December 3rd, 2007


The Power Of 10 Grinches + 2

Christmastime is obviously the greatest time of year for children because of all the presents. That's just a given. However, it's also a pretty groovy time for children's television, and I'm here today to talk aboot that.

Now, as far as Christmas Specials are concerned, you've got your big 4:

How The Grinch Stole Christmas
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Frosty The Snowman
And the classic stop-motion animated Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

All were made in the 60s and all were railing against the plague that is Commercialization @ Christmas.

The Christmas Special is awesome because it's one of the few instances where there's palatable television for children IN the prime time of the evening. You're not stuck watching whatever bullshit Old People show your parents are watching; for one half hour in December, they're stuck watching what YOU want!

Obviously my favorite is the Charlie Brown Christmas, because I like to think me and Charlie Brown have a lot in common. We're both bald with ginormous heads, we're both awesome at baseball, we both pine for the Little Red-Haired Girl who never gives us the time of day, and we never get the respect from our peers we rightfully deserve. And I know what you're thinking, "But, the Charlie Brown Christmas isn't funny!" Very true. It's a lot of dancing around and complaining on all sides, I'll give you that. But, there are other factors at play here. First and foremost you have to consider the soundtrack, the greatest Christmas album of all time, by pianist Vince Guaraldi. It's just so good it's insane. The other thing about the Charlie Brown Christmas is The Moment. That Linus Van Pelt moment where he walks out to the middle of the stage in the empty theater with the spotlight on him giving Charlie Brown the meaning of Christmas. It's one of those goosebump moments no matter what you believe in.

As far as animation is concerned, nothing tops How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Made by Chuck Jones - of Bugs Bunny/Warner Bros. fame - he pulls out all the stops using every trick of the trade available at the time. It's like watching a 25 minute version of a Roadrunner cartoon. All the Whos and their crap, Mount Crumpit, that poor beleaguered dog, and the Grinch himself with all his maniacle expressions. Plus, Tony The Tiger and his singing, top notch all around. You nauseate me ... Mr. Grinch.

Looking back, I don't know exactly what my attraction was to Frosty The Snowman. Because I just watched it again and I can't imagine why I was going so crazy the last few years when I couldn't find it online. It's OH kay, but even for a cartoon it's pretty fucking cartoony. Like a bad Wacky Races episode or something. And the whole thing with the child's tear bringing Frosty back to life just made me think of that scene in Six Feet Under when Billy went batshit over the tarnishing of his own favorite childhood story. Nevertheless, you can't drop Frosty altogether because it was an inspiration to one of the greatest South Park episodes ever - the Woodland Critter Christmas. BLOOD ORGY!!!

But we GOT to have AIDS before we pee in her eye socket!

Finally, I've been saving Rudolph for a special occasion because it's twice as long as all the others. We're talking 50 minutes here! Rudolph really does have it all: ostracization, an evil bastard of a Santa Claus who only supports Rudolph when it's in his best interests, an island to isolate all the freaks, demoralizing authority figures. Hermey the Misfit Elf has always been my favorite, I love his dentist schtick. But that fucking Santa, if I ever met him in real life, I'd give him a piece of my mind.

So, that's it. Hail Satan.

Taking It Easy On The Eagles

The Seahawks are making a strong case for me to start taking them seriously again. Four more games to go, but if we continue the way we've been going lately, let's just say this is the best possible time to get hot.

I didn't start worrying about the outcome until midway through the second quarter when an Eagle fan came in with his girlfriend who was wearing a NY Giants Kerry Collins road jersey. I thought it was interesting that they sat there until the Eagles lost and then went home; presumably to catch the Giants/Bears game at home?

Philly fans are a little more rabid than most because they've experienced a little more than their share of losing than most. Especially in McNabb's tenure there where they've been repeatedly handed a lollipop of playoff success only to have it stripped in one championship game or another. That's a bad kind of losing, they've been tempted too long and now they're like a hungry bear. And any fan of the team they're opposing that week is the unsuspecting camper with a picnic basket full of goodies.

I wasn't nervous, but I was ready to throw down at a moment's notice if the bear got riled up.

It didn't help my psyche that once the Philly fan sat down, his football team started doing well. There was a little back and forth on the field and in the bar it was mostly cheers from his table instead of mine. I had the last laugh, however, when the Seahawks held on a 4th and goal at the 1 yard line after a suspect PI penalty (I still contend the ball was uncatchable) to take a 4-point lead into halftime.

The Philly fan and his homely girlfriend then proceeded to play some of the assorted bar games nearby while I tried to catch a glimpse of some of the other action going on. By the time the third quarter started, I was a little less agitated. I was also able to start drinking alcohol again, so that chippered me right up.

The second half was a near-repeat of last week's, only this time the Seahawks let Philly score once on a hefty little run by Westbrook. But, Mo Morris broke off a long run of his own and the Philly fan had to settle for my cheering section getting things done.

4th Quarter, 2 minutes to go, the Seahawks have the ball and run it three straight times to burn all the Philly timeouts and set up the punt for one final stand. Again, Westbrook burned us and nearly took it to the house, returning it to the Seattle 14 with 1:30 left. A couple plays later and Lofa Tatupu closed this one out with his third interception of the game. And the Philly fan slinked away in defeat while I let out a boisterous yell in triumph.

Major Kudos to Lofa who pretty much single-handedly willed us to victory. First two picks in the first half set up TDs and obviously the last one spelled D-O-O-M.

Propers to the O-Line and the running game for moving and shaking. We still had our troubles with the third and short, but Alexander got into the endzone and had a number of other nifty runs; and Morris got sprung for that long one to get us the lead and the victory.

Question: why didn't Holmgren challenge that fumble by Engram? It was bang-bang, that could've gone either way.

Answer: Engram showed later that when he gets hands on a ball, it's always a catch; when he went over the middle for one later he was levelled right after and this time held on. That guy takes a lickin', I tell you what.

Holler at your boy Pork Chop for seeing some extended play at left guard for the resident Fuck Up, Rob Sims. Learn to keep your helmet on and maybe we'll talk about you recouping your spot.

I don't want to blame it ALL on 9/11, but the special teams was seriously fucking us over. Josh Brown missed yet AGAIN (I think the graphic right before he hooked one read "4 out of his last 8 FG Attempts." Better make that 4 out of 9 for next time. This can't continue. And the punting was highly stinky. And the Milli Vanilli excuse isn't an option, you've got to be able to kick in the rain, I'm sorry.