The webcomic XKCD once slyly pointed out that radio airplay of Christmas songs amounts to an extended nostalgia project for baby boomers, with the top twenty songs clustered neatly around the 1950s and 1960s. “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” is not among those top twenty, but is clearly part of the same trend, coming from the 1966 How The Grinch Stole Christmas television special.
It is difficult to account for its status in the Christmas canon on any grounds other than sheer nostalgia. Its only connection to Christmas is appearing in a holiday special. The lyrics don’t mention the holiday at all, instead just insulting the Grinch for six verses
Indeed, lyrically, the song seems almost anti-Christmas. It is a character piece meant to establish the main character of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, when the entire point of the character is that he’s missing the holiday spirit entirely. But his overall character arc over the course of the special isn’t contained in the song.
More to the point, the overall point of the special is in many ways a split decision. Yes, the Grinch makes nice at the end, but the point of the special isn’t the eventual reconciliation, it’s the giddy thrill of the Grinch trying to steal Christmas. The special asks us to revel in perversity with the thin justification that order is restored eventually.
And this carries through to the song. On the one hand, the song is a description of the villainous Grinch and his awful ways. But as much as the song condemns the Grinch, its pleasure is clearly in the perverse excesses of its invective. One central joke of the song is the way in which the final line steadily increases in size, from “you’re a bad banana with a greasy black peel,” which fits the actual musical phrase, up to “I wouldn’t touch you with with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole,” which humorously crams too many syllables into one note, all the way up to “your soul is an appalling dump heap overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of deplorable rubbish imaginable, mangled up in tangled up knots,” a description in which there are simply too many adjectives. (“Mangled up in,” in particular, exists only to sustain the phrase a little bit longer.)
This excess is, of course, quintessentially Seussian. But what is striking is not just the excess but the way in which it is overtly contrary to the supposed sense of the season. But the story of the redeemed curmudgeon has obvious history in Christmas - most obviously with Ebeneezer Scrooge. And while these stories are ostensibly about their main character’s redemption, they also show an important carnivalesque inversion of the usual order of things. Their presence deflates the gaudy artifice of Christmas.
The truth is, nobody in their right minds doesn’t want to punch the Whos in the face around the third “Dahoo Dores,” cloying little snots that they are. The Grinch becomes the vehicle in which a counter-narrative to the enforced and hollow artifice of Christmas can be explored. For all that the song belongs to the baby boomer nostalgia that chokes the life out of the holiday, it’s also the needed tonic - the vehicle by which we all get our needed “bah humbugs” out.
The only proper version, of course, is the original Thurl Ravenscroft vocal. His thundering bass relishes every syllable of the song, belting out the final lines of each verses with all the reckless glee they require.
New Doctor Who theme alterations for the 12th Doctor revealed.
This is why I gave up on this show. I used to sit down on the bed and watch the old Doctor Who on T.V. with little brother and sister and my Mum. We used to absolutely love it. When the new Doctors showed up, still good! Really good. Then things started getting ridiculously mental and childish and stupid a little while after 11 showed up (don’t get me wrong, he’s a brilliant actor, and I don’t blame him for anything), and now the show had just fucking gone downhill. Please don’t tell me this is actual music for the new Doctor. Please just tell me it’s not. Jesus fucking Christ this show has been butchered.
human life is incredible
I hate the excessive need to “modernize” everything in TV. It’s like, this wouldn’t be so bad if they actually made it still feel sci-fi, but now it’s this weird new-age bullshit, like they’re trying too hard to be “progressive”. I know I’m making a big deal out of a THEME SONG maybe, but thing is, they’ll probably end up carrying this ideology into the series itself. Where the fuck are things going.
it keeps happening
Sometimes, I fucking hate Steven Moffat for what he’s done to Doctor Who. Look, I know I’m fairly new to the show-having only come in during Matt Smith’s first season, but I went back and watched every episode of the old series and Moffat has just completely altered the tone. He’s trying to make it his own creation, which is fucking despicable, to mess with something as perfect as Doctor Who. I know it’s just a theme song, and I know the difference isn’t that drastic, but it fucking sickens me sometimes.
