Of rank commercialism, Christmas carols, Christmas Day and radio stations | Street Jazz

Of rank commercialism, Christmas carols, Christmas Day and radio stations



Making one’s way down sunny streets, it is sort of hard to get into the sentiment that “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . .”

Cuz it doesn’t, no matter what the desperate voices on the radio keep insisting on telling us.

Then again, maybe if they just played that song at night, when one wasn’t looking out at the bright, sunny landscape might be more effective.

Now that Christmas shopping season officially starts even before the Halloween candy is taken out of the bags, TV and radio are full of Christmas carols hawking products and services. Television would be the worst offender, taking long-beloved songs and turning them into jingles for everything from cars to shoes. It especially gets my hackles up when my own personal favorite, “Carol of the Bells,” is used incessantly by advertisers. It is at such times I truly love the “mute” button on my remote control.

I suppose it is radio that especially earns my ire (not outrage, you understand - that is the emotion owned almost exclusively by Facebook posters and those who write letters to the editor) - why, you might ask? Why have I become so cynical about Christmas carols on the radio?

I’m not a Scrooge, nor am I one of those precious souls who sneer at the holiday (“It’s really a pagan holiday!”) but I have noticed this trend over recent years.

Come Christmas Day, when the families are together, opening gifts and sharing a mug of Yuletide Grog with family and friends, if you want to listen to any holiday music, it might be best to slip a CD on, or have a sing-along. Because at a certain time on Christmas Day there will the cut-off time - usually pretty early in the afternoon - and “regular programing” will resume.

No easing down gradually, just . . . SPLAT goes the holiday spirit. I have thought about this quite a bit, and I can only assume it is because the songs, the carols, the I saw Grandma kissing Santa Claus while singing Carol of the Bells, have served their function.

They have gotten folks into the market place. Stores are closed on Christmas Day; why waste the air time?


Black Friday Week is always the best time of the year to skip watching the news

Now that national news is becoming more and more like local “news” programs, and offering up press releases from Walmart as though they were reporting on the discovery of one of the Lost Cities on Mars, Tracy and I pretty much stop watching American TV news every year during this week.

Really? Shopping tips for Black Friday? Telling us what great deals might be found at Wally World? And mixed in with the Three Gs of local news - Grins, Giggles and Guffaws - it’s all just a little too hard to take. So we don’t.

Television news is all pretty much an embarrassing joke this week, and is not an invited guest at our home.


Today’s Soundtrack

Today’s blog was brought to you courtesy of the CD Jed Clampit Live, which consists of Jed’s performances at Jose’s in Fayetteville, on December 27 and 28, 1999.

A Jed Clampit CD for someone for Christmas? You could do a lot worse than to bring this much magic into someone’s life.


Quote of the Day

Writing is one of the few professions left where you take all the responsibility for what you do. It’s really dangerous and ultimately destroys you as a writer if you start thinking about responses to your work or what your audience needs. - Erica Jong


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