Monday, November 21, 2016

They start early in Las Vegas

A festive evening lighting the Christmas tree at The Linq Las Vegas.

Donny Osmond posted this photo to his Facebook page on Saturday. And I thought Sis and I were jumping the gun, beginning to watch Hallmark Christmas movies the middle of last week! Sheesh!


  1. Argh! WAY too early for me. I don't even begin Advent until next Sunday. Ha!

    1. Just wait--pretty soon Christmas will begin before Hallowe'en, and Santa Claus will arrive in The Great Pumpkin!


    2. Y'know, that could be an improvement. Then, S.C. would only be bringing gifts to people sitting in sincere pumpkin patches...and for a change the humble would be exalted.

    3. I hate to tell you guys this, but the Hallmark Channel began showing Christmas movies before Halloween this year, and the M&Ms a friend gave me before Halloween were Christmas ones. I think pretty soon, Christmas is gonna start around the Fourth of July. :P

  2. I first posted this Sunday evening at 10:23pm. However, I botched it so badly I'm going to repost it here and delete it there...carrying forward Catreona's comment as well.

    We made it back from the wedding in NH. =Whew!= We tended VT*Granson, age 3, and his little sister, age 1, both of whom were feeling a little confused about Mom & Dad being there yet not much accessable. The little one was so tired and so on stimulation overload that when we arrived (in the busy lobby) she didn't quite recognise me (I was out of context and by then I think she was blocking out faces). As soon as she heard my voice, though, she lunged for me, even though her Mom was holding her. Melted my heart!! We saw the first six minutes of the wedding and the first half hour of the reception. LOL! We hung out with them while their parents partied (her Mom was matron of honour) after the rehearsal and into the last evening. So, we spent most of the two days in their hotel room or ours (next room over); but the weather was beautiful and there were times when we got to take them for a walk or to play on the huge wrap around porch. They were both soooo sweet and well behaved, even though they had colds. But I spent so much time walking (and singing to) the little one, that I'm exceptionally exhausted and I have some interesting muscle aches. Ah, but so sweet!! Their maternal grandmother (also mother of the bride) remarried when their mother was 5 years old. So our little Grand Girl wore the same dress which her Mother had worn to that wedding! Lots of happy smiles and a few tears over that! ;-)

    The weather was gorgeous for the wedding!!! Clear blue sky and 60F on Nov 19th in northern NH!! So today compensated. As we drove home, we went through Crawford Notch (Google it!) in rain, saw a beautiful November rainbow (!), and as we drove into Vermont we drove into snow. 2" on the ground here by mid-afternoon when we got home. 3" when I checked at 8pm. 4" at 12:45am. It's very wet snow and is supposed to be heavily falling tonight and tomorrow. So we did our Thanksgiving grocery shopping on the way home, as I have pies to make!! When we got here we noted a few branches overhanging the driveway too low, and did some pruning after unloading the car. Ha!

    One more wild week, then a half week break, then a wild month. I love the quiet of Winter! Looking forward to January! 😀

    1. Catreona 11/20/2016 11:37:00 PM
      So glad you had a good, if exhaustifying, time, Listener. It's good to be home though. Enjoy your pie making!

      {Sorry I couldn't replicate your nice photo, Cat!}

    2. Thanks, Cat! I plan to have a lot of fun making pies, on Tuesday. :-) I wouldn't dare try it in this snowstorm, though, as the lights have flickered a few times. :-o

    3. How come it takes forever to get the "Reply" button to respond....except when you are composing and don't want it to!?

      I am off for a long snow's "nap"!

    4. Some variant of Murphy's Law, no doubt. Have a nice nap.

  3. Cat (and all)--I was reflecting on that 17 Reasons column I linked to in the previous thread, the most important part of which is in the last two paragraphs (as it should be, in a standard essay). I honestly think that a Marxist perspective will be helpful in these times; just as Confucius was the philosopher of stable societies, Marx was the philosopher of changing societies. Following Hegel, he saw thesis engendering antithesis, and the two merging in a synthesis--which engendered it own antithesis, and so forth ad infinitum.

