<em>“‘Cause nothing lasts forever, and we both know hearts can change. And it’s hard to hold a candle in the cold November rain.”</em>
— From the song “November Rain”, by Guns ‘N Roses.
While searching for something to watch on television on the DirecTV channel guide the other day, I beheld a sight that made me shiver in desperate fear. I sat there on my couch, aghast and paralyzed with a dread that can only be felt when impending doom is inevitable.
There, nearly three weeks before Thanksgiving, available to be viewed by anyone, was the 2003 film “A Carol Christmas” starring Tori Spelling.
To save time, allow me to break this down in a syllogism:
1. Movies that use the premise of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” are universally awful.
2. Tori Spelling sucks.
Therefore, films that use the premise of “A Christmas Carol” starring Tori Spelling are not only an affront to a commonly held standard of decency, but also are the justification for anti-American sentiment around the world.
Did I mention this Christmas movie was on three weeks before Thanksgiving? Let me scroll the page up…oh! Yeah! There it is!
I used to love November. It was unchallenged as my favorite month of the year. The crisp autumn air, the majestic beauty of the falling leaves, Thanksgiving. November was a glorious month.
And then the capitalists stepped in and stepped on the subtle charm contained in those 30 days of quiet perfection.
Christmas songs and movies are now plaguing us while there are still uneaten boxes of Dots in the Halloween candy bowl. In Catholicism, November 1st is known as All Saints’ Day. Within a few years, the secular world will refer to it as All Sales Day.
Television commercials remind us that we must make plans for our Black Friday shopping similar in scale to what General Eisenhower drew up for the invasion of Normandy. Thanksgiving—and the meaning behind it—is now an impediment. You no longer are allowed to enjoy November, but endure it.
Compare it, if you will, to the Star Trek episode “Mirror, Mirror” where Kirk is transported to an evil alternate universe. The Enterprise is a ship of war. Spock has a badass goatee. Yet somehow red-shirted security officers are still killed off with an alarming ease.
November should now have an evil Mr. Spock goatee. (SIDE NOTE: William Shatner is a co-star in Tori Spelling’s “A Carol Christmas.” Coincidence? I think not.)
Now, I know what many of you are thinking. “Har, you ripped Black Friday and the commercialism of Christmas in last year’s column.” This is indeed a fact.
The difference between last year’s column and this is that last year I was making a point. I have no point this year, outside of being angry that retailers have hijacked my favorite month. If you want to understand my frantic mindset as I type these words, please re-read this column whilst listening to the song “They’re Coming To take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!” by Napoleon XIV.
And it is not just the swarm of retailers swooping down upon us like the mythological Valkyries that have killed off this wonderful month. I used to find great solace in the world of sports. Now, college basketball–which used to start around Thanksgiving weekend–begins 3 weeks earlier. College football goes into December. This does not make either sport better. It only thins out a product that will be milked for any value it has until it keels over dead. Nothing cherished as aesthetically pleasing is beyond the reach of profiteers to destroy through excess.
November, come back to us! They killed your spirit, but you live on in our memories…if only as a word printed on the Gregorian calendar.
Social networking has made us a society that lives on instant feedback. The proliferation of cell phones has conditioned us to believe that no conversation is insignificant. Everything is crucial. We need not take time to reflect on things. All we do must be done now, now, now!
There was a time not so long ago when November was the month we relaxed. Autumn should be soothing. All of us have a favorite sweater that we wear this time of year. We meld as one with that one blanket that we have had for years. We would look upon Thanksgiving as a day to enjoy and be grateful for the small things that makes life worth living. We were calm. Life is good. That was what November was all about.
That is gone now. And in many ways, we are responsible. We fell for the perfidious lie that it is essential to be in Wal-Mart at 6 PM on Thanksgiving night so that we can save a few dollars buying a big screen TV. We do not tell business owners that playing Christmas songs on Veterans Day is an offense to tact, decorum and good taste. We gear up for the “holiday season” in the same vein that those who believe the Apocalypse is coming stock up on bottled water and assault rifles.
“They” did not kill November alone. We helped them. And when November died, the better part of us died with it.