Wednesday, December 19, 2007

it's my fuckin' christmas!

just to clear the air before this starts, i am a reformed catholic and unorthodox pagan, born of devout christians and believe in true christian values. as i grew up christmas time was all about getting things, giving things and spending time with friends and family, and oh yeah, being especially nice to everyone you meet. we didn't dwell on the jesus stuff too much, maybe at church on christmas morn, (or in catechism, which i liked because of the history aspect of the bible, not really the flashy uber-religious context), but not a whole lot as i remember. neither did my friends, family, classmates, or most people i'd meet on the street. we all knew what it meant and dealt with it in our own ways. we weren't overtly religious and recognized that maybe not everyone else had the same beliefs as we did. it was always just a real fun time of year, with everyone included... or at least that how i remember it.

but now what the fuck is wrong with these people, you know, the ones who are so afraid that their christmas is being assailed by an organized assault they scream and rant and rave like a child left coal in his stocking. this has been simmering for a while now, with the 'bill oh-reallys' yapping about 'the war on christmas' and how the left is trying to take all the crosses and commandments off of public lands and bullying stores about how they want them to appeal to their customers... and on and on and on...

i hate exclusiveness, have always avoided clubs, fraternities, orders, lodges, religions or anything that had 'us and them' stamped in the fine print, (or as groucho once said, 'i'd never join a club that would have me as a member'). i mean, it's ok if ya wanna go be a sheep, walk lock-step and follow the pack, as long as you keep to yourself and don't try to win me with hallow arguments as to why your club is better than the others, i won't subscribe to your religion. but now these right-wing nut-case evangelicals are downright scary. their attitude of 'it's my fucking christmas!' is outta control. what unmitigated gall of these people to try and tell me how to celebrate the season. it ain't even their holiday by rights, it really belongs to the pagans, (and we know what they think of those heretics). the winter solstice has been celebrated by cultures all over the world for eons before christ was supposedly born, (which, don't be shocked now, was not on dec. 25th).

now, i don't mean to be pissin' on nobody's holiday, but they started this crap. they want war, they got it. i am all for trashing everything; the obsession of the over-lighted tree, the constant inundation of inane songs sung by tone-deaf singers, the endless, boring, old slogans, the stupid movies and lame t.v. specials, the repetitive stream of crass commercialism and all it's sick pseudo-religious trimmings that truly make detestable what used to be a much more innocent season. this world is full of people who don't celebrate the holiday in the same fashion. still the christian militant fascist fanatics see any other view as a threat to their beliefs. so, they play victim, cry foul and worry themselves silly over whether its 'merry christmas' or 'happy holidays'. and what happens when each and every organized religion wants to put up their own version of the spirit of their holiday? is it a matter of might make right? that is how real wars start isn't it? no one wins in this silly debate. faith is for each person to celebrate in their soul, home or church and not to be crammed down the collective maw of everyone else... especially in the public square, or in government offices. this is not solely a christian country, it is a nation built by the hands of peoples of many beliefs. why can't we all just get along?... we should be better than this, you'd think.

'what would jesus do?' is a fond rallying cry, but a damned few so-called christians rarely do anything resembling the teachings christ. his was a message of tolerance and moderation, of love thy neighbor and helping one another get by... not having crusades for oil using the blood of the poor to finance it, greedy corporate christian wealth that neglects the unfortunate, and mall-sized christmas specials that breed cultural divisiveness. have yourself a merry little christmas is now moot, it's buy more, spend more and just do it my way and we will win this war with them that are different from us... get real, no one is gonna take christ out of christmas, you have that, just don't act like it is the only reason for the season... the reason's in your heart. i don't think the birthday boy would be proud of what it has become. it's just silly the way these people think, as if they do. one drive around the neighborhood here proves their so-called-spirit is alive and well in suburban new orleans, (s.a. says she has never seen so many houses decorated in her life, and i gotta admit it sure seems like the most to me also).

i just wish we could all get along, even if only for one stupid day...

...and if that wasn't bad enuff, the republi-cons are using faith as a major litmus test as to who is most qualified to run this country for them. i dunno know about you, but these last seven years, with a man who was hand-picked by these fruitcakes, is more than enuff. i nearly threw up spiked eggnog out of my nose when i saw huckabee's, (sounds like what you do when you swallow a flying insect), christmas message, (he is the savior flavor de jour for the 'us' guys). i tell ya, every american really needs to see this video, but not for the reasons they want... and you want this guy to be your latex salesman? i hope he is gonna be their next right-hand-of-god, he is truly just too good to believe. he thinks he is so close to heaven he'll probably try to fill his cabinet with the 12 apostles... (the guy just seems like a snake oil salesman to me; sweet talkin', smarmy and not to be trusted).

whew... i think i am thru here, i know i stepped on some toes with this holiday rant (i hope so at least), but my feet hurt already from all this bru-ha-ha, so let's just all try to get along this year, eh? we are doing our part, by enjoying the festivus thingy at home with our pole amongst friends and family, (we're still not checking faith credentials to get in, so come one, come all!), and celebrating the season like the drunken pagans we ought to be... bah humbug!

