Author Topic: Passionate Beliefs  (Read 22859 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Laura Mabee

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2175
  • Art in Avatar done by Lisa!
    • View Profile
    • Frozentears.Org
Passionate Beliefs
« on: November 18, 2004, 11:32:50 PM »
I wanted to get involved with the Anna Anderson Thread, only after reading 20+ pages, finding that the part two thread was being closed because we cannot talk about this without getting all our backs up.

So, with that said. Lets make this tread the "Group Therapy" Thread on our Passionate beleifs of AA and AN.

I'll start.

I am emotionally attached to the IF because at the time when I got involved with reading up on them, it was my escape from homelife. So, feeling like the history was my escape I usually get riled up when people go against my beliefs on AA  or AN because I always feel like we are de-facing the Romanovs. Sometimes I just want them to rest in peace, away from all the controversy that surrounds them. But at the same point, I love debate, so I will talk about topics that might even be touchy for me.

Blah.. Blah... Blah... I can't even make sense outta what I just wrote. Anyway, what I am trying to say is people are attached to topics for reasons. Lets start trying to understand one another.... I think it would do everyone some good  :)

Offline Olga

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 0
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Passionate Beliefs
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2004, 12:57:25 AM »
I think I understand what you're trying to say, Laura. :)

Can we try and debate without getting nasty (from BOTH sides)?  ;D

IlyaBorisovich

  • Guest
Re: Passionate Beliefs
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2004, 03:40:12 AM »
Originally, I started the AA and FS thread to discuss Anna Anderson completely outside of the Anastasia issue.  It's purpose was to find out why people believed Frauline Unbekant/Anna Anderson to be FS, assuming that she wasn't Anastasia for the sake of argument.  You can see how that thread degernerated.  There are some who can't perceive the subtle difference between the two issues.  If you imply or even question that Anna Anderson was anyone but FS, you believe her to be Anastasia and should be ridiculed and, if possible, driven from the board.  I wish you luck where I failed.

Ilya

Offline Annie

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4757
    • View Profile
    • Anna Anderson Exposed!
Re: Passionate Beliefs
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2004, 06:16:13 AM »
I became emotionally attached to the IF at age 12 30 years ago. I used to believe in AA but don't anymore. I too use this as an escape from my real life. I also agree that it is time to let poor Anastasia rest in peace, and I feel the same way about AA. Their lives and tragedies are over. These are not movie characters. They were real people.

I'm not saying there should be no debate. There are new people getting into this every day who have not seen it all before and want to for themselves. What gets to me about this is that people JUMP ON and INSULT someone whose views they do not want to see. I do not feel I have been rude to anyone, the person Michelle accused me of being rude to in the other thread had been so rude, cutting and scary to me I actually left the forum temporarily 3 times. Finally I decided that no one here is any better than the other, and we all have a right to say what we want.

But it looks like there are some who have the attitude that if you post something against someone's opinion, you are attacking them, and that's not true! I'm only doing the same thing, posting an opinion. I have asked this many times: should all the disbelievers in AA simply have to shut up and stop posting the facts because the AA lovers don't want to see it and throw tantrums? Do you want us to agree with you and change our minds? Do you want us to just post smilie faces and say go ahead and believe what you want? What good is any discussion with only one side? I say go ahead and post what you want to say, but the other side will continue to disagree and post opposing information too. This is NO OFFENSE to anyone PERSONALLY! This is life, and if you can't deal with it go hide under a rock right now. I WAS bullied on the playground as a child, horribly, with bugs, poison ivy and even bricks. I've been bullied all my life. It's only showed me that no matter what I say, someone jumps all over me, so I might as well say what I really think and feel the best way I can.

As far as the band thing goes, I think the connection comes that people get irritated when something can be proven. While it's true musical taste is subjective and it's silly to call names over who likes what, people don't like to have facts used as evidence, like the numbers of how poorly the album sold compared to others, and how lowly attended concerts were. Still, that should not change their opinion of the music if they enjoy it. I think it makes them feel inferior inside for liking the bum album, so they have to lash out and call those who didn't buy it stupid and lacking for not seeing its hidden genius!

