Boxing Day Forum

We don't know what it is, either.

“Cat in a Box” by SLT
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. CSK says:

    Great pic. My understanding of Boxing Day is that it was the day when the leftovers of the Christmas Day feast were boxed up and distributed to the servants.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ignorance is bliss? Nah, but it can be fatal.

    Uncounted: Inaccurate death certificates across the country hide the true toll of COVID-19

    In Cape Girardeau County, the coroner hasn’t pronounced a single person dead of COVID-19 in 2021. Wavis Jordan, a Republican who was elected last year to serve as coroner of the 80,000-person county, says his office “doesn’t do COVID deaths.” He does not investigate deaths himself, and requires families to provide proof of a positive COVID-19 test before including it on a death certificate.

    Meanwhile, deaths at home attributed to conditions with symptoms that look a lot like COVID-19 — heart attacks, Alzheimer’s and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — increased.

    “When it comes to COVID, we don’t do a test,” Jordan said, “so we don’t know if someone has COVID or not.”

    If I had half-assed my job the way this useless fck is, I never would have lasted more than a week.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    More than six out of 10 voters believe Brexit has either gone badly or worse than they expected – a year after the UK left the EU, according to an anniversary poll for the Observer.

    The Opinium survey – coming a week after the minister in charge of Brexit, Lord Frost, resigned from Boris Johnson’s government – also found that 42% of people who voted Leave in 2016 had a negative view of how Brexit had turned out so far. 26% of Leave supporters said it had gone worse than they expected, while 16% of those who voted for Brexit said they had expected it to go badly and had been proved right. Among people who voted Remain, 86% said it had gone badly or worse than they expected. Overall, just 14% of all voters said Brexit had gone better than expected.

    Adam Drummond, of Opinium, said the most striking finding was that Leavers were now more hesitant about the virtues of Brexit than previously. “For most of the Brexit process any time you’d ask a question that could be boiled down to ‘is Brexit good or bad?’ you’d have all of the Remainers saying ‘bad’ and all of the Leavers saying ‘good’ and these would cancel each other out,” he said. “Now what we’re seeing is a significant minority of Leavers saying that things are going badly or at least worse than they expected. While 59% of Remain voters said, ‘I expected it to go badly and think it has’, only 17% of Leave voters said, ‘I expected it to go well and think it has’.

    Is any one actually surprised?

  4. Kathy says:


    The grass always looks greener on the other side of the Brexit.

  5. charon says:


    The campaign advocating Brexit was very dishonest, lots of bogus claims so of course it did not go as predicted.

  6. charon says:


    Even so, I suppose you could say execution by BoJo;s Tory government was more incompetent than one might have expected.

  7. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I am not surprised. We had this discussion on this forum a number of months ago, when I was aghast at the notion that coroners were basically making sh!t up, whether at the behest of family members or just politically suppressing the numbers of covid deaths.

    It’s astonishing.

  8. Jen says:

    Archbishop Desmond Tutu has died.

  9. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Jen:
    Apropos of…something, I suppose, wasn’t Cape Girardeau Rush Limbaugh’s hometown?

  10. Mimai says:

    Most cultures have some version of a verbal response when someone sneezes. Usually, this involves a blessing or wish for good health. Of course, such a response does nothing of the sort. And yet it’s nearly universal.

    I particularly like the Turkish one:

    Non sneezer: Çok yaşa [Live long, live good]

    Sneezer: Sen de gör [And I hope that you live to see it {my long life}] or Hep beraber [All together] or Siz de görün [And may you witness it {my long life}]

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Yes.

  12. CSK says:

    I notice the city of Cape Girardeau offers a self-guided “Rush Limbaugh Hometown Tour,” including the hospital where he was born and the barber shop where he shined shoes.

    A must add for one’s bucket list.

  13. Mikey says:

    @CSK: Does the tour include his grave? I may have something to…put on it.

  14. CSK says:

    I don’t think it does…for the reason you cited.

  15. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mikey: @CSK: ..Brush Lintoff…

    …is buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery, Saint Louis.

  16. gVOR08 says:


    The campaign advocating Brexit was very dishonest, lots of bogus claims so of course it did not go as predicted.

    But what do you want from them? The campaign wouldn’t have worked if they’d been honest.

    I don’t know why the “hoocoodanode” meme fell out of use. We still frequently see situations in which no one could possibly have anticipated how it would turn out. Except every lefty blogger in the country.

