Why Don’t We Have New Christmas Music?
By Mack Rawden: 2008-12-20
Why Don’t We Have New Christmas Music? I took a marketing class once. Let me boil the entire semester’s worth of curriculum down into one easy-to-remember sentence: People love new **** which reminds them of old ****. Take the Fast Break candy bar. We all know it’s basically a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, but it’s not a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, clearly. It comes in a different package, has a different name, and tastes slightly different. Hence, clearly not a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. But the ****ing chocolaty deliciousness sells like crack and pornography mixed together because it reminds us of how satisfying the original was as a child. Do you see what I’m trying to get at here? We’ve tricked ourselves into thinking we want newness when all we’re really after is slightly altering the same. Barack Obama isn’t really an emulsification of change. He’s the Fast Break to George Bush’s Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Ron Paul is lasagna. Karl Marx is a Lunchable. Darth Vader is pigs in a blanket. But we don’t want that much upheaval. Slow and steady wins the race. The nice guy gets the girl at the end of the movie. Give your word to stay at third. We love the familiar, the easy way out, the road more traveled. And that, that mother****ing sad commentary on society is why you will listen to the same, tired, stagnant renditions of “Little Drummer’s Boy” until the day Joseph Smith calls you to the celestial Kingdom.
I swear to God I actually heard the following sentence uttered by a woman while she simultaneously shoveled ham into her expansive facial orifice: This Vanessa Williams Christmas CD is getting old; let’s put on Amy Grant. That’s like saying I’m sick of watching Craig Stadler play golf so I’m going to follow Tim Herron around. Take out Will Perdue and bring in Bill Wennington. This salad tasted like cat food; it needed a few more Croutons. But no one found the fat chick’s comment even the slightest bit ridiculous. The idiotic utterance was met with general pleasure, as if the whole room thought, “now there’s an idea I can get behind.” And that, that shared sentiment widely held by most of the citizens of this great country is why you will listen to nineteen versions of “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” in the next four days.
Jesus’ birthday is about tradition and nostalgia. For many of us, Christmas evokes all sorts of memories of togetherness and rare hugs from unemotional fathers. Maybe your mother baked those sugar cookies you loved every Christmas Eve. Perhaps you woke up to find a puppy under the tree or loose-moraled cousin under the mistletoe, George Michael. Regardless, most of us will spend the rest of our lives searching for those blindly positive, possibly fraudulent remembrances while Granpa D’Wayne pounds his eighth beer in a holiday can and Great Aunt Jospehine silently gives the stink eye to the outfits her great nieces chose to wear. But, hey, we can control the music, if not our little sister’s hormonal ravings. And that, that breakdown in the Norman Rockwell fantasy is why the awkward syntax of “Happy Christmas, Julian” will no longer seem strange or off-putting by the time you vomit in a bush at twelve-o-six A.M. on January first.
Here’s an analogy. Music is to Christmas Music as Movies is to __________. Go ahead, take a second to think. This will affect your SAT score. Anyone? Anyone? Something doo Economics. Voodoo Economics. It’s ****ing Romantic Comedies. Boy meets girl, some sort of snafu sucks the situation Southward, boy gets girl. That’s it. Sure, sometimes a couple dudes make out or the guy dies heroically to save his love, but that’s just a variation on the Bo Diddley riff. And honestly, who doesn’t prefer some fast-talking, emotionally distant player who meets up with a beautiful somewhat troubled vixen anyway? We like the stuff we like because it’s the stuff we like. By definition, Christmas music needs to be about Christmas, cold weather, or some rambunctious green ******* who tries to foul it all up with a nefarious scheme. That doesn’t really leave too much leg room for ingenuity and original thought. And that, that ho ho horse’s ass of an unsolvable conundrum is why Bing Crosby’s relatives are making an assload in royalties.
The status quo surrounding Christmas is a microcosm of the status quo engulfing all of our lives. It changes from Swiss Cake Rolls’ to Ho Ho’s. From David Cassidy’s to Leif Garrett’s. From hot tub’s to Jacuzzi’s. Personally, I like options. I gave money to lasagna’s campaign. But, baby, it’s cold outside and a Jacuzzi and Fast Break might be exactly what we all need at the end of another year.