1. The Rev Kev

    Those videos reminded me on what the essence of Christmas really is in my opinion. You take away the decorations, the carols, the presents under the tree, the tables buckling under their load of food, the cards and all the rest of it and it leaves you what I believe the holiday is all about. As shown by those soldiers, it is simply declaring a truce and saying that for a short time, just a short time, how about we stop being total d**** to each other and try to enjoy each other’s company for a change? We can do that.

  2. Pym of Nantucket

    An excellent reminder that narrative is everything. Mass murder for essentially no sensible reason. Hype, propaganda and rich oligarchs (in that era royal families of declining influence) drive millions of working people to slaughter each other for objectives which provide no benefit to the combatants. This situation is so well summed up by William Blake in the prologue he wrote for Shakespeare’s Edward IV “O for a voice like thunder…” (https://www.bartleby.com/235/21.html).

    Perhaps the fundamental human flaw is that they can be manipulated so easily. Wish we could turn this killing machine off.

  3. Newton Finn

    Thank you for the videos. Hard to watch and keep dry eyes. We can, all of us, given the opportunity, be so much more.

    For those of my friends at Naked Capitalism who may be a bit spiritually-inclined, here are two very different kinds of Christmas meditations written a number of years ago. May the best of the season be with you all, whether tenderhearted, toughminded, or like most of us, a blend of both.



  4. Which is worse - bankers or terrorists

    Merry Christmas, Yves, Lambert, and all others. Thank you so much for your great efforts.

  5. epynonymous


    Human behavior is similar to a tabula rasa, in that -statistically- we collectively follow our incentives.

    The link above is a flash based web-app inspired by game theory and the Christmas Truce to explain more about our human condition in light of “The Prisoner’s Dillema.” The mathematics of the success of various game-theory strategies are explored and defined against each other.

    An optimal play in against one strategy will fail against another.

    There’s a good deal of hand-holding if you’re already well-versed, but it is thoughtful and rigorous. If you click through to the end, you can even populate ‘game-spaces’ with different strategies and see how they play out against each other.

    Give it a try, or book mark it if you’re busy for the holidays.

    The Christmas Truce was not a one-off event, but part of a much larger evolution of life “On the Front.”

    Live and Let Live this Christmas, and all through the year.

  6. Lunker Walleye

    The National World War I Museum is in Kansas City, Missouri and well worth a visit. It drives home the wild fire rapidity of nation after nation going to war and the immense loss of life. The displays are excellent.

  7. ewmayer

    There’s a scene in the (IMO) underrated 1992 WW2 film A Midnight Clear (directed by Keith Gordon, perhaps best-known to casual filmgoers as the fellow who played the troubled one of the pair of HS buddies in the film version of Stephen King’s Christine) based on the WW1 Christmas truce. As with the actual historical truce, the one in the film alas proves to be an all-too-brief respite from the human-orchestrated madness which gave rise to it.

    The musical rendering of the eponymous traditional Christmas song in the film’s soundtrack is rather haunting.

  8. Conrad

    Indy Neidell did a great special about the Christmas Truce on his Great War YouTube channel.

    Of course the commanders made sure there were no repeats of such a lapse in military discipline for the rest of the war

  9. Jim A.

    As a commercial, it fails to show that rather than games of footie, the main activity that they joined together in on no-mans-land was burying the some of the dead.

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