Donald Trump entered last at the National Cathedral.
With fumbling informality, he passed his bulky overcoat to a startled military escort like the poor man was a hatcheck girl.
There he sat for the world to see — surly and sullen on the aisle seat of the very first row — a mouse among men.
Things move quickly, then happen all at once.
As he lurched down the red carpet in Buenos Aires two weeks ago at the G-20 gathering of international leaders, one thing became embarrassingly clear. In less than two years, this aberrant American president has transitioned from leader of the free world to global loner, dragging us along for the steady slide.
Now he’s “Individual 1” – first on a looming list of losers as the sky darkens with so many chickens coming home to roost.
Although limited in content, last Friday’s separate court filings involving the sentencing of convicted felons Michael “Fixer” Cohen and Paul “Double Cross” Manafort depict “Individual 1” as being demonstrably involved in criminal intrigue – intent and extent to be shortly determined.
But it’s Christmastime, so that’s it for Trump for now.
Deck the halls.
I used to think the next few words were “with balls of Holly” until Sister Mary Catherine pointed out the proper word was “boughs.” This was fifth grade. She never had a problem with “gay apparel,” perhaps being more open minded than she seemed at the time.
There is such an emotional pull in December with so many seasonal songs impacting our collective psyche, particularly on a subconscious level. This is the music of childhood, no matter our years. Some selections fill us with joy while others bring mysterious melancholy. There often seems no rhyme or reason.
Cultural shifts can be detected in the second half of the 20th Century as “Little Drummer Boy” in 1958 gave way to such festive ditties as “Santa Claus and His Old Lady” in 1971 and “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” in 1978. These present evidence of a cynical reaction to the inherent discomforts of nostalgic sentimentality. Reluctant resignation to the commercialization of Christianity may bring similar unease.
I don’t know how “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (1944) became a Christmas classic, but it has now surfaced as the center of raging controversy, being excluded from holiday programming by many radio stations seeking not to offend. The allegation is that the lyrics suggest improper seduction. This is supposedly driven by the “Me Too” movement and WDOK in Cleveland, which made a big deal out of pulling the tune from airplay two weeks ago, generating plenty of national publicity in the process. This instantly brought about copycat imitation by many “me too” facilities bereft of originality, seeking similar distinction in their respective markets.
In 1949, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” won an Academy Award as Best Original Song after being prominently featured in “Neptune’s Daughter.” It was a “call-and-response” song. Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban sang it first in the film, then Betty Garrett and Red Skelton reversed the roles, offering the idea that either gender may properly initiate closer contact. Good thing. Many boys don’t relate to girls and become men afraid of women. Pass it on.
Even poor “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” has become the subject of debate with an article in The Huntington Post describing the annual TV video as “seriously problematic” due to “the bullying that Rudolph faces for his shiny nose” and “verbal abuse from his father for trying to cover things up.”
Is “Silent Night” depressing to the deaf?