Monthly Archives: December 2011

Christmas Music that Doesn’t Suck

Here’s the deal. I fucking hate Christmas music. Working retail and hearing it blasted against my ear drums doesn’t help, but it is for a lack of a better (or less unintentionally ironic word) too shmaltzy. Whenever I hear Christmas music, it’s so over the top, that its only effect is simply causing me to feel the exact opposite of any way it was intended.

“Here comes Santa Claus… right down Santa Claus lane”? Seriously. You couldn’t make up a better lyric than using the mythical bastard’s name a third damn time?

And any carol that references Jesus and the nativity just makes me feel like a terrible person, listening to Christmas music but doubting that two thousand years ago, a man was born two thousand years ago in the Middle East was crucified in order to die for my sins. All I wanted to do was buy some nice things for the people I care about, and you want to make this a time for me to feel guilty?

Jingle Bell Rock? Rock’s been dead for at least 5 years, and never, ever would it have ever combined with jingle bells to make a song like that.

That song Wham did? Fuck you.

But, I actually enjoy a couple of songs.

I’ve never had chestnuts roasted on an open fire. But the way Nat King Cole sings about them, I want them. Like they’re delicious and somehow soulful.

This is another song that I’ve always loved, but then again, maybe it’s just the fact that I’m a miserable bastard this time of year if I’m not careful, like Charlie Brown and relate to the depressed giant-headed cartoon.

See the thing is, a lot of this music has its roots in an earlier time when instead of passively listening to music on a radio, if you wanted a tune, you had to actually play/sing it yourself. Carols were something that people sang together. And they got hammered while they did it and called it wassailing. In lieu of this companionship, they tried to overproduce songs, and in faking the funk, killed the joy of the season.

Which is why the last song is so beautiful and strikes a chord with me. It’s real people in a real situation, and though they’re all trained singers, it seems so natural you can’t help but me moved… enjoy:

Merry Christmas.

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This Ad’s Creepy.

I watched this advertisement about 30 times, not really paying attention, and having no clue what the commercial was about. Seriously, at the end of the commercial they look as though they’re about to start gratuitously making out.

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Filed under Check this out, Comedy, Rants

Happy Holidays

So it’s Christmas Eve, and I’m sitting here, drinking a great beer: Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale.  And as great beers will often do, I’m reflecting.  Dark fruit flavors, clovey phenolics, coriander and orange peel, and just enough hops to remind you it is in fact beer, and some sort of synesthestic way of experiencing orgasm.

It comes out once a year at the end of every year.  We get our solstice, and this beer, and it’s a good idea to look back and think… your year gone by, pitfalls, triumphs… you start to see it all.  And in seeing it all, we begin to see Christmas for what it is.  Christmas is just days after the solstice, balls deep in the darkest days of the year.  At its worst, Christmas is an empty gesture in which shallow people try to make up for a lack of love past with underfunded yet over-financed gifts of present intended, in some confused way, to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

To quote a comedian friend of mine, Brian Shelsby “what the hell does Jesus have to do with Christmas, anyway?”  It is a valid argument; in theory, the only connection to the nativity, is that once upon a time a virgin gave birth in a manger, and traveling wise men came from far away to bring her newborn son gifts.  It’s a hackney comment, but seriously. what the hell does a newborn baby need with frankincense gold and myrrh?  And let us not forget the drummer boy who wass also placed there.   To quote Sebastian Pignato, another great friend and comedian,” a woman just gave birth to a baby, and you’re going to play a drum as a gift?  That’s perfect.  Thanks.”

And let’s not forget how confusing Santa Claus is.  Christianity is the only religion I can think of in which, in addition to the belief in a main set of characters, they ask children to believe in an additional mythical personality.  Hell, I remember being a young Catholic in catechism class and when learning about my being judged for sin, as Jesus is also watching.  Not that I was worried about my immortal soul being burned in an eternal pit of hellfire,  but that Jesus and Santa Claus were sitting in a studio control room watching footage, commenting on whether or not I deserved a Gameboy.  As if Santa weren’t a weird enough figure, he’s a lot like Satan.  And I’m not just talking about scrambling the letters in his name.  His nickname is Old. St. Nick.  Know what one of Satan’s nicknames is in England?  Old Nick.    Combine this with the German figure Krampus, and I’m pretty sure that Santa Claus is a character I can do without in my life.

For the last few years, I’ve adopted the view that rather than attempt to understand Christmas in a way that’s always felt forced and as if it was something I’d not yet understood or learned yet, like algebra, any tax form other than a 1040EZ  or ever making a woman happy.  I celebrate a holiday that feels more natural.

I celebrate my own sort of Unitarian Yule.  Not the pagan holiday… No… IF I have trouble believing that God had sex with someone to put his son on Earth, I’m probably going to have more trouble thinking that rather than one God, there are several, and one has horns!

I acknowledge that yes, the days are shorter, seeming only like a break in between stretches of darkness, the weather is colder, that there is bitterness rising up in our hearts.  But, if we all show each other some love of some sort, and try to make each other happy, whether it be through  a well thought out and heart felt gift, or an honest smile and the words “Merry Christmas” its can be expressed many ways.  Now is the season of being with friends, eating and drinking till we’re happy, and then just a little bit more.  So this year,  I encourage you, enjoy the coldness of the weather, and try to fight back with warmth to your loved ones.  Let the warmth in our hearts outshine any cold winter air.

Merry Christmas!

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