Friday, December 20, 2013

New Christmas Television Specials For The 21st Century

Every December, it seems that we're treated to the same holiday specials and Christmas-themed movies. After a few of seeing the same ones over and over, I for one am getting kind of sick of them, and yearn for something new.

That's why I've come up with a series of brand new holiday specials for Christmas or whatever the Hell else you want to celebrate in December. Where appropriate, the suggested network is provided. Any television executives who see this list should feel free to contact me courtesy of this blog.

A Charlie Brown Krampus (ABC Family)
Charlie Brown and Linus finally get fed up with Lucy being a violent, raging, football-pulling turbo bitch, and summon the Krampus to drag her off to Hell. Meanwhile, Woodstock deals with the repurcussions after he's shown at the conclusion of "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" eating turkey, which implies that he is now considered a cannibal.

The Kardashians' Khristmas Karol 
The Spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future (Khloe, Kourtney, and Kim) visit Ebeneezer Scrooge (Bruce Jenner), after a visit from the ghost of Jacob Marley (Kanye West). The constant whirring sound you hear is Charles Dickens spinning in his grave at 100,000 RPM.

I'm Dreaming Of A Great White Shark Christmas (SyFy)
A massive school of cold-thriving, snow-capable great white sharks converge on a town's Christmas celebrations during a super-blizzard brought on by sunspot activity. Starring Shaun Cassidy, Maureen McCormick, Mike Lookinland, and Tiffany.

Teen Jesus (MTV)
An ongoing series that explores the time between the Nativity and the beginning of Christ's ministry. In this episode, Teen Jesus get His friends in trouble when he accidentally turns the football team's drinking water into wine. Later, Teen Jesus ponders whether or not to cure the head cheerleader (Mary Magdalene) of her acne in order to get the school bully (Pontius Pilate) to stop teasing her. Back at home, Joseph uses the last of the wise men's gold to purchase a new camel for the family, and Teen Jesus wants to borrow it.

Behind The Music: The Little Drummer Boy (VH1)
The life and career of the Little Drummer Boy is examined with a series of interviews and rare performance footage. This installment details the LDB's attempts to keep his career going after playing a solo for the King of Kings, which let's face it is something that's difficult to top. LDB struggles to stay relevant while dealing with his frankincense addiction. Includes rare footage of LDB's "Do or Die, One Last Shot at Redemption" Comeback Concert at the Coliseum in Rome. Special interviews with band members Beat-master Ox and Time-keeper Lamb, LDB's agent (Judas Iscariot), and Brutus, the Roman Coliseum lion who ultimately ended LDB's career for good.

Black Friday/White Christmas (Lifetime)
A widowed mother (Valerie Bertinelli) who lost her husband in a Black Friday X-Box riot the previous Christmas tries to get over the trauma of her loss in time to go and buy presents for her children. Along the way, she is aided by a mysterious yet daffy Christmas angel (Lady Gaga).

One Horse Openly Slays (AKA Jingle Hell) (FearNet)
A demon-possessed horse (Sarah Jessica Parker) goes on a violent murderous rampage through a crowded shopping mall on Christmas eve. Oh, what fun.

A Very Dyslexic Christmas
Things end in soul-shattering tragedy when a group of dyslexic revelers try to sit on Satan's lap.

Herbie, DDS
This hard-hitting medical drama showcases Herbie the Elf (Hugh Laurie) and his attempts at bringing dental hygiene to the North Pole. In this episode, Herbie tries to fit the Bumble (Seth Rogen) with dentures, and Yukon Cornelius (Jack Black) loses four front teeth when he accidentally bites in a frozen solid piece of peanut brittle. It's a race against time for Herbie to reattach the teeth in time for Christmas dinner. Meanwhile, Clarice (Jodi Foster) is being stalked by Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins).

The War On Christmas (History Channel)
The tactics, weapons systems, and prominent military leaders are showcased in this hard-hitting documentary detailing the organized humanist assault on Christmas. Includes footage of fruitcake IEDs, creche fire-bombings, and surface-to-air candy cane launchers. Actual combat footage of Christmas Caroling squads engaged in skirmishes versus ACLU-backed Christmas-haters. May be too intense for young children and toy-making elves.

RuPaul's Drag Race: Don We Now Our Gay Apparel (Logo)
Drag queens. Christmas outfits. You do the math.

