I know: “Who cares?” I’m not, as they say, a social justice warrior, even though I teach at a Jesuit university—and as they also say, never go in against a Jesuit in a Check-Your-Privilege contest when social justice is on the line. But there’s no question that A Christmas Story‘s the worst, the most white-dude het-centric holiday movie ever, yes?
But all that aside, all the Boomer nostalgia aside, all the raspy winsome narrator who talks as though guffaws you’d never think to return are about to erupt from his belly aside, here’s what I hate about A Christmas Story. Maybe you remember the leg lamp? There’s a lamp the quote-unquote old man wins in a contest that arrives in a crated box wrapped in tow.
It looks like a sexy lady’s leg stuck in a nylon stocking!
At any rate, the mom figure breaks it and they get angry and the old man tries to fix it with glue (which he accuses the mom figure of using up “on purpose”) but when he sets, on the glued-up leg, the lampshade (it looks like a sexy tasseled skirt! it might give a guy a boner once!), the whole thing collapses in a pile that he’s forced disheveledly to bury it in the backyard. Here’s the voiceoverer at that point:
Now I can never be sure, but I thought I heard the sound of “Taps” being played, gently.
Liar. Rosy-tinted liar. Your past is no one’s past and what you choose not to remember has become the shit we all still have to deal with.
Look: watch you you like, but this movie insists its revelrous memories of postwar midwestern life are a sound basis for an American yuletide fantasia, without ever having any fucking clue what America is or even looks like.
Also? It’s clear I miss my family (who love this movie) this Christmas, and I also miss my friends. I miss the few people who read this blog. Please get in touch. I promise to do the same.
(And if you want a Christmas movie for everyone that’s worth running for 24 hours on basic cable, try Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas.)