While searching for the pickle in the tree and refusing to acknowledge any Clintons that aren’t George, Sanders that aren’t Barry and Trumps that aren’t playing cards, spare a thought to a film still struggling to validate its identity. In a recent poll, the greatest Christmas movie ever was deemed to not be a Christmas movie at all. The tragedy here is clear: it’s time to recognize the holiday overtones of the robbery at Nakatomi Plaza because Die Hard is a Christmas movieº.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you and yours. Josh Smith received a most pleasant Christmas gift in being cut by Detroit only to end up in Houston next to former AAU teammate Dwight Howard and the rest of the gunning Rockets. Skeptics attribute Smith’s exit to playing out of his comfort zone and generally treating the rim with disdain, to which he says, “Whatever.” Elsewhere, the NBA Christmas Day slate proved to be underwhelming, and some guy on Twitter drove 50 minutes to defend Russell Westbrook, or what’s left of Kobe’s honor, or something.
Christmas is traditionally a time for family, gift-giving and eggnog guzzling. But not my Christmas. Not this year. With an exceptional slate of NBA games, featuring the league’s most eligible bachelorettes noteworthy franchises, this was the type of day when you fake some indigestion and sneak away to watch some basketball.
If only I was so lucky.
I had only suffered through a sloppy first half between the Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls before the arrival of my little cousin, who came wielding his favorite Christmas gift. A DVD of the classical musical, Annie.
How do you say no to a little kid who wants to spend his Christmas watching his new favorite movie? I’m no Grinch, so I surrendered the television and my grand basketball-watching plans to my cousin.
Rather than obsessing over transition offenses, I spent my Christmas engrossed in show tunes. As the old saying goes, the best laid plans of mice and men usually end in watching a musical about orphans.
But this doesn’t mean I didn’t follow the games or miss out on the ugly sweater party the NBA tried to pass off as holiday uniforms. While I’ll still be breaking down the best and worst from the Christmas day games, in honor of my cousin, this installment will be Annie-themed.
Enjoy, and happy holidays!
In the interest of full disclosure, here is a somewhat abridged account of my relationship with the Avett Brothers as a musical entity: one night in the autumn of 2008, when I was probably seventeen years old and a junior in high school, I was riding in the backseat of my friend Carrie’s blue Jeep with two of my other good friends, Justin and Morgan, around the streets and highways of South Carolina. Cycling through the tracks on a mixed CD and/or the shuffle function on her iPod (I can’t remember for certain, but I know there was a huge collection of CDs in that automobile), she landed on something that was new and exciting to me but which had become, to my admittedly much cooler friends, something of a way of life. This was the first time I heard the opening strums of “Die Die Die,” the first song on the 2007 album Emotionalism, and it tore up every Hendrix-laden notion of my personal preferences at the time. Bruce Springsteen once said of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” that it “sounded like somebody kicked open the door to your mind.” In the context of my own teenage taste, the same explosion happened in that Jeep.