21 December 2014

The Reason For The Season

"Jesus is the reason for the season."

Now, if you're a Christian, you might say that about Christmas or Easter.  But Springfield (MA) City Councilor Bud Williams made that comment during a public menorah-lighting ceremony.  When someone pointed out his gaffe, he responded, "Jesus was Jewish."  

So, Mr. Williams, you are American, I presume.  Are you the reason why we celebrate Independence Day?

Anyway, I am not going to pick on him any more.  I've been around long enough to have heard some real howlers from elected officials, including Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, Bush IBush II, Dan Quayle, Michelle Bachmann and the inimatable (except, of course, by Tina Fey) Sarah Palin.

(Ms. Fey's spot-on portrayal of John McCain's assasination insurance lends credence to the adage that it takes a genius to play an idiot.)

Anyway, I will enlighten the esteemed Mr. Williams by pointing out that axial tilt and the ellipticality (Is that a real word?) are the reasons for the seasons.

But they are not the reason for this:

Believe it or not, that winsome couple was on a Winter Solistice ride.  But they were, not in Florida, but in Victoria, Australia where they don't have (except in the mountain areas) any season like our winters here in NYC, let alone in places like the northern plains of the US or Canada, or the Eurasian steppe.

The Victoria (not Victorian!) "winter" is also unlike those in that it begins in June--when the couple was photographed.  So their June is, well, our May.  

Happy Solistice to all, whichever you're experiencing!

N.B:  Please do not try to infer anything about my own politics from my choice in the honorable elected officials I've mentioned in this post! ;-)


  1. Where are their helmets? There is a mandatory helmet laws in Australia, I think.

  2. Yes we have mandatory helmet laws (along with mandatory car seat belts and universal health care). All the naked rides I've seen have people wearing their helmets. Some people accidentally leave them in their front basket - like this couple seem to have done. The people in the background are also helmetless - making me wonder if this picture is actually Australian.

    We also have people who deliberately ride without helmets, because they value their personal freedom above all else, including the considerable fine if caught.

    Curious as to why the winter in the State of Victoria is not therefore a 'Victorian winter'?

  3. Chris--I think it was Vladimir Nabokov who said that if Sophia Loren were to walk into a room wearing nothing but a pair of shoes, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn would denounce whatever she did to get the shoes. I thought of that when I read your question.

    Accordion--I guess I think of "Victorian" as the period when Queen Victoria ruled. I guess it could also refer to something having to do with a place called Victoria, though I don't recall having heard it used that way.