But with AA, the facts are not subjective, there is an answer to the mystery, scientific tests prove that she was not related to Alexandra's family and cannot be Anastasia. So I can't understand all the conspiracy theories at this point. There still can be speculation on Anastasia's fate, 2 bodies remain missing. There still can be speculation on who AA was if not FS, though I don't see how this matters as long as she wasn't AN, but if it interests you, go for it. And I will still say she was FS. And I don't deserve to be bashed for my beliefs any more than you do for yours.

Offline Alice

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 289
    • View Profile
Re: Passionate Beliefs
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2004, 07:31:28 AM »
Group therapy eh? OK.

*Stands up and clears throat* My name is Alice and I do not think that AA was AN.

I do, however, understand that others think differently. Try as I might to understand why some people think AA was AN, I simply cannot grasp how anyone can believe that they were the same person. It's a personal flaw of mine. I just can't do it, and often I start laughing at people's posts about AA being AN. Horrible, I know.

People that try to say the DNA was sabotaged are the people that really make me feel like throwing my keyboard.

People that say they look alike annoy me too. Not so much the people, but the fact that people think they look alike, annoys me. Because to me, it's obvious they don't. I know it's subjective. I know I shouldn't assume I'm right and they're wrong. But gargh.

If someone said "they look alike because . . . (the eyes, the mouth, WHATEVER)" then that would be preferable to "Oh I see a resemblance". If someone sees a resemblance, I want to know what the resemblance they see is, so that I can scoff at it.

Many people will read this and conclude that I, AL (Alice Louise) am a nasty person and should stay away from all AN and AA threads.

But I'm being honest. I don't apologise for it.

People get upset when someone makes a sarcastic remark on AA and AN threads. I, myself, have made several sarcastic remarks. I do draw the line at personal attacks, though. But, sarcastic remarks about AA aren't to be taken personally, and I wish some people would understand this.

It angers me that some woman is believed by many to be Anastasia. In this respect, I really wish the remains of Anastasia would be found to put this to rest.

Cheers.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Alice »

Offline Denise

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 792
  • Anneliese: Historian in training
    • View Profile
Re: Passionate Beliefs
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2004, 08:34:17 AM »
I just want to say that I have belonged to the AA=AN camp once upon a time, and was as fervent a believer as many of the poster on this board.  I took Peter Kurth's book as gospel, and would talk about it to anyone who expressed interest.  It was an amazing thing, to my mind, how much of a resemblance there was between AA and AN!  People that didn't see what I did were obviously missing the boat.  Would all those people who knew AN say AA was the missing Grand Duchess if AA was a fraud?  

HOWEVER.....

After the bodies were tested and the DNA tests revealed that AA was not a member of the IF, I revisited the whole AA issue.  As an adult 15 yrs later (I was a teen when I read Kurth's book) I saw very little resemblance between AA and AN, and the photos began to seem deliberately posed to force a resemblance.  My passionate belief became that AA was not the AN, but I would be interested in knowing the truth of who she was.  

And the mystery remains for me of HOW she knew these things only AN knew.  Did she really know these things, or did the listeners so desperately want to believe Anna was Anastasia that they reinterpreted what she said into a memory of Anastasia?  

Either way, I can see how this excites passions on both sides.  People do internalize these strongly held beliefs.  As Annie said, to disagree becomes a slight on the believer's intelligence.  So people get defensive.  It is rather odd, though, to get so passionate about a young woman who went missing over 85 years ago, though.  

