Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Turd Of The Day: Hey Santa (video)

If you're wondering where Wilson-Philips are today, well, you're probably the only one. Enjoy this colossal corn-filled loaf.

"I like this song." - Samsmama

Complaint Letter Of The Day: A Charlie Brown Christmas

I don't know this guy, but who can blame him? Just one more step towards the eventual extinction of TV networks as we know them. I Tivo'd this for my child, but I'll just download it now instead.

My thanks to TheMovieGuru for the link.

FROM: Leon Lynn
RE: Desecration of "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

Dear ABC,

How could you?

For years and years I have awaited the network broadcast of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" as the true herald of the holiday season. I brought my kids up with the same tradition -- one which has been made no less special for us by the fact that they happen to be Jewish.

Tonight we sat in horror and watched what you have done to the single greatest cartoon ever made. How many minutes did you cut out of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" so you could run more commercials?

Gone was Sally's materialistic letter to Santa, which finally sends Charlie screaming from the room when she says she will settle for 10s and 20s.

Gone was Schroeder's miraculous multiple renditions of "Jingle Bells" from a toy piano, including the one that sounds distinctly like a church organ.

Gone was Linus using his blanket as an improvised slingshot to knock a can off the fence no one else can hit, complete with ricochet sound effect.

Gone were the kids catching snowflakes on their tongues and commenting on their flavor.

Gone even was poor Shermy's only line. He thought he had it bad because he was always tasked to play a shepherd. He had no idea.

And why were all these classic scenes cut? To plug more ads into the show, of course. To sell burgers and greeting cards -- and to relentlessly plug the insipid-looking new Disney "soon to be a classic" show immediately following. (I didn't watch the new show, by the way. I was laid far too low by what had just happened.)

Cramming all of these ads into the 30-minute broadcast of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" required major edits to a cartoon that has spent 44 years now trying to remind us that Christmas is supposed to transcend crass commercialism.

Do you have no sense of irony?

A couple of weeks ago I noted that you can now buy a plastic replica of the pathetic little real-wood Christmas tree Charlie Brown brings home from the tree lot otherwise monopolized by shiny fake trees. I thought we had sunk as low as we could. Obviously I was wrong.

Oh, and by the way: The sound was half a second behind the picture: They were not synched properly. I thought this was pretty sloppy for a major TV network, but I was willing to look past it.

What I cannot look past is the chopping to bits of a genuine classic, not just to pump more ads at us, but in direct conflict with the message that has made it a classic.

When I was a kid, the annual broadcast of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was a holiday unto itself. It was the only time we ever saw ads for Dolly Madison snack cakes, for one thing. But more importantly, it actually framed the coming holiday for me in a meaningful way.

The shepherds in their fields had no corporate sponsors. Nobody had bought the naming rights for the manger. The infant Jesus did not have an endorsement deal lined up with a particular line of swaddling clothes.

Instead he came, the story goes, to preach universal love, and the abandonment of false ideals like the acquisition of gross material wealth in favor of something far more valuable.

You have not just lost sight of this, or turned your backs on it. You have stomped it into the mud.

You should be ashamed of yourselves. But I bet you aren't. I bet you're way past that.

Count my family out for next year.


Leon Lynn

Classic SNL Clip Of The Day: Kill

"But buy my record first." Nice. Another one I've never seen. Thanks for the link, T-Ro.

Bad Christmas Nativity Scenes Of The Day

All photos (and a couple of the jokes) from Cavalcade of Bad Nativities. Many thanks to Todd for the link.

Mr. Bill Nativity. Oh nooooooooooooo!

O Little Village Of The Damned...

Owl Nativity. Hooo, hooo, whoooose child is this?

Nativity Ball 'n' Paddles. Hit the baby Jesus and you lose a turn.

Nativity At The Grand Ol' Opry

Nativity S'mores. Eat one. I dare you.

Santa and Joseph switched places this year. I hope Joe knows how to fly a sleigh.

King Herod's always after me Lucky Charms!

The Jesus In The Plastic Bubble

The Nativity Egg Timer. Counting down the minutes to your arrival in Hell.

Nativity Snowmen. Better get Baby Jesus into a refrigerated boxcar before he melts.

Giant Inflatable Nativity. Nothing tells your neighbors "We're religious freaks!" quite like it.

Nativity Candle, with the delicate aroma of livestock and afterbirth.

Jawa Nativity. "The Force is strong with this one."

The Spinning Nativity Ornament -- a gentle reminder that all the saints are spinning in their graves.

Joseph's about to high-dive into the crib.

Hobbit Nativity. The one ring king to rule them all.

Look at the dogs' faces. Even they know this is wrong.

Nativity Cats, every one of them plotting how to get rid of Kitty Jesus and assume power.

Why so glum, Nativity Bears? You were hoping for a fish?

Peace on Earth.. or whatever planet you come from.

Nativity Bean Bag Toss. Great idea - throw stuff at Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Away in an igloo...

"That's right. Father of the Messiah. WOOT!"

Jesus, Joseph & Marty. (From Craig B.)

I saved the worst for last... the Celebrity Nativity from Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in London. Featuring Samuel L. Jackson, Hugh Grant and Graham Norton as shepherds; David and Victoria Beckham as Joseph and Mary; Kylie Minogue as an angel; Tony Blair, Prince Philip and George Bush as -- cough -- Wise Men.


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