Michaele Jordan was born in Los Angeles, bred in the Midwest, educated in Liberal Arts at Bard College and in computers at Southern Ohio College. She has worked at a kennel and a Hebrew School and AT&T. She’s a bit odd. Now she writes. Her previous novel, Blade Light, a charming traditional fantasy, was serialized in Jim Baen’s Universe and is now available as an ebook at Amazon or at iBooks. Her next novel, Mirror Maze, is available for pre-order from Amazon.
Halloween, with its horror movies, is gone, and Thanksgiving, too. (Although there are few Thanksgiving movies; it tends more to serial marathons. Buffy and Babylon V and Star Trek Any Generation are all playing somewhere, like family come to help us hang out on the sofa over the weekend.) But now we must face “the bleak December.” If you’re like me….
But odds are good, you’re not like me. Because I am a grinch. I say it without shame., even with pride. For I am no ordinary grinch-I am a great and glorious grinch. There’s a statue of me in the Bah Humbug Hall of Fame. Each year, I send out a few decorously non-sectarian holiday cards, place a tasteful menorah on my mantle, and step back wondering if I’ve gone too far. I don’t want the neighbors to think I condone seasonal excess; they’ve already glitzed up their houses like so many used car lots.
Black Friday is meaningless to me; I have no presents to buy. I avoid most stores beyond the grocery; they are always decked out with plastic pine trees. I never eat out; I can’t abide the musak.
So I huddle at home, with my dearest refuge-my books-and my long-time companion-the TV set. The books-and I humbly thank the powers of the universe for books-have never let me down. But the faithless TV set betrays me every year. On the very day of Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law forced me to watch seventeen horrific minutes of Four Christmases! It’s been on four times since-I think it’s following me.
It’s not just my sister-in-law, who has at least the excuse of being married to a minister. Everybody tries to make me watch Xmas movies. Every year, some one throws at least one version of A Christmas Carol is in my face. Do you knows how many different Christmas Carol‘s there are?
A brief glance over IMDB reveals that Christmas Carol was remade in 2009, 2008 (with Barbie), 2004, 2001, 1999, 1998 (aka Scrooge),1998 (with All Dogs), 1997, 1994 (with the Flintstones),1992 (with the Muppets), 1988 (with Blackadder) 1986, 1984, 1979 (with Bugs Bunny),1978,1962 (with Mr. Magoo), 1951 (the classic with Alistair Sim), 1950, 1947, 1943, 1938, 1917 (with Birds), 1914 and 1908. That’s not all. I just got tired of copying the list. And the list didn’t pretend to include versions with altered names, like Scrooged with Bill Murray. Charles Dickens has a lot to answer for.
I meant to regale you with a long list of all the Xmas movies I don’t ever want to see again, but I’ve already gone on some while, and you’re probably sick of it. Let’s just blissfully forget about Elf, Ernest Saves Christmas, The Polar Express, White Christmas and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. I only wish I were allowed to forget about Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life. (Do you think I’ve gone too far condemning these classics? Sorry. I just hate sentimental movies-even when it’s NOT Christmas. Die, Frank Capra, die!)
I can’t even retreat to regular programming, because anything on a commercial station (and most anything on cable) will have a glowing Christmas episode, prefaced by a month of extra-gooey golden moments. You think that Grimm won’t have a Christmas special? (Assuming it lasts until then.) You want to bet? I very much fear there will even be a Christmas show on Hell on Wheels.
And even if not, there’s still commercials. I’m sure that none of you love commercials. I shouldn’t need to justify my distaste. And yet…Even rational people go a little insane when Christmas gets in their eyes. During the aforementioned Four Christmases event, my sister-in-law actually pointed out three commercials she particularly loved! Three! They weren’t even comic!
I’ll have to hunt up lots of foreign films (and I don’t mean European). Oh, why did I gobble up all my animé so fast? Out of 167 episodes of Inuyasha, I only have 15 left to get me through the holidays. I finished Black Butler. I finished Hell Girl (really great show!). I finished Ghost Hound.
So it will have to be Indian musicals and Chopsocky. Bring on Bruce Lee and Dharmendra, and all the old Run Run Shaw movies! I can hardly wait to get hold of Chandni Chowk to China, which combines Bollywood with martial arts. (So what if the reviews were bad-it’s Bollywood! And martial arts!)
Before I go crawl into a hole for a month, let me wish all of you who do not aspire to grinch-hood, a decorously non-sectarian Happy Holidays. And if you simply must buy gifts, why not give everyone a good book, like Mirror Maze?