December 24, 2008

Madison, Christmas Eve, snow...

As you can see, State Street is nearly entirely bereft of Christmas decorations...


... though an occasional lamppost has a big snowflake on it, as I noted here (prompting HeatherRadish to quip, "The symbol Madison chose to display for the holidays is a flake? Sweet Barack Obama's waffle, that's funny"). The snow itself is a nice, natural winter decoration, but I think there should be evergreens and strings of electric lights twirled around each lamppost.

Bikes are deeply embedded in snow...


... as is this sign memorializing a Vietnam War protest that once took place on this very spot...


... and this yard sign memorializing last month's election...



Trooper York said...

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone in Althouse land.

By the way did I tell you lately that the Giants are going to win the Super Bowl?

ice160 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SteveR said...

Thanks Trooper, same to you.

As for the Giants, I had heard that rumor. Let us know what odds you get on that bet.

I guess they aren't singing, "Its Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas".

Trooper York said...

SteveR I got 16 to 1 in Vegas in July. Lookin' good ya see.

The Giants never get any respect.

joated said...

Merry Christmas folks.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Prof. Althouse...have a great night and a wonderful day tomorrow. Thanks for being the prolific and exciting blogger that you are. I never take your hard work here for granted (can any of you imagine if the Althouse blog just disappeared one day?!), and I appreciate all that you give us, every day!

Big Mike said...

Just a small question, professor.

That Vietnam protest sign, does it commemorate the bombing of Sterling Hall and the murder of Robert Fassnacht?

I guess his daughters are celebrating their 38th Christmas without their father.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Duscany said...

My local public library for the first time in 20 years didn't put up a Christmas tree. I asked a staff member about it. He mumbled some non-responsive answer. I think someone must have complained that Christmas trees make them feel "excluded."

rhhardin said...

Maybe everybody's indoors listening to The Messiah.

Comfort ye

But who may abide

a nice performance, with interesting diversions from the usual melodies, with the exception of a single overworked elaboration at the end of the first. You can't trust tenors.

garage mahal said...

I took a pack of kids sledding at Olbrich on an old skool toboggan I found on Craiglist. Let me tell you, you absolutely cannot help but stop and watch as 4 screaming kids go barreling down a steep hill on a toboggan.

Twisted Blues goes out to Trooper. Can't help but think of Trooper because let's face it, Trooper is twisted, and this tune swings like mad.

Meade said...

"...deeply embedded in snow" made me smile out loud.

Merry Christmas, Althouse you delightful dish of diva, standing a full blonde moptop above all other ordinary divas everywhere. Thanks for another fascinating year here at this the bloggiest of bloggy blogspots.

And Merry Christmas to all you crazy strange smart funny quirky brilliant talented entertaining sweet commenters here who lovingly labor in these vineyards of the cruelly neutral vortex.

And a happy new year.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Merry Christmas all.

And Troop, don't count out an Eli-Peyton mano a mano.

Colts will win of course.

Lawgiver said...

Feliz Navidad. It was a beautiful 72 degrees and sunny today in beautiful San Antonio. You can keep the pretty snow thank you very much.

OldGrouchy said...

TY beat us all to it. Still: Merry Christmas to all and to all Good Night, even to those in Madison!

OldGrouchy said...

Vikings war cry is: Wait til next year with a new coach! Go Giants or Colts!

Lem said...

It looks as if Carolyn has a better chance of hailing a cab in that street than becoming senator of NY. For now.

Go Carolyn, go Pats.

bearbee said...

..... State Street is nearly entirely bereft of Christmas decorations...

Lament of regret? Or mere observation?

bearbee said...

Ooops. Just saw your comments on previous thread on "Christmas, secularism,....".

From Inwood said...

Prof A

Will show all your Mad Wisc pix to my daughter, the PhD from U. Wisc, when she gets here today for Christmas.

Ah, you felt the need to put in an Obama sign. Hey, we're over it; we really are.

And the memorial to the old, repeat old, ant-Viet Nam War kooks. Alas, Horatio, I knew them, having served on the NYC Bar Assn's Military Justice (no smart- ass Oxymoron references please) Committee with a gaggle of them from 1969-75.

Ah good Ol' Mad Wisc. In my daughter's day it was teeming with anti-Semitism. Any monuments to that period?

Merry Christmas to all &, speaking of Christmas, anyone know what's happened to Kwanza?

From Inwood said...


You bring up Caroline K (What's her name).

Let me share with you an e-mail with a friend, in this regard.



In response to my

"Censorship!!! NYT: No Mention Caroline K's (What's Her Name) Special Friendship With Its Boss, Pinch Sulzberger"

you sidebar & say that you:

"think Caroline will wake up one day and say who needs this scrutiny"

There’s as much chance of that as Teddy having awakened saying “where’s Mary Jo?”

BTW, you forgot C's last name, as she & Pinch & the whole gang of NYT fabulists knew you would. (It’s “Schlossberg”; no truth to the rumor that, like the British Mountbattens, she’s changing it to “Mountcastle”.)

[Aside: time for a comment from C/ford re Joos!]

And there’s as much chance of the NYT covering this story as there was of it not covering the McCain gossip crap, the unfounded story about McC’s never-happened affair, which fit their “get Republicans at all cost, truth-be-damned” template.

Merry Christmas to you, also, though the NYT would have me say “Happy Holidays”. BTW, has the NYT discovered whatever happened to Kwanza?


From Inwood said...


I had a bad XMAS in 1946 when the Cleveland Browns, coached by the soon to be iconic, Paul Brown, won the AAFC's first championship, defeating the New York Yankees, yes the NY Yankees football team, 14-9.

Then there the NYG in 1958 in the iconic game & several other losses in the next few years.

O, well, we’ll always have 1956 & last year, not to mention 1987 & 1991.

