Return Fire in our First Annual War on Christmas
Since Beth has officially kicked off our War on Christmas with the delightfully egregious Kids of the King, I’m bringing up reinforcements. I can’t decide which of the following is the most offensive; we’ll set aside the discussion of the crass, mawkish sentimentality of the song itself for the moment and you can deliver your verdict in comments if you can manage to watch even 30 seconds of each of the following. Warning: you’ll want to turn off the speakers if you make the attempt.
First up, we have what I can best describe as the Reagan Republican version, featuring !Rob Lowe! The story is sad, but the visuals are sufficiently generic to satisfy even the most voracious Lifetime viewer:
Don’t you just love how the clean-scrubbed yuppie family in the video matches up with the dirty kid in worn-out clothes in the song? Mom is more attractive in her death throes than most women are on their best days. And !Rob Lowe! perfectly portrays the noblesse oblige of the Reagan era as a busy executive who just magically shows up at just the right moment to help out the less fortunate, which is why we don’t need a social safety net. Also, the shoes is ugly. Bonus points: !Rob Lowe!
This next one is an art school project. Yes, ladies and gents, a student in art school chose this song for one of his projects. Here we see our next Thomas Kinkade in training:
I think this one probably scores highest on the “mawkish sentimentality” scale; the kid actually does look like he’s poor, and mom isn’t done up like Morgan Fairchild on the Love Boat. Instead of the company executive !Rob Lowe! in his Lexus assuaging his guilt by helping out a kid with about the worst sob story one could invent, we’ve got a Tea Party patriot middle-class-type-guy stepping in to do the honors. Poor people may be leeches undeserving of health care and all, but now that she’s dying, he can be a stand-up guy and toss the kid a few bucks to help him feel like he did something for his dying mom. Bonus points: this one has what may be the ugliest pair of shoes I’ve ever seen.
Our last contestant captures the art school vibe better than the art school project, with its nostalgic sepia tones and a dying mother and spare death-room staging straight out of a Vermeer:
Yes, the shoes in this one are horrible too, but at least they match the color of her outfit, and WTF is up with that get-up she’s wearing? The anachronisms in this one qualify for some bonus points: you’ve got a dying 16th-century Dutch woman whose son is running around town in early 20th-century newsboy garb making a purchase of 1980’s shoes in a modern store.
The song itself…uggh. I think the heart of its offensiveness, aside from general unlistenability, is in the narrator’s conceit that God sent this little boy into his path, and presumably is killing his mother, so the narrator can feel better about himself. Yes, that’s what Christmas is all about, dude. It’s all about you, just like every other friggin’ day of the year. Except on Christmas, for that one day, you’ll try to refrain from being such a dick about making sure everyone else knows it.
And I got almost all the way to the end of this post without realizing that they had made this dreck into a movie too, which means the Lifetime vibe from that first one was right on target, because that’s a made-for-Lifetime movie if I’ve ever heard of one. And also, that the end of the world is nigh.
In closing, I’d like to wash my hands of all responsibility for the offensive videos posted above; all the honors go to commenter Spotts 1701 over at Mr. Bogg’s for reminding me of this particular offense to taste and decency which I had successfully repressed for the past several years, though I must agree that an endless loop of this song playing would be an appropriate eternal punishment for Meagan McArdle.
Also. Too. I’m tagging this post with PENIS, because of the song’s general dickishness.