arteejee

A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Monday, December 05, 2016

Merry Malaise and Happy Neurosis



This year it is more difficult than ever to get into the spirit of the season.  By this time in past years I would be half way through signing my Christmas cards.  As of today this year I haven’t even started the first card.

I have been hoping that perhaps the seasonal music selections from the wireless would help lift my mood.  The annual assault by the media to “celebrate” the holidays hasn’t worked its total magic on me yet, but I’m giving it time to influence my mood in small doses.   Given that, I have resolved to be more proactive this year against two songs which I tired of years ago.   I am now turning off the radio whenever I hear the guitar licked jingle bell intro to Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer and Andy Williams warbles the irrelevant hickory dickory dock (Happy Holidays).

Still I do get sentimental about The Christmas Song, particularly Nat King Cole’s version.  The back story to this song it that it was created when southern California was suffering through an intensely hot summer.   The young composers (Mel Torme was one of them) tried to fill their composition with images of freezing cold to overcome their heated circumstances.  The results are smokin’, as in “What the hell were they smokin’ when they began their ode to cold, colder and coldest with the words ‘Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…’?”

We still have three weeks to go before the big day and I have performed one of my annual holiday traditions:  watching It’s A Wonderful Life on network television.  This has never failed to get me in the holiday mood in past years, although this year I feel the incredible urge to push Clarence Oddbody AS 2 (Angel Second Class) out of the way so I can throw George Bailey off the bridge myself.  Yes, this is where my mood is in relation to this holiest Christian holiday of the year.

I hasten to add that this story is also smokin’.  As in “What in hell were they smokin’ when they named their child Zuzu after naming the others Janie, Pete and Tommy?”  Where in the wide, wide world of middle class midwestern America (read: white) culture did this come from?

Of course, we would tempted to update George Bailey’s saga much like Dean Martin referred to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as Rudy the Red-Nosed Reindeer.*  In our new version, George Bailey’s campaign for mayor of Bedford Falls is threatened when Old Man Potter’s grand nephew (Old Man Potter was alas too mean for anyone to want to procreate with him so that he would have direct descendents) stumbles across a cache of e-mails George allegedly wrote about what he really thinks of his savings and loan customers.  The love of George’s life, Mary, does not work as a librarian, but rather spends many days picketing Planned Parenthood.   

And, no wait, I know this is all blasphemy, but trust me.  I’m just saying all this as a way for me to work through my holiday despair.   I refuse to embrace the hatred and fear that so many in the Christian community are suddenly approving.  The malaise is overpowering.

Okay, It’s A Wonderful Life didn’t work its usual magic on me this year.   Still I have time to work on adjusting my attitude.  I only hope that everyone else is willing to do the same.

*Add this to my list of songs which should be shut off whenever I hear it on the radio.

(Thank you for reading.  Don’t talk to me Clarence.  I’m not in the holiday mood yet.)

7 Comments:

Blogger Bob Slatten said...

We're decorated for the season, but that's about all we've done ... I'm still searching for the spirit, or maybe I need some spirits?

December 5, 2016 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger anne marie in philly said...

@bob - if ya want spirits, see mistress maddie; the gin tanker trucks pull up to her casa daily!

December 5, 2016 at 8:39 PM  
Blogger Raybeard said...

The purported positive message of 'It's a Wonderful Life' has always missed me by miles, never having been able to buy into the contrived notion of "Things are never as bad as they seem" (exacerbated by the film's title) when we all know from experience that they damn well can be - and even worse! I find the film unwatchable now. Maybe I've finally become the old curmudgeon that we're all afraid of turning into.

December 6, 2016 at 2:56 AM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Thank you Bob for your thoughts. We're slowly decorating for the season, but it has been a struggle.

I can see your point, Raybeard. It is "Capra corn" after all. Still, it is my guilty pleasure of the holidays.

December 7, 2016 at 7:05 AM  
Anonymous Janey, President of the Andy Williams Fan Club said...

I have decorated, which is easy since I leave my Christmas tree up year-round. My hand problems (caused by my cane problem, which is caused by my leg problems...) have also delayed my Christmas card writing.

RTG, if you ever speak poorly again about Andy Williams' version of "Happy Holidays", I will, in the spirit of the season, fuck you up!

Love,
Janey

December 7, 2016 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Sadly, Janey, your offer is the best one I have had so far this season. Did you get our birthday card? I would call you but I'm having a sinus problem with mild laryngitis at the moment.

December 7, 2016 at 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Janey, Now 57... said...

Yes, I received your card and LOVE IT! It is displayed in my kitchen -- everyone who reads it gets a laugh! :-)

I called not too long ago and chatted with WQ, but then my voice gave out, as it often does. Perhaps a chat this weekend? Feel better! (Go easy on the bonghits if your throat is sore...)

December 7, 2016 at 6:31 PM  

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