I am old, I am old....

From Inwood said...

Big Mike

I missed your apt comment when drafting mine about the counterfeit history of Loony Left of Mad Wisc.

My daughter was there in the early 1990s & tho the Viet Nam protesters had gone (as did all after the "Draft" was ended. Ya think?), there were still anti-Semitic, um, incidents.

OK, let's say that this was not representative of the entire Mad Wisc population. And that the “few” bombings were unrepresentative of flower power.

But the counterfeit historians would have it that it was all, repeat all, anti-Viet Nam War all the time.

I say that members of the Mad Wisc Bomber Left don't deserve celebrations. Nor does Mad's anti-Semitism warrant the memory hole.

PS, since I'm going down memory lane, may I note that I served in the Army JAG Reserve with Michael Kunstler, brother of the unspeakable William. Michael was a "lifer" in the reserves. William was famous at the time but not for War protests. He had just written a book called "The Minister and The Choir Singer", about a famous murder in Pre-WW II Jersey. Good read. We never talked politics.

blake said...

Merry Christmas.

And God bless us, everyone!

3D said...


Ann Althouse said...

"Ah, you felt the need to put in an Obama sign. Hey, we're over it; we really are."

Your assumption that it's my yard sign is unjustified and wrong. I've only had a yard sign once in my entire life, and it was for a friend who was running for local office whose husband asked me if he could come over and put the sign in my yard. I've never had a bumper sticker of any kind on my car. And I haven't worn a button for a candidate since 1964, when I wore a Goldwater button.

TosaGuy said...

I think those pictures did a find job of catching state street in all of its banal, sterile, and overhyped glory. No Christmas decorations...very apt. Barely ridden bikes...of course. Obama sign...predictable. Agenda and nostaligic history that too.

From Inwood said...

Prof A

Your assumption that I assumed that the yard sign was yours is equally wrong.

I was simply referring to the fact that, of all the yards in all the towns in all the world, she walks by one with an Obama sign, takes a picture (if that phrase is au courant with all the digital stuff), & posts it.

And you post a paean to the Bomber Left.

And there’s your need to tell me that you wore a Goldwater button in '64.

As the Fred Mac Murray character says about the Humphrey Bogart character in Caine: you're a Freudian delight; you crawl with clues!

Big Mike said...

Inwood, I was a young soldier working in the Pentagon in 1970 so I was well aware that many in the anti-war movement's wanted to kill people. Althouse's picture of a sign celebrating the anti-war movement at Wisconsin leaves me appalled that her university should find anything to celebrate at all. I understand that the three perpetrators who were caught (one got away) got off with little more than wrist slaps. No doubt today's faculty shrugs it off -- it was just a physics post-doc who was killed after all. I presume they figure that you can always get another physics post-doc.

I was at another Big Ten university in the sixties and had a Jewish roommate. Jews were pretty exotic things to those of us raised in small midwestern towns. In my high school we put on "Diary of Anne Frank," and our drama teacher had to bring in a Jewish girl to teach us how to pronounce words like "mazeltov" and to explain the significance of some of the text. Because my roommate was Jewish we had numerous Jews stop by the room. My sense was that some of his Jews friends in our dorm had antenna out for any little thing they could turn into an insult, and others actively invited problems for themselves because they assumed we goyim (itself a bit of an insult, or so I understand today) could not learn enough Jewish words to grasp that being called a shmuck or a putz was an invitation to fight. But I never personally saw an instance where someone hated a Jew just because he was Jewish. Apparently your experience was different.

Ann Althouse said...

Big Mike... 2 things:

1. The sign is on city property, not university property. It's in a pocket park where the panhandlers lounge about all day.

2. I went to the University of Michigan in 1969, and there were plenty of Jewish students.

From Inwood said...

Big Mike

I'll leave it to the Jewish commenters to this Blog to define anti-Semitism, but, IMHO, anti-Semitism was alive & well in Mad Wisc in the early '90s.

And, as a wise man once said: the Bomber Left of the ‘60s & ‘70s was not a moral force. And so their criminal & deadly deeds should not be celebrated. Period.

Big Mike said...

Inwood, I'm not saying that what your daughter experienced was not anti-semitism, though upon rereading my comment it could be interpreted that way and I apologize for that.

Certainly at the time I attended my Big Ten university (not Michigan and for God's sake not Wisconsin) blacks and Jews (even Catholics, for that matter) really did seem exotic to us small town types, and I'm sure it made them uncomfortable. But in my entire time the only nasty episode I personally witnessed was precipitated by a Jewish male who was drunk and looking for a fight. And he should have known he'd find it, white guys from small, Protestant, midwestern towns what we are.

Prof. Althouse, I've been to Madison for conferences, and the fact that it would not have surprised me -- based on my sojourns there -- to find the sign on University property and placed there by the University faculty ought to bring you up short. Show me a photograph of a memorial to Dr. Fassnacht and I'll start to believe that the University of Wisconsin regrets the anti-war activities in and around Madison circa 1970.

From Inwood said...

Since we’re now talking about university life in general, perhaps we're losing sight of the main issue re Mad Wisc: since they're so sanctimonious, the people of The Peoples Republic Of Madison should acknowledge all their History, including their Bomber Left & their anti-Semitism.

You've brought up the Bomber Left
as did I. I also said: "Ah good Ol' Mad Wisc. In my daughter's day it was teeming with anti-Semitism. Any monuments to that period?"

I didn't say there was anti-Semitism at the U. There was & probably still is a large population of Jewish students there. It was in the town. One time when I was there someone had cut the breaks on a school bus for Jewish kids. This was not considered in the paper to be an isolated incident & previous incidents of similar criminal behavior was set forth.

And my daughter, not being Jewish, didn't "experience" it as that term is used in race relations.