Good things about 2005
It brings us further and further away from Nov. 17, 1978, when CBS aired the Star Wars Holiday Special.
If the blog seems a little, uh, not good for the next few days, it's because I incurred some brain damage last night. For reasons I can no longer remember, I allowed myself to watch this monstrosity for the longest two hours I've ever experienced. It was a DVD of an early home VCR recording, and the best part was by far the terrible, terrible commercials.
Veritably the last stand of American manufacturing, they gave us a chorus of singing International Ladies Garment Workers Union singers, a comparison of American Bald Eagles and Whirlpool machines, and notably unintegrated GM and Ford unionists. An elderly woman in a rocking chair seemed to exult in, and then demonstrate
, the strength of her apparently dead husband's immense Fruit of the Loom briefs, while men dressed as grapes and bananas fawned on her. A priceless newsbreak informed viewers that Brezhnev had announced the testing of a Soviet neutron bomb
, and the conviction of former CIA employee William Kampiles
for espionage and selling secrets to the Russians.
This was all infinitely preferable to Wookie porn, Wookie gameboys, Wookie/Art Carney-in-Drag cooking shows, and much, much worse. You can read a Salon essay describing the Holiday special here
Quote from a fellow audience member: I can't believe this was the world my parents chose to bring me into.
The experience has given me a greater appreciation of pretty much every other piece of moving image I have ever seen, and ever will see. Who knew that so many people had so much cinematic talent? Like the Count of Monte Cristo, I did not fully appreciate the joys of film until I had plunged into its deepest nadir. For everything I see after this, I can be at least a little grateful.
: SKot Kirkword has an inexplicably thorough and fond website devoted to the "Special" here