Do you wonder what I wonder

December 15th, 2005 — Wordman

According to Matthew, three magi brought Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gold had value then, like now, though it’s valuable today for somewhat different reasons. Though cheap now (~$2.50/oz.), at the time, frankincense was one of the most valuable commodities on the planet. Myrrh, likewise, was highly prized. So, what did Mary and Joseph do with these gifts? It seems like such valuable presents would have made them pretty well off, but they are never depicted as such.

Since Mary didn’t put out, I bet Joseph blew it all on hookers. Or, maybe they stashed it away, and gave it to Jesus as a bar mitzvah gift and he went gonzo with it, until he spent it all and had to wander around in robes. Maybe that’s why the lost years have been erased.

Lesson of Christmas

December 25th, 2004 — Wordman

When Robert L. May wrote the verse “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” in 1939 for a Montgomery Ward promotional children’s book, he created something of a phenomenon, particularly when his brother-in-law Johnny Marks turned it into a song in 1949, recorded by Gene Autry. Since then, Rudolph, has become one of the many plagues of Christmas, spawning everything from toys to TV specials to inane debates.

Many say that the point of the Rudolph story is that flaws can be turned into assets; however, in one of many holiday shopping moments spent being brutalized by musical Christmas glee, the following lyrics struck me:

Then one foggy Christmas Eve,
Santa came to say,
“Rudolph with your nose so bright,
Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”
Then how the reindeer loved him

The point of the song, therefore, seems to be “people who are different will be ridiculed until someone popular says they’re OK.” Or, perhaps, “you are nothing until you prove useful to the elite.”

Merry Christmas.