The London Expat American Meetup Group Message Board › Happy Christmas Afternoon ....Bored?

Happy Christmas Afternoon ....Bored?

Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,804
Some appropriate Christmas videos
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A Christmas Story - a Clockwork Christmas
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http://uk.answers.yah...­

Well it's Christmas Day here in the UK, or as I like to cynically call it "No transport and F-all to do day". Whether you are phoning loved one back home or settling in for a Morcambe and Wise fest on the telly here in the UK you might want to spend some of your day with others who are in the same boat - here's where we come in...

THIS EVENT (specifically) is DO IT YOURSELF - There is no one event this time around, but several in as many parts of town, and you gotta make it happen. Feel free to post your area of London location, a time and a place -then agree to meet somewhere local!

Simple as that...

Since the cost of transport, even with a minicab is extortionate, and equivalent to what you'd pay for airline tickets to Thailand you're WAY better off finding folks local to you - use this comments section and the message board to find local area expats and share the eggnog.

Meet and do a walk, find a local pub that is open (it's uber traditional to open for Xmas lunch). Other ideas include a swim in some open baths and lakes (!), Wagamama's Japanese Restaurant, a place in Farringdon which is hosting a £27 3 course Christmas Meal (bargain, believe me!) and a roof bar in shoreditch.

Get creative, some further ideas to get you started are listed bellow, but for pete's sake don't be by yourself if you don't want to be. This is not so much an event, as the opportunity to make one.

Full service will be resumed in the New Year!

Merry Christmas, and all the best!

Find opening times in London on Xmas;
http://www.opening-ti...­
http://www.iopeningti...­

Cool Xmas London suggestions
http://www.pubs.com/m...­
http://www.londontown...­
http://www.londontool...­
http://www.timeout.co...­
http://www.londonlove...­
http://www.hot-dinner...­
http://www.viewlondon...­
http://www.timeout.co...­
http://golondon.about...­
http://www.littlebayf...­
http://golondon.about...­
http://www.londoneats...­

Orrery
55 Marylebone High Street, W1U 5RB
http://www.timeout.co...­

http://www.bookatable...­
http://www.guardian.c...­ gift links


vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

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Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,806
James Stewart - It's a Wonderful Life ~ Complete Original/Unedited, Colorized Version [HD]



On May 26, 1947, the FBI issued a memo stating "With regard to the picture "It's a Wonderful Life", [redacted] stated in substance that the film represented rather obvious attempts to discredit bankers by casting Lionel Barrymore as a 'scrooge-type' so that he would be the most hated man in the picture. This, according to these sources, is a common trick used by Communists. [In] addition, [redacted] stated that, in his opinion, this picture deliberately maligned the upper class, attempting to show the people who had money were mean and despicable characters."

http://www.twintone.c...­



Donna Reed founded "Another Mother for Peace"
another mother against war
http://www.anothermot...­
http://www.suprmchaos...­
http://article.wn.com...­

During the Vietnam War, Donna Reed was a peace activist, co-chairing a group opposed to the war called Another Mother for Peace. Reed was a lifelong Republican and conservative.









Donna Reed's Youngest daughter visits a film/drama festival honoring her


Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,807


The infamous Star Wars Holiday Special: a tribute
Movie Editor's Blog
By Ben Skipper | Movie Editor's Blog – Fri, Dec 21, 2012 11:18 GMT
http://uk.movies.yaho...­
http://starwarsblog.s...­
http://houseofgeekery...­
BEST SITE http://clevelandclass...­



‘Star Wars’ isn’t the first film that springs to mind this time of year, as you clamber for something to distract you from drunk relatives and impending credit card bills.

As good a series as it may be, it isn’t exactly festive. But a long time ago on a continent far, far away it did try to be, and the result was… well, it wasn’t great.

On 17 November 1978 between the hours of 8 and 10pm Eastern Standard Time the infamous ‘Star Wars Holiday Special’ aired on US network CBS for the first and only time.

In the decades since it has been mocked relentlessly by its stars, become a cult classic among fans and has been called the number one dumbest event in TV history. Its Wikipedia page even has its own section entitled “Regrets”.

George Lucas himself, who let’s not forget went on make the prequel trilogy, reportedly said of the project: “If I had the time and a hammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it." How exactly then did this monstrosity come to pass?

Five hundred and forty one days prior, ‘A New Hope’ was released in US cinemas. It went on to be the most successful film of its time and was an enormous cultural phenomenon that still resonates to this day.

Naturally executive business types behind screens big and small wanted to capitalise, so the idea of a seasonal special was put forward. Who exactly put it forward, however, isn’t entirely clear; some reckon it was 20th Century Fox while others blame LucasFilm.

