Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas, by Lewis Black

(hb; 2010: non-fiction)

From the inside flap:

"Have yourself a merry little Christmas?

"Not on your life.

"Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace on earth and goodwill toward all. But not for Lewis Black.

"He says humbug to the Christmas traditions and trappings that make the holiday memorable. In. . . I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas. . . Lewis lets loose on all things Yule. It's a very personal look at what's wrong with Christmas, seen through [Black's] eyes. . .

"From his own Christmas rituals -- which have absolutely nothing to do with presents or the Christmas tree or Rudolph -- to his own eccentric experiences with the holiday (from a USO Christmas tour to playing Santa Claus in full regalia), I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas is classic Lewis Black: funny, razor-sharp, insightful, and honest.

"You'll never think of Christmas the same way again."


Black's take on Christmas is less blasphemous than one might expect, given his public persona and other books. Oh sure, there's clever digs and mild sacrilegious statements about "traditional" Christmas beliefs and American society, but Black's trademark outrage is often tempered by thoughtful, humble maturity.

I related strongly to this book, in my own way (for the sake of brevity, let's just say that the bombast, commercialism and hypocrisy of the "holiday season" has made me a non-believer, on so many levels).

Black's closing chapter about his USO comedy tours is a touching, non-sentimental tribute to our troops, currently mired in two money-hemorrhaging wars.

Black Christmas is a pointed, hilarious and relatable book. Worth checking out, this.


Nessa said...

I like his take on things. Christmas is not a celebration of anything but the almighty dollar. Oh, by the way, there is no mention of Christmas until Santa arrives in the Thanksgiving Day parade. Just thought you should know the rules.

KB said...

Bah hum bug. I know Christmas is all hype and has lost meaning for many but I love it still. The book does sound very funny though. I'd read it.

Steve said...

@Nessa - Thanks for the "rules" info. (Now, somebody needs to tell brick n' mortar stores to stop sneaking Thanksgiving/Xmas aisles in the backs of their stores in late September, early October!)

@KB - Kudos to you for keeping faith with that "helliday" (as one of my friends half-jokingly calls it), even in this day and age. :)

hedgewitch said...

This one's on my list, along with the Autobiography of Mark Twain. Can you ask for a book lambasting Christmas for Christmas, I wonder?

budh.aaah said...

Seems like an interesting read.

Asobime said...

Well, I love the season....I HATE the commercialization. But I love the music, the colors, the scents, the sentiment (without the commericali....Oh, you know)

Winter is such a mysterious time for me. Of course, being in the Deep South, it has a different flavor than in the North..which I dearly miss.

The Winter Solstice is a delicate and brutal time....and if only we could return to a more simple preparation and view/understanding of this lovely time.

Just wishing for some snow this year. Would love it...for a few days.

Lady Nyo

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