Bad Christmas Music

by Eric Bergeson, December 23, 2010

It appears that the only way to get away from bad Christmas music is to take refuge in an ice fishing house in the middle of Lake Mille Lacs with a pair of ear plugs and a bottle of Schnapps.

Even there, I wonder if somebody wouldn't fly over with loudspeakers blaring Tom Petty's destruction of Silent Night.

There is no longer anywhere to hide.

During one of the recent cold snaps, I pulled into a remote, wind-whipped Cenex station to fill gas.

Cenex used to be a place where you'd only fill gas when you also needed a ton or two of urea. They'd just add the gas to your handwritten fertilizer receipt and you'd get the bill at the end of the month.

Nowadays you fill at Cenex using your Visa card at the pump. While you shiver in the subzero winds, a loud­speaker announces two-for-one pizza specials inside.

Apparently pizza and fertilizer don't mix, for you no longer can find urea at Cenex, even in five pound bags.

Last week at the pump, the pizza announcements were replaced by bad Christmas music. The roar of the blizzard was nothing compared to the blare of Mariah Carey tearing apart Hark the Herald Angels limb-from-limb.

I felt like a fugitive in a compound under attack by the ATF. Didn't the feds play bad Christmas music until they finally pushed David Koresh over the edge?

Didn't American troops in Panama play bad Christ­mas music until a bedraggled Manuel Noriega emerged with his hands in the air?

Bad Christmas music works as a national security tool, but it is clearly unconstitutional and should never, ever be inflicted on our own citizens, especially at Cenex.

Most bad Christmas music arises when accountants for pop stars like Willie Nelson get the idea to snap off a Christmas album in order to pay fines to the IRS.

When it comes time to record, the pop stars, out of a sudden nostalgia for home, hearth and Mom, go against their doctor's advice and head to the studio stone cold sober.

Deprived of their usual chemical equilibrium, the sing­ers quiver and shake. Without proper lubrication, their vocal cords rasp like a cellophane wrapper skidding across a snowdrift.

Christmas carol after Christmas carol falls victim to their greed. Album after trashy album is pumped out under unnaturally sober conditions in the sure and certain hope that the buying public, already drunk on Christmas commercialism, will cough up their last dollar for yet another swig.

The music is uniformly awful, but nobody cares. If anybody cared about the music, most of those stars would never have become stars in the first place and we would have been spared their efforts to capitalize on Christmas.

This crass and tasteless commercialism must be eradi­cated. I place my hopes for reform on the upcoming Palin administration.

I cling to the dream that once she wins the swimsuit competitions in Iowa and New Hampshire and is finally crowned president, Our Dear Sarah will allow the divine voice that speaks through her with such rustic simplicity to issue a decree unto all the land: From this day forth­word, no pop singers may record Christmas songs!

For each offense, the pop star in question must spend a week at the White House as a nanny. While First Dad Todd collects clams on the Chesapeake and Mom shoots at liberals from the presidential helicopter, Willie Nelson and Tom Petty would follow Track, Trig, Trunk, Trope, Trill, Willow, Oak and Basswood around the White House, picking up their empty beer cans and making sure the Lincoln Bedroom remains the bastion of Family Values it was during the Clinton years.

The twenty-four hour responsibility would wear out Willie, and perhaps Tom, too, and would make them realize that no matter how many IRS fines they can pay with their Christmas album proceeds, it just isn't worth the trouble.

Their crass commercialization of Christmas would be completely refudiated.

Meanwhile, traditional Christmas carols would be confined to the four walls of a church, home or health care facility. A wall of separation would be established between the Mall and Silent Night.

There may be disadvantages to the upcoming Palin administration, but given her devotion to True Americanism, I am sure President Sarah will act to prevent the commercialization of Christmas by airheads who are just in it for the money. ¥¥


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