Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Faux Joni Mitchell - "Febreze Jingle"
I thought to myself while waiting for the commuter rail to Minneapolis, apparently inadvertently summing up my life from North Dakota to Minneapolis, ending up a Joni Mitchell admirer in middle age after a long beginning as a hard rock partisan. KNOX-AM, I am yours.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Clarence Carter - "Back Door Santa"
"Back Door Santa" is my favorite Christmas song*. This holiday season, I've been blasting it more frequently and louder than any other year, because I have always imagined the narrator of the song to be black. Recently there was a black Santa Claus at a suburban Twin Cities shopping mall** and to nobody's surprise white racists were miffed that a universal symbol of kindness and gift-giving wasn't Caucasian. They swamped the comments sections of websites that featured stories on Black Santa, then undoubtably assured their spouses and children that they "once worked with a black guy, and he didn't mind my jokes at all." The Star Tribune went so far as to shut the comments on their article off, I'm guessing some of the white power rubes fired off emails about their First Amendment rights being denied.
Before I get sidetracked and tell you how bored I am with white peoples and/or this Surly Bender totally kicks in ... THE CASE FOR BLACK SANTA:
- Every photo of Clarence Carter ever features him wearing sunglasses. Is this a man who would embrace nothing BUT a Black Santa? Being that he recorded an all-time Yuletide classic, give the man his due.
- Black Santa is quintessentially American, whereas White Santa's origins are in Greece, England, Germany, and the Netherlands. White Santa's only true American roots come from the Coca-Cola Company. Like James Cagney in One, Two, Three, I kinda wish Whitey ends up with a Pepsi.
- I bring you back to a cover of Esquire from 1963, where we have Sonny Liston as a Black Santa. This is iconic, unlike the generic this-white-guy-again who appears at your local shopping mall. I propose that every dumm** white racist who opposes Black Santa go a few rounds with the ghost of Sonny.
- On "Christmas in Hollis", Run-DMC samples "Back Door Santa" and its video features a Black Santa. When Run-DMC were at their best, the Beatles/Stones/Yardbirds of hip-hop were damn funny. We all need a little levity right now. To put it another way: Lighten up, Francis.
- If you choose to be un-American and don't like Black Santa, think about the Finns believing that a Yule Goat brings presents to children:
The celebration of the goat is connected to worship of the Norse god Thor, who rode the sky in a chariot drawn by two goats.
Who would you rather have creeping around your living room at Christmas Eve midnight: A cool black guy or a freakin' goat? If you choose "goat"? Well, I'm going to campaign for a Black Thor, dummies.
- All true Americans and fans of the Christmas holiday should love Black Santa because he angers white racists. Anything that pisses off those gomers is worthy and should be widespread. Let us vow to totally embrace Black Santa next year in December 2017 and all other years going forward. And ... who wants the honor of telling the white racists that baby Jesus was Jewish?
*Narrowly beating out - this year, at least - The Drifters' version of "White Christmas".
**Gratuitous Sideswipe: Of course, anything that involves the Maul of Amerika is bound to turn ugly. Nothing of much cultural worth has ever come from that place - aside from protests that shut the temple of commerce down - and any time I think of it an image of a Moonie mass marriage comes to mind, even though a quick Google search indicates that has never happened at the Maul.
***As a high school classmate once said in algebra class: "You're dumb. And not just d-u-m-b dumb, but d-u-m-m dumb.