Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Jingle Balls...uh, Bells



Seasons Greetings and all that humbuggery to you and yours. I’m surprised we’re even celebrating a holiday Wasn’t there supposed to be some kind of War on Christmas?
this year.

“Look out! The Virgin Mary’s got a gun!”

My mood fluctuates from day to day. To keep from plummeting into what Robert Crumb used to call “The Dreaded Depths of Despair” is a full time job and frankly, I just don’t have the time. It’s amazing I found time to rustle up some spare minutes to crank out another entry for this exercise in futility. How the hell do people manage to blog each and every day? Oh, that’s right. I’ve read their stuff.

“Which would you rather have-air or water? Discuss.”

It’s not as if my shit is any better. My archive is chock full of nothing more than a collection of comments, snide, snarky and superficial, supposedly under the guise of “sharp criticism”. Right. I’m about as sharp as Nicole Richie on Celebrity Jeopardy. Recently I was accused of being a “smart guy”. Don’t you believe it. It’s all smoke, mirrors and misdirection. Hell, I couldn’t even muster up a few sentences to memorialize one of my personal heroes, Robert Altman. The man and his work had an impact on my life but I’ll damned if I could muster up a syllable to explain why and how. The only thing I could think of was to paraphrase what Billy Wilder and William Wyler said about Ernst Lubitsch.

No more Robert Altman. Even worse. No more Robert Altman films.

(I don’t so much create as much as I memorize.)

You want a tribute to Altman? Watch his films. His work speaks for itself as he spoke through his work. I would suggest NASHVILLE, CALIFORNIA SPLIT, BREWSTER MCCLOUD, THE PLAYER and to my mind, one of the best films ever made, MCCABE AND MRS. MILLER. As for me, I halfway expect Ol' Bob to make another of his signature comebacks in a couple of years. Talk about denial…

The reason for this funk o’ mine can’t be blamed on the season. It’s just coincidental that these doldrums across the Mohawk are blossoming right here and right now during the most wonderful time of the year. I even got to the point where I was rustling through my pockets for Zusu’s petals. All I could come up with was an unwrapped Ricola covered in lint.

BUT…

Amazing Grace…how sweet the sound…that saved a wretch like me….

Last week I took in the annual Gospel Christmas concert with the Portland Symphony and the Northwest Community Gospel Chorus and had the spirit move me. Hallelujah!
This was Gospel Authentica, a roof raising experience that I had been wanting to experience for years. By night’s end I was on my feet, clapping my hands and ready to testify! Symphony conductor Charles Floyd and choir director Gary Hemenway at the helm of a superb group of singers and musicians will be forever in my debt for rescuing me from a total meltdown that day. I can’t honestly say the Christmas Spirit suddenly possessed me, but the therapeutic results of that show has lasted for a solid week so far. Praise the Lord and pass the mistletoe.

As for y’all out there, I guess all that I want to say is what I’ve been saying for the last couple of years.
Be good to each other and for your own sake, be good to yourselves.
You deserve it.
We all do.
Merry Christmas to all
and to all
good night and good luck.
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