Home



Issue #65

Download Entire issue (23mb PDF)

 

Features:

Christmas in Hell: No, Virginia, There is no Santa Claus- Matt Taibbi

Disinformation Age: America Loves a Good Liar- Allan Uthman

Power 1, Truth 0: RIP Gary Webb, Journalism - Michael Manville

Insane in the Ukraine - Matt Taibbi


Faux-tures:

Celebrity Holiday Greetings

Ridiculous Gift Guide

Tips on Buying Thoughtless Gifts

Giambra Admits Drinking Live Sea Monkeys

Area Child Expects Lame Christmas Gifts

Paris Hilton's What Hot & What's Not in 2005

Advice From John Ritter's Ghost



Departments:

Buffalo in Briefs

BEAST-O-Scopes

Page 3

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - Letters

I HATE YOU: The Senate, Slaves to the South

DJ's Notes from the Big House

The Straight Dope w/ Dr Rotten




Movie Reviews:

Kino Korner



Comix:

I Witless News - I. Gonzalez

Deep Fried - Jason Yungbluth

Bob the Angry Flower - Stephen Notley


BEASTIVITIES


Issue #64

Download Entire issue (31mb PDF)

 

Features:

Happy Bhopal to You: The Disaster is 20 Years Young! - Matt Taibbi

Sleeping With the Fishes: Fear Not, Buffalo--Corporate Welfare Will Save You! - Chris Abbey

No Moore Dissent: DLC Targets Populism, Man-Boobs- Matt Taibbi

Drowning the Scorpion: Debating a Neocon- Stan Goff

Condoleezza Rice is Going to Lick Your Beaver- Matt Taibbi


Faux-tures:

Bush Refuses to Pardon Turkey, Execution Proceeds as Scheduled

Kmart, Sears Merge to Create One Big Failure - Josh Righter



Departments:

Buffalo in Briefs

BEAST-O-Scopes

Page 3

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - Letters

The Straight Dope w/ Dr Rotten




Entertainment:

Movie Reviews:

Kino Korner

Music Reviews :

Arcade Fire

MF Doom - Ketchup Samurai

BEASTIVITIES

Sports:

Wide Right: Bills Still Have a Shot at 5th Super Bowl Loss - Ronnie Roscoe



Comix:

I Witless News - I. Gonzalez

Deep Fried - Jason Yungbluth

Bob the Angry Flower - Stephen Notley





Issue #63

Download Entire issue (18mb PDF)

Features:

Top Ten Hacks of 2004 Election - Matt Taibbi

MEMRI Problems: Was Kerry's Election Bid Lost in Translation?- Chris Riordan

Pick of the Litter: Bottom-Feeding all the Way to the Top

Redwoods Evil, Must Be Destroyed: Bush Wants Some Wood- Kit Smith

Too Cool for School: City Honors Censorship - Al Uthman

Tortures - R - Us - Christopher Lord


Faux-tures:

New Hotel on Baltic Ave: Boon or Burden? - Ian Murphy

10 Tips For Coping with your Dysfunctional Family this Thanksgiving

A Word From Our Sponsors



Departments:

Buffalo in Briefs

BEAST-O-Scopes

Page 3

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - Letters

The Straight Dope w/ Dr Rotten




Entertainment:

Movie Reviews:

Kino Korner

Music Reviews :

Matchbook Romance/Midtown Show - Chris Meister

Goo Goo Dolls DVD - Seamus Gallivan

Elliot Smith CD- Michael Gildea

Odd Couple CD - Ketchup Samurai

BEASTIVITIES

Sports:

Wide Right: Bills could Make Playoffs--in the NFC - Ronnie Roscoe



Comix:

Beast Comix - Ian Murphy

I Witless News - I. Gonzalez

Deep Fried - Jason Yungbluth

Bob the Angry Flower - Stephen Notley







Contact Us

MERCHANDISE



Archives--Old BEASTs

#64

#63

#62

#61

#60

#59

More



© 2004 The Beast

 

 

Christmas in Hell!

by Matt Taibbi

Dear Editor,

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, 'If you see it in the Sun, it's so.' Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O'Hanlon, 115 West 95th Street

NO ONE NOTICED, of course, but last year, I did not file a column on Christmas week. This was not because I was too busy with a long schedule of holiday merry-making.

