Thursday, December 31, 2015

In the Air, There’s a Feeling...

Christmas in the City 2

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year” - Charles Dickens

Buon Anno, Feliz Ano Nuevo, Gluchliches Neues Jahr, Bonne Annee and Happy New Year to all,  as we observe that most arbitrary of events, New Year’s Eve - celebrating and commemorating the irrelevant and insignificant turning of a calendar page, one of 365 - bringing with it the imagined promise of a new year, neglected then discarded resolutions, and the culmination of the two-decade long, Clinton coronation.

For those still hiding and fearful in the safety survival shelters constructed for the sure arrival of apocalypse and unmitigated disaster at the recent turn of the century – all's clear. You’ve missed much – Netflix, the rise of the Kardashians, the fall of Bill Cosby, the first African-American President, and in racist reaction, the ascendance of a bigoted, ignorant, fascist as Republican Presidential front runner – given further consideration, perhaps it’s best to linger even longer within those protective walls. Enjoy your Spam and powdered milk and like a groundhog with agoraphobia, never emerge again.

As for yours truly, the party-pooping, clearly miserable sot that I am, my yearning for the yule endures unabated for, once again, the oft-elusive Christmas spirit continues unfelt and unrealized, but hopeful exultation of Christmas 2015 remains. Yes, even at this turn of a new year, I stay anxiously awaiting the arrival of the essence of Edmund Gwenn (or Sebastian Cabot or Richard Attenborough, should you prefer one of the unnecessary remakes) and the heralded, holiday sentiment of Herald Square. It may be a too late and ultimately lost cause, but still I persevere, enjoying the choral sounds of the Mormons in their Tabernacle, the youthful pop/rock of Darlene Love and Ronnie Spector, and the tuneful dreams of Bing’s White Christmas in an era when climate change has rendered my city, New York, a tropical winter getaway.

With this seasonal struggle in mind, I leave you with a rewrite of a Christmas classic, from Mame, Jerry Herman’s “We Need a Little Christmas.” No need to alert Mr. Herman, he seems like such a nice man, why break his heart, especially around the holidays?

I Need a Lot of Christmas

Malls decked out jolly
Though, every other store is shutting down again.
Work’s melancholy,
The Christmas party’s cancelled, faces frown again, now.

So, I need a lot of Christmas
It hasn’t come real near me,
Perhaps a mug of gluwein,
Can anyone here, hear me?

Cause, I need a lot of Christmas
Apparently it fears me.
No drummer boy’s been drumming,
If I’m lucky coal is coming.

I’ve spruced up the spruce tree,
Hung my cat’s stocking on the mantle ledge again.
He felled that spruce tree,
Now both our nerves are set right on the edge again now.

So, I need some kind assistance,
My spirit’s been persistent
It’s Scrooge-like in resistance
At least I’ve been consistent.
And, has anyone a tissue?
The angel on my shoulder,
Has a bladder issue, now.

Thanks for the Dunkin gift card
The book by Sarah Palin,
In wrapping I used last year
    Just what were you inhalin’? 

At least we’ve got the New Year
Here to disappoint us
We need a lot of Christmas now.

And now, enjoy Johnny Mathis’ proper performance of the yuletide standard.

Any comments, questions, criticisms, candid confessions, cash contributions? Contact me at butchersaprons@mail.com.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

And Above All the Bustle, You’ll Hear…

Christmas in the City

“… the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts” – Charles Dickens

Festive friends, partying pals, and caroling compadres, it’s time again for the traditional “… and several butcher’s aprons” yearly Christmas spectacular, a yuletide institution for well over 365 and a quarter days (props to you, Leap Year babies.)  And, much like the arrival of my Christmas cards, Bristol Palin, or Hillary at a debate after a bathroom break, this posting is late.  Johnny Grant, Santa, Andy, Bing and Perry have all packed it in for the season, while nycityman is still just searching for last year’s leftover wrapping paper.

