American Elephants


For your Christmas Viewing Pleasure… by American Elephant

Remember back when TV didn’t suck? Yeah, neither do I.

BUT, these first two videos had me briefly believing that such a time existed — then I remembered the third video.

The first is from my new favorite (old) show. I didn’t even discover Good Neighbors (alternately titled The Good Life) until a few years ago. It’s a show about a couple, the Goods, who drop out of the rat-race to live a simpler, self-sustaining life. (Don’t worry, it’s not a preachy environmental show at all) while their neighbors and friends maintain their affluent ways.

This is their Christmas show from 1977. The characters will charm your socks off, and you will probably end up watching the entire series as I have. Each show is less than half an hour and all are also available to view instantly, in much better quality, on Netflix. But YouTube works just fine, if you dont mind the show being split into three parts. See parts 2 and 3 here.

The second video is one you may remember. Schmaltzy tear-jerker, as Little House on the Prairie so often was. Warm, fuzzy family-viewing from back before networks had altogether eradicated Christ from Christmas in favor of Santa Claus. Here’s part one, the rest can be viewed here.

And the third video is one that I saw for the first time since 1978 last year. I remember seeing it then. I was nine years old and a GINORMOUS Star Wars fan. Even so, I think I remember thinking how bad this was even then. If you have not seen the Star Wars Christmas Special, you must. It truly is must-see-TV because watching is the only way to appreciate how utterly dreadful it is. Chewbacca’s wife and kids? Princess Leia singing, and what Star Wars Christmas Special could be complete without appearances by Harvey Korman, Jefferson Starship, Dianne Carol and Bea Arthur dancing with Greedo?

Ugh.

In all sincerity, this may very well be the worst thing ever broadcast in any format at any time. George Lucas has said he wishes he could hunt down and destroy every last copy. I wish he would.

WordPress wont allow us to imbed Google videos, so you can watch it here. So painfully, uncomfortably bad, it’s hardly to be believed. And isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

Merry Christmas!



O Holy Night by American Elephant
December 24, 2010, 2:46 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , ,

I hope to stop in more throughout the day, but in case you don’t, I know my fellow elephants join me in wishing you and yours the very Merriest of Christmases! And Joy to the World!



Buon Natale by American Elephant
December 21, 2010, 9:50 am
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

Nat King Cole, believe it or not, sings more than just The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire). This is one of my favorites, because unlike that other, you don’t hear it every time you turn around, and besides, it’s just fun.



Snow! by American Elephant
December 19, 2010, 9:57 pm
Filed under: Movies, Music | Tags: , , ,

I have snow on the brain as I watch other parts of the country, and world, being covered in blankets of beautiful white just in time for Christmas. We still don’t have any here, and so far the weather report suggests we won’t get any until two days after Christmas.

So some carols and songs that have more to do with snow than Christmas are buzzing around my brain. The first is Snow from the movie musical White Christmas, starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen. The second is also titled Snow, but a very different song by the French songstress Claudine Longet.

What about you? Are you going to have a white Christmas?



My Favorite Things by American Elephant
December 19, 2010, 12:50 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , ,

Nobody beats the original by Julie Andrews from the Sound of Music, but one of my favorite things is Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass’ Christmas Album. We grew up with it, and last year I found this rare footage on YouTube. The whole album is a classic; one that everyone should have.



Old Toy Trains by American Elephant
December 16, 2010, 7:31 am
Filed under: Music, Politics | Tags: ,

Like I said, my tastes in Christmas music are all over the map. First choral, then jazz, now country — and who knows what next. I like an eclectic mix. Now, I’m generally not very big on much country music — nothing wrong with it, it just isn’t usually my thing — but that means when I DO like a country song, you know it’s gotta be a good one. And so this is.

Old Toy Trains was, I believe, first introduced by Roger Miller back sometime in the late 1960’s and has since become a standard covered by many — but my favorite by far is this deep, cozy version by Toby Keith from the compilation CD, A Country Christmas. All the nostalgia of childhood Christmas wrapped up in one comfortable old song.

I liked it so much the first year I heard it, that I dragged out the old HO and set it up around the Christmas tree. *I* thought it was charming and watched it circle underneath the twinkling lights for hours; no one else seemed to even notice.

Then again, mine was no where near as cool as this guy’s. Now, THAT’s cool!



Snowbound by American Elephant
December 13, 2010, 8:36 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , ,

A beautiful soundtrack for those of you snowed-in back east and in the Midwest. Build a fire, or if you don’t have a fireplace, put one on your monitor, burrow down under your favorite blanket, and kick back and enjoy the gorgeous, sultry song stylings of the incomparable Sarah Vaughan as you watch the snow drift down. A nice steamy cup of creamy hot cocoa never hurts either.




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