Tuesday, December 23, 2014

everybody knows that

Stray observation: The title card for A Christmas Story is all caps (or pseudo-caps) except for the “h”—that is lowercase. Is that, perhaps, because that’s Jesus’ traditional middle initial? OR just an aesthetic choice?

Speaking of tradition, there was an interesting note in the BoJack Horseman Christmas special (on Netflix this week). Todd (voiced by Aaron Paul) was promoting Christmas tradition and BoJack (voiced by Will Arnett) told him just because something’s tradition doesn’t make it good. Todd’s response was something like, because something’s good it becomes tradition. In my philosophy of religion class a few years back, my teacher liked to talk about apotropaic practices. By definition, such practices have the ability to ward off evil, but more importantly (as she put it) the key to such practices surviving was that they took little energy and did nothing particularly negative. Nailing a bit of iron, perhaps a horseshoe, over one’s door, took little work, but provided peace of mind or at least a connection with other people who might do the same.

I wrote yesterday about how we can relate to a story like A Christmas Story even if its details don’t match up with ours. That is what makes a great movie, often. Many can relate to the story or can imagine themselves in the story. That’s what makes it work.

Then again, that’s so obvious as to be trite, isn’t it?

There’s so much silliness and corniness in this movie, that really, it shouldn’t work. But it does. Maybe it’s just that everything is so... happy and positive, unlike, say, Christmas Vacation, where jokes revolve around insults and injuries.

And, there was very little to say today. I imagine a sort of play-by-play entry coming in the next couple days, or something about the panopticon of Santa Claus, and some final thoughts on Christmas.

In the meantime, I will leave you with this—in a window just a couple blocks from here.

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