On the contrary: As editor Jeff Koyen can attest, I actually tried to write a column on Christmas last year. I spent three long days reading and rereading the old New York Sun's hideous "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" column, and tried to come up with a satisfying counter-argument. The opening was easy enough:

Dear Virginia,

Your little friends are right. There is no Santa Claus. And not only that, but within about five years, you'll be on your knees in a Port Authority rest room, sucking a stranger's cock for a dollar...

The column degenerated into a string of obscenities. If I remember correctly, the ending was something like, "Oh, and incidentally, Francis P. Church died in the arms of another man, broke and scorned by his family." It was a really angry piece of writing. Too angry to be coherent. At the end of the three days, I gave up and asked Koyen for a mulligan. A week later my fangs had retracted, and I was back cheerfully offering my worthless opinions on the political issues of the day.

I hate Christmas. I hate it more than anyone in the world. Put me in a room with the man you think is the world's biggest Christmas-hater, and within 10 minutes he'll be shining my shoes. Christmas is the world's most compelling argument for immediate nuclear attack against the territory of the United States. American Christmas makes heroes of Osama bin Laden, Jim Jones, the Shining Path, the Baader-Meinhofs, Jack the Ripper and the virus that causes AIDS.

It is true that American Christmas has not yet reached the point where it excuses the crimes of the Nazi Party. Still, even the regime of Adolf Hitler was probably too burdened by humanity to dream up an endless loop of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, blared over the speakers in the escalator entrance to Bed Bath and Beyond. We are the first explorers to set foot on this region of hell.

Commercialism is one thing, but it isn't the commercialism that really defines Christmas in this country. After all, we expect businesses to feverishly hump the leg of every available sentiment in an attempt to sell us their products. That's their job.

Warner Bros. and Houghton-Mifflin would really be remiss in their responsibilities to their shareholders if, in making their vile, saccharine Tom Hanks adaptation of the totalitarian Christmas tale The Polar Express, they did not invite every marketing rapist on both coasts to take their turn at the body politic. It would be morally wrong for these companies to pass up the chance to give humanity special Polar Express Brio train sets and figurines, or Polar tees by Evy and Thunder Creek, or special sleepwear by Wormser (Polar PJs for Polar toddlers!), or an exciting array of Polar Hallmark products (stationery, plush giftware, albums, gift wrap, paper party goods!), or die-cut Polar book sets, or THQ Polar interactive games, or Hasbro Polar puzzles, or special Kraft and Pepsi Polar tie-ins and Polar Fritos and train-shaped cardboard Polar books (suggested age range for the All Aboard the Polar Express board book: "Birth to three years") for kids too young to move or speak or do anything but recognize primitive shapes.

Yes, shove these and more, along with a special Polar Express train set by Lionel, into every orifice of every child customer. Then, so that he can spend the holiday season enjoying the wonders of unspoiled wilderness, give him and his family a batch of tickets to a special Polar Express promotion on the Grand Canyon railroad, so that everyone can experience the Christmas magic while they stare at the rocks and the river and the sand and whatever the fuck else is out there, in the wilds of Idaho or New Jersey or whatever goddamn state the Grand Canyon is in. Is it too late to bring in a snow machine and a bunch of billboard towers? Who owns the rights to these cliffs?

I have no problem with this kind of thinking, none at all. Believe me, if I worked for Warner Bros., I'd be spinning off a Polar Confessions tv show about arctic wife-swapping and a Polar porn mag called Polar Inches for the yuletide homosexual. No stone would be left unturned.

