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Fuck Christmas – Part One: Making Yuppies Feel Better By Being Poor

If you’ve been here more than a year, you know that instead of Christmas I’ve been pushing for a Vague Early Winter Possibly Religious Festival, or VEWPRF for short. Yes the phrase is unwieldy, but at least it’s both accurate and inclusive. The other thing you might know about me though, is that I know more about Christmas and other Mid-Winter holidays than anyone else you know, unless you know a professor of folklore or a Doctor of Christmas or something. I didn’t get here without research and that research led to me creating the VEWPRF because once you start looking, they’re all the same.

One thing that Christmas has though, that other holidays seem to lack, is things like what I’m going to talk about today. Today, we’re going to examine the Christmas Shoes Story. I’m calling it the Christmas Shoes Story because it’s a good short hand and almost everyone knows the song. If you don’t, go watch this and learn. Basically, it’s making a middle class person feel good about themselves by having a poor person come along and teach them a lesson, but have them only react to it in a solipsistic way. In the telling of these stories, you can tell they never actually realize that there are people out there hurting, or try to do anything about the injustice of the world. Oh no, that would take effort. Besides, these “people” aren’t “Real People” or anything, they’re just little object lessons flown in on the wings of angels to teach you a lesson. These motherfuckers just congratulate themselves for noticing one of these poor bastards for three fucking seconds. And that leads me to saying Fuck Christmas! You don’t get to tell me how awesome you are for helping a kid buy shoes and then claim God killed this kid’s mom, impoverished his dad, broke his tiny little spirit, drove him mad enough to think Jesus cares about footwear, and then inserted him in a line without enough money so YOU can learn about love and the true meaning of Christmas and aren’t you just so fucking special?

I could talk about Christmas Shoes, or I could talk about Tiny Tim which is another egregious example, or any number because this particular sub-genre is quite large. Instead of all the known things I could talk about, I’m going to talk about something obscure that you probably never even knew existed. We’re going for the Casey, Crime Photographer Christmas episode The Santa Claus of Bums’ Boulevard, which is a perfect example even if you know nothing about it. You can listen along by clicking that link, if you think you can stomach it.

I’ll admit, until I… acquired a huge pack of files in a legal and honest manner, I had never heard of this particular radio show. It’s not really important though, you get the gist of the show in the first minute or so. Casey works on a newspaper as a photographer that never seems to take pictures, and he’s aided and abetted by his sometimes girlfriend Annie Williams. That’s about all you need to know. At least as far as this episode is concerned, maybe you need to know more on other days, but I doubt it. What you have is a fairly standard detective show. A boy detective and his girlfriend/sidekick solve crimes.

So the story starts with everyone bitching about the fact that they have jobs, which pisses me right off. It took me months to find the job I have, and these motherfuckers are complaining. I only get Christmas Day off because I worked on Thanksgiving! And I still have to work on Solstice and Buddha Day! So you know what? QUIT YER BITCHIN’! Okay, they have to work on Christmas, but none of them have families, or at least none that are local. I don’t want to shout “First World Problems” at these people because I hate that fucking phrase, but if I didn’t, I totally would so shout. Anyway, they’ve got to cover a story in the slum area called Bums Boulevard, because a decent human being is out there being human and decent and these fucktards are going to cover it because they’ve clearly never even heard of such a thing.

There’s this guy who shows up on the corner and hands out new one dollar bills to all the people who live on that street. He’s done this two years in a row and on the third year they want to get a story about him. Now, here’s the thing. They guy shows up, hands out his cash and vanishes without ever telling anyone about who he is or why he does this. So what’s Casey’s first guess on why the guy does it? “Probably a publicity hound.” Because people who want publicity show up unannounced, hand out money and then vanish before anyone can photograph him or get his name or ask him what brand of margarine he’s advertising with this stunt. Stupid! Fucking! Rat! Creature! The characters then engage in a tirade of abuse about how everyone who lives on the block. Seems they’re all just drunks and work-shy hippies who brought their problems upon themselves by taking out those student loans and mortgages that they couldn’t pay back without any thought for those poor bankers who can now only console themselves by snorting their cocaine cut with gold off the backs of silver plated hookers. Before the crash they were snorting pure platinum off the penises of gold leafed war orphans, but we all have to make sacrifices during these hard times.

