It's already the goddamn start of December, and at this point I hate Christmas, as so many people have come to hate it. I hate it cuzzadafact that it's now almost exclusively a retail opportunity. The sight of people knocking each other over and trampling one another on Black Friday has been enough to put me off it forever. And we don't even have Black Friday in Canada: more like Brown Friday, or maybe off-white.
But then, I found this!
I don't think I have ever watched this video all the way through, because it's so interminable. The violence in it, even puppet-show violence, is horrifying and makes me gasp.The children sit there helpless, not knowing how to react, as Santa presides over the whole thing like some creepy forerunner of the Grinch.
He has no warmth or Christmas cheer at all, but intones his phony greetings in a nasal Brooklyn accent that is freaky and utterly repellent. Santa is borderline creepy anyway: most small children scream in terror when their turn comes up at the mall, and no wonder! Haven't they been warned not to talk to strangers? And here they're being asked - expected - even commanded not only to speak to a stranger, but to sit on his knee!
Through most of this video the children look frozen in fear. Fake squealy noises that sound like they are on a continuous loop have been added to the soundtrack, resembling nothing more than a pack of coyotes on a frosty December night.
Numerous animals pop up from this magically-appearing stage, but my favorite, around 5:00, is something called a Golliwog: an incredibly racist doll, a Little Black Sambo-type of thing, more animal than human. One can imagine it eating watermelon and singing "I'm coming, Mammy".
I vaguely remember Punch and Judy from the hand puppets we had as kids. Like most puppets, they were creepy. Marionettes are even worse, with bodies like skeletons held together with bolts and string. Those jerky, dangly, macabre movements are anything but "lifelike" unless you are referring to something from Edgar Allan Poe. I don't know where Punch and Judy came from, but probably they're some bloodthirsty medieval thing like the Commedia dell'Arte (and how the fuck DO you spell that anyway??).
The very essence of Punch and Judy is violence, which makes one wonder why it was considered acceptable for children. In remote corners of the world, such as Etobicoke, it may be acceptable still.
The last shot in this remarkable artifact is a sweep of the mantlepiece on the Nght before Christmas. Withered empty stockings, probably about three feet long, dangle like immense dead worms, and the tinsel looks like something scrounged from a 1940s brothel.
Anyway, this should set you up nicely for the season and remind you of the True Meaning of Christmas: bashing the living shit out of each other. No-hell!