foghorn leghorn

On Christmas Eve (Julafton) the state-owned STV channel runs a compilation of classic cartoons. Every year at three p.m. you can catch snippets of classics like Ferdinand the Bull.

I have always loved Ferdinand, how he likes to sit and "smell the flowers". I was interested to read further about it recently. Adapted from a book by Munro Leaf, it was created in 1938 and was Oscar-awarded. The 1936 book itself I find most interesting -- it was viewed by many as "pacifist" and while banned in many places by the "right", received favor from the "left".

If you've never seen this eight-minute cartoon -- Ferdinand the Bull.

Another favourite of mine -- my dad can do a great impression -- is Foghorn Leghorn (1946-1963). As I watch it now I find it amusing that the character voices sound like middle-aged men who've enjoyed one too many whiskies/cigarettes. (That's not the reason my dad does a great impression, however.)

Now all I have to manage is to actually watch a Christmas SVT cartoon special from beginning to end.


nor doth he sleep

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The Carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said;
‘For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!’

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
‘God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!’

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Christmas questions

It's easy to get trapped in melancholy around Christmas time. I find it challenging here at times; things are based in the same western European Christian tradition that we have North Americanized, and yet so different that it's hard to "feel" Christmas at times.

A friend asked me tonight if I was sad that I wasn't going to be in Canada for Christmas. I answered truthfully that I have avoided thinking about it. What's the point? But the longer I stumbled through my answer the more I felt that painful paper-cut slice of missing my family.

I have this reoccurring thought lately. It will be the second year in who-knows-how-long that my sister and I haven't watched the film White Christmas together. (Admittedly we fast-forward just a few parts -- the romantic fire-side duet being one) but mostly we love that movie and watch it every year.

I have seen clips popping up here and there and decided to cheat -- indulging in just a couple of our favorite dance scenes. Then I found another version, with Run DMC, and just couldn't resist.


clap trap, indeed

It should go without saying that people should be highly critical and always thoughtful when ingesting news.

The state of media makes more difficult for people to even want to stay current -- the downward spiral of the quality and consistency of online/independent journalism, and then the huddling of big media under powerful corporate umbrellas. Often the quality and integrity of journalism in general these days is questionable -- the laziness and the urgency to post online is blatantly obvious, even in simple spelling and grammatical mistakes.

Then along comes an article -- so vague, so unexplored, so lazy -- it's totally refreshing to the reader, who doesn't have to think very hard at all about what kinds of insane things are going on backstage.

A female and male journalist team from Canada and Australia, kidnapped last year in Somalia, are freed this year with the paying of a ransom, hiring of British mercenaries (in the following article called a "British company") and before leaving Mogadishu, a meeting with the president of Somalia himself, who is full of ridiculous, inane comments that are hilarious. Read an example...

I am sorry for the harsh things these two journalists endured -- although they (I assume) would have known the risk for foreigners in Somalia. But the media generated from it is pretty much the worst kind of crap -- soft, boring and lazy -- turning a potentially explosive story into a mushy, short feature story. Localized articles coming out of Australia and Canada contradict one another in basic facts -- for example, who paid the ransom. I could go on. But read for yourself.