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St. Nick's Flicks

You Can Expect to See Over the Holidays

By De Witt

With Christmas comes mass insanity. As Yuletide approaches, hordes of hatchet-happy entreprenuers harvest huge profits by denuding evergreen forests and selling the young saplings to full-grown saps, who in turn stand the trees up in their living rooms, spend hours decorating them and throw their beloved tannenbaums out within the month. Parents who normally admonish their children to shy away from gift-bearing strangers now push their progeny to encourage the pedophilic fantasies of unshaven, porcine figures dressed in red jumpsuits and jackboots.

Peaceful neighborhoods are terrorized by roving youth bands who shake down the local populace by singing to them. And perhaps the most shocking Christmas season excesses are committed by those normally civilized individuals who fanatically insist on ruining good liquor by lacing it with homebrewed, egg-based ulcer remedies as a means of putting themselves in the proper Christmas spirit. Or vice-versa.

There is, of course, a method to all this madness. The determined denial of reality is designed to curb our frustration by giving us a glimpse of the millenium, in which man will live harmoniously with nature, children will no longer be molested, street gangs will devote themselves exclusively to good works and the joys of polyphony, and alcohol will soothe the stomach as well as the brain. The trains will even run on time.

Holywood, which has served for over half a century as America's national fantasy factory, has long been involved in promoting the Christmas myth. From Miracle on 34th Street to Mr. Magoo's Christmas Special, the film industry has churned out dozens of reels of celluloid purveying the Christmas message. Occasionally a heretic has arisen to challenge such Christmas-mongering, as when Chico Marx courageously asserted in A Night at the Opera, "You no can fool me. There ain't no Sanity Clause." But alas, such prophets have not been honored in their own country, and it is a sure bet that America's movie houses and T.V. networks will be screening some or all of the following flicks this Christmas season.

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