Denise
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Denise »

Offline Helen_Azar

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 7472
  • Coming up Fall 2015: Tatiana's diaries and letters
    • View Profile
    • War-time diaries of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna Romanov
Re: Passionate Beliefs
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2004, 08:59:22 AM »
Hi Alice,

In some ways I feel like you do, except I feel more like being frustrated than being sarcastic. Some people deal with frustration by becoming sarcastic, others just get frustrated.
I got interested in the whole Anastasia thing in a kind of unconventional way. When I was little one of my favorite books to read were the "Anastasia Krupnik" series and in one of them it is mentioned that the main character was named by her parents after the Anastasia of Russia, and then it told a little bit of the story. So after I read that, I decided to read up on it some more and that's how I got hooked on the Romanovs and became curious about AA.  To be perfectly honest, I never really was convinced that AA was AN, even though I kind of wanted to believe it. I just never saw the resemblence between the two, no matter how hard I looked she just had such a totally different look. But then, of course the DNA tests came out, this was still before I began to study molecular biology myself, but still in my mind the case was put to rest because I like definitive evidence as opposed to stuff like pictures and testimonies.
Some years later, now armed with solid knowledge of DNA intricacies, I came across this case again on this forum. I started reading what people were saying about AA here and also what they were saying about DNA. I thought, wait a minute, what are they talking about? And so I jumped into the discussion, thinking, well if only the DNA part is clearly explained to these people, then they will understand that what is being said is not possible, so everyone will learn what the facts are and everyone will be happy to get their factul answer.

Well, as we all know - nothing could be farther from the truth. For some reason, many people here are very resistant to accept certain facts, I don't really understand why that is, but it seems that they would rather choose to expand on some obscure theories that make very little scientific sense, rather than accept scientific facts that make all the sense in the world. I don't know if it's because they just really want to believe something (a serious case of denial),  and will use any miniscule possibility that something happened somewhere and made some very unlikely thing to occur (I mean we're talking really unlikely) or they truly do not understand the science and see things in a distorted way.

No matter what, to me it just seems that some people are not really seeking the true evidence, but are only looking for evidence that will fit their own "truths". The reason this evokes strong feelings in me is because throughout history scientists have been put into the position of having to defend ideas that they knew themselves to be facts, and could prove it if only people would understand these ideas and be open to accept them. Think about it, how long did it take for the “earth is not flat and it revolves around the sun” theory to get accepted? How many people have been burned as 'heretics' over stuff like that? But when you understand why this is so, you know that there can be no other way and it can no longer be questioned. Or do some of you still question the fact that the earth is round?
The reason scientists accept things as proof and fight for it, is because traditionally any new scieintific theory is questioned to death. Sceintists have to repeat and repeat again their results and others have to be able to repeat them too many times over until it is accepted. If you think that people on this forum are skeptical, they are nothing compared to the scientific community! Sceintists are the most skeptical bunch in the world, and rightly so. But when a theory is finally substantiated, then you can be sure it is accurate. At least this is how it works these days.
But when people do not understand the basic concepts behind something like this, how do you prove it? You really can’t and that's when you get labeled a "heretic".

Same with DNA. Basically those of us who are trying to say that in this particular case, everything does come down to DNA evidence, we are being labeled “heretics”, for all intents and purposes, by those who refuse to accept DNA evidence. Yes, there may be evidence out there that may show that AA had some similar physical aspects as AN or may have been privy to some information that only AN may have known. But so far, all the evidence I have seen is on the subjective side and in each case can be open to interpretation. The only evidence that isn’t subjective and not open to individual interpretation is the DNA evidence. People don’t seem to understand that because they feel that we still don’t know enough about DNA to be able to say this. But we do! We know enough about DNA science at this point to be able to state certain things without any doubt, just like we can state with no doubt that the planet earth is round is not flat. It can be proven, but how many people will understand the proof? Many people obviously don't have the capability of abstract thinking, and they will only believe what they see or something that their mind can grasp. This is the case here. Unfortunately to understand DNA evidence, there is a need for some abstract understanding of scientific concepts, and apparently some people just refuse to see that this is the case, so they just outright reject it.

