December 24th, 2003

tv // lbd // shoulder touch

Sanity Prevails

Just as we were thinking the Christmas spirit was in trouble with all sorts of kinders and schools cancelling Christmas plays and all that fun kid-stuff just in case someone got offended, here's one from the eastern burbs that makes it all OK.

All year, Gursharan Singh Bhatia is lollipop man at the Medina Rd crossing outside Glendal Primary School in Glen Waverley.

But for the last few school days before Christmas, he leaves his traditional Sikh turban at home and doffs a Father Christmas hat.

All the Glendal kids, their parents and the staff, call him Gooch.

The stop sign in one hand and a basket of lollies in the other have made Gooch an institution.

The Sikh Santa even gets a friendly wave and a toot from motorists and bus drivers, and often they too get to take their pick from Gooch's basket of goodies.

"The turban is a symbol of my religion, but I believe in everything, my religion is all in here," Gooch said, patting his chest.

"I believe in humanity."

The boss of Equity Adjusters loss adjusting firm just round the corner from the school, Leo Fluitsma, said Gooch was one of the bright spots of Christmas.

"It's great seeing this Sikh guy out there, always smiling and surrounded by happy kids, and not caring two hoots about political correctness," Fluitsma told us as he unwrapped a mini Mars bar.

Gooch said he had no intention of giving up the lollipop job.

"I love all the kids, and they love me," he said.
  • Current Mood
    pleased pleased
tv // lbd // shoulder touch

No more Pearl Harbors

I know, I know, I should be posting something jolly to help folks get into the holiday spirit. But my aunt sent me this this morning and I thought it was just brilliant.

General Hawley
Sat, 13 Dec 2003

For those who don't know General Hawley, he's a newly-retired USAF 4-star General. He commanded the USAF Air Combat Command [our front-line fighters and bombers]. The Command headquarters is at Langley AFB, VA. General Hawley is now retired and no longer required to be politically correct.

His short speech is very much to the point. The following are Collapse )
  • Current Mood
    thoughtful thoughtful
tv // lbd // shoulder touch

Christmas in China

Reading this, I can't help but think, wow, this is probably how a lot of li- er, people would like the holidays to be in this country. Christmas without Christ. Commercialism without any deeper meaning.

But reading this article also made me think about the whole "seperation of church (that's church, not religion or spirituality) and state" debate that's going on in the US, the UK, and no doubt other countries. Because this is what that clause was meant to prevent: the bulldozing of churches or shrines that aren't "authorized", the detaining of people who aren't worshiping in government sanctioned ways. It's really sad, actually. Here you have the Chinese government eager to exploit the commercial potential of the holiday while actively preventing people to worship the person whose birth is the reason Christmas is around, period!

In a way, it makes what's going on in the US seem not so bad.

But then you read about things like this...

"Burning the American flag is considered free speech; erecting crosses as roadside memorials is not. The Federal Communications Commission allows the "F-word" on television, but thanking God at a high school graduation is a no-no. And some schools freely dispense condoms to kids, but pencils that read "Jesus loves little children" were confiscated from a first-grade class in Virginia."

... and, well, it makes me wonder.
  • Current Mood
    pensive pensive