Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas? Humboldt.

As you may have gathered, I am a light-hearted person, not averse to finding humour in some traditions, even those associated with the approaching solemn festivities. Indeed, it is not entirely unknown for me to join in from time to time. However, there are limits, and I am disappointed by a combination of appalling taste and scriptural inaccuracy that I find in some of this year’s cards. I will illustrate this by referring to two of them. I have disguised the names of the senders, as I do not wish to cause them embarrassment.

1) Cleronica and Vive sent me this one. Fortunately I opened it before I had had my breakfast. I cannot visualise the circumstances under which penguin paedophilia is in any way amusing, or appropriate for the Christmas message.



2) Nalcolm and Mora. There are so many things wrong with this image, that I am at a loss as to where to begin.


First of all, look at the shadows. When you have finished enjoying “Foot Tapper” or “Apache”, look at the shadows on this image. Two of the camels appear to have 3 feet off of the ground, and the third is in danger of toppling over. Secondly, the gentlemen appear to be moving parallel to the star, rather than towards it. I can think of two reasons for this. Either the artist has no sense of perspective - her name is Louise Cunningham, please feel free to contact her and tell her about it – or she felt that if the travelers were to be seen moving towards the star then the picture would depict three camel arses and she is sparing our sensibilities. However, my largest objection is the presence in this picture of the pyramids. I need to expand upon this objection, please bear with me (alternatively, piss off).


The gospel states that the three kings or magi were from the east. East of Jerusalem that is; they were not from Ipswich. Magi is a term normally associated with a bunch of hippy Zarathustrans from Persia, who were into astrology and other such nonsense. The pyramids are in Egypt. Even after sharing a joint the size of Tehran High Street, it is highly unlikely that these strolling itinerants would wander off course quite so much, particularly as they were following a bloody star. Now, those smartarses among you (i.e. the whole bloody lot) may well say “but Scurra, there were pyramidal structures in Mesopotamia at that time” to which I would counter “bollocks”. Or, you could say that this scene was depicting their journey home, after all the gospel does indicate that they took another route on the return leg, in order to avoid Herod. Yes, BUT, on their way home the star would not have been there, would it? And do you really think they detoured via Memphis? Perhaps they nipped down to Dar es Salaam and caught the hovercraft to Mumbai? No, I say “piffle and balderdash” to all of your justifications.


My Christmas sense of ease has been disturbed, and it is unlikely that I will be able to extract the most from the holiday season. Please try to be more careful in future.

I am also sadly aware of the likelihood that in my placing two of the words in the above consecutively, I will be attracting the attention of a whole new tribe of perverts finding their way here via the offices of Theodore and Evadne Google.

16 comments:

Dave said...

I felt covering my cards in holy glitter would disguise the images beneath sufficient as to not allow for too close an analysis.

ps. Nowhere does the Bible mention there being precisely three magi. There could have been any number from two upwards.

Vicus Scurra said...

Yes, Dave, you are quite right (I did know that and will take more care in future) have you considered a career in which such knowledge would be useful? I mentioned your card earlier. It did not fool me. There is indeed, one East man from the east here.

Vicus Scurra said...

When I say that I knew that, I was, of course, showing off as usual. I only know it because it was on QI recently.

Richard said...

You haven't, I noticed, been troubled by the unlikelihood of a bipedal reindeer wiping its arse on a pair of curtains

Vicus Scurra said...

Richard. I was not troubled, just concerned.

MJ said...

That outfit on Dave...

Is he attempting to lure us onto his lap?

KAZ said...

Your erudition is mind boggling.
In fact my mind is so boggled that I shall be too scared to send you a card next Christmas.

I, Like The View said...

I once wrote a promotional piece of literature for an Egyptian company. . . the powers that were* instructed me to commission "images of pyramids"** for the graphic design element of the brochure. . . (yes, this is a over long, totally irrelevent comment)(no need to break with tradition, eh) (*the English bosses of the people from Egypt)(**their argument was that anyone picking up the brochure would instantly know it was of Egyptian origin, because of the pyramids)

the Egyptian businessmen weren't very happy at all with the pyramids

I resigned from my position as writer and editor shortly after that

I hope this helps (but suspect it doesn't)(that's never stopped me before tho!)

Vicus Scurra said...

MJ. There will be scarcely room for you there, ample though he is in that area.
Kaz. And this year?
ILTV. I am not surprised that you resigned. The past tense of that phrase is "the powers that beed", and it is much overused. Dave will tell you which chapter and verse it comes from, I am fairly sure that it is by that pompous prat Paul of Tarsus, but which of his busybody letters it was, I cannot say.

Tim Footman said...

I seem to remember that the Mesopotamian pyramids were more steppy, to use the highly technical term, so they wouldn't have looked like that anyway.

They could be huge, sculpted piles of camel shit, of course.

Vicus Scurra said...

Tim. Thank you for bringing some highly appreciated erudition to this desert of ignorance, and for lending support to my argument, which, oddly, has been described by others as a sculpted pile of camel shit.

Dave said...

Ziggurats.

Zed said...

Damn good job that I remained faithful and didn't send you a card. You can get some of the most ridiculous cards over here and my favourite are always the ones in Dutch. Loads of gibberish on a pathetic-looking card. Quite delightful, in all honesty.

Donn Coppens said...

Your comprehensive command of Cameldynamics is astounding. The average person would have been blissfully unaware that two of the Magi were in danger of toppling...hopefully the ones carrying the Frankinscence and Myrrh...wtf sort of present is embalming fluid anyway?

Most people are also unconcerned that there is no mention of how many wisemen showed up or that they were actually three wiseguys from the East..which means Jersey.

"Yo Vinnie, so where da f*ck is dis joint anyways? I'm gonna whack dis guy what rented us these ugly freakin' horses..wtf?"

"F*ck if I know? Tony said it was under some bright freakin' star. Jeezuz my ass is killin me!"

"Hey watch your f*ckin language you mutts! Can't yooze see there's some broad havin' a baby over there? Were you guys born in a barn or what?"

Richard said...

Of course, the pyramids could have been a mirage. Providing of course, one can see mirages at night.

Adam said...

No, no! The Magi were clearly just heading to the nearest space-launchpad at the time, which happened to be in Egypt.

http://img123.imageshack.us/img123/6514/followstarspacegj8.png