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A Very 多Que PASA? Christmas

Black Friday Lunacy By: Eleanor Lewis Black Friday. One of the most dangerous and ridiculous holidays of the year. On the eve of this foolish day, people come together, give thanks, and share love for one another. Then, all of a sudden, people abandon their peaceful accord and begin fighting tooth and nail for the last electronic thingamabob to finally become theirs. The brilliant sales might seem too good to be true, but you have to ask yourself, is it all worth it? One of the many things that are bluntly wrong with this “holiday” is the amount of injuries and deaths that occur over simple merchandise. This Black Friday alone, 7 people horrifically died and 90 people were injured. How can that sound sane to anyone? One man was stabbed in a California mall and another in Virginia over crashes all because of some stupid sale. If anything, this holiday shouldn’t be celebrated since it is detrimental to our health. Danger aside, there is also a ridiculous aspect to the mere idea of Black Friday. One of the reasons these people go into a raging frenzy is because they have this crazy idea that they all need to finish their Christmas shopping that day. Sure, the sales are good but it isn’t good for your health to

try to pack all that shopping into a single day and expect that everything is going to be there when you need it. But, of course, that is simply the idea of Black Friday. Most people just use this holiday to get things for themselves for great prices. And selfish shoppers are the most dangerous ones. The rest of the season isn’t so bad. The people aren’t as crazy as the sales go down. There isn’t as much budging and blood to darken the season, so that’s a plus. Still, there are fewer things to buy because Black Friday took everything off the shelf, leaving little time for the stores to restock. However, the rest of the shopping season isn’t as exciting and doesn’t have as many sales as Black Friday does, but it does lack the ridiculous aspects that the dreadful Friday has. Although, I will admit the sales, the merchandise, and the shopping on the day in general is really appealing. It is nice to be able to walk off all that food after turkey day and get new shoes to top it off. There are strange perks to this nutty holiday. But, at least I think that the maiming and murdering that goes hand in hand with this day cannot be simply covered up with “50% off everything”.

Holiday History By: Desiree Figueroa Throughout this time of the year many merry greetings of “Happy Holidays!” are heard around the world. But what celebrations make up the “holidays” part of this phrase? Why do we become so diversified in what we practice during this time of year? The month of December acts as the holding cell for many significant events and traditions in various

cultures and religions. Or for the romantics out there, it’s simply a magical time of year. Whether you are searching for a holiday to relate to, trying to find another reason to throw a themed party, or simply want to expand your knowledge beyond your already chosen holiday, this article will serve as a one-stop guide to four major holidays of the winter season.

Kwanzaa was established as an official holiday in 1966 and created by Maulana Karenga, an AfricanAmerican professor and Black Power activist of the 60’s and 70’s. It was created as a way to unify the AfricanAmerican and Pan-African communities, with its practices rooted in ancient African traditions, culture, and history. It is celebrated from December 26 thru January 1, the time of the first harvest in Africa, which is how the name Kwanzaa was founded: “Kwanzaa” comes from the Swahili words “matunda ya kwanza”, meaning “first fruits”. Although it was founded

purely as a way for unification and affirmation of culture, a very important aspect of the holiday is to re-introduce and strengthen the Seven Principles, seven significant African values: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (SelfDetermination), Ujima (Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith), as symbolized on the candelabrum.

Hanukkah is the most well known of the Jewish holidays, also called the Festival of Lights and Feast of Dedication. It is celebrated as a remembrance of the rededication of the Temple after usioppressing Greeks had defiled it. In this temple the menorah (a candelabrum) was to have burned throughout every night, but the Greeks had left little oil undamaged. There was barely enough to keep it lighted for one night, yet it had miraculously burned for

eight days. It was then declared that a festival lasting eight days was to be celebrated in order to commemorate this miracle. Hanukkah starts and ends on different days every year, as it follows the Hebrew calendar. (This year it lasted from November 27 to December 5.) Old customs to celebrate this time include playing with the dreidel, singing songs, eating foods, and of course, lighting the menorah and praying. Today it has adopted other festive customs in addition to these, such as decorating the house and gift-giving.

The most widely observed and recognized holidays of the season is Christmas; there are hundreds of songs sung, movies made, and stories written about it. It’s a holiday centered on giving, love, and family, but rooted in religious reason. Christmas is the commemoration and celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, thus the name “Christmas”. (Translated from old English, Christmas means “Christ’s mass”.) Iconic symbols of this holiday are derived from religious stories as well. The star or the angel topping off the Christmas tree is to represent either the Star of Bethlehem or the angel Gabriel. The wreath symbolizes eternity and an unending circle of life.

