CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE STUMBLED INTO "THE SHALLOW ZONE." WATCH OUT FOR THE ROCKS. SOME OF THEM ARE SHARP.
If you're looking for a blog with meaningful content on the important issues of the day, you've come to the wrong place. This is the shallows, my friend. Nothing but shallowness as far as the eye can see. Let someone else make sense of things. I like it here.

About Me

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I love my grown children, miss all the dogs I ever had, and I cry at the drop of a hat, I believe in true love, destiny, fairness, and compassion. If I could be anywhere right now, it would be the ocean. My favorite city is New York, but I am always longing for London and craving more time in Copenhagen. I'm drawn to desolate places, deserted buildings, and unknown byways. I don't care how society perceives me as long as my gut tells me that what I'm doing is right. I am interested in paranormal things, spiritual things, historical things, and things that glow at night. I like to drink, I smoke when I write, I can't stand small talk, and despite my quick temper, I would rather kiss than fight. I'm selfish with my writing time, a spendthrift with my love. My heart has been broken so many times that it's held together with super glue and duct tape. The upside is that, next time, I won't be tempted to give away what I no longer have to give. But I will let you buy me a Pink Squirrel.
MY SHALLOW MISSION STATEMENT

MY SHALLOW MISSION STATEMENT

MY SHALLOW MISSION STATEMENT
Not that there's any weight to it...
IN A WORLD FILLED WITH COMPLEX POLITICAL ISSUES, SOCIAL INEQUALITY, AND FINANCIAL UNCERTAINTY, I CONSIDER IT MY GIFT TO YOU, MY READER, TO OFFER THIS SHALLOW LITTLE HAVEN, WHERE NOTHING IS TOO SHALLOW, TOO INSIGNIFICANT, OR TOO RIDICULOUS TO JUSTIFY OUR ATTENTION. IN OTHER WORDS, IF IT'S NOT IMPORTANT....SO WHAT? NEITHER WAS MARILYN MONROE'S BRA SIZE. AND THAT STILL SELLS MAGAZINES, DOESN'T IT?
VIDEO OF THE MONTH

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

HAVE YOURSELF A WEIRD LITTLE CHRISTMAS


I guess it's just the years and years of conditioning, but since Christmas is less than a week away now, I feel compelled to write something about in for this blog. I already wrote a post on my three favorite movie Scrooges for my other blog, Nocturne In G Major (which you should read...if only as an early Christmas gift to me), but for this one, it seems that something a little more frivolous (i.e. shallow) is in order. After all, if there's one major holiday that brings out the shallow in people, it's Christmas. My friend, Lissa just spent four hours online trying to find the perfect set of blue lights to drape over an old rocking horse that she wants to set up on her roof. Four hours! Granted, it's not as though if she could have those hours back, she could better serve the world by pinning down that elusive cure for cancer or anything. I mean, she's an Ed Tech. But still.

Anyway, the point is, for all of the higher concepts like joy and peace that are supposed to be the underlying theme of Christmas, far too many of us spend the season in the pursuit of high-profile shallowness. But what might be seen as a sad commentary on society is a good thing for this blog, devoted as it is to the shallowness (albeit in varying degrees) that dwells within us all. So what better way to honor that reality than to dedicate this post to some of the weirdest Christmas performances of all time? I don't even know where to start. Then again, maybe I do. So, have yourself a weird little Christmas and scroll on...