So they get to the slum after bitching about not having anyone to be with for Christmas, but they get interrupted with their hatred for everyone who makes under $100k and that’s in 1947 dollars. They find that the man with the cash never showed up, and they do some investigating, discovering a former Broadway star. It’s the first time that Casey thinks these people might be real people. He’s then hit up for a dime by a guy who could fill for the position of Jesus if that slot weren’t already filled in this episode. He goes on about how he doesn’t drink, doesn’t steal, and doesn’t forget to worship Jesus because he knows he’d be killed in the streets by proper Christians with bricks if he didn’t.

So let’s get on with it, they find that someone mugged Santa. Going to skip a lot of bullshit and get to the meat of the problem. They find the Santa and he turns out to be the Jesus fill-in for this episode, and I mean that. His name is Mister Shepherd, which I find too goddamn cute and I wrote a novella where Christmas is a woman and she used to be married to a thug named Church before she struck out on her own and now works for a corporate minded fat man. I mean FUUUUCK! He’s not angry about being robbed, and he’s sure that the thief will return the money. He talks in that extremely calm manner of Jesus clones everywhere. He kind of gets on my nerves.

Shepherd goes on about how man needs to remember the simplicity of childhood, that everyone forgets that all of humanity is one big family. Meanwhile, Casey threatens to send the guy to Guantanamo Bay for not being a proper Christian and hating everyone he comes across. Finally, they find someone they think is the thief and a local tough guy holds up the whole group and pulls a gun to prove he’s serious. The local though claims he’s going to kill five people to keep it quite that he stole $300 dollars (in 1947 though, that was worth half a million or so) because that’s how stupid this guy is. Shepherd talks down the tough guy, and gets him to give up the game. He does so by healing the sick, turning water into wine and walking on water. They all then decide they don’t want the money because they’ve all discovered the true meaning of Buddha Day or some bullshit. They then all give the money to the old man who they met earlier, but they do it off screen as it were so you have no idea what his reaction is, so what should be the emotional highpoint isn’t shown and all we get is a moment where everyone admits what a piece of shit they are and says they don’t deserve the money. Then in the bar Casey and Annie talk to the bartender about how the old man gave the money away like the first guy with the money had planned to all along, making the last half our or your life entirely pointless and leaving you to examine your life choices that got you here. Think about that a moment, now think about me. I listened to this fucking thing TWICE! I think it all went wrong in the 2nd grade, in case you’re wondering. I should have killed that kid with my metal compass and gotten my life of crime started early. Why did I ever wait until the 4th grade to go on a murder spree?

And so the heroes relate the story, and point out that they had forgotten that all the world is just one big family and that Christmastime is magic and that God sent them to Bum’s Boulevard to learn a lesson and that it never was such a bad little tree, it just needs a little love and a Red Ryder 200 shot range model air rifles with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time and OH FUCK YOU!!!!!!! You want to know the worst part? You want to know the one thing they found out about Mister Shepherd? They found out his former job, he used to be… a carpenter! *GASP!* Yeah, he’s not a Jeebus stand in, he’s the lord Jeebus himself! How’s that for a twist you saw coming nearly 20 minutes ago?

So yeah, it really is that God came down and showed them that even the bottom levels of humanity are still human and gave them pause for a moment to reflect on how they’d been treating people and blah, blah, blah, fucking blah! Man these stories are bullshit! Nothing good comes from this story, the heroes don’t actually do anything for anyone, and yet they decide that they want patted on the back because for one brief moment they didn’t stomp on a piece of human detritus, even though they’ll go right back to stepping on them come December 26th. Do they really understand the troubles of others? No. Do they do anything to combat the ills of the world? No. Do they face the pain and suffering of the world? No. They help buy a fucking pair of shoes and then claim that God did all of this just to help them be a slightly better person for five fucking minutes because no one else in the world matters but them and everything else is just so much background noise that occasionally pokes through their self-satisfied fog and reminds them not to be quite such an asshole all the time and they want a fucking Nobel prize and a cookie for that.

And that is why I say, FUCK CHRISTMAS!

December 6, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Retroflix Advent Calendar Door #6

Behind the Sixth Door is Hercule Poirot’s Christmas


December 6, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment