Christmas Songs That Should Be Banned.

First of all, we need to stop calling them “Christmas” songs. Despite being about the Christmas, it ignores the other yearend celebrations and shows bias toward this blatantly Christian holiday. I suggest  “Popular Non-Religious,” “Holiday,” or “Winter Solstice” songs. To my knowledge, nobody has any objections to “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem (unless it has to do with contested borders or population counts in zero BC and what constitutes a “little town” … ie does that make it a “village?”)

434px-MerryOldSanta

WDOK radio in Ohio, USA, started this debate by deciding to pull “Baby it’s Cold Outside” from its playlist because a listener was offended by the lyric “say, what’s in this drink?” It could be nutmeg, but we should assume it is some type of drug, especially in the version where a woman is singing to a man.

Another writer, I’m not sure of the source, has begun a list of other songs of the season that should also be banned from the airways or if not, whenever you hear them you should put a finger in each ear and very loudly say “na na na na na na na” until the tune is over.

Here is what he/she suggested (with some editing by me) of which songs should be banned and why…

1. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus: Exposes a young child to adultery and PDA
2. The Christmas Song: “Folks dressed up like Eskimos?” Stereotyping Native Americans and making fun of their traditional clothing.
3. Holly Jolly Christmas: “Kiss her once for me?” Promotes unwanted advances
4. Santa Claus is Coming to Town: “Sees you when you’re sleeping? Knows when you’re awake?” The entire song encourages becoming a peeping tom and a stalker
5. Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Demands you “be of good cheer.” What about my right to be depressed during the holidays?
6. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Another sad tale of bullying in school with no punishment for the offenders.
7. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas: Forced gender-specific gifts: dolls for Janice and Jen and boots and pistols for Barney and Ben. Why should Janice be denied an uzi for home defense if she really wants one?
8. Santa Baby: Paints a sexist picture of a woman as a gold digger and “Come and trim my Christmas tree” lyric…we all know what she is really suggesting.
9. Frosty the Snowman: Sexist…should be Frosty the “Snowperson.”
10. Do You Hear What I Hear?: totally ignores the deaf community
11. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas: “Make the yuletide gay?” Just because this time of year we like to dress up, decorate, and host fabulous parties…there is no need for labels…and they repeat it several times.
12. Jingle Bell Rock: “Giddy-up jingle horse, pick up your feet Jingle around the clock” Animal abuse!!!…forcing this poor horse to run for 24 hours without rest or food and in winter, yet. “Rocking around the Chrismas Tree?” Very dangerous and gets the kids all riled up when they are already too excited.
13. Winter Wonderland: Parson Brown asking if they are married…what business is it of his?  Invasion of your personal space. And “We’ll have lots of fun with mister snowman until the other kids knock him down.” Vandalism!

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Maybe if we changed the lyrics of these songs to more politically correct verbiage they would be more acceptable (and many more…probably all of them… need to be rewritten to the new standards).

Or we could just stop listening to popular Christmas songs and turn to Gregorian chants in Latin so we can’t understand the lyrics.

Or we could stop whining, evaluating, and assuming every word is sinister and just enjoy the music as we sit by the open fire (hopefully in a safe firepit on a non-windy day), roasting our chestnuts (is that dirty?), and toasting the new year (which has to be better than 2018) while enjoying our Hanukkah bush, Kwanzaa candles, and Christmas wreath, after donning our gay apparel (blame Deck the Halls).

In closing, Happy Holidays, May the Force Be With You, and finally, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

Ten things for which I am thankful 2018

As we approach Thanksgiving In this crazy modern world (and I know it is primarily an American holiday), I harken back to my youth, growing up in the 50’s a simpler, more peaceful, probably less informed time without the Internet, fake news, daily messages of violence, political/racial/religious hate, opinionated news media, constant war somewhere in the world, mass killings.

But were the 1950s really that great? Did we truly live a Norman Rockwell existence? There were the McCarthy hearings blackballing creative Hollywood “communists.” The cold war froze relationships between Russia and the USA. We lived in constant fear of nuclear war that would obliterate mankind, practiced hiding under our desks at school, built fallout shelters, and every day at noon and midnight the B-52s with those nuclear bombs inside took off from a nearby airbase rattling the dishes in our cupboard. We lived at ground zero.

