Monday, January 05, 2009

Festivus in the Springfield Capitol Rotunda

I have been falling down on the job. I failed to report that there is a Festivus Pole in the Capitol Rotunda in Springfield along with the religious displays of the season. The people over at the Illinois Review blog are quite upset with this lapse in standards, and have more info as well as an informative TV clip posted that's worth watching. Personally, I am a great deal more concerned that the pole may have subsituted painted steel for the necessary aluminum with a very high strength-to-weight ratio.

As you know, I'm a Festivus fan and this was a special year because I received my first Festivus card, ever. I wasn't worried about the religious life of the sender, seeing that it came from a life-long friend with a wacky sense of humor with whom I also went to Sunday School. But seriously, is there a better way than this pretend holiday to remind us that there are plenty of people who don't celebrate Christmas, or that Christmas trees have nothing to do with the Christian religion?

Apparently the Festivus Pole was a high-school prank, and the application was received with loud laughter. The pole has been a great favorite with tourists who have been busy snapping pictures. Since our state government has spent this state into a funk, any tourist dollars occasioned by the pole are sorely needed. We are really lucky in Illinois that religious displays of the season are not banned, but different religious groups can place displays for their beliefs. This year when I went to Chicago's Christmas Market I noticed that the Muslim display was absent (possibly it had to do with the timing of Eid), and to be truthful I kind of missed it.


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