In our first Holiday Gift Guide, we directed you to some downright pleasant local stores, where you might putter around aimlessly and endlessly to find gifts for the various people in your life—craftsfolk, snoots, children—who might like to get a little something-something in cellophane and a bow.
Well, the time for puttering is over, you filthy procrastinator. The season's various gift-giving holidays are fast approaching or winding perilously down.
We like to follow a simple rule when our backs are against the wall: shoot for the plump, low-hanging fruit.
And, of course, we know that all acquisition stems from vice, and that vice is at the heart of our most decadent enjoyments. We've learned this from Leo Tolstoy, Gautama Buddha and Mitt Romney.
So for our Holiday Gift Guide Volume 2: Nice Things for Naughty People, we've picked 42 strange or wonderful or even useful items, all sold at independent local stores or websites, that appease or pander shamelessly to the traditional seven capital vices, from wrath to sloth.
Do not fight the failings or weaknesses of your friends and family. Indulge them terribly. The holidays, after all, are no time for nagging or self-improvement.
Let's all be worse together, in relentless good spirits.
And, as always, we raise our collective glasses to the mostly gentle passing of another year. Cheers! Kampai! Iechyd da!
The beauty of imaginary violence is a dangerous seduction, we suppose. We should cease all Call of Duty play immediately, burn our John Woo DVDs, stop blowing up 2-liters in our collective basement. But we probably won't. These cold, metallic dreams have been sharpening their edges for far too long, and they've already cut too deep.
It's only natural to seethe when subjected to other people's all-too-documented Facebook vacations—or merely, simply, to covet them for yourself. And, sure, you could maybe find your cure in effortful, blandly narcissistic yoga practice. But absolute, disconnected self-indulgence also does the trick just fine, at lesser psychic cost to your friends.
Whoever thought lust was a sin just wasn't paying attention. It is perhaps the only vice that offers itself so generously to the world: Lust can only be shared, or else it's useless. Which is another way of saying, if you give any of these gifts to the right person, it's also a gift to yourself.
Pride needn't always be some irritating, rooster-crowing thing; sometimes it's just a matter of liking where you are, liking your neighbors, liking the things that make your city or family what it is. A few things, then, that celebrate that.
Food is good. Good food is really good. We understand, of course, the fastest way to a congested heart is through a full stomach, but...seriously? Food is good.
Ah, you might not have written that novel, or gotten that job, or gotten up to go to that job. You might not have changed your underwear in over 48 hours. But you know what? There's nothing like a fine bottle of booze to make you feel like you're really getting somewhere.