Every decade has its ups and downs. Low points that everyone remembers and regrets, like Vietnam in the 60s for me and the military draft that could mean dying before you were old enough to drink, anti-war protests, Kennedy’s assassination.

But every Thanksgiving we would try to pause and reflect on the positive things in our lives for which we are grateful.  The 50s were a breather from the terrors of WWII, a time of unlocked doors, the birth of television, great prosperity, baby boomers, hot rods, flat tops, and sock hops. The 60’s were a time of discovery, race into space, the Beatles, personal freedom…the right to protest, challenge the status quo, free love, Hair. The 70’s brought us Punk Rock, Disney World, end of the Vietnam War, Deep Throat, the Godfather, Secretariat, Saturday Night Live, Elton John. The 80’s introduced personal computers, big hair bands, etc. You get the idea.

Today’s challenge…name ten things you are grateful for in 2018 (in the comments section). Could be big things that impacted the world or just your corner of it. Must be positive, not “I’m glad Hilary lost the election.”  Here is my list:

  1. My wife discovered cancer early and doctors were able to remove, leaving her cancer-free.
  2. My wife and I are finally seeing success in losing weight and keeping it off.
  3. Both our son and daughter found true love and got married this year. Both ceremonies went off without a hitch.
  4. We remain in remain in relatively good health and physically active, especially compared to many friends our age.
  5. We are retired and do not have to get up in the morning until we choose to do so (or to let the dog out).
  6. We are, at the moment, financially secure with a nice home in a nice neighborhood.
  7. I am free to pursue my “hobbies” of acting, music, and writing. This has been a good year for all three and I’ve even made a little money doing it.
  8. We bought our first new (used) car in fourteen years and got a hell of a deal.
  9. Because of the weddings, I got to see my brother and his family for the first time in five years; and my sister for the first time in 11 years.
  10. Thankful for those whose homes and lives were spared in this year’s California wildfires.

Happy Thanksgiving!

What’s On My Bookshelf

woman reading harry potter book
Photo by Dids on Pexels.com

I saw this on Naty’s Bookshelf and it looked like fun. Here’s what this tag is all about… looking on your bookshelf and choosing a book which fits each category.

Rules:

  • Link back to Naty’s blog site so she can see everyone’s answers
  • Link back to the person who tagged you
  • Name one book for each category; try not to repeat books
  • Tag at least 5 people

A library book

Ashamed to say I haven’t been to a library in years. I got lazy and either get free Kindle copies or buy them online. I did borrow a paperback copy of “The Stand” by Stephen King, the unabridged version, 1150 pages. Does that count?

A book you got as a gift

Been awhile since anyone gave me an actual book as a gift. Author friends will send me e-copies to read so I can write a review, but that’s more of a trade since they do the same for my books. Last “gift” book I can remember is “Great Political Wit,” signed by the author, Bob Dole.

A childhood book

That’s easy. My first “adult” book I got from the library & read when I was about 8 or 9, was “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” by Mark Twain.

A magical book

The Harry Potter series would be the obvious answer, but I first read the “Lord of the Rings” series in the early 70’s, including “The Hobbit” and even attempted to get through “The Silmarillion” all authored by J.R.R. Tolkien.

A romantic book

I don’t do “romantic” books or what some people call mommy porn. I do like romantic comedies in the movies, some of which might have been a book at one point, like “It Happened One Night,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “An Affair to Remember,” and “When Harry Met Sally,” all of which I own on DVD.

A steamy book

“Tom Jones” the story of a foundling by Henry Fielding. This was also a fun movie starring Albert Finney. Rent it and check out the eating scene–erotic and gross at the same time!

An old book

I love the classics and have several on my shelf, some first editions: “Tarzan the Terrible” by Edgar Rice Burrows, “Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemmingway (I have his autograph!), “Great Expectations” and “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens, and “The Count of Monte Christo” by Alexander Dumas.

A book that makes you laugh

“When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops” by George Carlin is a killer.

A book that makes you emotional

Any book that costs over $10 makes me cry unless it’s one of mine on a 60/40 split.

A book whose ending you dislike

I’ve tried to read quite a few of the free monthly books that you get with Amazon Prime, and several I couldn’t even get to the end to see if I disliked it, because I already disliked the beginning and the middle. I’ll list no names because it’s not that easy to write a good book that everybody loves.

