Friday, December 09, 2011

950 O Tannen Bummed

O Tannen Bummed

Here it is early December and the radio has been pumping out the usual Christmas hits since Thanksgiving.  Sometimes earlier.  By Christmas Eve, you’ll have had it up to here with this stuff, even if you love the music and the season.

How many times can you hear “Rudolph” or “White Christmas” or “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer?”  Or “Santa Claus is Coming to Town?” Can you take any more of Burl Ives and Brenda Lee and even Bing?

There must be 500 different versions of “The Little Drummer Boy,” and all but the original are getting hard to listen to, and getting harder by the year.

Some of the more serious stuff, lovely as it may be, gets worn thin early.  

Christmas music overkill diminishes the beauty of the music and the beauty of the season.

Here are some hints to avoid that.  Turn off the radio.  Wear ear plugs to the mall (just be sure you take them out before you start driving home.  Put a post it note reminder on the dashboard if you have to.)  Play only the stuff you like on your iPod or home stereo.  Don’t click on the links in this post. like this one or even this other one.

Or you can just grit your teeth and take it.



Shrapnel:

--You have to wonder if the animal rights moguls and the real estate moguls of New York are in cahoots.  There’s a new push to eliminate the hansom cabs in Central Park.  The excuse is having a horse pull a cart is cruel, but the real reason is all that land the stables take up on the west side and which could be sold at a huge profit, even in today’s depressed market.


--The Challenger Explosion Syndrome strikes again with another example of how we get the high tech stuff right and the low tech stuff wrong.  Some Chevy “Volts” have caught fire.  The problem has been traced not to its fancy electro-mechanical engine, not to its amazing battery, but to an ordinary coolant leak in an ordinary coolant pipe that’s been manufactured and used the same way for 100 years.

--Harry Morgan was one of those actors who you noticed most when he wasn’t there. M*A*S*H or Dragnet would have been far less without him and so would the 100 movies he made. Morgan was 96 when he died this week.


Holiday Shopping Tip:  Pay attention to the negative reviews on the internet shopping sites.  They’ll often praise the product, backstopping what the seller says in its ad. But it will add things the seller won’t tell you:  Sure that hand vac is powerful enough to lift a bowling ball, but will the plastic accessories hold up?  Sure, the Tanzanite pendant sparkles, but does the back of it scratch your skin?  That kind of thing.  The sites are pretty open about reviews.  It’s the low-star comments that count.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2011
(Harry Simeone Chorale “Little Drummer Boy” awaiting expected permission from 20th Century Fox Records. Rob Thomas “New York City Christmas” courtesy NBC.  John Rutter & Cambridge Singers “Joy to the World” courtesy Collegium Records.)

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