Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Yule Blog

Oo. I'm sure I'm the only one using THAT title today.

So Merry Merry and Happy Happy to all from the relatively roomy confines of the World Famous John and Dave's Pop Culture America Studios! Hope you all got what you wanted. I never get what I really want ....

Real estate.

Thank you, Lucy Van Pelt.

As the more cheerful, pleasant half of John and Dave's Pop Culture America, I spend 364 days out of the year trying to balance out my co-host's curmudgeonliness. But not today. Today, I give vent to my inner crank. Here are some things I don't especially care for on Christmas:

-- Most Christmas music. I'm sure it all fills your hearts with warm thoughts of hearth and home (does anyone actually have a hearth?), and that's nice and I wouldn't dream of taking those glowing associations from anyone. At least, I wouldn't dream about it nightly. But let's face it, there's a lot of tuneless glop masquerading as "classics" out there.

On this past Saturday's John and Dave's Pop Culture America, the internet sensation that's heard nationwide on blogtalkradio.com (thank you blogtalk!) each and every Saturday at 12 noon Eastern, Our wonderful guest, Pop Culture columnist Liz Langley suggested that as an antidote to my distaste for one particular holiday "classic," "The Little Drummer Boy," I should check out a version Joan Jett did.

Well, I did.

I'm a big fan of Joan Jett. There are very few better rock and roll songs than "Bad Reputation." She's a gamer for even taking on the challenge, but even she couldn't salvage the dull drone and maudlin pseudo-religious claptrap of that most unbearable of carols. Pah-Rum-Pum-Pum-Pum.

There is some nice -- albeit too brief -- guitar work on the break, though.

-- A Christmas Story. It's a nice enough film, I guess. I don't dislike it. But 24 consecutive hours of it? Really? I guess the folks at TBS need to run something after they close up shop and turn off the lights for the day.

It's certainly the best film Bob Clark ever directed. But that's not saying much.

-- "The Year Without a Santa Claus." If you had managed to get hold of me about twenty years ago, I would have told you that this was my all-time favorite Christmas special. That's back when they almost never ran the thing and I only dimly remembered it, and I mainly remembered the Snow Miser and Heat Miser segments, which are still fantastic. But now that every Christmas special is readily available on home video and they run them all on ABC as well as cable outlets every year, I can tell you that the show ain't that great.

The stuff in Southtown is dreary. The resolution is tacked on. Even Mother Nature disappointed me.

Mind you, the animated show is miles better than the miserable live-action TV movie adaptation they did a year ago. But it was better in my head all those years than it is on screen.

But in spite of those things, there are still wonderful Christmas joys to be had in our Pop Culture. I give you Nat King Cole singing "The Christmas Song." Darlene Love belting out "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." It's a Wonderful Life, the darkest, most intense of Christmas traditions. And Charlie Brown, the Grinch and Rudolph, all living up to, and at times surpassing my childhood memories.

Merry Christmas and to all a good blog.

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