It happens earlier and earlier each year and this time it began before Halloween, for fuck's sake. Yuletide-themed television commercials, sickening holiday music wending its insidious way into the ether, endless cheap decorations depicting smiling Santas, reindeer and elves, the inevitable — and absolutely horrible — annual dusting off of Elmo and Patsy's "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer," vomitous cutesiness and happiness being shoved down our collective throat...Need I continue?
Yes, kids, Christmas has reared its monolithic head once again and it simply won't go away until about a week or two after the New Year.
Now don't get me wrong. I don't necessarily hate Christmas (despite my complete lack of interest in Christianity); what I hate is the utterly phony forced sentiment and commercialization that I only noticed once I was old enough to see the American Christmas season beyond my childhood greed for the Christmas morning haul of swag. Making the annual torture worse, my own mother aids and abets the holiday nausea by going totally Christmassy with a vengeance just after Thanksgiving by decorating everything in sight short of her own bowel movements and playing an interminable hit parade of saccharine Christmas music albums, the most recent of which was a collection that she described as "old Negro spirituals done in a holiday style." (Now correct me if I'm wrong, but my mom and I are Negroes, so why does she feel the need to describe the offending music as "old Negro spirituals?") I simply get no peace and find myself in an annual booze-haze from Thanksgiving until January simply in order to survive the onslaught.
Thankfully, I have found a few ways to counter the American "scorched earth" policy of X-Mas cheer enforcement and they involve forms of entertainment that intentionally set out to fist the oppressive Claus regime right up to its eggnog-basted liver. If you find yourself in need of a caustic blast of bad taste and negative vibes in order to maintain your sanity during this annual rough patch, allow me to make a few suggestions that will get you over the hump. Adhere to my own personal motto of "Why Be Bored?" and check out the following:
SUBVERSIVE CHRISTMAS RECORDS
More and more of these turn up each year and I welcome them like I would a horny, busty brunette lugging a perfectly roasted turkey and wearing nothing but a Santa hat. There's a lot to choose from so I'll point you toward the indispensables.
BUMMED OUT CHRISTMAS
Exactly what it claims to be, this is an utterly depressing collection of mostly non-humorous holiday tunes that are certain to anger your relatives. Highlights include "Christmas in Viet Nam," "Santa Came Home Drunk," and "Christmas Eve Can Kill You."
JINGLE BALLS (JOHN VALBY)
Without question the dirtiest and most offensive Yuletide album of all time, this gets my highest recommendation. Possibly the strangest "concept" album ever, this depicts the drunken post-Christmas Eve party at the North Pole in which the oh-so-sweet elves let their hair down, hire John "Dr. Dirty" Valby to regale them with his trademark obscene versions of well-known songs (this time around they are utter desecrations of the Christmas songs you love to hate) and engage in flagrantly offensive and lewd behavior. After this one, you will NEVER be able to hear classic Christmas songs again without hearing the dirty lyrics in your head. It's all juvenile as hell, has been played in my home annually since 1985 (it is now available on CD) and features many gems such as the immortal "I'll Be Stoned For Christmas," "Santa's Whore Is Comin' To Town" and "Leroy the Big-Lipped Nigger" (don't worry folks, there is no ethnic/religious group that gets away unscathed here, with the possible exception of Asians).
PUNK ROCK CHRISTMAS
Self-explanatory in the extreme, this has a lot of great stuff on it. The two indisputable classics found here are "Daddy Drank Our Christmas Money" by TVTV$ (who???) and "Homo Christmas" by Pansy Division (the line about "licking nipples, licking nuts/shoving candy canes up each other's butts" is one for the ages).
BLOWFLY DOES XXX-MAS
Second in filthiness only to John Valby, Clarence "Blowfly" Reid has been cranking out dirty parody albums since the late 1960's and is celebrated by aficionados of black American humor for his deft corruptions of countless R&B/disco/rap mainstays. My favorite on this one is his take on "Jingle Bell Rock":
Jingle Bell Jingle Bell Jingle Bell Cock Jingle Bell Prick That’s Hard As A Rock
Seriously, what's not to like there? Yet I still think his all-time greatest lyrics go to the brilliant “Show me a Man Who Don’t Want To Fuck You” from the 1980 BLOWFLY’S RAP album, such as:
Now I want to fuck you/From dusk to early morn ‘Cause I love pussy/Like a hog loves corn
Rodgers and Hammerstein, eat your hearts out!
