Monday, March 10, 2008

Celebrate No Child Left Behind

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Rogue Elf

Um, right. Actually, THAT was my handiwork as well. Really, Canadapost. With that many volunteers answering children's letters to Father Christmas, you really should have anticipated someone like me taking advantage of it.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Red Star Cookie Brigade

Hey Comrades, look what I made to bring to the department "Holiday Cookie Swap."

It's not just a War On Christmas-It's a Revolution! Hey, ya gotta be a Zapatista where you live, yanno?

I'll make the egg nog and we can sit round the fire singing the Internationale.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Reindeer Hunting

Who knew my War On Christmas would get so popular? Particularly in America's Heartland of Lincoln, Nebraska.

Seems one of my young volunteers in the War On Christmas tackled an inflatable lawn ornament and was charged with vandalism for "reindeer hunting." I might as well admit it-I have a training camp for these youngsters where I make them climb monkey bars and crawl across snow covered ground on their bellies whilst toting an inflatable snow-globe, a bottle of Jim Beam and a couple of Baby Jesus figurines plucked from Nativity Scenes across town. I gave them all balaclavas to wear because it looks so tough and December is really cold in the Midwest. I even supplied material support to their terrorising of lawn ornaments by buying them all a hearty dinner at Runza before setting out to trash people's displays. Hey, did you know the Italian Runza Sandwich is back? Well, now you do-capiche?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Actually, That Was Me

It wasn't an oversight when the school in Spokane for got to put Christmas on the event calendar-it was me! I personally sneaked in there under cover of night (and enormous pine trees-have you ever seen how big the pine trees are in Spokane? They're huge!) and switched all the calendars to be sent out with my altered versions that deliberately excluded Christmas. Take that, Christians!

And I slipped a couple extra copies of The Golden Compass into the school library while I was there.

Take that too, Christians! Come on slowpokes, you're gonna lose the war. Na-na-na-na-you can't stop me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

John Dewey's Favourite Things

It has been brought to my attention that as a celebrity (me? Really? I hear it's so) I'm supposed to offer up my list of "favourite things", for the holiday season. Yes, yes, I realise this is supposed to be war and all that, but everyone likes presents! Really, one needn't feel obligated to limit their generosity to the celebration fairy tales. John Dewey's favourite things make swell gifts the whole year through. Right, so let's have it then, eh? Very well. In no particular order, John Dewey's favourite things for 2007 are as follows:

1) The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy, and Other Essays in Contemporary Thought (New York: Holt, 1910; London: Bell, 1910). This is riveting reading sure to satisfy the most discriminating philosopher on your gift-giving list. Makes an attractive gift for biologists as well.

2)Art as Experience (New York: Minton, Balch, 1934; London: Allen & Unwin, 1934). Perfect for the art historian in your life, or anyone else that enjoys incomprehensible rubbish (wait, I didn't actually say that...well never mind that)-it makes a lovely gift and is currently still in print, though only in paperback. Yes, that will look cheap I'm afraid-best present the book with a box of candy and flowers.

3) Everyone Should Be Killed, an older record by a lovely little band from Boston with the curiously charming name Anal Cunt. Get it? "Anal Cunt." I just don't know why , but that really just tickles me every time I think about it. Sort of like that cartoon character Catdog. You know, a cat and a dog =Catdog. Or, in the case of the musical act, Anal Cunt. God, that's just so clever-wish I'd thought of it myself. That would have been a much better title than Democracy and Education. Regrets, regrets, life's full of them. I can't imagine anyone that wouldn't be thrilled to find a copy of Everyone Should Be Killed, wrapped-up in a sparkly bow. I know I would.

4) The Quest for Certainty: A Study of the Relation of Knowledge and Action (New York: Minton, Balch, 1929; London: Allen & Unwin, 1930). Oh, now this is good reading. You'll want to stay up late reading this, so a nice gift to give with it would be one of those mini-book lights that clip on the cover of a book. Of course, your bed partner will probably request you read it aloud, being unable to sleep wanting to know just what wisdom old Dewey had to impart in this hefty tome.

5) Candle-Licious, a company out of Illinois makes these wonderfully scented candles, just perfect for setting the mood to kick back and relax with a copy of Art as Experience, or the previously mentioned musical stylings of Anal Cunt. They have a wide selection of scents from baby powder to leather (ha-and you thought it was just you(!)) and even a sweet little scent of Vermont Apples, which being from Burlington myself, I can attest is a pleasant smell if ever there was one. I just can't get enough of these things, though unfortunately they don't have one scented in either anus or cunt-perhaps their research and development people can get on that.

6) Join My Society! Thirty bucks a year gets you in and a subscription to Educational Theory. Now how much would you pay? But wait, there's more!You get a book length edition of the annual John Dewey Lecture. I'm tellin' you folks, the Pedagogic Creed was never so much fun.

7) Gadgets are always terrific gifts, and here's one that I'm really impressed with. It's called a Salad Shooter. This little gadget really does make every part of every meal attractive-even Walleye. It's true! When I get home late, the last (and I mean, the last) thing I want to do is stand at the kitchen counter engaged in the tedium that is slicing cucumbers and radishes-I loathe standing at the kitchen counter after a long day cutting cucumbers and radishes-now I don't need to. It really does revolutionise the way meals are prepared. And it's safer than a mandolin-I've still got ten intact fingers to prove it!

8) Something for the kids on your list? I want to tell you about a wonderful product, it's called Baby Einstein-you know, like Albert. I can't believe I didn't think of this myself; you put the baby in front of a television and in a few months, you've got a genius. No kidding. I mean all those years of trying to instill study habits and comprehension and even good citisenship-when all I needed to do was flip on the telly. Ah well, live an learn as they say. And at these low prices, it really does democratize education. Bravo, Baby Einstein, Al would be proud.

9) Here's something for the coffee lover on your list-instant coffee in International flavours! These tasty drinks will bring back fond memories of that saucy waiter in Vienna. Best of all, you don't need to leave the comforts of home and be groped by airport security just to get a cup of coffee.

10) Finally, if your kid is going to be an Einstein, you might as well be a Rembrandt-these nifty little paint by number projects can show you how. Oh, you'll experience art all right-right at the kitchen table, and suitable for framing. Look, you have to take it seriously as an art form, it's in the Smithsonian.

Happy Shopping!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Hey Kids, Uncle Dewey's Back!

Did you miss me? Awwww.

So. It's the most wonderful time of the year again. Blech. All poinsettias, lachrymose cries of children denied their special desired toy (well, all right, that's actually sort of fun watching the greedy little bastards come up empty handed) oh and the music, the music! It almost makes me wish God did exist, if only to stop the strains of that horrible, Hallelujah! chorus. Oh Handel, there would be a special place waiting for you in Hell, if there were a Hell, instead, you just get me waving my fist in the air railing against the Hallelujah! It's bad enough with five or six, but oh no-they fill auditoriums with these idiotic musical illiterates (and I don't mean in a good way like the religious nutters with their hand bells, because that at least has some cultural value) "mumble, mumble, don't know the words....Hallelujah!"

Please, do not start in on me about "Christmas being for the children." Oh yes, the wonderful little children. Let me clue you in about these sweet, angelic "children" everyone is convinced the holidays benefit. Ahem-I do know a thing or two about the youngsters as you're probably aware. I must tell you, being completely frank, that the dear little ones are, in fact, playing you for goddamned stupid fuckers. Oh stop pretending to be aghast, everyone at Chicago curses like that-we learn it from the sweet, angelic children at the Lab School.

Now, last year, I admit my little War On Christmas lost steam well before the dreaded day, but I attribute that to the rather extraordinary sale on cordials this time of year and well, we all know I can't really resist the lure of Creme de Menthe. Usually, given the exploitative wage I'm paid (they have the chutzpah to tell me how fortunate I am to be tenured-tell it to my fuckin' accountant-so lucky I'm frigging broke) I have to resort to the medicinal, yet minty drunk one gets from mouthwash-but last year, oh last yeah was a good year for bargain cordials. Me? I'm not so "cordial" drinking cordials (unless throwing up all over the department chair's precious Oriental rug counts as being a cordial guest) but if I can pass out before spewing vomitus across campus-all the better. Happy holidays indeed. So anyway, yeah, I was far too sloshed last year to fully wage battle as I'd hoped to do. This year, economy headed straight to the shitter (oh nostalgia, just like '29) it's back to the minty-fresh drunk of Scope for me, and John Dewey's War On Christmas marches on.

Hallelujah! Ha-le-lu-jah!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Day One-War On Christmas 2007

Of course, this is a multi-generational effort so don't expect "mission accomplished" any time soon (besides, I don't own a flight suit). But continue to fight we must-the Christians want to establish a radical Christianiphate! We can't have that, it's a dangerous ideology.

