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After some requests, I’m re-posting this blast from the past. This originally was a piece I wrote for the Wall St. Journal during my early days as a journalist. They added the illustrations and ran it 1/6/1994. It became an early web viral, and since then has appeared on literally hundreds of websites, and has been attributed to several people including my (surprised) husband.

The 12 Days, Deconstructed

On the 12th day of the Eurocentrically imposed midwinter festival,my acquaintance-rape survivor gave to me,

TWELVE males reclaiming their inner warrior through ritual drumming,

ELEVEN pipers piping (plus the 18-member pit orchestra made up of members in good standing of the Musicians Equity Union as called for in their union contract even though they will not be asked to play a note…),

TEN melanin-deprived testosterone-poisoned scions of the patriarchal ruling class system leaping,

NINE persons engaged in rhythmic self-expression,

EIGHT economically disadvantaged female persons stealing milk-products from enslaved bovine-Americans,

SEVEN endangered swans swimming on federally protected wetlands, SIX enslaved fowl-Americans producing stolen nonhuman animal products,

FIVE golden symbols of culturally sanctioned enforced domestic Incarceration,

(Note: after members of the Animal Liberation Front threatened to throw red paint at my computer, the calling birds, French hens and partridge have been reintroduced to their native habitat. To avoid further animal-American enslavement, the remaining gift package has been revised.)

FOUR hours of recorded whale songs,

THREE deconstructionist poets,

TWO Sierra Club calendars, printed on recycled processed tree carcasses and a Spotted Owl activist chained to an old-growth pear tree.




–Barb Taub (The author acknowledges inspiration from the Los Angeles Times booklet “Guidelines on Ethnic, Racial, Sexual and other Identification,” and Henry Beard and Christopher Cerf’s “The Official Politically Correct Dictionary and Handbook.”)