Saturday, December 10, 2005

i'm the charlie browniest

Allison and I got a wild hair last night after we got the kids to bed and decided it would be proper to see “the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe” so that we could rib the kids over it. So we jumped up at 10:15 and headed to the theatre to catch the 10:30 showing. They were sold out.
So we went this morning to the 11:30 showing, but we took the kids. The movie was very good. I feel sure that if C.S. Lewis could have imagined technology 50 years later, he’d not have objected to a live action screen adaptation. There is no way he could not have been pleased with this movie. Faithful to the book, well acted and well made.
Made it to the gym this afternoon for the first time since Monday night, and rushed home to get cleaned up for the church deal, and to take Allison to work.
After church, I fed the kids pork chops, rice and corn and spanked them and put them to bed so that I could watch A Charlie Brown Christmas in peaceful solitude. In the most hurried, hectic, chaotic, economically draining week of the year, it is nice to sit down and find some solidarity in a cartoon character. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, Charlie Brown may be the Charlie Browniest, but I surely run a close second.
I love that little piece of animated Christmas truth. I love everything about it. I love that it premiered during my second Christmas, in 1965. I love irony of the theme of the show in that it was sponsored by Coca-cola and there was blatant product placement built right into the animation, but has since been somewhat awkwardly edited out. I love the myriad quotable quotes, the totally dry, monaural audio track, the clipped noise gate dialogue, the wavering Guaraldi piano recording, the out-of-tune singing. It is all magic, unique and identifiable.
So in honor of the time of year, the hard work that it takes to prepare emotionally and spiritually for it, the solidarity with Charlie Brown, and the wavering sound track, I’ve uploaded an mp3 of my green guitar playing “Christmas time is here”. The arrangement is by a friend of mine in Chicago, whom I’ve never met. I’ve intentionally saturated it with a wide modulation, de-tune chorus so that it wavers in bad intonation for realistic effect. This is surely not allowed, so this will remain linked to this post for a very limited time, so better listen quickly. It will disappear like Christmas time and holiday waistlines, and 1965, and Charles Shultz, and Vince Guaraldi, and Coca-cola product placement advertisements.