Happy Boxing Day

but, more to the point, St Stephen’s Day:

“St. Stephen was a Christian martyr who was stoned to death for his belief in Jesus. He is the patron of stoneworkers and also is associated with horses. This day ‘drew in’ other more ancient traditions. In Ireland, boys go from door to door gathering money for a ‘dead wren’ they carry, supposedly stoned to death, but really a remnant of ancient Druidic wren sacrifices for the winter solstice. In Poland, people throw oats at the priests and walnuts at each other – things supposedly symbolic of the stoning, but in reality these things were done long before as fertility rituals.”

“Give a toast to those who try to do good despite the odds, and a toast to those who struggle to do better despite tough circumstances.”


Moscow officials examine Potter books:

“Moscow prosecutors have opened an investigation into whether the Harry Potter series of children’s books incite religious hatred, an official said Wednesday.

The investigation was started at the request of a Moscow woman who was upset by the novels, said Svetlana Petrenko, a spokeswoman for the Moscow city prosecutor’s office.

Petrenko gave no futher details on the complaint. The Interfax news agency reported that the woman who sought the investigation believes the second volume in the series contains occult propaganda.” Associated Press


All the Sex Has Been Edited Out.

Or Has It?

Inspiration for the series struck in 1999 when Ms. Carton, a sculptor, was surfing through online pornography and found her eye drawn not to the bodies in one particular image, but to two background objects: a model Corvette and a copy of “The Grapes of Wrath.”

“I can understand the car, but I’d never seen any literary reference in porn before,” she said. “It grabbed my eye. At that moment, I started saying, ‘What does this have to do with desire?’ I started looking at the details in a different way.” NY Times