never forget my legacy
Nah I think the people disagreeing with this move are right, like, this is a really weird and unnecessary departure from the iconic theme, and sure it matches the new mood of the show really well, so I can see were the owners of the show are coming from with the change, but honestly sometimes you have to accept that nostalgia actually matters, and even if you’re taking the show in a different direction Doctor Who is not Doctor Who without the Doctor Who *theme*, I mean it founded electronic music for gods sake! The only thing I would say about this one is it sounds a little dated like it’s a MIDI file but then again so does the very first Doctor Who theme so I imagine after one season or so with Capaldi as 12 (which I’m really looking forward to!) they will do a cooler remix of it like they did with the original theme, and once it’s been around for a while I think people will have got used to it and they’ll like it alot more.
“Look at the difference: In 1977 I bought a small house in Portland Oregon for $24,000. At the time I was earning $5 per hour working at a large auto parts store. I owned a 4 year old Chevy Nova that cost $1,500. Now, 36 years later that same job pays $8 an hour, that same house costs $185,000 and a 4 year old Chevy costs $10,000. Wages haven’t kept up with expenses at all. And, I should point out that that $5 an hour job in 1977 was union and included heath benefits.”—an anonymous online commenter on the current economy. (via han-nara)
I apologize if you've been asked a similar question before, but why do you like Madoka much less now?
The main reason is Urobuchi gave an interview where he said that the girls in Madoka were carried away by their “hubris” and “self-righteousness” and compared them to the Taliban (WHAT the fuck). So that pretty much flings any idea the show was trying to say something even vaguely feminist out the window- this guy literally things young girls should be punished for wanting things. women shouldn’t have desires. REVOLUTIONARY concept.
U can still read feminist things into the show for yourself of course (as I did initially), but knowing the opposite was intended puts a damper on it for me.
And also knowing that makes me view the show in a different light. I used to be okay with it because it seemed to reconstruct the genre a bit at the end, with Madoka restoring hope etc. but…
It really is just 11 straight episodes of little girls suffering, intended for a male audience, with some sort of attempt to smooth it all over at the end so the viewer doesn’t feel guilty and it’s still implied they all die or whatever. That’s kind of creepy, when you think about it. Especially when you consider that this is basically taking a genre meant to empower young girls and making it about little girls being tortured and manipulated. There are some genres that could use deconstruction- the magical girl genre isn’t one of them, at least not deconstructed in a way that’s targetted toward men. If it’s deconstructed, I think it should be deconstructed for a FEMALE AUDIENCE, you know, the actual main consumers of the genre. I mean, thinking about it, Madoka doesn’t really count as a deconstruction- it exaggerates tropes that were already in the genre- dark magical girl, coming of age story, etc.
Utena did a MUCH better job of criticizing shoujo tropes (like ACTUAL CRITICISM OF PROBLEMATIC shoujo tropes like the fucked-up dynamics of idealized shoujo romances, or the damsel-in-distress cliche, not just making stuff ~edgier~ and not really criticizing) while having an actual feminist message that was absolutely intended that you cannot miss, and we also know the creators actually kept the female audience in mind AND oh, it actually managed to have canon queer characters and relationships rather than just ~vaguely imply~ so straight audiences could ignore it. A lot of Madoka fans treat Madoka like it’s Utena, but it’s not. Utena is an actual deconstruction, Madoka is largely just a darknedgy take on things.
And it’s not like the magical girl genre didn’t have DARK STUFF in it, it just still managed to be…about empowering girls rather than punishing them. Princess Tutu was dark. Sailor Moon is the codifier for “dark magical girl warrior’ and “magical girl antihero” concepts and the live action serie got VERY heavy. And then people act like Madoka (and Nanoha) are the only magical girl shows with kickass fight scenes (and that’s somehow the measure of their worth) but Precure, aimed for 5 year old girls, can be ridiculously heavy on the action. I’m tired of ppl talking about how Madoka is great bc it’s got all this stuff the genre already had.
And reading spoilers for the movie, all my fears have been confirmed- the relationships and themes that made the anime work have been thrown out the window for cynicism so it’s basically worthless now. And still no canon queerness, ofc.
So yeah, I still enjoy some parts of Madoka, I’m just much less enamored with it now, mostly just in light of getting more into the magical girl genre and learning more about the creator’s true intentions.