Sunday, December 26, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
I was just thinking about toys and how my favorite Christmas was when I got all the He-Man figures (and Castle Greyskull!). I'm so glad my folks did not puss out on "girly" toys.
I'm not sure if this one is safe for work. Or anywhere, really.
Friday, December 24, 2010
PEANUTS CLASSICS by Charles M. Schulz
BEETLE BAILEY by Mort Walker
GARFIELD by Jim Davis
THE CAPTAIN AND THE KIDS by Rudolph Dirks
B.C. by Johnny Hart
THIMBLE THEATER featuring POPEYE by Segar
DENNIS THE MENACE by Hank Ketcham
FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE by Lynn Johnston
THE LITTLE KING by Soglow
THE FAMILY CIRCUS by Bil Keane
SNUFFY SMITH by Billy DeBeck
BLOOM COUNTY by Berke Breathed
ZIGGY by Tom Wilson
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Some innovative, crazy and unique yuletide animations from our buddies up north.
A COSMIC CHRISTMAS (1977)
NFB SHORT: THE GREAT TOY ROBBERY (1963)
THE CHRISTMAS RACCOONS (1979)
NFB SHORT: CHRISTMAS CRACKER (1963)
NFB SHORT: AN OLD BOX (1975)
THE TROLLS AND THE CHRISTMAS EXPRESS (1981)
NFB SHORT: THE ENERGY CAROL (1975)
NFB SHORT: DECEMBER LIGHTS (1979)
BABAR AND FATHER CHRISTMAS (1985)
NFB SHORT: THE STORY OF CHRISTMAS (1973)
GEORGE AND THE CHRISTMAS STAR (1985)
From the director of Heavy Metal, featuring music by Paul Anka
NFB SHORT: THE SWEATER (1980)
NFB SHORT: LUCRETIA (1986)
NOEL NOEL (2003)
It's true. They really will Sell you an aluminum* pole. The entire thing was started on this show called "Seinfeld", and if you have any questions about that, you can ask your parents or watch it late at night on local TV.
Considering American culture, it's no more or less significant than any other holiday.
Or, if you're in the UK, an aluminum pole.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Eel is a difficult fish to prepare. The eel is first filleted, and then grilled on open flame. This gets rid of excess fat under the skin, which is where the unpleasant scent mostly comes from. Then it is steamed to make the meat fluffy and to further drain out the oils. After this, it is once again grilled on open flame while basting it many times with eel sauce (unagi no tare) which is made from the eel trimmings, soy sauce, sugar, and sake (rice wine).
I don't like the little bones, but I can see why people think it's pretty neat.
Eels - "Christmas Is Going To The Dogs"
Candy Claws - "Snowflake Eel Wish"
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
You know, I had this grand plan for some solstice videos or an eclipse video or something, but I swear to you, I cold not find one that did not contain one of the following:
- More text than anyone wants to look at
- In a font that makes you want to puke
- "Haunting" piano music
- Mystical hippie-dippie music or similar "newage" (rhymes with "sewage"!) soundtrack
- Someone who will not shut up about having a "double rainbow" experience.
Yesterday, I scoured my collection (and everyone else's) to find something that would be appropriate. I found this god-awful thing about werewolves.
But then, I thought, hold on. The bestest movie ever about creepy things and the holidays has already been made. Yes, I know, you've seen it before. But isn't it nice to be reminded that there's a good movie that isn't "White Christmas" out there? Heck, decorate your tree, then turn it on its side and build a snake to eat it.
Boris Pickett - "Monster's Holiday"
Fiona Apple - "Sally's Song"
Last minute? Yes, it was.
Everthus - "Deadbeat Christmas"
Monday, December 20, 2010
After that, a little exposé with the man himself and his what he does with his time outside the annual sleigh run. "Father Christmas", together with his pets in his flat, vacationing around the world, getting sick and goes to the bathroom like you and me. Just make sure you don't talk about his 'rosy cheeks'!
This festive holiday presentation was brought to you by Irn-Bru, Kit Kat and the Cold War classic "When The Wind Blows".
And a Merry Blooming Christmas to you all!
