Tuesday, December 1, 2009

my eardrums for a moment of peace

The question, fellow Romans, is how we could possibly endure approximately three weeks of commercial radio Christmas tunes at the workplace, supposedly a sacred place? And how can a radio station possibly sell this tired trick of attempting to go all-Christmas 24 hours a day for nearly a month straight? It is a fool's-errand. Nobody, but nobody, needs 24-hour a day Christmas songs.

And the repeats. O, the awful repeats. Mariah Carey's frighteningly exuberant All I Want for Christmas is You, in which she sounds positively tickled to be desperately pining for her significant other at Christmas time. Paul McCartney doing an interminable, and very, very dated 80's-style (it came out in 1979) holiday song, of which every other line appears to be the dread refrain "Siii-imply haaa-aaving a wonderful Christmas time."

Elvis Presley with Blue Christmas, which is fine, but no one needs to hear it more than once a day (we had it twice in four hours already yesterday), even at Christmas time. And the real problem at the root of all this holiday-themed sonic evil: today was only Monday, November 30th. What will we do for 23 more days when today was already jam-packed with repeats, played within lit'rally 4 hours of each other as if there weren't offices which through no fault of their own had been listening all the live-long day.

And besides all this, have you ever actually listened to the words of these Christmas songs? They are intolerably bad. The only thing they do is rhyme, the only thing. They are nearly devoid of meaning. We desperately need new Christmas songs (By the way, I actually enjoy the more religious Christmas songs that deal with the nativity and all, but you don't really get those on commercial stations like WODS Boston, usually a much-loved oldies station for me, transformed into a hideous holiday monster of trite, oft-repeated, cookie-cutter (how appropriate!) Christmas sentiments).

Let's run down what the Christmas songs say. All of them seem to come back to these several themes:

-Christmas is the BEST time of year. No serious person may question this.

-Snow is fun, even though it may at times be 'frightful'. Those are the times when it's a good excuse to spend more time with your beloved.

-You are always surrounded by many loved ones at Christmas. Relations with these people are blissful, always.

-It's no fun to be away from your beloved at Christmas time. You should aspire to be with them, and write a song about it if you can't.


If you have any other themes, let me know, but I think those are the major ones.

Christmas seems to be so much a sham right now. A sale masquerading as a cultural institution. People whip themselves into a frenzy with Christmas music and tear themselves up over what to get for their loved ones. Just enjoy the time off, don't get stressed out about stupid stuff, and spend time with your family. Because a man that doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man. Just take it easy. And lay off the 24-hour Christmas songs, they will drive you nuts.

A postscript: And today, Amanda's computer at work contracted a virus from a Christmas music website and had to be sent away to the help desk. It goes to show that the age-old maxim is true: If you play fast and loose with Christmas music, you're bound to get burned.

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