The Sarah Palin Holy Christian Jesus God Bless America Traditional Family Values Old Timey Christmas Special (Fox News Channel)
This variety show features Sarah Palin and her guests Rush Limbaugh, Ted Cruz, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, and Bill O'Reilly, as they celebrate an all-American old fashioned Christmas celebration, just like Jesus and His family did, as outlined in the Declaration of Independence. Also, guest star Kirk Cameron delivers a rambling and confusing Christmas message.

The Terminator Saves "It's A Wonderful Life" (Spike TV)
The Terminator (Ah-nuld) goes back in time for the sake of humanity, and positively murders the living Hell out of anyone even remotely connected with the production of the "It's A Wonderful Life" sequel.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Things I've learned thus far this Christmas season.

1. Every Christmas season has its particular recurring themes. This year, they appear to be: Elf on the Shelf, Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties, and Krampus. 
2. The world needs more ugly Christmas sweaters depicting Krampus dragging the Elf on the Shelf off to Hell.
3. The proper response to the Cthulhu-inspired turduken amalgam of turkey, octopus, bacon, and crab legs is "Kill it with fire".
4. For some reason, tickets for the World Champion Boston Red Sox 2014 season are cheaper than Bruins tickets.
5. There IS no war on Christmas. Any politician telling you otherwise, is selling something.
6. On the other hand, people who are "offended" by their neighbors' Christmas light displays really need to shut the Hell up.
7. If you think the ASPCA commercials with the Sarah McLachlan song "Angels" are eye-gougingly depressing and make you want to open fire on your television, then you haven't heard the holiday version, with "Silent Night" being sung like a dirge.
8. It is possible to maintain one's vow never to set foot in a Wal-Mart ever again and yet still find extremely good Christmas shopping bargains.
9. It's never too early to start bitching about the snow and cold.
10. For some reason, the average Joe or Jane on the street seem nicer and, dare I say, merrier this season. I won't question it; I'll just continue basking in it.
11. Apparently, pine trees are poisonous to cats. But it turns out, fir trees aren't, Thankfully, we got a fir without even realizing it.

Honorable Mention: This is the best Christmas video this year.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Facts You May Not Know About The Pearl Harbor Attack

Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. As a history buff, especially in terms of military history and naval history in particular, I've always found Pearl Harbor to be a fascinating event.

So here's a list of eleven factoids that many people may not be aware of. Read on!

  1. US Army general Billy Mitchell, an early proponent of air power, predicted that the US would go to war with Japan, and that Pearl Harbor would be attacked by aircraft. He made this prediction in 1924!
  2. The Japanese were good at taking other nation's lessons and learning from them. The attack on Pearl Harbor was inspired by a similar attack by the Royal Navy against the Italians in the Mediterranean, at Taranto. The British bombed the Italian naval base with aircraft launched from the HMS Eagle, in 1940. One Italian battleship was sunk, and two damaged. The Japanese studied the battle carefully, and implemented the tactics when they hit Pearl.
  3. The Pearl Harbor attack was but one of a series of simultaneous attacks across the Pacific by the Imperial Japanese forces. The overall plan had been to knock out the US Navy, drive off the Royal Navy, seize as many bases and territories as possible, reinforce and fortify them, and dig in, bracing themselves in anticipation of America's manufacturing might eventually building up a large navy again. Japan figured that if they took enough territory and then made it impregnable, they could eventually negotiate a peace.
  4. While it's commonly said that there were eight battleships at Pearl on the morning of December 7th, technically there were NINE. The aged USS Utah, no longer fit for front-line combat duty, was stripped down and converted into a target ship. The Japanese mistook it for a carrier, and sank it.
  5. One battleship, the Nevada, was not sunk, but rather beached at Waipao Point. The Nevada was the only battleship that had steam enough to get underway, but as she made for the harbor exit, the Japanese focused on it as a target for bombs, and it occurred to the captain that if the Japanese sunk the ship at the mouth of the harbor, it would render Pearl Harbor useless until the ship could be raised. So, instead, he ordered the battleship to run aground.
  6. Only two battleships actually were total losses, the Arizona and the Oklahoma. However, a lot of American propaganda at the time insisted that the Oklahoma had been rebuilt and was fighting in the Pacific. Um, no.
  7. The attack happened on a Sunday morning, and many servicemen were at services. According to author Walter Lord, who wrote Day of Infamy, one chaplain's benediction was "God bless you all, Pearl Harbor is under attack, report to your stations."
  8. In the movie "Tora! Tora! Tora!", considered one of the best and most accurate movies about the attack, the band on the fantail of the Nevada was playing the national anthem and raising the colors as the attack began. They are shown increasing the anthem's tempo because they saw the Japanese planes swooping in for a bombing run, and they wanted to get the heck out of there. While it made for a kind of funny scene, it did NOT happen that way. The band played the anthem at the normal tempo, didn't miss a beat, finished it, THEN ran for their stations.
  9. The US Navy fuel storage fields were mistakenly labelled as baseball fields on Japanese intelligence maps, so they were not bombed. Had they been, the resulting destruction of those supplies would have gone a long way towards crippling the surviving ships' operations.
  10. When FDR gave his Day of Infamy speech and Congress voted to declare war, it was declared only against the Japanese, not the Axis Powers as a whole. America was assuming that they would be fighting only the Japanese, while providing arms and material to Britain and Russia in their fight against the Nazis. It was Hitler who declared war on America a few days later, followed by Mussolini.
  11. Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the architect of the attack, was reportedly upset by their Foreign Ministry's messing up the delivery of the declaration of war. He was upset that the attack occurred when the two nations were technically at peace, and that the attack would be considered a sneak attack.
Incidentally, I highly recommend Walter Lord's book "Day of Infamy". Lord was an excellent writer who wrote non-fiction, documentary style accounts of some important events of the 20th century (Pearl Harbor, Dunkirk, the Titanic, the Battle of Midway).

