Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Hey, Your Family Is Really Quite Naked on Your Christmas Card, by Joel Johnson

OH DEARFrom time to time, The Awl offers its space to normal, everyday people with a perspective on national issues. Today, we're pleased to bring you this report by Joel Johnson, who at this time is very disturbed by someone's Christmas card.

Robert X. Cringley is a strange dude. Ostensibly a tech pundit, he sort of busted himself out of a brief moment of Slashdot-era sun when it became clear that he had lied about having a Ph.D. from Stanford and there were also some not-at-all accurate stories about magical Wi-Fi repeaters. And also he is "known for" his family's Christmas cards, he related today, because "we make them ourselves and we're naked." Well at least the children are naked!

There aren't actually any little tiny Christmas cocks in the photo, thanks to Austin Powers-class obfuscation from cookie sheets and oven mitts, but Cringley-or Mark Stephens, since that's his real name, because the only people who have "X" as a middle initial are telepaths and pornographers-but what is irking me maybe just a bit unfairly is that Cringley and his wife are wearing clothes! Or at least in the case of Mrs. Stephens, an apron that flaunts a generous amount of sideboob but has no actual risk of yuletide snatch exposure.

So I don't know! The hairy human part of me who thinks we are all undersexed while simultaneous oversensitive to nudity and prone to sexualizing everything wants to go "Let the freaks enjoy their naked baking"! But the part of me who understands why Kinkos wouldn't actually print these cards is terrified by the tech pundit who couldn't figure out how to just print these at home but must instead complain about it on the Internet. For the second year in a row, apparently!

Joel Johnson has no idea what 'an honor' means.

13 Comments / Post A Comment

Screen Name (#2,416)

Ugh. This post brought back a flood of unpleasant memories from junior high school. Assistant Principal Beasley was a real stickler about keeping a neat locker. If your Sally Lunn bread wasn't stacked perfectly in the bottom of your locker right next to the pencil sharpener shavings you could pretty much count on being dragged into the principal's motel at night for holiday greeting card photos.

Looking back, I guess the thing that bothers me the most is my family was never on the list of holiday card recipients so I never got to see how the photos turned out. That and the "Smelleze Vomit Absorbent & Deodorizer Powder" seizures.

"We have Wolf stove, but no boundaries!"

KarenUhOh (#19)

They're calling these The Aristocards.

"Generous amounts of sideboob" will become a new Dealmaker family Christmas tradition, for sure.

I also think there is some interesting stuff one could do with fake ermine trim and a G-string, but maybe that's just me.

Rw (#1,458)

"The tradition began by accident and now our cards are so popular friends remind us to send them"-richard X.

What? Whoa! How did "the tradition" begin by accident? also hey pays his kids to get naked? I can't quite process what I feel about this so I'll forget I ever saw this post.

lia (#1,344)

cringley is creepy and the card is pretty lame but the absolute worst thing of all is all the super puritanical comments left on his post, talking about child abuse and protective services all because this family got naked.

mamacita (#127)

"Let the freaks enjoy their naked baking"
A word of advice to my fellow freaks: don't

I once got a Christmas card from an actual minister I know and in it the family was sitting on the couch and there was a very clear upskirt of her teenage daughter.

This is true.

michelleology (#2,657)

The small photo accompanying this post has been cropped. If you click through to Cringley's actual site you'll see a young boy sitting on the floor in the foreground. His pose and facial expression make me uncomfortable. It seems like a photo one would expect to be on a pedophile's computer.

UncleStu (#232,509)

The name Robert X. Cringley has been used by many authors for that column.

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