It is true, we are learning more and more about DNA every year, but that doesn’t mean that we are changing our minds about What we have already learned. We're most certainly not! We are just getting more and more precise with it, which doesn’t mean that what was thought previously is now wrong…

Anyway, I am sure that none of what I just wrote will really matter to those who choose to believe otherwise. They will still say that the “DNA proponents" (and this is how I see myself, as opposed to an “AA opponent” – I am not “anti-AA” I am just “pro-DNA” and the two just happen to be mutually exclusivein this case) are ignoring other evidence, being close minded, etc., etc., etc  But what they fail to understand is that if you don’t disregard the other evidence, this means that you are also rejecting the DNA evidence, and I am not prepared to do that because I know it to be accurate. So if you  accept one you must reject the other and this has absolutely nothing to do with being close minded. Obviously whoever thinks that it does, completely misundertands all of this.

So this is why I have to reject all the other evidence about AA - because I believe the DNA evidence to be accurate and once you believe that, all bets are off for everything else, there is just no other way.

Having said that, I also have never stated that I believe that AA was definitely FS if she wasn't AN. The two matters are mutually exclusive. What I believe is this: based on the DNA evidence, chances are about 25 to 1 that she could be FS, and chances are 1 to 25 that she may not be. In this case, this is where additional evidence becomes important. If there is compelling evidence that can make a good case against AA being FS, then by all means I will accept it. If not, I will go with the DNA evidence and say that it is likely she was FS. It’s like being the jury in criminal court, if something has been proven to you beyond a reasonable doubt, then it will be accepted, but if a reasonable doubt still exists then it probably won’t be… So I hope I made it clear in this long and rambling post why I get so frustrated by all this.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by helenazar »

Offline Robert_Hall

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 6649
  • a site.
    • View Profile
Re: Passionate Beliefs
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2004, 09:48:29 AM »
I am not the least bit passionate about the Romanovs, least of all the whole AA/AN/FS  to do.
However, I am interested in what others may have to say- that is new or refreshing, perhaps a new slant or detail not mentioned or given much attention in the past.
History is my "hobby", pastime, such things are to be enjoyed. In that, the Romanovs interest me, but do not drive me to devotion or fanatic tirade.
What is most tiresome, downright annoying is the constant tantrums and REPETITION of the same tired litany over and over, as if we all had not only heard them all before ad infinitum but by the same posters no less !
I, for one am greatly disuaded from participating, even  from asking civil questions.  I will even go so far as to say is is so tedious as to make me consdier dropping the whole board all together, eliminating even subsciption from the AP site. It is just not worth the bother to tolerate such nonsense. Trying to just ignore such posters is impossible, they persisit in shouting their silly fits as well as dragging in those not even commenting.
I do not even mind a good cat fight, I can well hold my own, as long as it is adult and based on evidence [one way or the other] NOT on childish personality  fits.
Perhaps one space, justy for TNP [take no prisoners] is in order: gloves off and sabres drawn !!
Having said all that-
Cheers,
Robert
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline Helen_Azar

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 7472
  • Coming up Fall 2015: Tatiana's diaries and letters
    • View Profile
    • War-time diaries of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna Romanov
Re: Passionate Beliefs
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2004, 09:55:13 AM »
Hi Robert,

Perhaps you are not as indifferent to all this as you like to think, after all, you did bother to look at and even post on this thread  ;)  ;D

Helen

Offline AGRBear

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 6611
  • The road to truth is the best one to travel.
    • View Profile
    • Romanov's  Russia
Re: Passionate Beliefs
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2004, 10:27:38 AM »
Oh dear,  I do need  to sit with a honey pot and think, think, think.....

AGRBear

"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152

Offline Annie

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4757
    • View Profile
    • Anna Anderson Exposed!
Re: Passionate Beliefs
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2004, 10:29:34 AM »
Quote
Group therapy eh? OK.

*Stands up and clears throat* My name is Alice and I do not think that AA was AN.

I do, however, understand that others think differently. Try as I might to understand why some people think AA was AN, I simply cannot grasp how anyone can believe that they were the same person. It's a personal flaw of mine. I just can't do it, and often I start laughing at people's posts about AA being AN. Horrible, I know.