The thorns of the holly used to make the wreath are symbolic of the thorns of Jesus’ crown, while the bright red berries symbolize the blood he shed. However, you do not have to be a Christian to appreciate the traditions of Christmas. Many non-religious people enjoy decorating the tree, hanging the stockings, and baking cookies. It has evolved and made enjoyable to any, with traditions such as awaiting Santa Claus and wrapping gifts.

For those who do not wish to practice a holiday of religious background or cultural reason, there is one rooted in astronomy. In the northern hemisphere, the Winter Solstice marks the longest night of the year, while in the southern hemisphere is marks the longest day. It is the time when the Earth, which leans on a 23.5° axis, is positioned so that the northern hemisphere is leaning most away from the sun. It is one of the oldest observances of the human race, thus making the cut as the “oldest holiday” in this list. The Winter Solstice falls on the 21st of December every year.

Hear this! Holiday edition! By: Simón Gutkin Hey guys, this is Simón, expert in all things holiday music. Today, I will be talking about three different holiday songs by three of my favorite artists that you don’t hear all that often. Being a Jew, I love Christmas music. Being a hipster, I love music that people never listen to, and because of this, I have decided to delve into the world of indie music and show you guys an indie- leaning holiday songs.

Song #1: “Get behind me, Santa!” - Sufjan Stevens Sufjan Stevens is an established musician in the indie world. His album Illinois is critically acclaimed. His shows usually have amazing lights, costumes, and choreography. Stevens usually plays the banjo and guitar but also plays many other instruments. This track, unlike his other more melodious songs, is very upbeat and fun. It is exciting and really conveys a sense of holiday cheer.

Song #2: “The Christmas Song” - The Raveonettes The Raveonettes are a rock and roll duo from Denmark. The duo is made up of Sune Wagner and Sharin Foo. They have a darker, more garage-like sound. The Velvet Underground is one of their main influences. This track has a strong west coast vibe. It has Beach Boys type rhythms and is perfect for that convertible ride down the coast.

Song #3: “Winterlong”- The Pixies The Pixies are a rock and roll band from Boston that formed in the mid 80’s. They have elements of psychedelia, noise rock, and surf rock in their music. One of their most famous songs is “Where is my mind” which is awesome. The track is cover of a Neil Young classic. The song is filled with bright, twangy, and gritty guitar harmonies. Unlike their other songs, this track is optimistic and cheerful.

Kanye West: Pushing Boundaries (Because nobody else will) By: Thor Island “I'm ten years ahead mentally, and I'm trapped in today's time." Kanye West is finishing up a three-month tour for his newest album, Yeezus. He came to the US Airways Center in Phoenix on the 10th of December. The Yeezus Tour was by far the best concert I have ever been to and will probably be the best concert I will ever go to. To set the scene, the performance space (excluding the audience) was split in two. In the center of the arena stood a triangular platform. A narrow walkway led to the back of the stage with a giant mountain with a walkway winding up it. Above the mountain was a vircular screen with different images projected on it, sometimes a live video of the concert, and other times a setting for the song (i.e.: clouds, words, snow, etc.). Kanye moved from these two stages throughout the concert. The concert was split into five parts: Fighting, Rising, Falling, Searching, and Finding. Before each part, the name of the act was projected on the circular screen. Along with the name were a description and a quote. The words were read in a gradual and ominous female voice. Each part had a different theme with combinations of songs from all of his albums to create cohesive acts. Kanye also had different outfits (including different masks, which he wore until the end of the concert). Going into the concert, I acknowledged that Kanye is the best producer and rapper of our time, but coming out of it, I realized that he is also an amazing person. We only see

the bad in him, but he has an amazing outlook on life. In the fourth part, Searching, Kanye went on "...what people call a rant, and I call a visionary stream of consciousness". It completely changed my view of Kanye West. One thing that stuck out was: "There are dreamers and haters. Only difference is that haters forgot about their dreams or they let somebody kill their dreams, so they try to kill our dreams... So, when I look stupid, when they make me look stupid, that should just make you braver." He also said that everyone needs help. "We're not each other's enemies. Ask each other for help." Kanye's "Visionary Stream of Consciousness" in Phoenix, AZ. We're dreamers, and it's okay to ask others to help us achieve them. I understand why some people don’t like him. It’s fine with most Kanye West fans and me. The important thing is that we love his music. I also love his persona (while mildly offensive) because he takes an extreme. In his music and his personality, he does the job that nobody likes doing: challenging ideas. His new album Yeezus is visceral and futuristic. Many people don’t like it because its not confortable. I could go on an existential rant on why that mindset hinders societies progress, but most importantly, I want people to keep their minds (and ears) open to what he has to say. "I have no desire to be the next Steve Jobs or Walt Disney. I wanna be the first Kanye West."

A Very Que pASA Christmas!  
A Very Que pASA Christmas!  

ASA's Holiday Issue