A book you wish had illustrations

“The Complete Kama Sutra” by Alain Danielou.

A book or genre you love reading when it’s raining

Well…since it never rains in southern California so I wouldn’t get to read any books very often, so I’ll just share my favorite genres…Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, and Thrillers…really anything with a lot of action, good characters, and intriguing storyline.

I tag…

https://littleblindbookfinds.wordpress.com/2018/07/28/whats-on-my-bookshelf-tag/

https://notsomoderngirl.wordpress.com

https://mariesbookboutique.wordpress.com

@jordanpeterswrites

thebrunettebookwormblog

 

 

Menehune Twins – “Day at the Beach”

 

I’ve never done this before, my friends (no, not that), but I need your help/opinion. I have drafted a children’s story to be read by parents to kids age 6 and under as a fun, exotic adventure to amuse the little ankle bitters and maybe share interesting facts and stories about a mix between an ancient Hawaiian legend and a Road Runner cartoon. I would compare this story to the popular children’s book, “But, No Elephants” (although I have been delusional before). I have no one to illustrate the story yet, so fill in with your imagination.

What I need from you is an honest opinion (You are my writers’ feedback group):

  1. Is it an interesting story kids would enjoy hearing?
  2. Does it in any way insult, denigrate, or appear offensive to the Hawaiian people or their culture?

Okay, enough setup here’s the story…

The Menehune Twins

“Day at the Beach”

by Rich Allan

Jake Menehune woke early, leaned over from his top bunk, and yelled at his six-year-old twin sister, Jessie. “Wake up sleepy head. It’s Saturday morning.”

“I’m already awake, goofball,” she said, standing on her bed, pushing up with both hands, launching her brother’s tiny body in a high arc where he bounced off the ceiling, landed on the overhead fan, swung around until he got dizzy, laughing like crazy, shouting “Whee-e-e!” before falling to the floor.

He stood up, shook his head and checked over his body. “Head okay, arms okay, fingers okay, chest okay, legs okay, feet okay, toes okay…” He looked over his shoulder and said, “Uh-Oh, no-o-o-o butt.”

Jessie Menehune giggled as she watched Jake hold his nose, stick his thumb in his mouth, and blow hard enough until his flattened butt popped out to its normal bubble shape.

The twins, shoulder to shoulder, rushed the three-foot round opening to their room, barely squeezing through at the same time. They then raced out to the water-filled Kikiaola ditch in front of their home and in perfect sync, leaped into the air and splashed down in matching cannonballs. Dunking their head and body in the cool water, they rinsed off, climbed out and shook off the excess water like a dog who has just finished a bath.

Mother Kiana called from the kitchen, “Breakfast!”

Arriving at the table, Father Kane sat in front of a stalk of apple bananas. “Dig in, kids!” he said. Jake and Jessie climbed up into their chairs and started stuffing the bananas into their mouths…skin and all! Mother Kiana smiled, sat down and joined in the feast.

Some important information about the Menehune…who are a bit different than you and me. They are little people, only three feet tall when fully grown, living in the Hawaiian Islands, mainly on the island of Kauai. They are busy, happy people, building dams, ditches, fish ponds and stone temples.

Not only are Menehune small and magical, they are good at hiding, living in out of the way places and rarely seen by full-sized folks. They love to dance, sing, cliff-dive and shoot their little bows and arrows. Some say one arrow can change an angry man’s heart to love.

Oh, they are full of mischief, especially with the other islanders, like moving things around when people aren’t looking and trading lava rocks for necessities.

The Menehune wear only a loin cloth, although some of the older folks have flip-flops. On special occasions, the women put on colorful feathered Hawaiian headbands and the men may grow mustaches or beards. They cover up when they sleep with their thick, black, waist-long, curly hair or when the trade winds turn chilly.

Nobody knows how long the Menehune live, but the twins’ grandfather, Kamaka, recently celebrated his 200th birthday. As the Menehune grow older they tend to grow a pot belly, their hair turns gray and is reduced to a strip on the crown of their heads and fringe over each ear.

Now back to our story…

After they finished off all the bananas, Mother Kiana said, “Today, we are going to the beach.”

“Right,” said Father Kane, “…and we are stopping by the fish pond on the way back to gather more food before the winter monsoons.”