People that try to say the DNA was sabotaged are the people that really make me feel like throwing my keyboard.

People that say they look alike annoy me too. Not so much the people, but the fact that people think they look alike, annoys me. Because to me, it's obvious they don't. I know it's subjective. I know I shouldn't assume I'm right and they're wrong. But gargh.

If someone said "they look alike because . . . (the eyes, the mouth, WHATEVER)" then that would be preferable to "Oh I see a resemblance". If someone sees a resemblance, I want to know what the resemblance they see is, so that I can scoff at it.

Many people will read this and conclude that I, AL (Alice Louise) am a nasty person and should stay away from all AN and AA threads.

But I'm being honest. I don't apologise for it.

People get upset when someone makes a sarcastic remark on AA and AN threads. I, myself, have made several sarcastic remarks. I do draw the line at personal attacks, though. But, sarcastic remarks about AA aren't to be taken personally, and I wish some people would understand this.

It angers me that some woman is believed by many to be Anastasia. In this respect, I really wish the remains of Anastasia would be found to put this to rest.

Cheers.


I agree, Alice, and I've said many of those things many times. Interestingly enough, though you (and some others) say mainly the same things I do, and more than once, it is only me who is attacked for this! (Maybe since your name starts with an A too they are thinking it's me posting, yet again;) ) Some of the theories are very hard to take. When I do 'scoff' and make jokes, I have never aimed them at any one person, only the idea in general. A lot of us have done this, yet only "Annie" is attacked for it. I think one reason people hate me so much is because I have valid counterpoints to every single argument in favor of AA and they can't stand it. But that is nothing personal against them, and I hope they won't take it that way!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Annie »

Offline Robert_Hall

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 6649
  • a site.
    • View Profile
Re: Passionate Beliefs
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2004, 10:40:45 AM »
Dear Helen_Azar. Yes, I indeed post my thoughts. However, I will no comment any further. Like I said, I do like reading your theories & ideas that come up. Particularly the scientific eveidence when it is presented in terms that laymen such as I can understand. THAT, is indeed a great ability I appreciate very much. I see no reason to comment unless I have a valid question, not accusation or condemnation.
You have been quite instrumental in just that- new coherence to things that were quite cloudy to many of of.
As I have  stated my thoughts on the whole subject before, I see no reason to harp on them but I like reading the evidence put before us when done in an intelligent, even humourous manner. And hopefully new !
Cheers,
Robert
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline ISteinke

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 97
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Passionate Beliefs
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2004, 10:43:22 AM »
Hello, Here I am-
   Yes, like it or not, I am back, at least for "group therapy."
   Philosophically, I am not in the camp that "wants to believe" that AA was Anastasia. If she were to really be proved to be Franziska [or someone else for that matter] I would have no difficulty accepting it, whatsoever. I have never met her. She wasn't my personal friend. I have no emotional stake in this issue whatsoever.

