Daily Archives: December 24, 2015

RH

“I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” is the title of the above Richard Hamilton work which by utilizing color negative renders Der Bingle a truly
“Magic Negro” on the outside, the way he was on the inside.

This brings to mind the incident The Husband witnessed one Christmas Eve back in the day, passing the Women’s House of D on 8th street at 6th ave across from “Sutter’s Bakery.” (Torn down quite some time ago it is now a garden. Ordinarily these forerunners of Orange is The New Black would be yelling from on high to their friends below such important announcements as ‘BIG RUBY IS DEAD!!!!” But this particular evening they were singing what appeared at first to be a charming a capella rendition of the Irving Berlin classic (all the best Christmas songs were written by Jews) until they got to the last line where they blurted out with unconcealed rage “And May All Your Christmases BE BLACK!!!!” IOW they weren’t Darlene Love.

WC

was a remake of Holiday Inn where the song was first intoned by Bing (se above). A splashy piece of nonsense it’s best number wasn’t Christmas-related at all, but rather found George Glooney’s aunt surround by slinky Jack Cole Dancers, most prominent among them George Chakiris.

Nice to see such a departure from the usual celebrations of the birth of the itinerant zombie rabbi

Z1

whose “Nativity” was moved from July (when most scholars claim it took place — if indeed it did) to December in order to subsume the long-standing Pagan celebration —

Sol

Here’s the skinny —

The solstice may have been a special moment of the annual cycle for some cultures even during neolithic times. Astronomical events were often used to guide activities such as the mating of animals, the sowing of crops and the monitoring of winter reserves of food. Many cultural mythologies and traditions are derived from this. This is attested by physical remains in the layouts of late Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeological sites, such as Stonehenge in England and Newgrange in Ireland. The primary axes of both of these monuments seem to have been carefully aligned on a sight-line pointing to the winter solstice sunrise (Newgrange) and the winter solstice sunset (Stonehenge). It is significant that at Stonehenge the Great Trilithon was erected outwards from the centre of the monument, i.e. its smooth flat face was turned towards the midwinter Sun. The winter solstice was immensely important because the people were economically dependent on monitoring the progress of the seasons. Starvation was common during the first months of the winter, January to April (northern hemisphere) or July to October (southern hemisphere), also known as “the famine months”. In temperate climates, the midwinter festival was the last feast celebration, before deep winter began. Most cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter, so it was almost the only time of year when a plentiful supply of fresh meat was available. The majority of wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking at this time. The concentration of the observances were not always on the day commencing at midnight or at dawn, but at the beginning of the pagan day, which in many cultures fell on the previous eve. Because the event was seen as the reversal of the Sun’s ebbing presence in the sky, concepts of the birth or rebirth of sun gods have been common and, in cultures which used cyclic calendars based on the winter solstice, the “year as reborn” was celebrated with reference to life-death-rebirth deities or “new beginnings” such as Hogmanay’s redding, a New Year cleaning tradition. Also “reversal” is yet another frequent theme, as in Saturnalia’s slave and master reversals.
The pagan Scandinavian and Germanic people of northern Europe celebrated a twelve-day “midwinter” (winter solstice) holiday called Yule (also called Jul, Julblot, jólablót, midvinterblot, julofferfest). Many modern Christmas traditions, such as the Christmas tree, the Christmas wreath, the Yule log, and others, are direct descendents of Yule customs. Scandinavians still call Yule “Jul”. In English, the word “Yule” is often used in combination with the season “yuletide” a usage first recorded in 900. It is believed that the celebration of this day was a worship of these peculiar days, interpreted as the reawakening of nature. The Yule (Jul) particular god was Jólner, which is one of Odin’s many names. The concept of Yule occurs in a tribute poem to Harold Hårfager from about AD 900, where someone said “drinking Jul”. Julblot is the most solemn sacrifice feast. At the “julblotet”, sacrifices were given to the gods to earn blessing on the forthcoming germinating crops. Julblotet was eventually integrated into the Christian Christmas. As a remainder from this Viking era, the Midsummer is still important in Scandinavia, and hence vividly celebrated.
Sol Invictus (“The Unconquered Sun”) was originally a Syrian god who was later adopted as the chief god of the Roman Empire under Emperor Aurelian. His holiday is traditionally celebrated on December 25, as are several gods associated with the winter solstice in many pagan traditions

So let’s get on with it, shall we?



Nice and cheerful, no? That’s very important as Seasonal Affect Disorder is the main reason such celebrations were started. IOW Christmas is the most depressing time of the year..

Margaret’s upset is as nothing compared to what Deanna Durbin faces in Christmas Holiday where an unfortunate marriage to homicidal maniac Gene Kelly reduces her to singing — in a whorehouse — this lovely Loesser-Schwartz dirge.

Not grim enough for you? Try Brazil.

Now get out of that bag and let Lola cheer you up.

Here’s some cheer from Kay via Andy

And we can’t forget Ed Grimley (I must say)

or Eartha

And if you’re sick of Xmas try –

FES

But hey, how’s about a Christmas Special?


Last but far from least, cue Darlene!