Either way, the responsibility of making the special fell to Smith-Hemion Productions, and they had the entire ‘Star Wars’ cast at their disposal.

Oh yes, this wasn’t some cheap cash-in, this was an expensive cash-in! It was feature length, had celebrity cameos, an animated sequence, musical numbers and all the principal members of the film’s cast apart from Alec Guinness, who clearly knew better.

‘The Star Wars Holiday Special’s story begins with Han Solo and Chewbacca on their way to the Wookiee home-world of Kashyyyk to celebrate “Life Day” with Chewie’s wife Malla, son Lumpy and creepy father Itchy.





Chewie's son Lumpy, and dad Itchy

Yes, that did say his wife.

Before Han and Chewie arrive, however, Imperial Stormtroopers barge into his home looking for the war criminals, and keep his family mildly inconvenienced for a few hours before the inevitable happy ending.

Along the way it gets a bit strange. Very strange, in fact.

There’s ten minutes toward the start of the show that consists solely of three Wookiees howling and growling at each in that Wookiee kind of way. Chewbacca on his own was never annoying, three Wookiees conversing is.

A short dance sequence from a group of men in tights also features, and there’s a lesson in cooking “Bantha Surprise” from a terrifying space chef who appears to be a man in futuristic drag. In the second half of the show there’s also a sequence set in the Mos Eisley cantina which ends with the bar maid singing a melodramatic song to the theme of the famous Cantina Song.

Among the “celebrity” cameos are rock band Jefferson Starship, actress Bea Arthur, comedian Harvey Korman and actor Art Carney.



As terrible as it sounds, however, it isn’t all bad…

Boba Fett made his ‘Star Wars’ debut on the show as part of a cartoon young Lumpy watches to pass the time as his oppressive overlords harass mum in the kitchen. The cartoon tells the story of Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, C3-PO and R2-D2’s first encounter with the bounty hunter on a planet covered in red goo.


Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,808


The infamous Star Wars Holiday Special: a tribute
Movie Editor's Blog
By Ben Skipper | Movie Editor's Blog – Fri, Dec 21, 2012 11:18 GMT
http://uk.movies.yaho...­
http://starwarsblog.s...­
http://houseofgeekery...­
BEST SITE http://clevelandclass...­

Con...

In the years to follow, many stories regarding the special and the actors’ relationship with it have surfaced, including how George Lucas once tried and failed to buy all master copies of the show to ensure it was never aired again.

Carrie Fisher revealed during an interview in 2010 that she once made George Lucas give her a copy of the show in exchange for doing DVD commentary for the films. She added that she plays the video at parties, "mainly at the end of the night when I want people to leave”.



Author David Hofstede named the special number one in his book ‘What Were They Thinking?: The 100 Dumbest Events in Television History’, calling it "the worst two hours of television ever".

The low point of the show – even worse than the terrifying moment it appears Chewbacca might start kissing his wife – happens right at the end when Carrie Fisher sings the special’s theme song to the tune of John Williams’ iconic film score. Everyone looks awkward.

Due to its so-bad-it’s-good fame, copies of the special are still in circulation online, either on YouTube or as downloads. Each is taken from VHS recordings of the original airing, some even including the adverts.

Dreadful even by George Lucas’ standards, ‘The Star Wars Holiday Special’ needs to be seen to believed, and it is certainly the right time of year.

And it’s still better than ‘Attack of the Clones’.









Letter David winters to choreograph dance numbers for the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special









[Related story: Star Wars sequel returning to Yavin 4?]
[Related story: Matthew Vaughn accidentally confirmed as Star Wars director?]
[Related link: Star Wars Cantina Song on iTunes]
http://wn.com/Harriso...­'s_Finest_Acting_Moment
Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 5,521
'
Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 5,569


The Brits have it right: forget Happy Holidays, just wish people Merry Christmas
I'd rather be able to wish people in the US a Merry Christmas this week without having to worry if they'll be offended
•Heather Long
◦◦theguardian.com, Sunday 22 December 2013 13.36 GMT
◦ comments (473)
http://www.theguardia...­
http://publicreligion...­
http://abc.go.com/sho...­ http://abc.go.com/sho...­
http://www.dailymotio...­ http://vimeo.com/8184...­

<p><a href="http://vimeo.com/8184...­ Holidays</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/vict...­ & Spoils</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com&quo...­

Americans are increasingly conflicted about whether to wish people a Merry Christmas. Photograph: Gary Calton

A colleague made a curious statement when she returned to New York recently from London, "Everything was so Christmas-y there."

At first glance, it's a bizarre statement. New York and London (among other cities in both countries) are decked out for the holidays. Who hasn't heard of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree or London's Oxford Street lights and mince pies? And that's to say nothing of the famous storefront windows all aglow.

