Why there are no good holiday movies
December 28, 2007
Often the Ciceronian has been forced to sit through many Saturnalias, Bacchanals, Orgies, and other such festivities, in which he is subjected to perhaps the worst form of entertainment in all sorts of manners, ranging from the minutely terrible to the overarchingly destructive of which there are not indeed any words to describe. While erstwhile, I would indeed concern myself with rhetoric, I find that the Muses frequently force me to turn to invective, pushed by the most terrible words and ghastly entertainments of what is called an age, to that most terrible of all forms which the rhetor himself cannot control and soon finds his own words turned against him. Thus, in keeping with the overall movie theme of which this blog has turned itself in so many manners and ways, lest he find himself discreetly out of step with the most excellent sorts of contemporaries with which he, being the light of the republic has arranged around himself.
Finding himself lost in the general deluge with which our world celebrates the birth of a crucified barbarian who purports to be the logos of the all-estimable Plato, the Ciceronian is on a frequent glut for entertainment. He looks in all manner of places, but finds that unlike the most noble and excellent pursuits to which he usually turns himself throughout the course of the year, of a cultured and learned sort of light play most suiting to an exceptionally noble mind, he is sunk into the very dreary depths of that most destructive entertainment franchise, the holiday movie.
It is not that it is impossible to make a holiday movie. A Wonderful Life is a good movie, despite all the efforts of the Aeschylean-Frank-Capra-hating-chorus. White Christmas is also lovely and my slaves tell me, that Home Alone was also a unique expression of the joy of the Christmas season, although I myself, could not bear such a base movie in any manner whatsoever. Nay, what I cry out against are the contemptible laughing stocks which purport to be holiday movies that appear towards the beginning of Novem mensem and seek to capture the holiday spirit by means of some terrible ploy, unpoetic, unlyric, plotless, Museless, besotted and beshitted pieces of drivel. Every year the studios vomit forth some of this trash, never just one, but always more, always vaguely comic and always centered around Santa and his merry little band of henchmen. No greater criminal transgression has ever been made against the arts, the neoteroi pale in comparison, even the terrible crimes of that wretch Catiline, are as naught, in respect to this unendurable travesty which fills our mindless age with its shrieking holiday madness.
They fail because these movies operate on a formula. There is some sort of holiday related problem, which must be resolved, by means of holiday cheer, and then all will be well again, as the hero saves the day and everyone hugs each other and it is all wonderful. I, as a youth, was oft misled by such drivel, much as a whore may mislead a young man down ways which the more severe and better men of old would indeed not wish. I, once, thought to win over the terrors of the dark of Decem Mensem by means of a light and jovial spirit, an affinity for a certain red and white striped hook, a not middling love for a fat man in red, and a not total disassociation with certain candles over the course of several nights. Yet I found these things to be as untrue and as empty as the very movies which foster such foolish discourse upon those both young and impressionable, such as I, not yet a formidable orator, at that moment was. Now I hold to doctrines mostly Platonic in origin and in contemplation of the sublime, often am able to provide my own lights, in the times we now face. There is however to me a great fear that the very sort of mistake which once moved me in such a manner, may perhaps lead others down this seemingly honeyed path, and for the sake of others, I lead down words of the most keen sort.
While I am somewhat overcame by the disgust and spite I often feel, naturally being rooted in me, as a rhetor attached to the very highest of things, for this time of year, it may most unjustly be said by those men who too little know the true good and ill of things that there is in me a most base and vile nature, because of my liberty in speaking against the sorts of things which all in an imagined consensus purport to hold dear. Yet I speak, merely as one who knows what is good and what is shameful in respect to the labors of the mind and too long have we been plagued by these terrible afflictions masked in the garments of holiday cheer. Is it too much to object to what is unsuitable in respect to its making, ill composed, designed to be incontrovertible and for the purpose of a few swift sesterces? This thing I think wholly vile and myself, not restrained in speaking of what vice that is indeed deserving of the most harsh words.