Friday Evening Owls: A long time of children’ letters despatched to Operation Santa expose violence of U.S. poverty


After 1940, this system allowed charitable organizations, personal corporations, and laypeople to “undertake” the letters of children residing in poverty and fulfill their Christmas needs. The movie Miracle on thirty fourth Road references the endeavor, and Johnny Carson made a behavior of studying a few of the letters on The Tonight Present. This system has grown to the purpose the place it linked 13,000 youngsters to donors, a complete that could be doubled in 2020. This yr, the letters have been digitized, and when you’re fascinated by adopting a letter, you’ll be able to go to the Operation Santa website and flick thru the hopes and wishes of hundreds of kids throughout the nation.

However what these letters show, much better than any PSA or statistical mannequin, is how violent American poverty really is. In addition they present a counterbalance to the methods childhood poverty is depicted in standard media, the place poor youngsters usually function a method for a protagonist to show their generosity, from Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol to the demented poverty porn of the vacation pop hit “Christmas Shoes.”  […]


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“Our favourite amusement throughout that winter was tobogganing. In locations the shore of the lake rises abruptly from the water’s edge. Down these steep slopes we used to coast. We’d get on our toboggan, a boy would give us a shove, and off we went! Plunging via drifts, leaping hollows, swooping down upon the lake, we might shoot throughout its gleaming floor to the other financial institution. What pleasure! What exhilarating insanity! For one wild, glad second we snapped the chain that binds us to earth, and becoming a member of palms with the winds we felt ourselves divine!”
            ~~Helen Keller, The Story of My Life, 1903



At Every day Kos on this date in 2008:

The provocative Nobel laureate Harold Pinter died December 24. Though his work within the theater over the course of 32 performs was broadly praised, his political beliefs drew savage assaults, together with one from fellow Brit and neo-conservative Christopher Hitchens, who wrote in 2005 that giving the Swedish award “to somebody who gave up literature for politics many years in the past, and whose politics are primitive and hysterically anti-American and pro-dictatorial, is a part of the virtually full degradation of the Nobel racket.”

Matt Schudel at The Washington Publish writes:

Mr. Pinter’s works, which bore the affect of the existential dramatist Samuel Beckett and the modernist poet T.S. Eliot, explored such themes as sexual frustration, jealousy, loneliness and an overriding if vague sense of worry. The social or psychological stability of his characters — and, by extension, society as an entire — was usually undercut by a biting, sardonic humor.

“Phrases are weapons that the characters use to discomfort or destroy one another,” Peter Corridor, who ceaselessly directed Mr. Pinter’s performs, as soon as mentioned. …

… “I’ve by no means been capable of sit down and say, ‘Now I’ll write a play,’ ” he mentioned in 1976. “I simply haven’t any different however to attend for the factor to be launched inside me.”