It would be madness to get upset. Only a lunatic hates a company for selling things. Hate is an emotion that should be reserved for purely emotional transgressions—traitorous passivity, for instance. What I don't get is why there's no backlash from the population. Why aren't more mall Santas beaten to death? Why weren't there theater shootings when Jim Carrey's Lemony Snicket movie opened? How is it that year after year passes without a single Abercrombie & Fitch set on fire?

Every year, like clockwork, nativity scenes in dozens of ass-end small American towns are vandalized. I search for these stories every year, because they are the only things that cheer me up in the last week leading up to Christmas. To date, this year's best came last Monday, at a Catholic church in Knoxville, TN. According to a wire news service:

"Someone cut off the baby's head and arms and doused the stumps in red paint. The vandal or vandals also threw the baby's head through a glass door, scrawled an upside-down cross on Mary's robe and covered her face with paint."

Reading this, it was hard for me not to feel a tremendous kinship with the culprit, and even a hint of professional envy. I'm pretty sure I could have thought up most of those moves, including the upside-down cross, but why cover Mary's face with paint? Why her face? I have no idea what that means, but I love it.

Most of these nativity desecrations are directed not specifically at Christmas, but at God and religion in general. While this is a noble urge in itself, it really has nothing to do with hating Christmas, an utterly irreligious phenomenon. Jesus has been dead for almost 2000 years—why not throw Kathie Lee Gifford's head through a glass door?

Besides, the mere fact that we leave the only significant acts of anti-Christmas violence in this country in the hands of a few scattered bands of spiritually confused drunken teenagers says everything you need to know about the adult population in this country. America produces hundreds of thousands of college graduates every year, and not one of them ever does anything to stop Christmas. They just keep entering the workforce, keep dumping giant steel canisters of Holiday Spirit into our reservoirs in the middle of the night on the orders of their bosses, keeping the secret to themselves, never telling their spouses or their children the awful truth about What They Have Done.

So die, Virginia, you little bitch. Die a painful death this Christmas. Die waiting for Santa Claus to come down that chimney. He is not coming. But I am—to eat your corpse.



 

.. This Issue ...........Home............. Contact........Archives

Disinformation Age

Allan Uthman

....The problem with the left is that our whole model of changing opinions—that contrary facts will alter people’s views—is inherently flawed. Mundane, oafish Americans, in a national competition to see how many $3.99 “support our troops” ribbon magnets they can fit onto the backs of their Suburbans, simply aren’t interested in reality...Let’s face it; there is a sizable chunk of the population who deny the validity of evolution—evolution. Who are we kidding, thinking we can make them see the errors in Social Security privatization?


Christmas in Hell!

Matt Taibbi

NO ONE NOTICED, of course, but last year, I did not file a column on Christmas week. This was not because I was too busy with a long schedule of holiday merry-making.

On the contrary: As editor Jeff Koyen can attest, I actually tried to write a column on Christmas last year. I spent three long days reading and rereading the old New York Sun's hideous "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" column, and tried to come up with a satisfying counter-argument. The opening was easy enough:


Celebrity Holiday Greetings

Hey everyone! Aren't my tits great? Truly they are a gift unto us from the Holy Father. I'm so hot for Jesus!

Please buy Nick's album. He could really use the help.

 


Power 1, Truth 0

Michael Manville

On December 12th I opened my Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times and saw in the obituaries that Gary Webb was dead. More specifically, I saw that Gary Webb had killed himself. He had, it seems, shot himself in the head. When movers arrived at his house on Saturday they found a note on the door that said "Please do not enter. Call 911 and ask for an ambulance."


Ridiculous Gift Guide

Matt Taibbi

The Devito Code: A new and baffling sequel to the much-lauded Da Vinci Code, involving a murder mystery in Hollywood which leads to the pointlessly protracted revelation of a secret code interspersed throughout the body of work of actor/director Danny Devito.