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes! Red Sox Version!

Although most of Red Sox Nation is still walking around with big dumb grins of delighted victory disbelief on their faces, we must turn our attention now to the off-season and the plethora of moves that the teams are conducting, particularly our beloved Red Sox.

I would be remiss if I didn't commentate on three significant Red Sox bits of news that hit teh Interwebz today. And what's that they say about news coming in threes?

1. Jarrod Saltalamacchia Rides Off Into Tropical Obscurity
Okay, so let's say you are a free agent who has two choices. One, you can take a two-year contract with your former team, a World Champion team, no less. Enthusiastically rabid fan base, great teammates, historical park, just an all-around awesome deal. But again, they won't offer you more than two years. Your other choice is THREE years on a pathetically bad National League team located in the state where America goes to die, with a fan base that doesn't approach anywhere near the level of enthusiasm of your former team's fans. What do you do?

Apparently, you take the crap team.

What a pity. I liked Salty. I also liked saying his name; it sort of rolled off your tongue. Saltalamacchia! Sort of like how the name Antonio Banderas does (although you must say it with a slightly Spanish lilt to it. That is, you use the lilt for Antonio, not Jarrod).

But think of it...Marlins are big salt-water fish. Saltalamacchia is often referred to as Salty. Fish. Salty. You have to admit, there's a bond there.

Fun Useless Fact: The Homecoming Queen in my senior year at High was Eileen Saltalamacchia. And yes, she was the perfect choice.

2. Tacoby Bellsbury Goes Over To The Dark Side (Though They Don't Have Cookies..Just $153 Mil).
Come on, is anyone really surprised by this? Jacoby wanted his big payday and he's a client of Scott Boras. The Sox weren't going to give him what he wanted. He was a goner already. So, in steps the Yankees, whose roster is aging so badly that Depends are now standard equipment in the dugout, and they throw a 7 year $153 million dollar contract at him. Because, you see, the Yankees are the leaders in hideously ill-conceived contracts. Just ask A-Fraud. So let's improve their roster by bringing in an injury-prone 30 year old.

Look, I wish the guy well. He was a part of two of our World Series wins, and is a great lead off hitter and a great base stealer. When he's healthy. And therein lies his Achilles heel (any reports of a damaged Achilles tendon are just rumor). He has difficulty staying healthy, and his recoveries are notoriously slow. And I got news flash for ya, Sparky...the older you get, the longer you take to recover from injuries. Fact.

But I'm sure the Yankee fans will be their usual understanding selves.

And for what it's worth, if I get to a game next year, and by some miracle it's Sox vs Yanks, no, I won't boo him.

3. Say WHAT!?
But wait! The news today isn't just about who we's also about who we gained! We now have a new catcher! Salty wasn't interested in the two year deal the Sox offered him; he wanted at least three years. We didn't want to give him more because we have a couple of minor leaguers who will be ready soon. Okay, so all the Sox had to do was find a catcher for one year, perhaps a slight possibly of two. Someone whose temperament would fit in well with this team of loveable, personable, wacky guys!

And boy oh boy, did the front office find someone!

We got...

Wait for it...

This is gonna be good...

A.J. Pierzysnki!