Archive for hanukkah

Lauren Mayer: Good Ol' Down Home Country Hanukkah?



Lauren Mayer is a singer/songwriter/pianist who writes comedy songs about everything from Supreme Court decisions to the Kardashians. She proudly supports leftist causes including equal pay, reproductive choice, fair minimum wage, addressing climate change, and marriage equality.
Note: Check out Lauren's CDs, including her latest, "If My Uterus Were A Gun (And Other Musical Rants From The News)" - available at "" as well as on iTunes and Amazon. Her website is She's on Twitter at @laurenscomedy

From YouTube:

Relatives, fried food, and hunky Maccabean men . . . what could be more country than Hanukkah?


Lauren Mayer: Don't They Know (Not Everyone Does Christmas)?



Lauren Mayer is a singer/songwriter/pianist who writes comedy songs about everything from Supreme Court decisions to the Kardashians. She proudly supports leftist causes including equal pay, reproductive choice, fair minimum wage, addressing climate change, and marriage equality.
Note: Check out Lauren's CDs, including her latest, "If My Uterus Were A Gun (And Other Musical Rants From The News)" - available at "" as well as on iTunes and Amazon. Her website is She's on Twitter at @laurenscomedy

From Lauren's email to me:

This week I'm taking on Bob Geldof's latest resurrection of his pretentious, patronizing monstrosity/holiday classic (depending on your perspective), to raise awareness of my own cause: Don't They Know (Not Everyone Does Christmas)?

From YouTube:

A plea for tolerance, in the grand tradition of overblown rock anthems

I get tired of explaining I don't WANT a Chanukah Bush!


The Book Booth: Happy Hanukkah Edition



Image via Taste of Home

The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing. @SeattleDan, along with his wife, @SeattleTammy, are operators of both an on-line bookstore here, as well as a brick and mortar storefront mini-store in Hoquiam, WA at 706 Simpson Ave (Route 101 South). Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Festival of Lights begins on the evening of Tuesday the 16th and so we wish all of you celebrating a big Happy Hanukkah. Unfortunately, Governor Walker was unable to pass along his own special greeting here, as he's still boning up on Jewish customs and holidays.

For those of you still holiday shopping, and I'm guessing that is most of you, Maria Popov at Brainpickings found this new reissue of East of the Sun, West of the Moon with beautiful illustrations by Kay Nielsen.
East West

However, if you'd been intending to put in the winning bid on the fabled Joan Anderson Letter that we discussed a couple of weeks ago, don't be in a hurry. Both the estates of Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady have made legal claims to the letter and it may not be auctioned at all.
Kerouac letter

Kerouac's novels were in the roman a clef genre, with the names changed to protect the innocent. But recently some authors have dispensed with the name change, and insert themselves right into the story. MentalFloss talks about the authors here.
Authors As Characters In Their Own Books

Truman Capote famously once called Jack Kerouac a typist, not a writer. I think time wasn't on Capote's side in his judgment. And then sometimes, in inventing the non-fiction novel, Truman sometimes bent the truth. But does it matter?

Laura Miller at Salon talks about In Cold Blood here.

First impressions are important, or so they tell me. The same is true with a book's first line, or first page. Publishers Weekly recently found several contemporary first pages that do suck the reader into the story immediately.
Those All Important First Lines

It's not surprising that David Foster Wallace was included in the above mentioned article. He is regarded as a modern master now. Adam Kirsch offers this appreciation at Salon.
David Foster Wallace

Another modern master is the poet (and baseball fan, having ghosted the Doc Ellis autobiography among other works) Donald Hall.

His book of poems Without You, written after the passing of his wife, the poet Jane Kenyon, is an astonishing work. At age 86, he is no longer writing poems, but he still works on essays.

NPR caught up with him in this recent interview.
Donald Hall

In the Who Knew? department, an early work of Raymond Chandler has recently been discovered. It was copyrighted soon before he joined the Canadian military in 1917, and, oddly, does not feature his most famous literary creation, Philip Marlowe. Instead, it is a libretto to an opera. Hmm.

