You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for a couple of days each month when it doesn't. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. My spinoff food site, Forkbastard, can be found easily enough by the clever.
Archive - Dec 16, 2004
Memo to Christmas: GET BETTER MUSIC.
Or stop getting worse music. Whatever. Just bring the overall average up, is what I'm asking. I don't have anything against Christmas music in principle, as a concept, but the genre has certain limitations and problems that can be summed up in a few short words:
NOBODY NEEDS TO HEAR JESSICA SIMPSON SING "THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY".
Pop stars should not, under any circumstances, record Christmas albums. Period. A pop star belting out a Christmas classic is the worst kind of Christmas music there is. For one thing, it's a blatant money grab. Want to keep those ASCAP royalty checks rolling in long after you're a forgotten punchline on a VH1 retro special? Make a Christmas album, and from that point on, in-store music systems will keep your crap in rotation three months a year, and you'll be able to afford canned pork-n-beans until Bands Reunited gets around to you.
And unless and until you've invented an entirely new musical genre, there isn't a single goddamn thing you can do to The Little Drummer Boy that hasn't already been done. The thing's been covered by more celebrities than Paris Hilton has. Your parumpapumpum isn't any different from anyone else's so stop shoving your parumpapumpum in our collective faces.
While we're on the subject, STOP COVERING JINGLE BELL ROCK, for fucksake. How is that ever a good idea? The original is a piece of shit, a relic of the 50's where old people tried to make a Christmas song with the new hip "rock" sound. Even for 47 years ago, it was safe and tame and stupid, and more importantly, does NOT translate well to other genres, so CUT IT THE FUCK OUT.This means you, Hilary Duff. You're directly responsible for at least one of the nine ruptured eardrums I've suffered this holiday season to date, and don't think I'll forget it.
The only Christmas music worse than pop stars covering the classics is a pop star writing a new Christmas song. The only good thing about them is that when they inevitably suck, there's something new to make fun of. Even the suppposedly "good" ones of the past few decades eventually grate. By December 23, I, for one, am ready to track down the now grown members of that children's chorus from the John Lennon song and deck them in the balls. If I want to hear screeching children belting out barely-coherent holiday lyrics, well, that's why we keep Hilary Duff around.
The only Christmas music worse than new pop Christmas songs are Christmas novelty songs. Especially that fetid pile of elf-turds better known as "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer". Few things in this life are sadder than watching the people behind a borderline-clever novelty moment from 20 years ago and try to cling to fame by turning the song into a cottage industry, complete with animated special. The song ls like the Zeno's Paradox of comedy. Each time you hear it, it's half as funny as the last time, yet no matter how much time passes, it NEVER GOES AWAY.
The only Christmas music worse than "Grandma..." et al are Christmas commercial jingles. You can take your low, low prices, and the version of Winter Wonderland you've set them to, and shove them up your wreath-hole. Jingles like that constitute criminal abuse of studio musicians, and should be outlawed as a result.
The thing about Christmas music is, only about 10% of it gets listened to by choice. The other ninety percent starts infiltrating the public space in mid-November, seeping like an oil spill into every nook, cranny, and baby seal, strangling the musical ecosystem. Change the channel, and you'll hear some of it. Wake up to the radio, and you'll hear it. Go to fill up your tank, it's piped over the pumps. Go to work, and some shithead's gotten a Flash animated Christmas card and is playing it over and over, as loud as they can. And, of course, there's every retail and service establishment in the country.
If you have a Christmas ringtone, by the way, FUCK YOU. You are part of the problem.
We can't escape it, and they keep making it shittier. It's like politics, only with an antler hat on.