Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Propinquity the Snowman

"Seasons Greetings" - pah!
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Many modern cards sent around this time of year seek to avoid giving offence by avoiding reference to any specific beliefs. The typical result is a bland snow scene, possibly a landscape with a few birds and if you're very lucky, a reindeer.

Cards featuring Propinquity the Snowman (a happy little soul, who is often a Snowwoman, depending on who's sending) aim to do the exact opposite: that is, to be inclusive by including, instead of excluding.

So, Propinquity has the usual jolly smile, hat and scarf, but look closer and you'll see some more interesting details.

The scarf has red, green and black stripes to represent Rastafarianism. On Propinquity's buttons are carved a crucifix, an endless knot and a menorah, to represent Christianity, Buddhism and Judaism respectively. Propinquity's nose is a Pa Gua (yin/yang)symbol to represent Taoism. Two badges on the chest display the Jain symbol and the Sikh sign. Propinquity wears a belt inscribed with the ancient Muslim greeting "Assalaam Alaikum" ("peace be on you all") to represent Islam.

In one hand, Propinquity carries a divali to represent Hinduism and the winter Festival of Light and in the other a sickle to represent Pagans and their celebration of Saturnalia. Snoopy is perched on Propinquity's shoulder to represent Zoroastrianism (see spacemoggy anno. for logic).

A small square of pure, white snow beside Propinquity is marked out to represent atheism . Next to this is a pile of snow vegetables to represent Kwanzaa.

The card is blank inside, encouraging people to write whatever the hell they like.

It is hoped that in these times of strife, uncertainty and terror Propinquity could serve as a small reminder that we are all essentially the same bipedal hairless monkey things, and that differences in our beliefs should be highlighted and celebrated, instead of being trampled under the jackboot of political correctness.

I'm sure I've left out some religions so please feel free to accessorise.

Happy Winter Fulcrum everybody.
DocBrown, Dec 14 2004

Word of the Day, Dec 21 2002: "propinquity" http://dictionary.r...ive/2002/12/21.html
Don't think I've ever seen it used before. [jutta, Dec 14 2004]

Church of No-Pants The_20Church_20of_20No-Pants
by davros42. [calum, Dec 14 2004]

what [zen_tom] said http://chicagoactuarialassociation.org/
Click "lighter side" and scroll all the way down [yabba do yabba dabba, Dec 14 2004]

Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah http://www.chrismahanukwanzakah.com/
Kinda done already. [waugsqueke, Dec 15 2004]

[link]






       A pa gua (symbol of yin and yang) for Taoism. Perhaps for a nose. The connotations of balance wouldn't go amiss either.
harderthanjesus, Dec 14 2004
  

       some harvest veggies for Kwanzaa   

       you might also want to back him up with some bombsniffing dogs; and for athiests shouldn't there be some scientific symbols? just a thought. I would really love to start a fight but don't have time today- Too busy getting ready to celebrate Jesus' birth.   

       [etherman] did you catch the irony in that statement? I knew you would.
dentworth, Dec 14 2004
  

       Suggestions added, thanks guys. I thought about and rejected the idea of having scientific symbols for atheists and agnostics [dent], decided the important thing was the belief (or lack thereof) not how it was arrived at. Also didn't want to appear to be suggesting that atheism/agnosticism were more enlightened viewpoints. Yeesh, it's tricky out here on this tightrope.
DocBrown, Dec 14 2004
  

       I'm presuming your distaste is based on the viewpoint that this idea somehow coopts an essentially Christian festival [dentworth]? Must I remind you (as a Catholic) that the Christians chose this time of year for Christmas to piggy back earlier Pagan festivals? Or that Christianity is hardly the only major faith to celebrate around this time of year? Or that Christmas isn't a celebration exclusive to Christianity anymore?Jeez, you try and be nice for once...
DocBrown, Dec 14 2004
  

       No, actually I am being nice, as calum once claimed "I'm the duke of happyland"   

       Once, I did resent the public school's view on holidays as being all inclusive, but now I'm glad for it, actually; but I do want to add one thing on athiesm, if there is no God (s),to them there are none of these holidays you mention, so they should not resent being excluded. On the other hand, I think science could be called a religion in a way, in that some people put their hearts and energy into it, to prove it superior over all other religions. does that make sense?
dentworth, Dec 14 2004
  

       Hmmm, okay Duke! Interesting point on atheism, although I'd opt to keep it in - one of the points of this idea is to prevent the attempts to score over other religions that accompany most religious holidays - some of the religions that are in don't celebrate at this time of year either, and they're in for the same reason. I agree with you that science is treated as a religion by some but I don't know if it qualifies, seeing as there's only room in it for stuff you can prove.
DocBrown, Dec 14 2004
  

       excellant points, all. I deleted the fishmas cause I'm really being nice.
dentworth, Dec 14 2004
  

       Awww. Big schmaltzy, chocolate-covered snow hug for you then, c'mere Duke!
DocBrown, Dec 14 2004
  

       As you say, there are a still a few that remain outside the bounds of your card:
Sikhs,
Jainists,
Rastafarians,
Scientologists and
Zoroastrians.
  

       Though I'm finding it difficult to assign a symbol for each of them.   