  17. JohnMcC says:

    @charon: One of the ‘youtuber’s’ that I follow is anti-brexit, anti-tory. He had a video of a rather empty-shelved grocery in Britain, contrasted with the bulging counters of a grocery in Italy. “But!” he said, “the British store has something not available in the EU! Can you see it? Can you find it? It’s …. SOVEREIGNTY!”

  18. Mister Bluster says:


    As I understand it “god bless you” is an incantation that started because people once believed that a persons soul would fly out of their mouth when they sneezed. When people say that to me I always respond: “That never works. People keep saying that and I keep sneezing.”
    I often wonder why they think that they can tell god what to do.
    I also doubt the existence of a human soul. I suspect it is something that the church invented so they can control you.
    “Obey me! Or your soul will burn in Hell!”

  19. Kathy says:


    Mine is “cover your mouth, please.”

  20. CSK says:

    Actually, this is ironic, or something, because as any true Trumpkin will tell you, medical examiners all over the country have been deliberately exaggerating the number of Covid deaths in order to induce fear and panic in the populace and bring on the communist takeover.

  21. MarkedMan says:

    No surprises here, just a data point. Over the holidays I happened to be chatting with a law enforcement official. If a cyber currency or exchange meets certain conditions, they can fall under investigation by her. She commented that many were the most crude type of scams, essentially, “give me money for this non-existent thing”. She also alluded to just how much they were involved in money laundering and how her job was made easier by the fact that the people who set them up were often not the sharpest pencils in the pack. She implied that they thought by clicking their heels and saying “Blockchain” three times, all transactions were magically invisible. But, despite this being theoretically possible, they were often set up in such a way that the investigators could read them like an open book.

  22. sam says:

    The Greeks considered a sneeze to be, sometimes, a divine sign of good luck. Somewhere in the Anabasis, Xenophon is trying buck up the 10,000 as they try to fight their way out of Persia. During the exhortation, someone sneezes. The troops take this as a sign that Zeus is on their side. They were bucked up.

  23. gVOR08 says:

    Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. – Tom Lehrer

    Over at LGM Abigail Nussbaum has a review of the movie Don’t Look Up which she says is well done satire.

    Through it all, Don’t Look Up manages to strike a balance between humorously exposing the bone-deep stupidity of the forces that control our lives and prevent us from living in a better world, and depicting the rage, frustration, and sadness that we’re all feeling as we watch it happen. I don’t want to oversell this movie. …. It doesn’t have any immortal scenes or lines that will become a way for us to explain reality to ourselves—perhaps the closest is Lawrence telling some people who are spinning conspiracies about why the government isn’t handling the crisis that “the truth is way more depressing. They’re not even smart enough to be as evil as you’re giving them credit for”.

    But she explains why satire doesn’t work, quoting her earlier review of Jojo Rabbit, a movie that satirizes the Nazis.

    Fascism can’t be defeated by mockery any more than it can be defeated by debate, because in its essence it is the antithesis of these things. Fascism is the belief that might makes right, so by definition, someone who is powerful can’t be made to look ridiculous, or wrong, or stupid, because they define reality through their power. To the people susceptible to fascist rhetoric, the tradeoff they’re being offered is quite simple and alluring: give up your grasp on reality and accept our fake truth instead, proclaim loudly and despite all available evidence that Donald Trump is a stable genius, that Boris Johnson is a man of the people, that Adolf Hitler is leading his people to greatness, and in exchange you get to share in that same power. People might correctly point out that you’re just as ridiculous as the people you’ve chosen to follow, but how clever are they going to look when you string them up in the town square?

  24. @CSK: I like to think it is the day you clean up all the empty boxes in your house in the post-Christmas gift mess (but know that that is not what it is).

  25. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but when I was a little kid, I thought Boxing Day was the day when people donned shiny shorts, climbed into a ring, and started pummeling one another.

  26. @CSK: That, too 😉

  27. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    The mental image always made me giggle.

  28. Kathy says:

    I had an odd dream the other day, which has me thinking on and off about something even more odd.

    First, parallel universe/alternate history stories tend towards assuming a world that diverged from our own in some crucial aspect, so we get an everlasting Roman empire, say, or a victorious south in the civil war, etc.

    A few come up with parallel universe with different laws of physics. Offhand, the only example I can think of is Asimov’s novel “The Gods Themselves,” in which the “para-universe” has a stronger strong nuclear force. This drives the story.

    In the dream I met someone from a parallel universe. I asked whether I could visit their universe, and they said “It’s not possible. You’d die. We don’t have matter or energy in our universe.”

    I did ask what their universe was made of, then. If they replied, I don’t remember it.

    Since then I’ve been thinking at odd times what such a universe might be made of.

