Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Yes, we're robbing the old Christmas vaults to show the history and wide range of holiday expressions. Pull up a chair and rest your weary feet while I crank up the Victrola. Take a load off, buddy.

Here's a medley of traditional Christmas carols with Judy Garland, her daughter Liza Minelli, and the Velvet Nog, er, Fog -- Mel Torme. A fire is blazing in the hearth, and the liquor cabinet is well-stocked. Somewhere, a festive holiday platter is arranged entirely with Kraft products.

Jump forward a couple decades, and society as we know it has collapsed. These punks have trashed the Kraft platter, drained the liquor bottles, and even ransacked the medicine cabinet. Nobody has any manners these days. It's a good time for The Ramones, to perform "Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight)"

Jump even further forward, and everything disintegrates into an ironic, post-modern pastiche, a re-mix of previous forms, a digitized cut-and-paste ransom note. We wander in a world where there is nothing firm to stand on, no up or down, and everything is spoken within "quotation marks." It's hard to know what to make of any of this, but no one cares, anyway. This is now...or ten minutes from now. This is Taking Back Sunday, with their take on "The Twelve Days of Christmas."

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