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes,
Your Pal,
Johnny Dewey (or don't he?)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

It's Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Christmas

Well, well, we're nearly at the conclusion of this year's War on Christmas (tm). Personally, I have not had this much fun since Christmas of 1974 when I was gifted a magnificent bauble called a "mood ring." Interestingly, that was the same year I discovered an enjoyable little pastime called "*fisting" which I knew I was enjoying as the ring kept coming out of the orifice blue, which according to the ring's instructions would indicate I was having a splendid time indeed.

So what are you getting for Christmas. Remember, 'tis better to give than receive-particularly when it comes to fisting.

*Inserting one's hand into an orifice, typically an anus or vagina but occasionaly...well, nevermind.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Condition Of The World

Every year, just before Christmas, I get a visit from the local Je-hoo-vies Witnesses. Typically, I bite my tongue as the two elderly women dispatched to my door point to the childishly simplistic drawings adorning their literature and tell me how the world is supposed to be. I politely take their pamphlets and wish them well, knowing better than to invite them in.

But this year, well-there's a war on. I have no idea what their stance on Christmas is-nor do I really care. You see, we secular humanists lump all Christians together and make generalisations every single chance we get-facts be damned! Look, I don't make the rules, if you don't like it, complain to the ACLU or the Lawyer's Guild-the fine-print arm of the War On Christmas Army.

Anyway, withered old bag # 1 starts in with "Many people are concerned about the condition of the world..."

I quickly interrupted her,

"Well, I'm not-would you please leave?"

Happy Holidays.

The Battle of Britain

I'm pleased to hear that the War on Christmas (tm) is being waged by our cousins across the Atlantic as well.

I actually had an entire chapter of Democracy and Education devoted to exploding the Father Christmas myth however, my editors insisted I leave it out and discuss the role of civics instead.


The Final "Surge"

Yes friends, the War On Christmas(tm) is in the final "surge" where we secular humanists pull out all the stops.

Now that Father Christmas has dropped dead before a gathering of youngsters, it should be a simple enough thing to get Frosty and Rudolph as well.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Be Of Good Cheer (and Aim)!

At last I've found a use for all those disgusting spun-glass ornaments people insist on giving me year after year.

And you know, it is so much more satisfying than shooting at tin cans on a fence.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The War Resumes!

So I stumbled upon a fellow today wearing a shirt that read,
"God's Army."

Look, I realize this is war, etc. but if you're going to have an "army" you should at the very least, have some sort of uniform beyond a cheap t-shirt. Hell, even Che and the boys had matching berets. Look, go over to Wal-Mart or one of your "hate values" approved shrines of capitalism and get yourselves some decent duds. Really, you look worse than the Lincoln Brigades did in the Spanish Civil War (and even they managed to throw together some decent attire).

What's more, I've seen God's army, and from what I've observed-they can't even march.

Monday, November 20, 2006

War On Christmas-Day Twelve

Look, I know what you're thinking;
"Oh, that John Dewey is always making value judgments when it comes to religious types."

Sure, it's true. I admit that I make value judgments. So does everyone else, the difference being my reference points are based in actual things that exist, not the commands of some imaginary god. Oh shit, I did it again...oh well, have some egg nog, will you?

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

War On Christmas-Day Eleven

This year, I'm insisting everyone at work call the gift exchange, "Secret Secularist."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

War On Christmas-Day Ten

I was in line at the grocer when the child that had screamed his way through various aisles ended up directly behind me. Still tormenting his mother and being a generally awful beast, I took the opportunity to use the new mobile telephone I'd purchased. I waited until the brat made eye contact to whip-out the phone.

"Hello, operator? Get me Father Christmas."
( Then, directly to the child),
"You are soooo on the naughty list this year."

I wished the mother "Happy Holidays" but I dare say she might not have heard me over the ensuing hysteria.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

War On Christmas-Day Nine

Today on campus, I overheard what I though was a youngster singing "O Tannenbaum" yet as I approached I quickly recognized the song was in fact, "Raise the Red Flag."

I invited the lad to join my War On Christmas (tm) and he agreed. We're going to crash a sorority soiree and after we've pursuaded a few co-eds to come down to the motorcar for some necking we're going to shatter their worlds by wishing them "Happy Holidays." Boy, won't they be steamed!

Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 13, 2006

War On Christmas-Day Eight

Another "Bell Ringer" confronts me with saccharine smile and blessings.

"Sorry", I informed him, "This year, I'm giving all my money to drunken homosexual atheists. Maybe next year, Happy Holidays."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

War On Christmas-Day Seven

I was out and about today and noticed the village Christmas tree and nativity scene are up rather early. Heh, heh, heh, I was out rather late...with my two English Sheepdogs Theory and Practice.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

War On Christmas-Day Six

Harrumph. The “bell ringers” are out in force already. Yes of course, I realize they must get an early jump on collecting funds to sober-up drunkards. So many drunkards.