(here is the real subliminal message from the huck, and it's a lot scarier than 'paul is dead, paul is dead')

also, in the spirit of the stealin' of the over-hyped/priced holidays we offer these tidbits of mirth and detriment, in mp3, thru festivus at least, by way of yousendit: everyone everywhere, just hold true to what the season means to you!
and a happy merry celebrations to all...
now if ya'll excuse me i still got presents to wrap!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

everywhere it's christmas...(again)

*** back by popular demand, in time for this xmas, is this repost of the 12-1-05 entry...
(with corrections and additions)

...for seven years the beatles released an annual christmas record, on flexi-discs for members of the fan club. it began in 1963 as the four of them sat around a microphone in abbey road studios to record a thank you message, and by '66 they were making it a small epic, of sorts, using audio skits and new songs. for '68 and '69 the beatles weren't even doing it together at all, just piecemealing stuff they each recorded at home, then handing it over to kenny everett (the bbc dj) to edit for release. in december 1970, after the band broke up, apple records released all 7 christmas flexi-records on one vinyl l.p., again, only to the fan club.

for years all of this was really hard to find on any medium (i was lucky to have a friend whose sister belonged to the fan club and had them all, including the l.p., of which she would not part with but let me tape, so i at least it in some form, which was spread as far as i could). now the price for any of the original records is unreal, as you can imagine. but thanks to the wonders of the internet you can find these lil gems on torrent or other various places, (i found a nice cd of the set, along with the other christmas tunes done by each after the split, on ebay a while back, but i'd love to own the l.p. in vinyl before i die)...

***(well, i finally did get the lp right after the original post, the real apple fan club one... heheheheheeee, she treats me so good!)

...the beatles were always big on christmas. they would plan album and single releases for the holidays and even had a kinda off-broadway christmas show in the early years. and as mentioned in a previous post, it meant a guaranteed record under the tree on the morning of december 25th each year. i still miss those times, but at least we've still got the christmas records to fill the house with beatle-christmas cheer when it comes, at the end of every year ...

here are the very hard to find fan club flexi-disc records on mp3 download for you to put under the tree for that special santa-beatle on your list ...

***(these links are now thru yousendit, so that you can save 'em, since the site i was using/hacking flipped 'em to video streams on youtube... i may add links to those later for ya'll (or you can go here now and save me the trouble)... in the meantime, get 'em while they're available, for 100 downloads or the next week or so, or you can just listen to the audio stream to enjoy anytime at all as long as you like... so, garry crimble to all and getty babel dear christmas!

The Beatles Christmas Record (mp3)
(audio stream)

Another Beatles Christmas Record (mp3)
(audio stream)

The Beatles Third Christmas Record (mp3)
(audio stream)

Pantomime:Everywhere It's Christmas (mp3)
(audio stream)

Christmas Time Is Here Again (mp3)
(audio stream)

The 1968 Christmas Record (mp3)
(audio stream)

The Beatles Seventh Christmas Record (mp3)
(audio stream)

The Beatles Fan Club Christmas L.P.

*** and here are some lost (and found, i guess) beatles christmas bits that have been dug up in the last few, in mp3, once more by way of yousendit:

another take of the '64 message

the lost '65 christmas message

(a very long, strange and un-xmas-like piece of bric-a-brac indeed)

an outtake from the '67 message

...and finally, for the completists and fanatics,
beatles christmas desktop theme

Friday, December 14, 2007

not another xmas mix... mix

so, i know this is christmas time. s.a. asked me to make a few copies of an mp3 cd of christmas music for her and all her workmates at the road home thingy. i started by digging up as much as i could, like every cd in the archives (quite a few), and finding an enormous torrent file on the magical net, (it's only a mere 10 gigabytes of the most varied assortment of christmas mp3 cheer one could hope to find beneath the tree, including a complete set of the old firestone christmas lps from my early childhood... too sick).

after weeding out the obvious klunkers, (such as the entire 6 cds of nordic muzak and the celine-type crap), picking out the obvious winners, (i think all the standards are known), and incorporating some odd bits here and there, (some more odd than others), the cd had turned into a 193 track monster.

then came the fun...

sorting, remixing and recording, in all about a weeks worth of toil and labor. needless to say i am so burned out on christmas music that i almost went into canniption fits looking for a tree with the little lady at home-desperate the other day, just hearing the burl warbling 'it's a holly jolly christmas' in my state is almost tantamount to christmas waterboarding...

but, seeing as this space was vacant last season, (we had better fish to fry), we thought it'd be nice to let ya'll in for some of that old odd assortment of mp3 holiday cheer, for a week, at the most, thru yousendit...

sonny boy williamson - sonny boy's christmas blues
tommy ridgley - please come home for christmas
t-rex - christmas box
james brown - santa claus, santa claus
brian wilson - what i really want for christmas (for
louis armstrong - 'zat you santa claus?

lowell fulson - lonesome christmas
r.e.m. - christmas griping
rubberband - jinglebell rock
pink floyd - merry xmas song
the beatles - 1964 xmas message (outtake)