I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person who's seen this video who has wondered exactly why someone decided that it was a good idea to pair David Bowie with Bing Crosby for the purpose of singing a Christmas carol. But, clearly, someone did. In fact, according to my cursory research (this is a shallow blog, remember), it all came about because the producers of what turned out to be Bing Crosby's final TV Christmas special (it was taped in September, 1977, and Crosby died of a heart attack a month later, which, technically, actually makes it a posthumous TV Christmas special) thought that adding Bowie to the mix would give ol' Bing a little edge, something that he'd been lacking since...well...since those "On The Road" movies he made with Bob Hope back in the 30s and 40s. Trouble was, Bowie wasn't interested, feeling that the song just wasn't "right for him." So the producers of the show did a little tweaking and came up with the idea of having Bowie sing an original song called "Peace On Earth", written especially for the event by Buz Kohan, Ian Fraser, and Larry Grossman, in counterpoint as Crosby crooned "Little Drummer Boy." It was an idea that shouldn't have worked, but it did. Bowie reportedly loved it from the moment it was broached to him and immediately jumped on the holiday bandwagon, a decision that not only resulted in one of the weirdest Christmas duets ever, but the most successful. Over thirty years later, the song is still selling and is always in heavy rotation on radio Christmas playlists. Interesting to note, though, that at the time the duet was recorded, Bowie had just come out with his dark hit, "Heroes", which, as an added incentive to appear on the special, the producers agreed to air as well. Ah, the art ofcompromise. I just can't help wondering if Bing even knew who the hell David Bowie was.


As though a Christmas special featuring the former Ziggy Stardust and a former big band singer wasn't weird enough, just one year later, in 1978, the people who make the things we see on TV decided that what the world needed was a Christmas special centered around Star Wars, which, of course, at the time, was the most talked-about movie in the entire civilized world. But why wouldn't they? If people were willing to buy Darth Vader bubble bath and Han Solo Halloween masks, why wouldn't they be just as willing to sit through one of the most ill-conceived and horribly-executed TV specials of all time? And "horribly-executed" is being kind. The show was so terrible and so maligned by critics that CBS only aired it once, before sending it to a galaxy far far away forever and ever more. How they managed to convince Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fish to take part in this thing is anyone's guess, but the real question is what did they do to George Lucas to make him write such a terrible screenplay? It's a cringefest from start to finish, with the majority of screen time going to Chewbacca (played by Peter Mayhew, of course) who is upset because his son, Lumpy (yes, Lumpy) has had the head torn off his Bantha doll by stormtroopers in the middle of the Wookies' "Life Day" celebration, which is, apparently, the biggest holiday of the year on the Wookie home planet. Naturally, Chewie wants to set things right, and does, eventually, with the help of his Star Wars friends, but not before they squeeze in a few song and dance numbers, one of which features, Bea Arthur (yes, Bea Arthur), who plays the owner of the Mos Eisley Cantina (you know...the one where we first see Han Solo in the real Star Wars movie?) And did I mention that Lucas not only wrote the screenplay for this piece of Christmas cheese, but directed it as well? Clearly, everyone involved in this thing was either high or just very, very tired. Or maybe they were just hoping to sell a lot of Bantha dolls.


As weird as the previous two Christmas performances were...and remain...they can't hold a candle to the 2011 collaboration of The Flaming Lips, Yoko Ono, and The Plastic Ono Band on last year's "Atlas Eets Christmas" album. Missed it? You're lucky. But I'm here to wrong that right. How and why it happened is anyone's guess, as always, and it's probabaly a question I should stop asking. Maybe The Flaming Lips are Beatles fans. Maybe they're even Yoko Ono fans. Hell, I'm both, but I'd have to have imbibed a whole lot of rum and eggnog to listen to this album all the way through. Yoko sings and makes her usual high-pitched noises, The Flaming Lips play Christmas-ish music with a heavy emphasis on bells, and the result is pretty much some of the worst Christmas music of all time. Is this what Yoko really wanted to do when she and John Lennon recorded the 70s classic "So This Is Christmas"? If it was, it's a damned good thing he didn't listen. Because if this is Christmas, I'm going to start celebrating Kwaanza early. (But I still love Yoko.)

Well, Shallow-ites, there you have it...some of the weirdest Christmas performances ever. I know that I've left out a lot, but, frankly, even I can only endure so much shallowness at one time. Maybe, if I actually do get a few rum and eggnogs in me, I'll be back to dole out more Christmas pain. But until then...well...as always...Skol!

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