Monday, December 20, 2010

The Decline of Western Civilization

The other day I started buying up several different Christmas albums while I was killing some time. I've been a fan of the first few Now That's What I Call Christmas albums and a friend of mine had mentioned the other day that they were up to five Nows, so I decided I might check some of them out. I didn't really recognize many of the track listings, and I was surprised to see one in particular - Lady Gaga's version of Christmas Tree.

It sounded weird to me. Lady Gaga did her own take on O Christmas Tree? So it piqued my interest, I listened to the snippet, and I got really annoyed. I'll spare your eyes from its obscenity by posting the actual lyrics, but if you can't help yourself, click here.

It's probably not even that different from most contemporary music out there, but labeling that piece of garbage a Christmas song had an especially grating effect on me because you couldn't get any further from the actual meaning of Christmas than by having something so incredibly offensive as this song is.

On a similar note, I downloaded the Glee Christmas album without even listening to anything off of it, assuming that I'd like most of it anyway (when it costs so little, it's pretty easy to just put down a little money and get whatever). Then I noticed that their version of Baby It's Cold Outside is sung by two guys, and I got grossed out again.

I jumped off the Glee train a couple months ago. I just can't stand how much Finn gets vilified because he's the only person that has any problem with Kurt's flamboyant and over-the-top homosexuality. If any heterosexual were that blatant and obnoxious about his sexuality, it would be just about as off-putting as Kurt's homosexuality is. I just hate it. And, again, I just can't stand the amount of criticism that is leveled at Finn because of his beliefs. How's that for tolerance? Anyway, just annoying is all.

That's enough of my ranting.

Moving on...Amy happens to like really nice, well put together Christmas lights. I think I'm mostly on board with that, but sometimes when I see an incredibly ugly, haphazard Christmas light arrangement, it kind of just really warms my heart. Am I alone here? There is this house over by our place where the lights are just kind of thrown on the bushes and trees and it looks so funny to me. It really looks like it was put together by some overly-annoyed teenager who was forced to do it. It looks like the kid just threw the strand of lights as far as he could up on the tree and then just plugged it in. I want a picture of it. Anyway, so I thought it was funny to see this paragraph in an article I was reading last week:
In cultural news, is it me or are Christmas decorations becoming distressingly tasteful? With each passing year, TMQ observes fewer homes lit up with gaudy multicolored flashing lights, more homes alight with softly glowing, tasteful white lights. Tuesday Morning Quarterback strongly opposes tasteful, and not just as regards cheerleading outfits. Overdone displays of garish pulsing colored lights helped make this country great. Inflatable flashing Santas are good too -- right now there's an inflatable abominable snowman on TMQ's lawn. Tasteful holiday lighting is another sign of the decline of Western civilization.
Back to music: I did end up finding some pretty good Christmas music. I got some Michael Buble songs, and I was surprised that the crooner hasn't put out his own Christmas album yet. He has the right kind of style for that, doesn't he? I also bought some of the Nutcracker arrangements. I am really interested in seeing that one next year. The music is just amazing. Any recommendations on other Christmas albums? I've already got David Archuleta's, Andrea Bocelli's. But anything else? Let me know.

I think my favorite song this Christmas season has been It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. In church someone played a violin arrangement of it and it was really good. There are some pretty interesting versions of this song, the funniest being Aaron Neville's. Anyway, here is one version by Ella Fitgerald:

Have a great week, dear ones!


Sarah Walton said...

We stopped watching Glee a few months ago as well . . . .for the same reasons as you. It's just too much. Which is a bummer, because I do love their music (most of it anyways). And yes, the Nutcracker music is amazing. We have it playing at our house on most days - the girls LOVE to dance to it all dressed up in their dance outfits. I've seen the ballet probably 4 or 5 times - I love it. I definitely recommend it! And as for the Christmas light . . . . I'm definitely with Amy on this one. I told Dan to make our strand of white lights around the roof as straight as he could make them, and I think his skills of making things straight definitely paid off:) We have neatly placed lights on all the bushes as well. And I do have to say, they look pretty good! But it's funny, because as we drive around looking at lights, we always say that even when people just throw together the most random looking light display, it kind of does look cool - it's all about quantity with houses like that. The more the better. Anyway, I've said enough. It'll be fun to see you next week!

Jared said...

Jolie Hales and I did an arrangement of The First Noel for Christmas.