Cheap shots 

I’m usually not one for kitsch, but The Unemployed Philosophers Guild catalog offers a great selection of holiday gifts. Log onto for a funny yet strangely alluring array of pillows, stuffed effigies of famous people, slippers, mugs, watches, mints and pins (in other words, useless novelty accessories). Here are a few of the delectably irrelevant items offered: a “Henry VIII & His Disappearing Wives” mug ($12.95); a miniature stuffed Virginia Woolf doll ($15.95); and a set of four “drink with the great drinkers” shot glasses (featuring portraits of Dorothy Parker, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway and Oscar Wilde). The head shot (pun not intended) is underscored by quotable text. Oscar Wilde says: “Working is the Curse of the Drinking Class” and Hemingway comments: “Civilization begins with distillation” ($15.95 per set). One hundred percent of the Web site’s proceeds go to unemployed philosophers and a few artists.

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