Sunday, December 09, 2007
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers 'Southern Accents'
I’m not a big fan of Christmas and I never have been. The traffic gets hellacious and folks tend to be a little cutthroat when it comes to prized real estate such as parking spots. Working retail for close to a decade has made me very cynical and slightly scrooge like.
Even as a kid, I became disenchanted with Christmas once I reached the age of seven. But I would say that my downhill slide started even before then.
While drinking with Weather Dave and all our friends the other night at Natty Greene’s… Dave started slinging lines out of Holiday Classics complete with an impression of those characters. He and Doug McKnight were just yucking it up, but I had no idea what they were doing or talking about. They mentioned shows like Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Charlie Brown Christmas, Frosty The Snowman, and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. I just sat there listening, holding my pint of Old Town Brown, and scanning the place for another familiar face.
I have seen pieces of those specials, but never the whole thing. I’ve also never seen A Christmas Story, It’s A Wonderful Life, or Miracle On 34th Street.
First of all, I don’t like musicals. It drives me crazy when a character suddenly breaks out into song and there’s a full invisible band backing them up. It just never made sense to me. I just don’t like the story and dialogue perpetuated through song. No one in normal and sane everyday life breaks out in song during a conversation… So I don’t want it on stage, in my movies, or my television shows.
While growing up, my parents would turn the boob tube over to those Christmas specials. My sisters would sit, watch, and in some cases… Sing along with these shows. Me? I would bail out as soon as that first song kicked in.
I would say that I’ve seen maybe the first 5 minutes of all those classics, but once the singing starts… I have no idea what the rest of those shows are about.
All that Holiday singing and cheer has kept me from watching those non-musical films and specials. It’s like I have a small irrational fear when it comes to Holiday movies and specials. I don’t even want to take a chance because there may be a small percentage of song being sung by a character in those jokers.
I took a chance on watching The Polar Express last year and wouldn’t you know it… Some assh*le character started singing and this assh*le stopped watching it.
I’ve heard from many that there’s no singing in the film A Christmas Story and that it’s quite funny. But I can’t bring myself to watch it. It plays for like a full weekend on TNT or TBS or some other network, but I cannot abide all the commercials. For every ten minutes of movie you get 4 minutes of Madison Avenue telling you what you need or what your loved ones need to be happy. That’s enough to make me eat a bushel of poisonous Mistletoe with a side of Holly berries.
Here’s a list of some of my favorite Christmas movies…
Black Christmas (the 1975 version)
Silent Night, Deadly Night (the 1984 version)
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
The Homecoming: A Christmas Story
The last one is probably one of the very best of Christmas movies and kicked off the CBS television series known as The Waltons. I was never a big fan of The Waltons until I saw this film at about 1 a.m. in Jeff Kay’s apartment.
We had to be at work early one Sunday for inventory at Peaches Music & Video. Jeff Kay suggested that since we all weren’t going to get out of the store until late Saturday night or a few hours before inventory time (it generally started at 5 a.m.), we should stay up all night drinking beer and watching cheesy movies. One of his suggestions was The Waltons: The Homecoming and it turned out to be one of funniest damn films that I had ever seen.
If you’ve never seen it… Have at it! You’ll be quoting lines for the rest of you life.
“Bootleg whiskey. Don't those crazy old women know I don't allow whiskey in this house? I've got young children in this house! What sort of example do they think we set here? You take it out yonder and pour it on the ground!”