Sunday, December 31, 2006

Auld Lang Syne

Although Auld Lang Syne is practically synonymous with New Year's Eve, I wonder how many people have really listened to the lyrics of the song. The World Burns Club has a nice history and translation of the song (from Burns' Scottish). It's beautifully and poetic piece of work and although well know, quite under appreciated.

My favorite recording of the song is Johnny Cunningham and Susan McKeown's version on A Winter Talisman. Most versions are two upbeat for my taste. This one really captures the melancholy nature of the song.

Johnny Cunningham died in 2003. I reget never having seen him perform live.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Bad Santa vs It's a Wonderful Life

I watched Bad Santa for the first time on Christmas Eve. I had originally thought it would be too cyncical a movie for Christmas Eve but I had Tivo'ed the Comedy Central showing and when I started watching it, found the film oddly compelling.

It struck me that Bad Santa has certain similarities to It's a Wonderful Life. In both films, the main characters are on the verge of suicide and only do not carry out their plans due to interference of unexpected other characters. I detest It's a Wonderful Life. I've never seen the whole movie because I can not get passed the lunacy of Clarence, an incompetent angel, being sent to save anyone. It drives me crazy as incompetent angels make no theological sense since existence of Clarence as bumbling moron suggests either that a supposedly omnipotent detity can not get good help or that the omnipotent deity wants to ineffectually interfere with humanity. Neither alternative. makes any sense Additionally, It's a Wonderful Life has a saccharine sweet quality that makes me ill.

I ended up liking Bad Santa and it's a much better film than It's a Wonderful Life. I saw a bit in The Week that A Christmas Story is now the favorite Christmas movie of Generation X and it's my favorite as well. Ralphie's adventures are just as funny every Christmas. I can only hope that It's a Wonderful Life fades away in the oblivion it so richly deserves or at least Ralphie shoots Clarence's eye out.