As of late, being a critical chronicler of our culture and of our times, this blog may have been a little heavy on the negativity and gloom and doom. Of course, when one’s television becomes a 24/7 Donald Trump propaganda reality show, with hate-filled political gatherings reminiscent of the 1934 Nuremberg Rally, it is easy to be alarmed, angry and apprehensive; and also easy to argue that those are indeed the proper and rational reactions of any decent creature who has mastered the skill of walking upright and the manipulation of opposable thumbs.  But, even those post-Nuremberg warring factions would take a brief breather on December 25th for a little reminder of the humanity and brotherhood that hopefully exists somewhere within all of us.  And, who would I be to behave less civilized than an active member of the Third Reich? So, for the present, let’s push all political peevishness and partisanship aside and bask in the glow of gluwein, tannenbaums, holly and ivy, and reruns of scantily clad Mitzi Gaynor Christmas specials (for clarification, that would be Mitzi scantily clad, not the specials themselves.)

Readers, to whom I am indescribably grateful, (even my over-used and abused thesaurus tool was of no assistance), as my Christmas present,  I spare you the usual verbosity and instead share a soupcon of seasonal snapshots - a few, an invitation to join me in celebration of the beloved and quaint little Christmas village I call home, New York City; and others, playfully presenting a slightly dark view of holiday symbols.  I also share my thanks and my sincere wishes for a healthy and harmonious holiday and, in return, happily accept any form of seasonal greeting you might wish to impart - be it Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah,  Cordial Kwaanza or even the cursed, devilishly non-committal  and generic, Happy Holidays. I may be stupid, but I’m not that stupid.

Any comments, questions, criticisms, candid confessions, cash contributions?  Contact me at butchersaprons@mail.com.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Undone – a Poem of Political Savagery

“Narcisissma, Narcisissma has no pride or delusions,
Delusions, delusions make me turn my face
But Narcisissma let's me find my place.” – Don McLean

The Republican race to occupy the oval office has descended into sheer racist and xenophobia fueled madness and insanity; the ringmaster of this cynical circus, this dangerous and purposely treacherous recklessness and irrationality, is, of course, that egotistical creator of his own mythology and legend, a man who never saw a selfie he didn’t like,  resident of the gaudiest, tackiest and biggest bordello on the celebrated isle of Manhattan, Donald J. Trump.

As this serial draft-dodger, maven of Chapter 11, minimally successful businessman  finds further fame in winning the minds and hearts of the mindless and heartless - the ignorant, illiterate and intolerant who now dominate the base of the GOP - with his patented brand of self-serving, narcissistic, hate and lie-based ideology, we find our nation (almost half of it, anyway) willingly succumbing to the lure of fascism as a simplistic cure-all for the complex problems that they can neither identify nor understand.  But, in lieu of education, intellectual curiosity or genuine knowledge of history or facts (after all, reading is hard!) these anti-American, unpatriotic and illiberal lemmings  embrace the falsehoods, act upon their animosity (while not truly grasping why) and revile those of different backgrounds, beliefs and skin tones, exactly as they are directed to.

In a field that has counted among its members Pat Buchanan, George Wallace and KKK Grand Wizard, David Duke, Donald Trump is (hmm, now how can I express this with some subtlety and nuance?) the scummiest, worst piece of human garbage and waste of life that has ever pursued the coveted title of Commander in Chief. But, while Trump is definitively the most nauseating and repulsive candidate among the 744 on the GOP side of the ledger, we suffer from the fact that he so leads in the polling, and is so admired and envied by the rest, that many have hopped on the Trump hayride of hate with hopes of riding his coattails to a vile and vitriolic victory. 

And so, to the comb-over king and his fawning, covetous wannabes and minions, some verse in your dubious dishonor.


The guilty hide behind sick jokes
That place the blame on purer folks
And clear their consciences from yokes
Of duty.

The gilded man, false locks askew
In the looking glass crows, "I love you"
Lacking self-awareness and virtue
Or beauty

His cobwebbed Bible shares a sign
In passages just underlined
Of further trouble for those maligned
And hurting

The middle swallowed by the fringe
A once great land becomes unhinged
The Betsy Ross flies battle-singed

So, this race is lost before its run
No matter who’s the winning one
The savagery has just begun
As we genuflect before the gun
In a civilization come undone.

“Narcisissma, Narcisissma loves to thrill and delight me,
Delight me, delight me and I'll never quit
'Cause Narcisissma knows just where I fit.”

Any comments, questions, criticisms, candid confessions, cash contributions?  Contact me at butchersaprons@mail.com.