Posts from 13th December 2004

13
Dec 04

The Advent Calendar Of Comics: Dec 13

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The Advent Calendar Of Comics: Dec 13

I owned this one!

Although there seem to be a million MP3 blogs floating around, we definitely need more mix blogs.

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 688 views

Dave S decided to fill that empty void by starting Breaking Ranks.

THE ADVENT CALENDAR OF CHRISTMAS FILMS 13: The Great Escape

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Hmm, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your toes, Steve McQueen bouncing a baseball against his prison door. All signs of the UK Christmas in the early eighties. Again why exactly The Great Escape became linked directly with Christmas is difficult to say. It is a relatively family friendly film (ie grandad likes it too), but as an enterprise is actually rather doom-laden. But perhaps as an example of cultural understanding and citizens of the world linking together (except the Nazi’s o’course) it may have suggested some sort of peace and goodwill to all men message. Even if it does take place during the war and half the characters die.

Suddenly in the nineties they stopped showing it a Christmas. A new batch of TV execs came along and saw how hackneyed their scheduling was. They did the same with The Wizard Of Oz. Suddenly the two linchpin of Christmas television had been uprooted. We lost our way, what with Noel’s Christmas Presents and Batman on Christmas Day.

And then, a couple of years ago, in their I Luv The 2003’s sort of way, the execs changed again and they started showing The Great Escape again. Even if the reason is that the TV companies now see Christmas as a dumping ground, it was a welcome return – even if it was irony led.
(Checking this years schedules it appears to be missing, but Five are showing the Wizard Of Oz – phew).

NOBODY STANDS UP FOR CHRISTMAS EXCEPT ME

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As much as good cheer, each Christmas reliably heralds right-wing reactionary outcry over “multi-culturalism”. This year is no different. Most notably, Bill O’Reilly informed a caller that if he was upset that the U.S., a “Christian nation”, made such a big deal about Xmas; “you gotta go to Israel”.

Less noteworthy, here in Sydney, the Murdoch-owned Daily Telegraph has been screeching that Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s paltry A$900,000 Christmas decorations (that’s $400,000 less than spent on Phillippines flood relief, for those counting) is the latest politcally correct jab into the heart of the little Aussie battler. As it turned out, Moore’s alleged holiday slight was more a result of shoddy journalism and, most likely, bigger fish to fry. This is not to say that Sydney’s decorations aren’t pretty lame, but I’m sure it’s more lack of imagination than lack of funding–I haven’t seen exact figures, but my home town of Portland, Maine in the good ol’ U.S. of A usually pulls off an impressive, fairly non-religion specific holiday decorations on, what I assume to be, a much smaller largesse.

In both of these cases, the staunch defenders of Christmas denied accusations of cultural insensitivity with claims that Muslims, Jews, etc… loved Christmas as much as any card-carrying member of the Moral Majority (or Family First). While I’m entirely unsympathetic to this as a defense for O’Reilly OR the Telegraph, I think, as employed by the Tele, it raises some interesting questions about Christmas’s place in the city. Do people who are otherwise uninterested in the holiday enjoy Christmas (or “holiday” in more enlightened municipalities) decorations in the city?