Insane in the Ukraine

Matt Taibbi

I've been trying to avoid the subject of Ukraine, not only in this column, but in general. Like anyone with strong ties to Russia, I have a whole range of feelings about Ukraine and Ukrainians, not all of them generous.



Sleeping With the Fishes

Chris Abbey

What do dying urban centers need to keep them afloat when everything and everyone has long since moved out to the suburbs? A gimmick, of course, like the Arch in St. Louis or, even cooler, a Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of fame like Cleveland has! Too bad those ideas were already taken, and the only thing our leaders could think of is resurrecting the long dead Aud and turning it into a massive Bass Pro outdoor shop, along with a hotel and restaurant.


Happy Bhopal to You

Matt Taibbi

THE BHOPAL DISASTER had its 20th anniversary last week, and so was duly (and briefly) commemorated in the inside sections of a few American newspapers.

It is unlikely, however, that any public figures are going to pay tribute to what happened 20 years ago this week. Which is too bad, because as far as America is concerned, the week of Dec. 9 to 16 was the more important week of the Bhopal disaster. That's when we got over Bhopal.


Drowning the Scorpion

Stan Goff

When I was first invited by Dr. Stephen Smith to speak at Winthrop University in South Carolina, I was preparing a trip to Haiti and I didn't give much thought to how I would handle the engagement. I'd just finished being pole-axed by a bout of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and it was everything I could do to just pull the Haiti trip together. So I didn't pay much attention to the person who would appear with me - one Patrick Clawson - to represent "the other side" in a forum/debate billed as "What Next in Iraq? A Post-Election Perspective."


[sic]

Seeing your last rag/magazine complaining about the last Presidential elections made me laugh. You commies have nothing better to do but insult our President, our country and our troops. You all should go back and help your fellows brothers in the Ukraine, where there really was a corrupted and stolen election.


The Top 10 Hacks of the 2004 Election

Matt Taibbi

10 - GEORGE WILL, NEWSWEEK: Will uses big words and pompous literary references to dress up what are basically the brutish and vulgar thinking patterns of a non-union meat-packing plant owner. He is a pig in a lace hat.



Pick of the Litter

Pat Ragpicker

It's 4am on a winter night, and I'm parked on a dead end street near Kaisertown. It’s a secluded corner of the city I found by driving around aimlessly. I'm new to town, and penniless after buying my van with $700 I squirreled away the last time I got a paycheck. That was 7 months ago. Over those months, I managed to live off a few hundred bucks while sleeping in a warehouse closet and helping some friends make a TV show to try selling to a network.



Too Cool for School

Al Uthman

In the decomposing cesspool of Buffalo's public schools, City Honors has long been regarded as something of a gem. In fact, it is widely regarded as the best school the city has to offer, with the brightest kids around.


Tortures-R-Us

Christopher Lord

Iraqis wondering what the next phase of the Republicans' invasion of their country will bring should consider El Aguacate airstrip in Honduras. In 2001, 185 bodies were dug up there: the victims were the 'terrorists' and 'enemies of democracy' of the day.




O Buffalo

Al Uthman

It's time to face some unpleasant facts, Buffalo. This country may not be the best place for us anymore. On November 2nd, we all bore witness to a terrible turning point in our history; a bad lifestyle choice, if you will. We had the chance to reject the increasing madness of our nation's leadership, their blind march to pointless war and craven desire to take advantage of us in every manner conceivable, and we blew it. America has spoken, and it said "duh."



10 Ultra-cynical Ways to Beat the Republicans

Why did the Democrats lose? At least in part, it's because they thought that being right would actually work in their favor. Let's face it, logic doesn't mean squat in politics. People say there's too much cynicism in politics today, but we think there really isn't enough. Cynicism works. The Republican Party has embraced it, and it has worked wonders for them. The Democrats have made some progress in this area, but they are still lagging badly. If there's any hope for the blue states, they must learn the lessons of Machiavelli and Rove. To help them along, the BEAST offers these suggestions.