       Happy Christmahannakwanzaakas!
zen_tom, Dec 14 2004
  

       //etherman] did you catch the irony in that statement? I knew you would.//   

       Yeah cheers <Dent>. very tasteful.
etherman, Dec 14 2004
  

       suggestions from the thesaurus, 'multicultural, inclusive, comprehensive.'
dentworth, Dec 14 2004
  

       OK! [Rolls up sleeves] Sikhism, Jainism and Rastafarianism have all been included. I'm struggling with Zoroastrianism and Scientology - could we give Propinquity Tom Cruise's facial features?
DocBrown, Dec 14 2004
  

       What of the Church of No Pants?   

       [dentworth], I take this moment to remind you there can only be one Duke of Happyland at any given moment. May I suggest you lay claim to "The Pope of Chuckles" or similar, non contentious, title? Yours appreciatively, Archduke Calum of Happyland.
calum, Dec 14 2004
  

       If you're Archduke Calum I think [dentworth] could still be Duke Dentworth. Yours would be the higher (and indeed highest)rank but the two of you could be dukes, I think.
DocBrown, Dec 14 2004
  

       I'll go with Duchess if we can live in separate castles, or not.
dentworth, Dec 14 2004
  

       //What of the Church of No Pants?//
  

       As snowmen rarely wear pants, I think they are included by default.
krelnik, Dec 14 2004
  

       See link to Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah.
waugsqueke, Dec 15 2004
  

       What about the summery Southern Hemisphere? Is this snowman wearing sunglasses?
RayfordSteele, Dec 15 2004
  

       Please ... the holographing 'vanishing' $.   

       For those of us to whom the season stirs the beast within.
reensure, Dec 15 2004
  

       So, can Propinquity actually move under all this?
Detly, Dec 15 2004
  

       In addition to his corncob pipe and button nose, put some ketchup on a turnip for his bleeding heart.
Cuit_au_Four, Dec 15 2004
  

       I have two suggestions for Zoroastrianism. Firstly, since it is represented by fire, just put a little flame coming out of the pipe. Secondly, since the Zoroastrian Farsis in India require their dead to be eaten by vultures, rather than being buried or cremated, I suggest a vulture perching on Propinquity's shoulder. In some of the Peanuts cartoons Snoopy liked to pretend he was a vulture; you could therefore use snoopy in vulture mode rather than an actual vulture. Everyone loves Snoopy.
spacemoggy, Dec 15 2004
  

       //See link to Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah//
Kind of [waugs] but less covert mobile phone ad and more genuine celebration of diversity of faith ...Propinquity doesn't have to move [Detly] standing there like a proud snowy monolith is good enough...Thanks [spacemoggy], Snoopy incorporated!
DocBrown, Dec 15 2004
  

       Don't we need a little red piece of string around his wrist to celebrate that silly new religion Hollywood seems to have started, or created out of bits of an old one?
wagster, Dec 15 2004
  

       I'm at a loss [wags] - is it Kabbalah you're getting at? Haven't been reading my glossies as astutely as I should recently, so I'm unaware of what the hip new religions are.
DocBrown, Dec 15 2004
  

       I would imagine that Kabbalah is sufficiently covered by Judaism.   

       As an agnostic, I'm inherently unoffended by the religious beliefs of others. "I don't know" doesn't mean "you can't," to me. Now the solipsists, on the other hand, and worse still, the nihilists, probably would be amused (at the least) or offended (at the most) by any symbols . . . so I think you've covered your bases as well as anyone can, [Doc.] [+]
contracts, Dec 15 2004
  

       I'd like to think the 'ists would be amused [contracts].
"Silly supposed snow creation", they might sneer. "Doesn't it know that only the self/nothing exists? Ah, but how could it - it isn't real. Time for some toast, I think."
DocBrown, Dec 15 2004
  

       //the nihilists...would be amused...or offended //

I think that a snowman would be entirely appropriate symbology for nihilists anyway, so no extra decoration required.

I would also suggest that it has six arms, to represent Thugees but that each of the extra arms carries a sheaf of leaflets in order to represent the Jehovah's Witnessses.

[added a year and a half later]
Actually the six arms could be used to represent quite a lot of things. So, leaflets in one for the Jehovahs, a skull in another to represent the various forms of ancestor worship, a rag doll in the third for Vodun, finger cymbals in the fourth for the Buddhists, the fifth would have an appropriately Christmassy sprig of holly for the Druids and the final arm would have an empty hand for the agnostics and atheists.
DrBob, Dec 16 2004
  

       And when the sun god rises, the pagans will rejoice and dance around a pyramid of soaked religious bric-a-brac.
spiritualized, Dec 16 2004
  

       [DocBrown] - yes, Kabbalah   

       [contracts] - bizarrely, a lot of hollywoodites seem to be converting to Kabbalah *without* converting to Judaism. To me this makes even less sense than most beliefs.   

       [spiritualized] - see you in the morning!
wagster, Dec 16 2004
  

       You should add a feathered boa to reflect Quetzalcoatl, one of the more bloodthirsty Aztec gods, who took the form of a winged serpent.
Detly, Jun 03 2005
  
      
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