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Van Gogh-Goghs to Participate in Ritualized Capitalist Excess

LOS ANGELES (Wall Street Journal/Money Magazine - Dec. 20, 1999) -- Local sketch comedy group the Van Gogh-Goghs announced today that they plan to fully participate in this year's ceremonial consumer spending spree on goods and services. This year marks the seventh anniversary of the group's observance of this important economy-building celebration.

The tradition, known as "Christmas," was introduced in 1931 by then-president Franklin D. Roosevelt. The massive outlay of funds was part of a package of legislation aimed at pulling the U.S. economy out of the Great Depression. The success of this custom has seen capitalism cover the globe, bringing its message of buy and sell to all but the most remote, primitive tribes. And Cuba.

"Although federally mandated in 1931, our savior was really born 2000 years ago when a lowly innkeeper realized he could charge desperate people to sleep in his stable. And thus was born true, profit-above-all capitalism" said group member T. Mike Childs, correctly paraphrasing the official pamphlet.

"But this special time of year is about more than just buying stuff," said fellow member Galen Black. "You have to find someone to give the stuff to as well."

"Plus there's the heartwarming task of encouraging others to buy stuff!" said member Alan Benson. "We go and sing carols down at the bank and help drive homeless people to the mall to fill out department store credit card applications."

Group member Rob Terrell pointed out that each meaningless ritual is highly symbolic: "We put up a tree, that we might be reminded of the great step forward that was paper money. And they're green, the color of money! And they're decorated with silver and gold baubles and trinkets that represent the jewelry true wealth brings."

"And the strings of cranberries and popcorn show we are so well off we can afford to waste perfectly good food!" added group member Charles Rempel. "The official authorized corporate mascot of the season, the Taco Bell Chihuahua, would want it that way."

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© copyright 1999 The Van Gogh-Goghs