    That being said, what has perturbed me about the anti-AA crowd is simply this. On a dusty bookshelf in Karlruhe, Germany there are 30 volumes of bound testimony which originated in the longest running court case in history. The German legal system is not made up of emotional purveyors of fairy tales. It is made up of trained, objective jurists. If this case were all pure, moronic stupidity [which is really what, in my opinion, these DNA-obcessed posters are saying] don't you think that the German legal system would have simply disposed itself of the case? One of the judges, after the last trial, explained to an AA supporter [I believe it was Frederick of Saxe-Altenburg] that they could just as easily have ruled in her favour. They ruled as they did, in part, because they realized that, regardless of their ruling the royal families of Europe were not just going to recant and accept her. i.e. they wanted to put it to rest, for her sake.
     Then there's the Berlin police, way back in the 1920s. The Berlin police were very well aware of the Schanskowska dissapearance, and they were very well aware of the "Fraulein Unbekaant" case. Yet, they nevertheless came to the verdict that in all likelihood, based on preliminary inquiries, FU and AN were one and the same.
     Were all of these trained legal officers and jurists simply stupid?
      Grand Duke Andrei was a distinguished jurist, trained at the military law academy in Petrograd, and he, upon examination of evidence, accepted her.
      In summary, what really has me torqued  is the idea that all of these trained jurists were stupid and uninformed, and that those 8000 pages of legal testimony are nothing but a ridiculous fairy-tale.
      I would believe all of your stuff about the DNA if it weren't for the fact that there is a mind-boggling ammount of legal evidence stacked against your position. You folks have made me angry, because of your refusal to deal with the objective evidence in her favor.
      These forums were not meant to be a continually repeated mantra of people meditating the words, DNA, DNA, DNA, DNA.
       I don't know why the DNA evidence came out the way it did. However, there absolutely has to be some explanation for it.
       Here's my opinion. If you ignore or discount every other part of this post, pay attention to what I am about to say. Instead of fruitlessly arguing over DNA and conspiracies, I believe that this forum should be a springboard for an ambitious, scholarly research project, something which would actually make the AA-AN-FS case something worth talking about [from an intellectual standpoint]. I like Peter Kurth, and I admire him, and I agree with him. HOWEVER, his work is often refuted, to large degree, I believe, because it an abstraction of the facts, rather than a primary source. In other words, it is his interpretation of the issue.
        That was the opinion. Now the proposal. In order that we might be able to really, truly, from a scholarly standpoint, discuss the issue, through primary sources, I would propose to all of you that a scholar or team of scholars go over to Germany and undertake to translate the entire corpus of the Anastasia case into English. Then, it should offered for sale as a scholarly SET to researchers.
       

      That is what all of us should be doing. We should each have a set of The Anastasia Trial sitting on our desks, from which to refer. Until we are all versed in that corpus of literature I don't think that anyone, including myself, has any right to speak.
     



Offline Denise

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 792
  • Anneliese: Historian in training
    • View Profile
Re: Passionate Beliefs
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2004, 10:44:46 AM »
Quote
I do like reading your theories & ideas that come up. Particularly the scientific eveidence when it is presented in terms that laymen such as I can understand. THAT, is indeed a great ability I appreciate very much. I see no reason to comment unless I have a valid question, not accusation or condemnation.
 You have been quite instrumental in just that- new coherence to things that were quite cloudy to many of of.


Well said, Robert!!  I agree 100%.  Helen explains things extremely well!!  

Denise

Offline Michelle

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 998
  • No more school forever!  Well,except college.
    • View Profile
Re: Passionate Beliefs
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2004, 12:18:55 PM »
Well, ISteinke, I for one am glad to have you back! ;)

As for my passion, I too have a great emotional attachment to the IF.  So much so that I feel like I know them, and that OTMA could be my sisters.  They were (for me) the center of that beautiful and haunting world of Imperial Russia.  And that is forever lost.  I feel the need to hold on to the fact that at least one of them survived.  And with AA I see a very plausible claimant to being Anastasia--after all, her name does mean, "She will rise again."  And as ISteinke just recently pointed out, there are 8,000 pages of legal testimony for her case!  When people choose to ignore the fact that the court would've ruled in her favor based on compelling evidence if not for the stubborn European royalty (again as ISteinke pointed out), I get rather angry.  I can't understand how anti-AA people become so antagonistic to the notion that she could've been Anastasia BASED ON NUMEROUS EVIDENCE.  I mean, would you rather her have just died in Ekaterinburg?  I just can't comprehend how so many people have warmed up to that thought.  I consider that quite uncaring and mean.  

I know people are going to start ridiculing me for what I've stated.  The anti-AA crowd whines that they're the ones being ridiculed whenever pro-AA people challenge their views.  But I don't recall a time when any AA supporter has been the initial ridiculer/insulter/attacker.
Only anti's.  Sure the supporters are going to be nasty to someone who is nasty to them first!  They don't honestly believe that we supporters are just going to be taking their crap.  If they do, maybe they should be generous this Christmas and donate some of their overfed egos to the poor.