Holiday greetings

The War on Christmas (Part 2)

I am writing this blog post from my cell in POW Camp X-mas somewhere inside the Santa compound at the North Pole. Obviously, my little rage against the Christmas machine has taken a negative turn.

Since my incarceration I have been subjected to nonstop holiday music, with the exception of Thursday morning when I had to watch the entire Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. As if the scriptwriting weren’t bad enough—though, to be fair, how many times can one describe a giant Kermit the Frog floating down the block?—it seems that every child is born with a recording contract now, and when they turn 13 they get plopped onto a parade float going down 34th Street in New York City. And seven years from now, I’ll be at a convenience store, see one of these wunderkindts on the cover of Maxim and think, “Gee. I remember when she was lip synching ‘The Greatest Love of All’ with Big Bird.

And speaking of lip synching, the coup de grace was Andy Williams. I have a lot of respect for Andy Williams. To, at age 80, still be a commercial success as a singer is an enviable feat. But I think it strains credibility to have him lip synching to a 45-year-old recording of himself singing “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” I wasn’t fooled.

[Scuffling in the background and what sounds like reindeer grunts]

Hey! Watch it with those antlers, pal. I know the Geneva Convention backward and forward.

So after the parade it’s back to the nonstop Christmas music. And after about three or four hours of the stuff, you start pondering some deep philosophical questions. I’m referring here, of course, to the universal poser: Eartha Kitt or Madonna? I’m inclined to go with Eartha for retaining the sex appeal in her rendition of “Santa Baby” without having to resort to a Betty Boop impersonation. I’ll admit I’m a bit biased against Madonna anyway, because in recent years she’s gone completely off the reservation of planet Earth, and is one flop shy of opening a theme park and zoo on her residential property. Plus, she’s never played Catwoman.

But it’s not all about exploring life’s great mysteries here in Santa POW land. Some of the questions are more practical. I’m looking at you Paul McCartney and Wings.

A choir of children sing their song.
They’ve practiced all year long.

All year long? Really? Sounds a bit like someone’s not using rehearsal time wisely. I mean, there’d have to be an Easter Cantata in there back in March. All year long?! And I thought marching band was bad. Four months of “West Side Story.” Sure, in July it’s all “Crazy” and “Cool,” but by November you’re wishing Officer Krupke would call in the SWAT team to gun down the Sharks AND the Jets. But you go ahead, Paul McCartney and Wings, and keep rehearsing that one song all year with the kiddies. Let me know how that turns out.

Well, that’s all the time I’ve got to write for now here at good ol’ Camp X-mas—cookies, milk, and candy canes. After that it’s meditation time, when all us Christmas mutineers orient our prayer rugs toward Mecca. Yep. Wall Street. Seems things are going a little hinky there, and those folks need all the good vibes we can send them. Cash also.

As my good friend Tom Lehrer wrote:

Angels we have heard on high
Tell us to go out and buy!

Happy holidays, people!

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The War on Christmas

Christmas began in earnest last Tuesday in the Lexington area. One of the local radio stations shifted its programming to All Christmas, All the Time, the latest effort to get us thinking about the holiday season as early Valentine’s Day. This must stop. So I am declaring an all out war on Christmas.

Every year, the holiday advances further forward in the calendar like stormtroopers marching into Poland (or the Jedi Temple if you’re not quite up on your world history and/or you still live in your parents’ basement). It has walked over Thanksgiving and has Halloween dead in its sights. Kids, don’t be surprised if next year you receive a candy cane in your trick-or-treat bag. And if a last-minute amendment to a major appropriations bill passes in the lame duck session of Congress, Homeland Security will forward to Santa Claus the names of all children caught toilet-papering the house on the corner where the mean old lady lives. That’ll earn you an automatic berth on the “Naughty List.”

I’m suspicious of any holiday that can’t stay within its own borders, and I am especially wary of Christmas in July. That’s just a tinsel-laden sleeper cell waiting to be unleashed into the American summer. What a prepubescent kid does in the privacy of his own bunk at computer camp should absolutely have no bearing on him getting that Commodore 64 he’s pined for all year.

So I’m going to keep an eye on you, Christmas, and I’m going to build my army to put you back within the safe confines of December 1 through January 6. Regime change is coming, and you can bet your roasting chestnuts I’ll be putting the “missile” in “mistletoe.”

It’s a homonym, folks. Do try to keep up.

Suck it, George

I thought long and hard about writing something meaningful, serious, and introspective about the meaning of Independence Day, but I’m sick to death of feeling as though I’m mourning my “American-ness” rather than celebrating it. And I’m tired of the notion that if I don’t walk around with a dour expression on my face, fearing for my own life, the terrorists somehow win.

So, I’ll simply say that today we celebrate a group of folks who, more than 230 years ago, crafted a document that basically said, “Suck it, George.” And what’s more, they signed their names to it. Long story short, their bravery all those years ago allows me to write, “Suck it, George” in an open forum such as this without fear of reprisal from my government.

I realize there’s a certain irony to using the phrase “Suck it, George”©, and that using it nowadays might indicate some ill will toward the present administration. But rest assured I would never take such advantage of my freedom of speech by writing “Suck it, George”® so indiscriminately. After all, a phrase like “Suck it George”, while edgy, does not do much to raise the level of debate in this country. “Suck it, George”™ is argumentative without being substantive. And I would never force this administration to kneel stoop to such levels.

They know how I feel about them. As to how they feel about me…

I think they know what they can do with that.

P.S. Tonight’s feature will be “1776” starring William “KITT” Daniels, James “I was the Governor on ‘Benson'” Noble, and Howard da Silva. Funny story…da Silva was blacklisted for more than a decade, the result of being “named” during a HUAC committee hearing. He went on to play Benjamin Franklin in the stage and film versions of 1776. That’s gotta be the epitome of the American Dream!