Tuesday, December 22, 2015


…and puts its top back on, alas…

 Your Humble Narrator is displeased to report that the Village Voice nerd-culture website The Robot’s Voice (formerly Topless Robot), to which I was a frequent contributor for the last two and half years, has been closed. I hope its editor, Luke Thompson, finds himself up to new mischief soon.

The Phoenix Film Critics Society, of which I’m a proud founding member, has announced its 2015 Award Winners. I’m especially happy with this year’s Best Picture winner, which had my vote. My own Top Ten list will follow shortly after the New Year.

Here are some reflections on Christmas music that have occurred to me recently:

“Santa Baby” is a really impressive piece of songwriting, with a spectacularly complex, intricate rhyme scheme. Also, did you know it was written by the niece of Jacob Javits? Also, all versions of this song except Eartha Kitt’s should be banned from the airwaves. Madonna’s coy bimbo version withers embarrassingly beside Kitt’s sedate, unhurried vocal, a perfect counterpoint to the infantile acquisitiveness of the lyric.

There have been many delightful versions of the duet “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” But the older I get, the more it starts to sound like a creepy date-rape song, especially in the line “Say, what’s in this drink?"

Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” is rousingly performed, but something has always bugged me about it, and I think it’s this: It’s insulting. She keeps saying she doesn’t want much this Christmas, she isn’t asking for much, and then she says the trifling little insignificant thing she wants is…you. Gee, thanks.

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