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The Hard Sell of Christmas and the Triumph of Diogenes – Episode 28

In this episode Dara has a good look at his own feelings about Christmas and goes on to explore a brief history of Christmas, and why it is something not everybody feels thrilled to celebrate. He wonders if the forced observance of anything is ever a good thing. But ultimately, he can’t shake the feeling that a little Christmas magic stirs something very deep in our collective psyche.

Reading some poems by Seamus Heaney, the great Irish poet, presents the opportunity to discuss Diogenes, the ancient Greek philosopher, and the father of cynicism, his encounter with Alexander the Great, and the relevance of cynicism to the pageantry and paraphernalia of Christmas.

Dara concludes the episode with a chilly extract from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and a preview of Christmas themed episodes coming up this month.

The article from 2013 on Christmas and the continuing lessons of the Nativity story:

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