Day after mind-numbing day between now and New Years Day, Americans will be subjected to an astonishing commercial bombardment designed to help them "celebrate" the holidays. In my local tree-killer the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sara Bauknecht tells us to Get Merry with these holiday TV specials.
You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout — it's holiday TV time.
That's right, it's that part of the year when seasonal staples such as Charlie Brown, the Grinch, Scrooge, Ralphie Parker, Rudolph and the rest of the gang reprise their spots on the small screen. Joining them will be newcomers, such as the animated "Hoops & Yoyo Ruin Christmas," the romantic charmer "12 Dates of Christmas" and "A Michael Buble Christmas," the Canadian-born singer's first holiday special that will air on NBC. And come Dec. 31, count down to 2012 with Carson Daly, Ryan Seacrest and Dick Clark in Times Square.
So whether you plan to cozy up by the fire, bake cookies or just enjoy the company of family and friends, there's sure to be something on this list to help make the moment a bit merrier.
There follows a list for each day between November 25—the day after Thanksgiving—and January 1 of holiday-related TV specials. Here's today's items. There are only 35 days of this soul-crushing nonsense left to go.
• "This Christmas," TBS, midnight
• "The Three Gifts," HALL, 12:30 a.m., 6 a.m.
• "Bad Santa," COM, 1:07 a.m.
• "Denis Leary's Merry F... Christmas Special," COM, 3:08 a.m.
• "The Nuttiest Nutcracker," HALL, 5 a.m.
• "Santa Jr.," HALL, 8 a.m.
• "WPXI Presents: My Macy's Holiday Parade," WPXI, 9 a.m.
• "Richie Rich's Christmas Wish," ABCFAM, 10 a.m.
• "The Case for Christmas," HALL, 10 a.m.
• "Holiday on Ice Around the World," WKBN, 12:30 p.m.
• "A Christmas Wish," HALL, 2 p.m.
• "Debbie Macomber's Mrs. Miracle," HALL, 4 p.m., 6 p.m.
• "Secrets From a Holiday Stylist," HGTV, 4 p.m.
• "Unlikely Angel," CMT, 5:45 p.m., 11 p.m.
• "The Dog Who Saved Christmas," ABC-FAM, 6 p.m.
• "Wintertime Treats Unwrapped," FOOD, 7 p.m.
• "The 85th Anniversary of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade," WJAC, WTOV, WFMJ, WPXI, 8 p.m.
• "Debbie Macomber's Trading Christmas," HALL, 8 p.m., 10 p.m.
• "Holiday Block Party 2011," HGTV, 8 p.m.
• "Elf," USA, 8 p.m.
• "Celebrity Holiday Homes," HGTV, 9 p.m.
• "WPXI Presents: My Macy's Holiday Parade," PCNC, 9 p.m.
I want to make two simple points.
- You're living in an insane asylum where nothing is real
- It didn't used to be this way
The late Joe Bageant called the asylum the media hologram. I wrote an essay about it called Thinking Outside The Box — Part II. (There is a Part I). Nothing that happens within the hologram is real in the sense that it is fake, artificial, wholly contrived. Get merry with these holiday TV specials? These specials are designed to "entertain" you in order to sell you shit during the interminable commercial breaks. Getting "merry" has nothing to do with it. If you're feeling really cheerful, which is highly unlikely given the state of the world, it isn't because today you watched Debbie Macomber's Trading Christmas on the Hallmark channel. It's more likely you just ingested 3 double bourbons in 15 minutes.
Needless to say, Jesus has nothing to do with any of this. More pertinently, you might ask yourself why it takes 18 months to elect a president in the United States. You might also ask yourself why there are (at least) 30 tedious college football bowl games with names like The Bank of America You-Take-It-Up-The-Wazoo Sodomy Bowl. There used to be four—the Rose Bowl, the Orange Bowl, the Cotton Bowl and the Sugar Bowl. (Later joined by a fifth, the Fiesta Bowl).
My second point is perhaps even more important than the first, for it demonstrates that the insane asylum (media hologram) was deliberately brought into existence by corporate hustlers through the ceaseless application of the rule More Is Better. This atrocity came about at a fairly late point in the "evolution" of American "culture" (such as it is). When I was a kid, there was A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), a few holiday special editions in the week or so before December 25th on venues like The Andy Williams Show, and that was it. That was all there was. And I can tell you, people were a hell of lot more cheerful then than they are now.
And that's all I have to say (for now) about the "Holiday Season".
Bonus Video — A quote from the Huffington Post: After [this] video went viral, sites all across the web began to offer their commentary. Gawker wrote that the video embodies everything that's "awesome" about America, including the "horrible economy, aggressive consumerism, mindless violence and a complete lack of concern for one's fellow human beings."