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, non-public 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 among the letters on The Tonight Present. This system has grown to the purpose the place it related 13,000 youngsters to donors, a complete that might be doubled in 2020. This 12 months, the letters have been digitized, and in case you’re inquisitive about adopting a letter, you may go to the Operation Santa website and flick through the hopes and needs of hundreds of youngsters throughout the nation.

However what these letters exhibit, 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 well-liked media, the place poor youngsters typically function a manner for a protagonist to exhibit 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 might get on our toboggan, a boy would give us a shove, and off we went! Plunging by means of drifts, leaping hollows, swooping down upon the lake, we’d shoot throughout its gleaming floor to the alternative 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 opinions 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 just about 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 concern. The social or psychological stability of his characters — and, by extension, society as an entire — was typically undercut by a biting, sardonic humor.

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

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