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The world isn't the same place it was a year ago, and we aren't sure where holiday hullabaloo fits into the confusing global picture. So we asked artist Doug Rhodehamel to create a new world for us, and he did; an underworld – The Village of Smolder – a dark and primal burg where hope still radiates in the simplest of exchanges. Take a tour of the village and check out its twisted inhabitants on the following pages (scroll down). And while you're there you can read all about what Orlando Weekly staffers want for Christmas. This is the third year in a row we've asked you to buy us a little something, and most of us are still waiting (ahem). We note that this year's wish lists were written under duress, as our meek, downtrodden staff had to wrestle with the idea that, deep down, life is still all about the balance of Give & Take. Even in Smolder.
Sculptures by Doug Rhodehamel,;
photography by Brook Pifer,

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