CHRISTMAS EL BUNCHO- this is the now-infamous compilation that I assembled a few years ago and it contains thirty-three classics that you should never play for your family. Guaranteed to have the Pope show up at your door and punch you square in the mouth. Last year I made CHRISTMAS EVIL 2009 and there's a 2010 edition as well, which I will outline here tomorrow.
SUBVERSIVE CHRISTMAS MOVIES/DVDs/TELEVISION- There are about eleventy-jillion feel-good Christmas movies and TV offerings, but what you really need are the following:
BLACKADDER'S CHRISTMAS CAROL
The venomous British comedy classic has seldom been better than the Dickens-derived Christmas special. Ebenezer Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson) is the nicest man in England and a total doormat who puts up with colossal amounts of shit from relatives, neighbors and charities; in other words he is absolutely nothing like his infamous ancestors. After his Christmas Eve is utterly ruined by the avarice of all who surround him, Blackadder is visited by the drunken spirit of Christmas (Robbie "Hagrid" Coltrane) and shown how his evil ancestors — and a descendant in the far future — totally fucked over those who chose to ruin their holiday schemes by usurping power, plotting thievery and resorting to outright murder. Blackadder awakens on Christmas morn a new and completely evil son of a bitch, and the refreshing anti-moral is that no one ever gets anywhere by being kind and loving.
A valuable lesson to say the least!
SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT
The heartwarming tale of young Billy, a boy who witnesses his parents being murdered by a knife-wielding creep in a Santa suit after his previously catatonic grandpa warns him "If you see Santy Claus, you better run, boy!"
The most heartwarming moment in Christmas-movie history.
The film chronicles his emotionally-scarring upbringing in a Catholic orphanage (complete with the mother superior from Hell) and moves on to his young adulthood when he inevitably snaps and goes on an insane Christmas Eve rampage while clad in Santa drag. Brandishing a fireman's axe and shouting "punish!," Billy works his merry way through the neighborhood meting out appropriate rewards for those he deems naughty or nice until his inevitable confrontation with the fuzz. It's pretty bleak stuff, but it's so over-the-top that it's great fun for like-minded curmudgeons everywhere. And whatever you do, skip the sequels!
A middle-aged toy factory floor manager with a serious Santa fixation keeps tabs on the kiddies in his neighborhood and records their naughty or nice behavior in huge leather-bound ledgers in anticipation of handing out holiday justice. He endures the requisite abuse from co-workers and the general public and soon embarks on a truly inspired bloodbath, ferried from place to place in his reindeer-adorned van. Originally entitled YOU BETTER WATCH OUT, this one has an ending that has to be seen to be believed.
XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS-"A SOLSTICE CAROL"
The pre-Christian Christmas episode of the much-missed mythology-meets-ass-whuppin'-chicks TV series in which Xena and her sidekick Gabrielle meet an ancient Greek toymaker named Senticles. You do the math.
THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT
Geena Davis stars as an amnesiac assassin possessed of startling combat acumen in this holiday-set violence fest.
Shitloads of action, Samuel L. Jackson and unexpected maternal instinct make this Modesty Blaise plagiarism an underrated classic. And chicks dig it!
THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Contrary to popular belief, this was not directed by Tim Burton (who merely produced) and is therefore watchable. Excellent stop-motion animation is the star here and the novel storyline is nearly submarined by an overabundance of irritating Danny Elfman songs, but whatever you do, do not miss the "Kidnap the Sandy Claws" number in which three goblins describe in graphic detail their plans for the abduction and torture of Saint Nick.
A CHRISTMAS STORY
One of the few movies that really gets across how badly childhood sucks. Sure it has moments of sentimentality, but the plot is driven by one child's greed for the ultimate Christmas present: a Red Ryder BB rifle, which everyone on the planet is convinced will shoot the young hero's eye out.
Too many funny moments to even attempt to go into here, so just trust me on this one.
The Yuletide analog to Chernobyl. Obviously not for kiddies, it tells the fantastically offensive and puerile tale of an alcoholic safecracker (Billy Bob Thornton in his greatest performance) and his dwarf accomplice (Tony Cox, who steals the movie) and their annual scheme to rob yet another shopping mall during the most lucrative season. I won't say any more, but this is a seriously profane, offensive, anti-social, anti-Christmas, anti-feel-good movie that will have you pissing yourself at the sheer evil on display. For example:
It does run out of steam about ten minutes before the end, but this is totally worth your time if you like this sort of stuff. And on that note...
Happy Holidays, dear readers. May you quaff much eggnog, get laid as often as possible, receive a buttload of prezzies, and hopefully survive New Year's Eve. BAH HUMBUG, MOTHERFUCKERS!!!