Once More Into the Breach

Finding Nonsense and Beating it Sensible

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I used to watch TV news and yell at the box. Now I jump up from the couch, sit at the computer and begin to type laughing maniacally saying "Wait until they read this." It's more fun than squashing tadpoles

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Two Very Different Christmas Displays

This is the time of year when decorations are ubiquitous. Everyone has their own reasons, most are simply to express their festive mood, some to impress their neighbors and others to make a statement. This year there are two distinctly different displays that were constructed to try and make a difference.

A Vancouver Island artist has put an effigy of a crucified Santa Claus on his front lawn, causing some neighbors to complain it's traumatizing their children.

Jimmy Wright said the figure is intended to be a comment on society's growing appetite for consumer goods.

"I don't know how it came into my mind but I thought I'm going to take Santa Claus and I'm going to crucify him."

I'll give Mr. Wright a hint. This came into his mind because there was nothing else there. Lots of people including myself feel that there is much too much emphasis on the buying and giving of gifts at Christmas time, but a disgusting display in the front yard does not seem to be an effective way of making a difference. In fact I would venture that it is counter productive. Real change comes from people following those who lead by example. Take Randy and Ann Schimka for instance.

First time parenthood for the Schimkas came with stunning surprise. Their son, nine-year-old Brandon is autistic. Part of the problem was that Brandon couldn't find a focus. That is, until last Christmas, when he fell in love with lights.

"So I said would you like to build a display with dad and maybe next year we can put on a display at our house," Randy said.

For ten months father and son worked on their Christmas display. By Thanksgiving it was ready. 36,000 lights and 12,000 ft of wire but more important a boy has been changed.

"I'm really sorry now that I didn't have a camera handy to take a picture of him, because the look on his face made it all worth while," Randy said.

It's a look that finally unlocked his son's imagination.

Some thing that the artist from Vancouver will only experience in a negative way with his display.

See the video here.



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