Raymond Chandler's Opera Libretto

I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh. But it has never occurred to me that the Bear was somehow controversial. At least there is a town in Poland that thinks his sexuality is a bit too much. Or too little. Or something. H/T to my friend Caleb Bullen for sharing the link.

Winnie the Pooh Banned in Boston? No, in Poland.

Finally, the never-ending cycle of book to movie continues. The International Business Times recently covered some of the films you can expect to see next year, in AD 2015. And let us hope that the trend of dividing some adaptations into multiple films is laid to rest. I mean, really. Two movies of Mockingjay? Three of The Hobbit? Will the madness never end?
Books Adapted to Movies in 2015

Happy Hanukkah and good reading to you all. Be sure to let us know what great books you're absorbed in and have a great weekend.


Holiday Cool Things 2013



This first one doesn't fit into a category, but if you can donate to our friend and radio host Nicole Sandler at, you'll be helping the cause of Progressive radio and one of the best programs on the Internets. She often substitutes for Randi Rhodes, but that's not enough to keep her afloat.

Charitable Organizations-

Pet Refuge- My local no kill shelter. They are incredibly dedicated folks who volunteer to save the huge numbers of unwanted, abused and homeless animals. They also sponsor a low cost spay and neuter clinic on donations only. Good people doing good deeds.


FOB IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America) need your attention every day. They are a non partisan group that lobby for and supports our returning soldiers.

The founder of Trucking Santas was a child that grew up in a single parent,
impoverished house. If it wasn't for donations from others, her family would've never known truly holiday joy. She decided to found a group effort to take the missing presents to the families by having truckers and trucking supporters (yes, she's in the trucking industry) help not with just toys, but necessities; such as clothes, shoes, bedding, towels, dishes, etc. Through three years, they have adopted 5 facilities totalling 300 people, and several dozen families, totalling around 200 people.



Silverwork By Wings is a traditional Pueblo silversmith (as were his father and grandfather before him). He also does other art, too, including photography. I've got to spend some time browsing at this site.


Shawn Shea is an artist by trade and sell prints, note cards, etc. You can check out his stuff at Fine Arts America.


Anna Leahy has some cool jewelry, art and memorable t shirts at her Etsy and Cafe Press stores!

nash skyline 1.jpgresized

FOB Bob has some exceptional photography at his link WizardPix Photography. I'm rather fond of the Nashville skyline seen above.



Our own David Garber has a delightful read he'd love you to enjoy, Hollywood Huckster. I laughed, I cried, I kvelled.


Um, I think this book looks interesting... Profiles In Courageousness
. Reader Jack Kimble has a way with words. (Note: Rep. Kimble is a satirical, fictional conservative Congressman, a character a la Stephen Colbert on the Colbert Report)


FOB Kevin Peddicord has written a delightful children's book based on his experience with his own son, Time To Walk The Frog. I'd be curious to find out where they found a leash!


Gary Lamaster's The Teapublican Book of Lies: 50 Myths and Outright Lies Originated by the Republican Party and their Tea Party Allies (Volume 1) looks like a killer read, with many more volumes to come!


Bubble Genius, a stalwart Progressive supporter, should be a regular stop on your gift shopping trek. Great products for everyone on your list!

Surprise the kitties this year with the unique herbal blends from The Way of Cats.


Bacon soap. Just bacon soap!


If I thought my SIL would let me bro put these up, they'd so be on the way to his house. From Geeks Are Sexy.


Monty Python's Killer Rabbit slippers. was started in 1998 as a way to promote companies
that made their products in the USA. This was well before the scares
about toys made in China that contained lead and toxic ingredients.

I want to note that your charitable organization, book, product or site will get daily promotion to over 168k eyeballs for the holiday month. For free. This is what one of last years looked like. Bribery helps, I still need about 15 interesting Holiday cards.

So send us rec’s about worthy or interesting possibilities for holiday shopping, plus we’ll just add in stuff we like. If you have any suggestions, drop us an email here (subject line- Cool Things), or email me at ‘Paddy AT thepoliticalcarnival DOT net’