Sunday, November 30, 2008

My All-Time Favorite Christmas Album.


Do you remember a particular Christmas album that, no matter how schmaltzy, drags you kicking and screaming directly back to your childhood - a time when you got all warm and fuzzy writing your letters to Santa, sipping cocoa while watching those stop-action animation specials, and were too excited to get to sleep on Christmas Eve because you knew the next day was going to be so fucking awesome that you just couldn't stand it?

Well, my album like that is Living Voices - The Little Drummer Boy. I listened to my own personal copy of this cheesy little number so many times that the grooves were worn down to nothing. Hearing it again reminds me of my Tyrannosaurus Rex model with the glow-in-the-dark teeth and nails, my Mickey Mouse record player, my aunt Linda, and the utter and complete joy that was once-upon-a-time Christmas.

The Living Voices were a choral harmonizing wonder group. Their songs are soothingly drenched with fromage, and their accompanying band relies very heavily on our good friend Mr. Xylophone. Who could complain?

Since I love all of you, I'm going to share this album with you right now.

The Living Voices - Little Drummer Boy.

Download the hell out of this album, whip up some Swiss Miss, turn down the lights, and listen. This shit is off the chain, y'all.

Meanwhile, I'm not endorsing this album's intellectual or artistic merits. Please note that I was four when this album made its impact on me, and you should react accordingly.

Christmas is coming - the goose is getting fat.

Now, it's no small secret that I'm pretty misanthropic. I would be quite content to see 3/4 of the human race crammed into a space capsule and shot off into the galaxy to orbit some distant planet until they all perished, preferably after having to go through some horrifying trauma like having to eat one another to cling to their last degrading moments of existence.

I've felt this way for years, primarily because on a daily basis I am given concrete examples of our status as a species gone wrong, one whose time has come for extinction, one whose selfishness, greed and blatant arrogance is dragging this planet and all its other denizens right down into the gutter.

And here is just one particularly Christmassy example of how low humanity has sunk: a temporary worker was trampled to death by over-eager Wal-Mart shoppers at the beginning of this so-called "Black Friday" shopping tradition that follows Thanksgiving. Over 2,000 cheapskate assholes were so desperate to get into that Wal-Mart store that they broke the doors down and stampeded over a man they KNEW was there in order to get to whatever Made In China plastic bullshit their stupid children "needed" for Christmas.

And the worst part - when the police got there and told shoppers to get out of the store because a man had died, the shoppers COMPLAINED. "I've been waiting since yesterday," one was quoted as saying bitchily. The prosimian morons actually refused to leave the store and continued shopping, defying all logic and sense of morality that may have been instilled in them by their weak genetic codes.

A man died because people wanted discounts on crap they don't need. A man died because we as a society are SO DESPERATE to make sure that our kids are spoiled. A man died because we have devolved to the point that a bargain is more important than compassion.

What was so pressing about getting into that Wal-Mart that these people actually felt compelled to trample someone to death? What did they think they were going to gain by getting into that purveyor of cheap, earth-destroying shit fifteen seconds earlier than if they had entered in an orderly fashion?

In that instant, the moment those doors caved in and crushed that man, these people proved just what humanity really is and what it has become thanks to the idiocy of consumer capitalism gone insanely wrong. Buying things is NOT the sole purpose of our existence. Our kids don't need to have EVERYTHING on their Christmas lists. They don't even need half of the things they've asked for. In fact, they'd become stronger and better people if they DIDN'T get everything they asked for.

I hope this monstrous act of greed and violence is isolated, but I doubt it. Every year, this Black Friday shit seems to get more and more frenzied.

Guns in Toys R Us - what the fuck is wrong with us?!?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dang, it's almost December.

Who's better than Nat "King" Cole? Not many people, that's for sure. My dad introduced me to this song when I was a child. I didn't think much of it at the time - I was in that "anything and everything my parents enjoy must be shit because they are, after all, my parents" mode. You know the one.

Fortunately, I grew out of that stage and have embraced Mr. Nat Cole as the fine and shiningly brilliant artist that he was (I can't say the same for his has-been parasite of a daughter, but that's another story).

Observe:



Wouldn't it be nice if songs were still so innocent and melodic? I certainly think so.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Kill her, mommy!


I hate "reimaginings." I do. I thought Rob Zombie's "reimagining" of Halloween into a white trash nightmare world of swearing, rape and idiocy really demeaned the franchise, far beyond what Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers ever could have, or even that purulent pile of horseshit Blair Witch Project ripoff Halloween: Resurrection did.

And don't even get me started on the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake. Or The Fog remake. Or the Psycho remake. Or any of the other remakes of perfectly acceptable horror films. (I will say that the Dawn of the Dead remake was acceptable and in many ways preferable to the original - but that is an exception to the very simple rule that Bad Horror Movies Should Be Left Alone.)

Why oh why does a Hollywood bereft of creative vision or talent feel the need to remake every film ever made? It is an insult to the movie-going public, to the talents that created the originals and to Hollywood itself. You want to make a horror movie? Fine. Do what they did in the Eighties - the formula is very simple.

Observe:

  • Innocent girl somehow gets involved with sluts - cheerleaders, friends from school, cousins gone bad, any other variety - and they all go off for a jaunt in the country somewhere.

  • Some vagrant or local eccentric tells the story of a psychotic killer who is taking revenge against an uncaring society for some reason or another. He could have gotten beaten up during the local Easter Egg Hunt. Perhaps they threw him down a well at the Veterans Day Picnic. Maybe his home got torched after people mistakenly pinned him as the 'Riverbend Slasher.' Who can say - but the point is, the OPTIONS ARE ENDLESS. The innocent girl bemoans the psychotic killer's existence and pleads with her friends to turn back. "Shut up and stop being a baby," the pert-titted gaggle exclaims. "Let's get drunk!"

  • They all end up in a big house in the middle of nowhere. The innocent girl protests when boys arrive - with beer or dope - and various sluts end up coupling off and disappearing into rooms upstairs.

  • One by one the couples die, leaving the innocent girl and the one boy from the group who hadn't attempted to play 'slip-n-slide' - as they go searching for their friends, corpses a-plenty get strewn around and the killer finally reveals himself.

  • A Big chase ensues, with the innocent girl seemingly victorious, until the surprise ending leaves it open for the inevitable 952 sequels.

  • You see, Hollywood? I just did your job for you. Pull your heads out of your asses already.



    What was the point of this rant? Well, specifically the upcoming Friday the 13th "reimagining."

    Now, I've been a fan of Friday the 13th FOREVER. Way back when the first film came out, I watched it over at Frankie Quinto's house (my parents wouldn't let me see it) and we all screamed and jumped as Pamela chopped the fuck out of those slutty teens until she met her match in the whiney Alice. I was hooked. Sequel after sequel, each of worse and worse quality, came - and I saw them all many, many MANY times. I can probably quote Friday the 13th Part 2 line by line, start to finish - that's how many times I saw that thing.

    So now they're remaking it. Friday the 13th. WHY? WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY? Why take this classic trash horror film and make it into a slick, stylized piece of shit movie that is destined to bomb before it even gets to the theater? WHY? If you have to further the franchise, then make a fucking genuine Friday the 13th Part 11 or a sequel to Freddy Vs. Jason. Why do the dreary, predictable, LAZY thing and tell a story that's already been told?

    Hollywood - I hate you.