Sunday, December 19, 2010
So! Criterion put out the DVD of The Tales of Hoffman. I had to watch it because, you know, it's Advent, and that means the "Nutcracker", and that was written by Hoffman.
Oh my god but this movie is sick.
The singing is fantastic, the dancing is fantastic, and the costume design is going to give me nightmares for weeks. Every set looks like the cover of a 50's sci-fi paperback. Jean Cocteau is watching this film from the grave and asking, "Why didn't I do that? Screw La Belle et la Bête."
I'm serious; I have to recover after watching this. The doll banquet has me massively skeeved.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
That's Herb Albert, who knows better. I mean, the guy created "Whipped Cream and Other Delights", fer crissake. The guy gave us Little Spanish Flea. Some of us have yet to forgive him.
Actually, Tijuana Christmas is a lesser offense. Alpert was actually inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 13, 2006. Try to remember that the next time you listen to Casino Royale.
Friday, December 17, 2010
So, you're wondering what Saturnalia is. Well, there's a link. Have at.
To me, the whole idea of masters and servants switching places reminds me of Twelfth Night and Wassail.
There's a part of me that looks at all these Pagan holidays and says, "Suck it, xians!" but let's be honest here. At the end of the day, who cares? It's a time to spend with your folks and loved ones and share presents and food and warmth and all that happy stuff. It's a little light in the middle of winter and who cares how it started? Just be nice to each other, for Mithras' sake.
Artisan - "Somerset Wassail"
I work in IT, so I get to work with a lot of "dee-vlop-ers" who often ask me to "do the needful". For a while, I worked for Verizon, translating emails from those developers into something the sales team could understand. I've shown the video above, and others by the same artist, to a programmer friend of mine in California and he says it's dead on.
So, what does this have to do with Christmas?
Well, I've got a couple versions of "Jingle Bells" here: one Punjabi and another Tamil.
Actually, this woman can explain it better.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
The new SANTASTIC! is out for this year. I've been following these guys since 2005 at least and they are always worth it. I would recommend getting to know them, and their prior work, better.
I would post more of their videos, but they usually get taken down.
Dan Phillips - "Jingles are Jingles"
Monday, December 13, 2010
This man is a master of his craft. Everyone else is just faking it.
The story of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King was written by E. T. A. Hoffmann. Alexandre Dumas' adaptation of the story was set to music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and has become the most popular ballet performed around Christmas time. Because the ballet centers around a young girl's Christmas gift of a life-size nutcracker, it has become a standard performance during the Christmas holiday season.
Tchaikovsky hated the ballet. He also wrote "Swan Lake". Have you seen "Black Swan" yet? I've heard both good and bad.
Speaking of masters, here's some Duke Ellington.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
So, what does Eddie Izzard have to do with Christmas? Well, I have a favorite charity, Heifer International. Minor amounts of money give people around the world the means by which to sustain themselves.
And I like to give people bees. I know we haven't been that great about keeping bees in the developed world, with all that CCD and stuff, but I figure that sending bees somewhere will do some good.
Heifer has lots of other stuff that you can give, like trees and cows and such. It's like outfitting the apocalypse, so think about what you would like to have if society failed.
El Vez - "Oranges for Christmas"
Advent wreath people! Your readings for tonight's candle are Micah 5:2, Isaiah 2:1-5, and Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11 and 3:1-6. If you're going to do it, do it right.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Ah, Jona Lewie is good any time of year.
Though there was no official truce, about 100,000 British and German troops were involved in unofficial cessations of fighting along the length of the Western Front. The first truce started on Christmas Eve, 24 December 1914, when German troops began decorating the area around their trenches in the region of Ypres, Belgium.
The Germans began by placing candles on their trenches and on Christmas trees, then continued the celebration by singing Christmas carols. The British responded by singing carols of their own. The two sides continued by shouting Christmas greetings to each other. Soon thereafter, there were excursions across the 'No Man's Land', where small gifts were exchanged, such as food, tobacco and alcohol, and souvenirs such as buttons and hats. The artillery in the region fell silent that night. The truce also allowed a breathing spell where recently-fallen soldiers could be brought back behind their lines by burial parties. Joint services were held. The fraternisation was not, however, without its risks; some soldiers were shot by opposing forces. In many sectors, the truce lasted through Christmas night, but it continued until New Year's Day in others.
