Surrendering the ‘War on Christmas’

‘Tis the season of war- the ‘War on Christmas’. This is the time of year when, traditionally, conservative media outlets employ that phrase to describe what they see as a supposed marginalization of Christmas and a relentless attack against Christmas symbolism, greetings, displays, and spirituality. Their goal in calling this out, they say, is to restore Christmas to its rightful position as a Christian holiday in a Christian America. They seek to do away with the secular trappings of Christmas, … Read more

I return your seasonal greeting card with contempt…

Came across this seasonal gem via Reddit and the Irish Times: “I return your seasonal greeting card with contempt. May your hypocritical words choke you and may they choke you early in the New Year, rather than later.” Prof Kennedy Lindsay, a Vanguard member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, returning a Christmas card from then minister for foreign affairs, Garret FitzGerald, as reported in The Irish Times I confess I had never heard of the good Professor but having a read … Read more

City council recommends no free Christmas parking

This is a rare post from myself that is almost entirely from the perspective of being a motorist. As Belfast City Council’s Growth and Regeneration committee recommends that they do not offer free parking after 6pm or on Saturdays coming up to Christmas, my first reaction is that in fact we are only really discussing one thing: free parking on a Saturday. But what about parking for late night shopping?  Well, only three council car parks charge after 6pm – … Read more

A very Happy Christmas to all Slugger’s readers, fans (and grumpy old detractors…)

I was thinking of letting the headline from Brian’s Stormont House post from yesterday be the last post from Slugger before Christmas, not least because its warm and generous sentiments are probably the best way to finish off a less than optimal year for Northern Irish politics. All government business saved to the end provides warm sense of promise for the new year. 2014 has been an unexpectedly good year for Slugger. With the addition to the team of David McCann as deputy editor … Read more

Forget Turkey – sketches, songs, political satire & belly laughs

The Lyric Theatre’s Forget Turkey is packed full of sketches, songs, spoof adverts and a narrative thread about a supermarket that’s closing its shutters. Multimedia rich and packed with more laughs a minute than any show I’ve attended in years, Forget Turkey starts strongly with a musical review of the year that covers local and world events. Images are projected onto the gable wall of a house, with lyrics of some of the songs appearing to tempt the audience to … Read more

The five, five words of Christmas (incomplete)

Christmas messages run through Wordle. Does what they say a lot, say a lot? DUP Christmas, God’s, Northern, Ireland, birth Sinn Féin Sinn, Féin, Ág, águs, leis UUP Northern, Ireland, Unionist, People, party SDLP: No Christmas message as yet Alliance: No Christmas message as yet Mark McGregorBlogging at: http://heartsofoakandsteel.wordpress.com http://heartsofoakandsteel.wordpress.com