Lancelot Links (Merry Christmas Edition!)
We're home for the holidays this year, with presents still under the tree, stockings still stuffed, a roast beast waiting in the fridge. In the meantime, some links. Have a great day, everyone:
- Danny Gallagher's “10 Things You Probably Didn't Know about ”A Charlie Brown Christmas.“ And I didn't. I particularly love 3, 5, 6 and 7. I don't know if they were doing market research back then, but it's another example of this. If you want to make something that lasts, listen to the artists, not the business people. The business people will only try to replicate what's been done and will give you nothing that will stick; the artists will try to create something new and original.
- Speaking of: I love the ”Peanuts“ strip for the day, which a FB friend alerted me to. It has great resonance for today. But I miss the history of it. When was this strip created? What year? Moneymen want to remove chronology so the thing can be used again and again as if it were new. Historians know there's a this, then, this, then this. They want to know how the story goes.
- Ghosts of Christmas Past I: What's a good update for ”humbug“?
- Kim Morgan loves herself some Nat 'King' Cole, and while ”Christmas Song“ is good for the time of year, her favorite is Nat's version of the Hoagy Carmichael/Mitchell Parish classic ”Stardust.“
- Ghosts of Christmas Past II: Kids say the darndest things, circa 2008.
- Empire magazine lists its 30 Greatest Christmas Movies, but no need to look. They're striving for contrarianism: ”Die Hard“ is No. 1, ”Elf“ No. 2, ”It's a Wonderful Life“ No. 3. ”Scrooged,“ the awful Bill Murray comedy, is at No. 5. As for ”A Christmas Story“? No. 11. Whatev, as the kids say.
- I did time on those lists, too: In 2004, for MSN, the top 10 Christmas scenes. No need to look at that, either. It's slow-to-load, for one. It looks awful, for another. Plus the original accompanying videos are gone. But it went:
- 10) Bing singing ”White Christmas“ in ”Holiday Inn“
- 9) Emma Thompson realizing her husband is cheating on her in ”Love, Actually“
- 8) the intro of Santa's sister in ”Bad Santa“
- 7) Kevin's church scene in ”Home Alone“
- 6) Judy Garland singing ”Have Yourself a Merry Little Chrismtas“ in ”Meet Me in St. Louis.“ Saddest Christmas song ever.
- 5) Alistar Sim as the early Scrooge telling us that man is an island, entire of itself—a message that sadly never goes out of style
- 4) Buddy the Elf confronting a Santa faker who smells of beef and cheese
- 3) Edmund Gwenn's Santa in ”Miracle of 34th Street“ talking Dutch to the poor little orphan girl and making Natalie Wood wonder
- 2) Harry Bailey, 1911-1919
- 1) Santa saying ”You'll shoot yer eye out, kid. Ho ho ho.“
- Ghosts of Christmas Past III: Nook-smart but Saul-Bellow-stupid at Barnes & Noble.
- I'd recommend my favorite Christmas song, ”O Holy Night,“ but YouTube ain't helping in this regard. I like the Irish Tenors' version but it's not to be found. Instead, we get a host of singers who make it more about them than the song. Reminds me of writers who make it more about them than the subject. Bad form. But the Irish Tenors' version is available on iTunes. I'm listening to it right now. Merry Christmas.
”All it needs is a little love, Charlie Brown." — Linus Van Pelt, philosopher