold in souvenir shops. And those who don’t, well, they may be wondering just why not, or whether there’s something terribly wrong with their agents, right Justin?
You better believe it. Even though, the Caganer may be a tad too anarchic for the sanitized tastes of contemporary culture. The social and political subtext that the figure came to evoke may be completely lost for mainstream artists and typical crowds of our times.
The Caganer also conveys fertility and good fortune, as insurance for plentiful produce crops for those who keep one at home. That could be the context connecting such a rich, secular tradition to the Christmas lore and its rural tale of a dispossessed boy born in a manger.
Its addition to a Middle-East religious representation is also a throwback to Spain’s Muslim past, but in the form of some kind of social, almost satirical commentary. And as such, the contrast (more) _______ Read Also: * St. Nick of Time Continue reading →