“Can we go cliff diving, father?” asked Jake Menehune.

“And swim in the ocean?” said Jessie Menehune.

“Yes,” said Mother Kiana, “but only if the waves aren’t too big or the cliff too high.”

“YAY!!” The twins shouted.

(Remember,  Jake and Jessie are only 18 inches tall, so what seems like a small ocean ripple is a giant wave to them and jumping off a five-foot pile of rocks would be so scary!)

The Kane and Kiana Menehune family live on Kauai with twelve other extended Menehune families deep in the forest near Nawiliwili Harbor and the Alekoko fish pond. Because they are so small, today’s trip to the beach will take them a long time, even though it isn’t that far.

When they reached the shore, Jake and Jessie were tired but excited. The waves appeared mild, so with Mother’s approval, Jessie threw off her loin cloth, ran across the sand, and plunged into the ocean, with brother Jake close behind.

Mother and Father watched as the twins body surfed and paddled about in the blue water inside the protected reef.

When Jake first spotted ‘Opelu Mama or what most Hawaiians call The Great Barracuda, he shouted “Kaku” to his sister. They immediately started swimming as fast as they could toward the shore with the silver submarine-shaped fish with two rows of razor sharp teeth close behind.

“Swim, kids, swim!” yelled Father.

“Snap,” the barracuda bit down. “Snap” the barracuda stuck a second time.

The twins flew out of the surf, big grins on their faces, landing with a thud on the sand. They looked at each other, shook off the sea water, and in unison said, “Let’s do it again!” followed by “Head okay, arms okay, fingers okay, chest okay, legs okay, feet okay, toes okay…” Looking behind, they smiled…”Uh-Oh, no-o-o-o butt.”

Jake and Jessie giggled as they held their nose, put their thumb in their mouth, and blew hard enough until magically their bit off butt resumed its normal shape.

Kane and Kiana Menehune chuckled and Mother said, “Well that’s enough fun at the beach for one day, let’s go to the fish pond.”

Arriving, Father Kane said with some pride, “Legend has it our ancestors overnight built the Alekoko fish pond over 1000 years ago by passing stones hand-by-hand from the village of Makaweli, 25 miles away, and damming up the Hulei’a Stream with a 900-foot long by five-feet high lava rock wall, so the Menehune people would never go hungry.”

Father then pulled a lasso from his pocket and looking deep into the clear water spied a thirty-inch Ono just below the surface. Carefully dropping the loop down, he slipped it over the fish’s head until the strong fiber caught on the top dorsal fin, and then Kane jumped on the back of the Ono and pulled the loop tight.

“Ride ’em, Daddy,” said Jake, as the startled fish took off at full speed. The Kane Menehune family cheered him on as he tightened the loop to keep the Ono from doing a deep dive. The fight between Father and fish went on for so long, the twins got bored and asked if they could do at least one jump while they waited and Mother agreed.

Jake and Jessie climbed the nearby giant pile of rocks and stared down at the pond far below. Father was still racing back and forth across the five-acre pond, but the Ono appeared to be tiring.

“Ready?” Jake asked his sister.

“Ready,” said Jessie.

The twins joined hands and leaped off the rocks aiming for the pond. Unfortunately, they lost their grip with Jake reaching the water, but Jessie falling short, bouncing across the stone rocks until she finally skidded to a halt.

Jake watched as Jessie got up, shook herself off and announced, “Head okay, arms okay, fingers okay, chest okay, legs okay, feet okay, toes okay…but, Uh-Oh, no-o-o-o butt.” She grinned, held her nose, blew hard on her thumb and returned to her normal self.

Meanwhile, Kane Menehune was making one final run across the fish pond aiming for the stone wall, waiting until the very last moment to pull up hard on the lasso, causing the fish to clear the edge and flop onto the bank.

The family joined together to lift the large fish onto a skateboard, a useful tool the Menehune village had acquired for this very purpose from nearby Lihue by trading lava rocks for it (at night and unseen, of course).

Once loaded, the family rolled their Father’s catch all the way back home, safely arriving as the sun set with enough food to last them through the winter.

The twins, Jake and Jessie, exhausted, fell asleep in their daddy’s arms, as Father Kane Menehune carried them to their room and tucked them into bed, the day’s adventure complete.

–The End–

Looking forward to your slings and arrows….Rich Allan