    I have witnessed the virtual completion of one socio-economic change in our country since my youth;  I was roughly at the cusp of it.

    When I was young, the upper middle class (taking that as those from about the 80th percentile of income and up to ???) were mostly small business owners and independent professionals (e.g. physicians, architects, engineers, accountants).  This roughly corresponds to the petite bourgeoisie. It was a matter of general faith that one could rise from the working class to the upper middle class by working and studying hard, being cautious with one's finances, and starting a small business or becoming a professional.  

    Nowadays the upper middle class is primarily people with graduate school degrees (to which extent it is modestly egalitarian), who are salaried workers (i.e. proletarians) employed by the capitalist class (AKA haute bourgeoisie).  Instead of working their way up from the bottom and learning the work/business thoroughly, they walk straight out of graduate school into generally managerial (and highly paid) jobs where they often earn the contempt of those workers with the experience their predecessors of former generations had.  Kind of like the classical boss's son.

    As an aside, it is in the interest of the capitalist class to cultivate the  desire of these petite bourgeoisie proletarians to be seen as distinct from mere workers; driving such a psychological wedge between different groups of workers further increases the relative power of the capitalists.  I am reminded of a parody of "The Red Flag:"

    The working class can kiss my ass,
    I've got the foreman's job at last;
    The system I'll no more resist,
    I'm going to be a cap-i-tal-ist.
    Now you can raise the banner high,
    Beneath its shade to fight and die;
    But Brother please don't count on me,
    I've up and joined the bourgeoisie.

    I think that it was the decision of the Democratic Party [led by the Democratic Leadership (or Losership?) Council] to re-orient the party away from the interests of the great bulk of workers and toward the interests of the upper middle class (whom they assumed would lead the other workers) that brought us to our current political and economic pass.

    Now the right-wing radicals are in the ascendent, and classical Marxist analysis would hold that is certain to cause the rise of a leftist (in the US a center-leftist) movement which will destroy it [cue Hegel].

    In the words of the column, "Trumpism, however it evolves, cannot unify millennial economic distress with that of older white workers, while Sanders showed that heartland discontent can be brought under the umbrella of a 'democratic socialism' that reignites New Deal hopes for a Economic Bill of Rights."

    I leave you with something classic: The Capitalist Pyramid. [Click] (This is the Wobbly version; the original is from Russia, and has the Tsar at the summit (of the Tsarist Pyramid).

    [Speaker stops foaming at the mouth, furls red flag and descends from soap box.]


    1. "I think that it was the decision of the Democratic Party [led by the Democratic Leadership (or Losership?) Council] to re-orient the party away from the interests of the great bulk of workers and toward the interests of the upper middle class (whom they assumed would lead the other workers) that brought us to our current political and economic pass."

      That feels right; it makes good sense to me. Oh that the Dems hadn't had so much hubris and had listened to us and championed Bernie! What a different situation we and the world would now be in!

    2. As usual, Alan, you are absolutely right and very cogent. Thank you.

    3. I've been thinking about this. More in terms of workplace structure than the recent orientation of the Democratic structure, which I think you have approximately right.
      Maybe I'm out of touch. For pretty much the past 20 years and a significant part of the preceding 20 I have been a self-employed professional. And aside from a few years in the 1950, when I've been an imployee it was in academia or the PR industry. In PR, at least 80% of the workers are salaried employees with a college degree. But aside from highly specialized roles like mine nobody had a graduate degree and I don't see what sort of graduate degree would be helpful.
      I do know that there have been a lot of people getting MBAs recently. But my impression is that much of that is being driven by the financial industry and much of the rest is people already employed going part-time because they see that as a pathway to advancement. That doesn't sound like what you're describing. How do you see it?
      I also wanted to comment that it has looked to me like, since about 1990, it has been easier to start a small or 10person business than it was in the '60s, '70s, or '80s. That was when, as part of the "right-sizing" movement, many large corporations decided hiring someone from outside provided more flexibility than having specialized services performed in-house. Definitely petite bourgeoisie, but in the older sense rather than what you are describing.