Viewing posts tagged christmas

Jack Considers a Christmas Reagan

Owing to a decided - and entirely understandable - lack of enthusiasm for the project from anyone else, I embarked on a solo commentary on the 1984 movie version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, starring George C. Scott as Scrooge.  Luckily, I'm quite capable of wittering on for 90 minutes unassisted. 
 
So, here it is... a Christmas... treat for you?  I guess?
 
The movie is on YouTube should you want to watchalong with me.
 
Obviously, a commentary isn't an ideal way to analyse a text, so I left a lot of things out that I wanted to talk about.  So you may be getting more on this.  I've already written about it in passing here.
 
WWA did another CtR on a Christmas movie (though I understand this is a vexed question now) here.
 
Meanwhile, thanks everyone for reading my stuff this year.  And thanks for being such a great community.  And thanks to all those who've promoted my stuff by tweeting, retweeting, etc.  And special thanks to my lovely patrons.  They got advance access to this podcast.  If that seems like a ...

The Eruditorum Press Christmas Party Shabcast

Take time off from wading through the flooded ruins of your home and join the entire 'inner party' (as it were) of Eruditorum Press - Holly, myself, James, Jane, Kevin and Phil - for Shabcast 14, a massive festive blather-session.  (Anna was invited, but was too tired from doing little things like, y'know, fixing the site.)

Like any office Christmas 'do' there will be simmering resentments and blazing rows, the awkward office joker will embarrass everyone, somebody will get spannered and photocopy their arse (or, these days, scan it and email it to people I suppose), the boss will be unconvincingly jovial with staff who can't relax while he's around, two people will sneak off for a tryst in an empty office, and the whole thing will be interrupted by terrorists led by Alan Rickman.

It's undoubtedly the finest piece of Christmas-related media you're likely to experience in the next couple of days.

Download or listen here

And have a pleasant end of December.

 

 

Snow Job

To me, the most striking thing about the racist Christmas card circulated by the British National Party (or the Keystone Stormtroopers, as I like to call them), is how utterly mainstream it looks.




There is clearly a racist message here because

a) it's being circulated by a racist party of fascist Nazi racist racists,

and

b) because of the oh-so-clever hidden subtext of the phrase 'white Christmas' that Cyclops/Fuhrer Dickibegyourpardonnick Griffin's reichschancellory full of political geniuses have cryptically woven into it.

But, as Metro have pointed out, it's an altered stock image, also used by thoroughly mainstream publications.

The Aryan child - pale and blonde and blue-eyed - is still the vanilla standard of beauty and innocence in the aesthetic system that capitalism calls Christmas.  Mainstream adverts and cards will engage in tokenism so as to simperingly hook in with sentimenal one-world platitudes, and sell to more than just white people, but non-white faces are still the variety sprinkled around the white standard.

It's not the young model's fault, of course.  She's just peddled her own image in a system of bodily commodification (as we all must peddle ourselves, one way or another ...

The Surplus Population

It's getting near Christmas.  Christmas means Dickens.  Doctor Who has 'done' Dickens twice in recent years... on both occasions, the show has travestied Dickens' most famous Christmas story A Christmas Carol.  Last year we were given that Moffat-penned obscenity that shared its title.  He transmuted the tale into a gleefully cynical celebration of hubris, casual sexism, complacency and hypocrisy.  But Moffat was following a trail already blazed.

Back in 2005, Mark Gatiss riffed on the same story (which is about a selfish man who is made to realise that he owes the world a debt, only to find himself transformed by that knowledge) and turned it into a parable about how helping the apparently needy is dangerous folly stemming from thoughtless guilt... because the apparently needy (even 'foreign' refugees, running from the devastating effects of a war they didn't start) will probably want to swamp you and steal your world.

Once I'd realised (with help from others more immediately perceptive than myself) what 'The Unquiet Dead' was actually about, I became very critical of it.  However... as time passes... I begin to think I've been overly critical of Gatiss.  Perhaps even a tad unfair to ...

Jack's Alternative Xmas Playlist (and other stuff)

Hate Christmas movies? Unable to stomach their revolting mixture of exhausted iconography and sentimental platitudes? Tempted to suspect that most Christmas movies and/or TV specials are so staggeringly bad that they must be fiendishly disguised satires, made by people who secretly consider their viewers to be dribbling simpletons? Unable to get excited about the prospect of watching yet another adaptation of Charles Dickens’ second worst novel? Wondering if this year the makers of EastEnders will achieve what is clearly their dearest desire and start a wave of Christmas Day suicides across the nation? Dreading the prospect of all the ordure adumbrated above yet simultaneously unable to contemplate surviving the “festive” season without the merciful presence of the gogglebox? Tired of rhetorical questions?

Okay then, here’s Jack’s Alternative Christmas Playlist....



The Lion in Winter (1968)


Christmas is a time for family arguments. You know how it is, everybody stuck together, desperately trying to get on and have fun… it’s a recipe for disaster. But nobody had a Christmas quite like the Plantagenets’ in this film.


Katherine Hepburn and Peter O’Toole are the warring married couple, King Henry II and his older Queen Eleanor, who spend Christmas ...

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