    I can come up with nothing. Oh, I can think of components, but not what they may form. Space, time, information, math, thought, abstractions, etc. But these all either presuppose some form of matter and energy, or are expressed as matter and energy. I feel like I do when I try to visualize a four-dimensional space. I simply can’t.

    I did figure out how they could visit our universe, though: as images.

    These dreams are far better than the ones where the boss keeps asking for work I’ve already done or that isn’t due for days yet.

  29. Gustopher says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m surprised it is only 6 in 10.

  30. Monala says:

    Covid update: it’s good that I’m vaxxed and boosted, and my daughter is vaxxed (she had been scheduled for her booster tomorrow). All we have so far is cold symptoms.* I read recently that really bad COVID symptoms show up 7-10 after onset. It’s been seven days for me and 8 for her, so we’ll know soon if it will get any worse. And fingers crossed, hopefully we won’t end up with long COVID.

    * The really bad part of having only cold symptoms is that we had them for a few days before we realized that we should test ourselves for COVID. In the meantime, we both were out and about among people, albeit in masks.

  31. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Kathy: For some reason I thought the beings would appear like Apollo did in Star Trek “Who Weeps for Adonais?”

  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    If I had half-assed my job the way this useless fck is, I never would have lasted more than a week.

    True, but you’re not an elected official. Easier job to keep, harder to get terminated from.

    And the good citizens of Rush Limbaugh’s hometown probably revel in being the only Covid-free area in the nation. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss–for as long as it lasts, anyway.

  33. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    while 16% of those who voted for Brexit said they had expected it to go badly and had been proved right.

    Cognitive dissonance break–why does anyone vote for something they expect to go badly?

  34. Gustopher says:

    I have just learned of the Aztec ages of man, and in the first one, creation lasted for a few hundred years before everyone was eaten by jaguars.

    I think the Aztecs managed to come up with the 2nd best Tweet before anyone in the modern age did.

    ‘I never thought leopards would eat MY face,’ sobs woman who voted for the Leopards Eating People’s Faces Party.

    These things are probably cyclical. I expect we are in that age again.

    (The single best tweet was Ronan Farrow’s “Happy Father’s Day — or as they call it in my family, happy brother-in-law’s day”)

  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: When people say “God bless you.” to me I always reply, “Too late.”

  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: And I thought the dream I had where an entire zoo came out of the floorboard of my truck was weird.

  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Because they want to get out from under the jackbooted thugs of France, Belgium, and Italy?

  38. Mistr Bluster says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:..Too late

    Good one.

  39. Mu Yixiao says:

    Mom: I hate talking on the phone.

    Mom calls.

    An hour and a half later…

    Me: Oh. Hey. The cats are begging for gooshy food. I gotta go.

    The real reason it annoys me is that I don’t have any children to do this to when I get old.

  40. Mu Yixiao says:
  41. Mister Bluster says:

    How cute.

    I’ve always liked, someday the lamb will lay by the lion…but it won’t get much sleep.
    Attributed to the famed theologian Woody Allen


  42. JohnMcC says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Thank you for that, my friend. I guess Balloon-Juice’s bloggers are failing to keep me in sufficient cute animal videos.

    Incidentally the connection between dolphins and dogs is interesting. Dogs can hear the echolocation frequency through the hull of a small boat and lots of sailors will tell you how excited their pups get when the dolphins come visit.

  43. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I have children to do this to. Guess what? They do it to me. I gave my sons a number of things, unfortunately their mother gave them the gift of not knowing when to shut the fck up.


    It’s a good thing I love my sons.

  44. @Monala: I hope things stay mild!

  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Still a better answer than anything I came up with. Thanks… I guess.

  46. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: That animals are more generous of spirit than humans? Already knew that.

  47. de stijl says:

    We now have a thunderstorm and rain in Iowa on the 26th of December. It’s kinda freaky.

  48. Jax says:

    @de stijl: There are some big storm squalls coming your way if our weather today is any indication. There was a point in time this morning where it was 40 mph winds that came up suddenly and turned it into a total whiteout.

  49. de stijl says:


    Yeah expecting all day rain on Tuesday and snow on Wednesday.

    That was nuts earlier. Sometimes in Minnesota you get thundersnow very rarely. It is essentially never you get a thunderstorm here in late December. That was like the shower of frogs at the end of Magnolia. Freaky weird.

  50. inhumans99 says:

    I seem to remember an episode of MASH that explains Boxing Day as a day where folks switch roles, that is, Colonel Potter switches roles with Klinger, the docs switch roles with the cooks, etc.. It was a fun episode to watch.