2006-12-03

Delusions of reindeer

Up-front disclaimer: I like Christmas. As a coyote with a walk-on part in another pantheon myself, I also fully approve of, and support, Diwali, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Hanukkah, Sun Dances, Nirvana Day and Ukrainian Christmas. In fact, any open and joyous celebrations of the cosmic oom that haven't been co-opted by politicos or retailers.

Politicizing of religion, or vice versa, is a weighty topic for another time and place. What I'm on about here is Christmas Muzak. Trite and overdone, I know, but anything to help keep the Short Guy's butt from dragging, what with all his unassisted effort posting over the past week. Especially considering the size of his butt, and how close it is to the ground, already. I digress.

In a store last week, I noted with alarm that consumer traffic was way up, its awareness of its surroundings was way down, and supplies of the really good cheap bittersweet chocolate were non-existent. All while I tried to avoid gettin' my tail stomped. Not pretty. But the capper was the shitty 'seasonal' muzak, all crap when it was issued, and completely unimproved by age. Or overplaying. I mean, in this setting, if there's gonna be any pained yowling goin' on, it should be mine.

The Petfinder recently published an article stating that retail surveys show that piping in unending seasonal music beginning in October or so, boosts sales. Gotta love those surveyors.

My trite objection: Retailers never play the better hymns or carols. There's good seasonal pop, too, but nooooo. Might remind people of the true nature of of the holiday, blah blah blah and they don't want that. They go instead for the scummy dregs of recent popular Christmas music, played by the scummy dregs of cover bands, knowing full well that the jackhammer effects of The Little Drummer Boy, Holly Jolly Christmas, Rockin' round the Christmas Tree and, dog help us, any random track from the Boney M. Christmas Album, ad naus├Žum, puree customers' brains to the point where they'll buy anything. It is useless to resist. Ka-Chinggggg!

Okay, I'll make one (trite) exception. Snoopy's Christmas by the Royal Guardsmen, 'cuz it's about a dog. And the harmonies are terrific. Now, excuse me. I need to go bite a retail surveyor. Or a retailer.

15 comments:

Harmony said...

OK, Coyote, so WHAT is your favorite carol or hymn? Mine might be "Oh Holy Night," but there are a lot of good ones out there, making it tough to pick.

4th Dwarf said...

Oh, I love that Boney M Christmas carol! It makes the hair on my back stand straight up when they get to that deep "Oh my lord" part!

The Little Drummer Boy? Brings a tear to my eye every time he plays that drum - the only gift he has to bring.

And I can tell you as fact: Santa's favourite version of his song is the Springsteen cover. (Ol' SC is a distant relative on my mother's side. We see him at Easter some years. He likes a good joke, he does "ho, ho, ho" all the time.)

coyote said...

Harmononny, what an intimate question! Music is so personal! (And spilling kinda makes it harder for for me to keep sounding all authoritative-like. If our bajillions of readers know my choices, they may consider me to actually be the tasteless wanker they so far only suspect that I am...)

But for starts, I believe the good ones evoke the air of mystery that credible religion holds. (I also believe one should eschew them TV sects where some pompodour-with-a-southern-fried-drawl claims to know all the answers. Religion rightfully holds at least as many questions as answers.)

You are correct, too, that there are many good possibilities, and so tough landing on one. But okay: I'd start with Jesous Ahatonhia (the Huron Carol), and Shchedryk (Carol of the Bells). How 'bout them?

And you, Dwarf, are obviously an unmitigated crud. As is BlogAdmin.

Harmony said...

Good picks, Coyote.
As for the Dwarf, I couldn't agree more with your "crud" comment in that regard.
And Blog Admin clearly needs some sort of Christmas spirit rehab, as well. Perhaps we could take up a collection in order to buy him some good therapy? I do happen to know that listening to a sincere rendition of "Silent Night" makes him cry (from rage, not joy). Maybe would could just make him listen to it over, and over, and over...

4th Dwarf said...

Oh, Harmony and Coyote, such vituperation towards your fellow travellers at a time that is meant to be focussed on sharing and love.

Having spent most of my life puffing the alto line in a whistling band, I'm used to people not appreciating my taste in music.

When you call me a "crud" because the music that evokes an emotional response in me doesn't evoke the same response in you, which of us has the character flaw?

Harmony said...

Heck, I just like calling you a "crud," any chance I get...

coyote said...

Dear me. We seem to have descended into ad hominem. Wonder how that happened...?

4th Dwarf said...

Perhaps a certain puppy hasn't had his belly rubbed lately?

And as for Harmony, maybe someone hasn't been properly tuning her G-string.

coyote said...

That sounds smug. So the thing with the clinically-insane babe with the naturally purple hair is working out for you, then?

Harmony said...

Ooohhhh...I DO love all this Christmas joy!

Dwarf: witty and smug, you may be, but perfect pitch has Harmony.

Go save the world some more.

Harmony said...

Yikes, I give up. There I was, humming away to myself, when I distinctly heard a new note in the wind. It was Coyote, howling a message to me: Blog peace, blog peace. Hmmpphhh. All the Christmas muzak IS making him nippy these days.
So, in the interest of blog peace, I say to both Coyote and Dwarf, go here and read about the TRUE spirit of Christmas. Then, follow the link and pick the warmest, fuzziest piece of Christmas music you can think of, make some hot chocolate, and LISTEN. You too, Blog Admin. There, I hope blog peace has been restored. Dwarf, keep up the good work on fixing the rest of the world.

coyote said...

The things I start... Ah, well. I smell another Emergency Reconciliation and Healing Meeting, close by....

4th Dwarf said...

So there I am doing my morning round of blog reading and I drop by The Sneeze, and wouldn't you know, they have a link to a rendition of Harmony's favourite carole.

This version is not likely to become your favourite, but it may become your most remembered. It will give you chills, I guarantee it.

The Sneeze Posting

Also available at NPR's Annoying Music for the Holidays

coyote said...

Aaauuuggggh! That is pure evil! A guy writes an innocent little post, then when it gets ugly, he tries to make nice, and look what happens... Obviously this whole Christmas music thing is an vile quagmire. A deep, deep, deeeeep one....

Anybody else, a new main post, quick, please.

Harmony said...

Last time I listen to YOU howling in the wind, doggie.

I suggest we all learn this game. The best part is where the king breaks the dwarf's arm because he was "too drhg'hgin clever by half."