I spotted my mark clanging away outside the dry goods store.

“Hello my good man. Brisk outside today, wouldn’t you agree?”

“(nodding cheerfully) Oh yes sir, quite cold.”

“(slipping a half-pint of rye whiskey from my coat pocket) “Here you go buddy, have a nip-good for the heart I hear. Oh, andHappy Holidays.”

Friday, November 10, 2006

War on Christmas-Day Five

It appears major retailers are ditching the Happy Holidays in favor of the more insincere, pandering "Merry Christmas."

Ah yes, the purchasing power of the ignorant-can't hardly blame corporate America for exploiting stupidity when and where it rears its ugly (and really, it is quite ugly) head.

"The business of business is business", or so the saying goes. Philospohers, on the other hand, well, it's like the bumper sticker says;

"Philosopohers are great lovers...of truth."

And there's no God. Or Father Christmas. Happy Holidays.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

War On Christmas-Day Four

I went down to Gimbles at lunchtime-the place was teeming with youngsters lined-up to sit on Farther Christmas' lap. Loudly, I announced for all to hear,

"There is no Father Christmas, and this fellow is a junkie that spends his evening hours turning tricks at Times Square. Furthermore, there's no God either. Happy Holidays."

Score another one for Dewey.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

War on Christmas-Day Three

Oh my, I was naughty today! Everyone I encountered, I smiled and wished "Happy Holidays." You should have seen the simmering anger in their faces as they uttered retorts of "Merry Christmas." I certainly showed them.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Day Two, War on Christmas

I suppose many of you are wondering, “Why does John Dewey hate Christmas so much? Surely others reject Christianity without waging all out war. You don’t see Rorty or Singer out bludgeoning Salvation Army bell ringers to death and stealing away with their bells and kettles. Perhaps John Dewey has some dark Christmas memory from childhood provoking such strong anti-Christmas reactions.”

Nay, the Christmases of my youth were of the sort people pine for these days. Those frigid Christmas mornings in Burlington, when we’d all pass round a bottle of rye and take turns nibbling at a communal block of specially aged cheddar are cherished memories. For supper, mother would serve the last of the previous year’s maple syrup and we’d all retire to the parlour to read the latest missive from that Marx fellow. Then, we’d read that scientist gentleman, ah what was his name…you know, the one with the finches in the Galapagos…well anyway, we’d have our fill of reading, rye and maple cream and then head out to rough-up the local minister. Great fun, great fun.

In later years, when the dreaded concept of the workplace Christmas party came into vogue, I did my very best to be a sport. In the early days at Chicago, I’d routinely head over to the lab school and spike the children’s punch in a spirit of celebration. Oddly enough, it was at Christmastime that they sacked me, though truth be told, they did me a tremendous favour as Columbia was pleased to have me and as we all know, Columbia is swarming with Jews thereby relieving me of the forced Christmas merriment. I spun many a dreidel in my New York years. Now, the Jews at Columbia…they know how to wage war on Christmas. No “Chanukah Bushes” for the Columbia crowd, thank you very much.

I mean, all that mistletoe, and elderly librarians trying to pin you in the doorway as they forced their withered tongues into your mouth and grabbed a bit of buttock for good measure. Oh, the debauchery of the holidays. Hate it, just hate it. It’s all a lie anyway. Immaculate conception-good one. We used to get more than a few of those back in Burlington.

Monday, November 06, 2006

This Means WAR!

Fine, fine, I know it is proper to wait until after the Thanksgiving holiday for the traditional start to the Christmas season...however I cannot bear it a moment longer. I've decided to get a jump on the "War on Christmas" (tm) this year and begin today.

For years, I've been getting the credit for waging war on Christmas, therefore I've decided to actually go ahead and do it. So there. It's true. I hate Christmas. In fact, I hate it so much, I'm going to spell it "X-Mass." Furthermore, I hate X-Mass so much I'm going to stop using the letter "C" altogether, as it only serves to remind me of Christmas. I suppose that means I'm dining on Xhixen for dinner this evening, sitting in my favourite Xhair.

I must take leave now to work on my sequal to "Is Logic A Dualistic Science." I'm thinking of the title,

"Is Logic a Dualistic Science? Who The Hell Cares, I'm Waging War on Christmas!"

-Wonder if my publisher will bite...

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