But look beyond the seasonal window treatments at Macy's and you'll quickly find a different story. In corporate America, everything is "happy holidays". Ads refer to "holiday shopping", end-of-year office soirees are "holiday parties" and kids' school concerts this time of year are "holiday concerts". You get the idea.

Even at the Guardian, when we put up our Christmas tree in the New York office, the first thing one of our interns said was, "Where's the menorah?"

It's the "politically correct" question. Evergreens and menorahs go hand in hand in most public places in the US. Some offices have gone a step further on the PC scale and simply done "winter wonderland" themed decorations. They have silver, gold and white lights aplenty, but no red and green anything. In short, snow globes are fine, Santa is not.

An annual survey that came out last week revealed just how conflicted Americans are on whether it's better to say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" this time of year. Half of America prefers one term and half the other. However, in a business or public setting, nearly two-thirds of those under 30 feel it's better to wish someone the more generic Happy Holidays. It's about trying to be polite in an increasingly diverse society.

I see the trend just by looking at the greeting cards I've received this year in the mail and how people are signing off their emails. The majority wish me something along the lines of: happy holidays, peace, warm wishes for the New Year, and my least favorite, "seasons greetings". The cards have nice images of mittens, ice skates and snow covered landscapes (not to mention photos of cute kids), but not much overtly Christmas-y. They offer me everything jolly and merry this time of year, except a Merry Christmas.

I'm not to saying that Christmas isn't prominently visible in the states. There are still plenty of Santas and pine trees for sale here, and a drive around the neighborhood, especially in parts of America outside of the major cities, and you'll see people go all out with the Christmas lights and decorations outside their homes (there's even a TV show about it). But even people who are clearly celebrating Christmas in their homes tend to be conflicted about what to say in the workplace or at school. No one wants to offend anyone or make assumptions about people's religious beliefs, especially at work.

In America, the term "Christmas" still has a strongly religious connotation to it (despite what years of Santa and the "buy buy buy" mentality have done to the spirit of holiday). That's only further reinforced by claims on Fox News and other conservative outlets that there is a "war on Christmas" and, by extension, a war on the Christian faith. Now wishing people a "Merry Christmas" almost has a political tone to it.

What's striking to anyone who has spent time in the UK is that everyone says Merry (or Happy) Christmas. I've even had Muslim friends in the UK send me cards and write Merry Christmas on my Facebook wall. The saying in Britain seems to have lost its religious meaning. People say it regardless of whether or not they celebrate Christmas, and businesses feel no remorse whatsoever at openly calling things "Christmas sales" or "Christmas parties".



Of course, I am making broad generalizations. As a British friend reminded me, the UK has been celebrating Saturnalia long before Christmas, and plenty of places such as Birmingham have generic Winterval celebrations. Christmas isn't ubiquitous.

But by and large, in two diverse societies with similar roots, Americans have opted to try to find neutral sounding holiday greetings, while Brits have chosen to make Christmas as open to everyone as possible.

Personally, I think the Brits have this one right. I'd rather be able to wish people a Merry Christmas this week without having to worry if they'll be offended. I'd also rather have people wish me Happy Hanukkah, Happy Diwali or Eid Mubarak when those holidays come around. It makes me feel more a part of their celebration. Let's call each holiday what it is instead of trying to lump Jewish, Christian and even the Kwanzaa ritual together. If we need a generic holiday, we've already got the New Year, which touches all people and cultures.

Telling someone to "enjoy your holiday" or worse, sending them "seasons greetings" are cop-outs. Instead of feeling more diverse and inclusive, it just feels like someone took a bit of sparkle out of the December festivities.

3 Hours of Christmas music with Fireplace
http://www.youtube.co...­


Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 5,570
Bethlehem Unwrapped
St James’s Piccadilly December 23rd 2013 – January 5th 2014
http://www.bethlehem-...­

Bethlehem Unwrapped is a cultural festival to draw attention to the situation in Palestine. You can read all about it here:
www.bethlehem-unwrapped.org

Their programme includes: Nigel Kennedy, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, Reem Kelani, Mark Steel, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and many more. Our opening ceremony is on December 23rd at 6pm,
Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 5,571
Christmas Message: Edward Snowden 2013 - Channel 4Edward Snowden warns about loss of privacy in Christmas message - video
http://www.youtube.co...­
http://www.youtube.co...­
http://www.theguardia...­





Edward Snowden, the man who revealed extensive details of electronic surveillance by American, Australian and British spy agencies, warns of the dangers posed by mass surveillance in an alternative Christmas message broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK. The two-minute video is believed to have been recorded in Moscow, where Snowden has been granted temporary asylum.





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