Have you considered Trees for Troops? Maybe you could write to your congressman and ask them to bring someone home for the holidays.
Bing Crosby - "I'll Be Home For Christmas"
Friday, December 10, 2010
Thursday, December 09, 2010
These people are insane. I just want to say that now.
Krampus is a mythical creature. In various regions of the world – especially Austria and Hungary – it is believed that Krampus accompanies St. Nicholas during the Christmas season, warning and punishing bad children, in contrast to St. Nicholas, who gives gifts to good children. Due to German and Austrian influence, the myth of Krampus is also prevalent in Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia and northern Italy.
Here's some Nine Inch Noels.
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Bodhi Day has been observed on December 8th in Japan since the Meiji Restoration (1862-1869). It is the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautauma, experienced enlightenment. According to tradition, Siddhartha had recently forsaken years of extreme ascetic practices and resolved to sit under a tree and simply meditate until he found the root of suffering, and how to liberate one's self from it.
I was hoping I could find a good Buddhist video for today, but either the video quality was terrible or the music was awful or they just kinda sucked. The best I could get for you was the above, featuring Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, revered by Buddhists as the bodhisattva of compassion. Guan Yin is a compassionate being who watches for, and responds to, the people in the world who cry out for help.
By the way, those dancers in the video above? They're deaf.
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
I really did look for a better video of this. You anime music video people need to get cracking so I'll have something better next year.
Go Home Productions - "High Tides And Blocked Peace Pipes"
Thinking warm thoughts.....thinking warm thoughts....
Monday, December 06, 2010
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Today's piece of chocolate was a snowflake.
In the meantime, those of you with Advent wreaths should be lighting your first purple candle tonight. Scripture readings include Isaiah 11:1-10, Luke: 1:26-38, Isaiah 7:10-14, and Matthew 1:18-24.
Here's a song that can be either charming or creepy.
Tom Jones & Cerys Matthews - "Baby Its Cold Outside"
Saturday, December 04, 2010
If נ (nun) is facing up, the player does nothing.
If ג (gimel) is facing up, the player gets everything in the pot.
If ה (hei) is facing up, the player gets half of the pieces in the pot. (If there is an odd number, they round up)
If ש (shin) or פ (pei) is facing up, the player adds a game piece to the pot.
And now you know. Here's more from the same artist.
Snoop dogg featuring Kokane - "How we kick it on Christmas"
Friday, December 03, 2010
Third night of Hanukkah and I demand latkes! I amuse myself while watching this by pretending that Bubbe is really Harlan Ellison in drag and on 20 mg of diazepam. I love the vent over her stove.
Tonight is also the last night you can safely eat Thanksgiving leftovers without a risk of serious illness. Don't worry; the cranberry sauce freezes just fine. You can also just mush that into a jar and make a nice holiday cordial. If you put it down now, it might be ready by Christmas.
The Free Design - "Close Your Mouth, It's Christmas"
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Twenty years from now, the grandchildren of Anime Hell will show this video.
Besides lighting the other candles, the shamash is allowed to do more secular work. It's a handy little helper around the house. If you're going to be a douche and light a cigar off a menorah, make sure you use the shamash. If I hear you've done otherwise, I will come to your house and beat you with a chain.
Shamash is also the name of a Sumerian sun god. So there.
Today's advent lump is a candle. My life's actions are dictated by chocolate.
In the meantime, here's how to put real candles on your heathen tree. You all are such pagans, celebrating an evergreen in the middle of winter like that.
Vince Guaraldi Trio - "O Tannenbaum"
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Oh yeah! It's December first and that means it's the first day of advent. I am now one crappy chocolate reindeer richer.
This year, it's also the first night of Hanukkah, so I am also some crappy chocolate coins richer. December is all about crappy chocolate in fun shapes.
I'm going to be posting a song for every day of advent. You heard me! Better than Halloween, maybe. I'll try to put up some fun and odd facts about this season while I'm at it.
Here's a holiday tune: Ryjaknic Kayducon - "Bells and Seegars"
Now, if you're asking why the Hanukkah song got a video but the Christmas song only got a little embed, well! We own the media, yo. It's not even a major holiday!