Thursday, December 22, 2022

Holiday Parodies

Have I previously recommended POLITICALLY CORRECT HOLIDAY STORIES, by James Finn Garner? Although slightly dated to the specific "politically correct" preoccupations of its publication year, 1995, it's still funny enough to invited multiple rereadings. It begins with an amusing mock-serious reflection on "the task of liberating the holidays from the oppressiveness of tradition." For instance, what does "the senior lifemate's tale about the animals imprisoned in the barnyard" who receive the gift of speech on Christmas Eve tell us about our relations with other species?

The body of the book transforms "A Visit from Saint Nicholas" and four familiar tales or songs. The classic tribute to the night before Christmas becomes "'Twas the Night Before Solstice," with a critique in verse of the overweight, carcinogen-consuming, reindeer-exploiting home invader and the commercialized holiday he promotes. In the stories, Frosty the snow persun (sic) leads a protest march of snow people against global warming all the way to Washington. Considering the number of days in that area with temperatures above freezing, even in winter, the event doesn't end well for the participants. The title character in "The Nutcracker" raises an army against the expansionist aggression of the Mouse King but ultimately, with Clara's help, seeks a peaceful resolution, recognizing that mice have been feared and marginalized for too long. Rudolph the Nasally Empowered Reindeeer organizes a union to uplift reindeer and other oppressed North Pole employees.

The longest and most detailed retelling, naturally, satirizes "A Christmas Carol." It starts, "Marley was non-viable, to begin with. . ." setting aside philosophical questions about the nature of death and the afterlife, that is. After undergoing "Past-Regression-Future-Progression" therapy, as opposed to the Negative Alternative Outcome (i.e., George Bailey) procedure, Scrooge comes to the conclusion, "I'm the victim here." Hence, the heavenly bureaucracy plans an even more extreme treatment for him.

You can find the book on Amazon here:

Politically Correct Holiday Stories

Garner also published two collections of similarly fractured fairy tales and a book of "politically correct parables" (which are less irreverent than one might expect).

My favorite holiday parodies, however, come in the form of Lovecraftian versions of popular songs on two albums from the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society, A VERY SCARY SOLSTICE and AN EVEN SCARIER SOLSTICE. The website also offers songbooks with lyrics and footnotes:

H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society

Click on either "Music" or "Holiday Treats" to find the albums. Some of my favorite selections: "Away in a Madhouse," "Have Yourself a Scary Little Solstice," "I Saw Mommy Kissing Yog-Sothoth," "I'm Dreaming of a Dead City," "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Fishmen," "Little Rare Books Room" (to the tune of "Little Drummer Boy"), and "Harley Got Devoured by the Undead" (to "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"). It might be unwise to sing these songs too loudly, though, lest you call up what you cannot put down. :)

Merry winter holidays and happy New Year!

Margaret L. Carter

Carter's Crypt

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