By today, the fevered onslaught of Christmas cheer has reached its apex. The land is strewn with tinsel, as if the city had been attacked by a giant, festive monster, subsequently disemboweled. Those who havent grown numb to carols chopped up and sprinkled with electric guitar riffs are near madness. But imagine the pain suffered by those who dont even celebrate the holiday: Whats a Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, etc. to do? Time-honored Jewish tradition, passed on through generations, means that mass quantities of television should be consumed alongside Chinese food takeout. Rutgers University professor Jeffery Shandler puts an academic spin on the TV/takeout phenomenon in his talk, The December Dilemma in American Television and Film. He presents episodes of popular TV shows that feature Jewish characters stuck in the morass of the Christmas cult. Clips come from The O.C. (Chrismukkah!), South Park, thirtysomething, and, um, the The RuPaul Show, among others. In keeping with tradition, there is a Chinese food buffet following the talk, plus a screening of full episodes. Its not a Christmas miracle.
Thu., Dec. 25, 2 p.m., 2008