In which I interview myself.
If you could design a Christmas t-shirt, what would it say? Bob Cratchit: Straight Outta Camden.
If you could spend Christmas with any fictional family, what family would you choose? I borrowed this question from another blog I looked at over the weekend, but it’s something I’ve thought about before–not that I had to think very hard. The only correct answer to this question (and a total no-brainer if you’ve been reading my blog over the years) is “the Weasleys.” However, I did see Fantastic Beasts again today, and I have to say that if for some reason I couldn’t Apparate across the Atlantic for Christmas, it would also be fun to spend Christmas with Tina and Queenie Goldstein–if Newt and Jacob could also be there, and if we could have pie and strudel.
What holiday season song bothers you the most? Please indulge me in a rant on this one. I am deeply troubled by the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” It used to bother me because although it gets classified as a Christmas song, it’s merely a cold weather song. People in Australia could sing it in August. But then someone pointed out to me that this song appears to describe a man keeping a woman in his home against her will. You can call it an attempt at date rape or a hostage situation–either way, there’s nothing cute or clever about it, and it really annoys me that singers who think they are cute and clever are still covering it. You can try to explain the lyrics away as the product of a simpler time, but what are you going to do with the line, “Say, what’s in this drink?”? Slipping drugs into a person’s beverage was never okay.
Let me contrast this song with another one that presents a similar scenario: “Let It Snow.” In this song, the two characters appear to be mutually consenting adults who actually like each other, unlike in “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” and they face a far more challenging weather prognosis (cold is only dangerous if you have to spend the whole night outside, whereas snow can cause decreased visibility and hazardous road conditions). Yet, after a nice evening enjoying popcorn in front of the fire, one of them is mature enough to say, “I’ve had a lovely time, but I am now going to get in my four-wheel drive vehicle and safely drive home before this snow gets worse. How about you give me a big kiss and a hug to keep me warm on my way?” Yes, the line “The fire is slowly dying, and my dear, we’re still goodbye-ing” may indicate a reluctance to part, but again, this reluctance seems to be mutual. There is no coercion here, nor any guilt-tripping. (Contrast this with the part in “Cold” when the man says, “Think of my lifelong sorrow.” Gag me.)
(takes a deep breath) Okay, we can move on to the next question.
What charming Christmas comedy have you discovered in recent years?
How did you know I’d recently discovered a charming Christmas comedy? Well, last year I came across Nativity! in which Martin Freeman plays a put-upon grade-school teacher directing a nativity play that gets way out of hand. Martin Freeman is delightful as always (I think I’ve used that exact same adjective to describe him at least once before on this blog), and the kids, who seem to be “real” people rather than actors, are hilarious. So is Mr. Poppy, the teacher’s aide who is basically a child himself. Check this one out.