The Sammy Claus Wish List 2014

Former President Calvin Coolidge once said that “Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” It goes without saying that we should be merciful and exhibit goodwill all year round, but hey…if you can only muster such geniality & compassion a few weeks per year then atleast that’s a start and now is the moment. At any rate, it’s time to present the 6th annual Sammy Claus Wish List. Let me remind you that, in my limited role as tree02Sammy Claus, I wield no genuine authority to bequeath these gifts. My job is to make suggestions and hope that the Jolly Old Elf up at the North Pole is a citizen of The Manoverse and deems it appropriate to fill folks’ stockings as I have proposed. In the previous five years we have actually had quite a bit of success. The original list in 2009 hoped that John & Kate and Heidi & Spencer would go away. The fact that many of you are now asking “Who are they??” is evidence of our achievement. In 2010 we requested a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. That new stadium is now under construction and set to open in 2016. That same year we asked for a college football playoff and for Time-Warner Cable to offer the NFL Network. Done and done. In 2012 we wished for the return of Twinkies, Ho-Ho’s, & other delicious snacks that went away when Hostess imploded. Those treats are indeed back on the shelves at your local supermarket. We also hoped for the extinguishing of The Big East in 2012, and not long after that the football conference shut down. Now only a revised and still pretty decent basketball conference (the original idea anyway) remains. Last year we yearned for a new NASCAR champion and we got one. Jimmie Johnson made The Chase but was eliminated. Bob Hope once stated that ““when we recall Christmas past we usually find that the simplest things…not the great occasions…give off the greatest glow of happiness.” Seeing the gifts on this list bestowed in real life makes me happy. Cheerful reading, and may this Christmas season find you blessed & healthy.

 

 

 

The White House
extra sprinklers & fire extinguishers while the current President continues to set fire to the U.S. Constitutioncon1

 

iTunes Users
another free U2 album…whether you want it or not

 

Officer Darren Wilson
peace, safety, & a new job in a better town

 

Star Wars Fansswars
a new hope as The Force awakens

 

Former U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
A happy retirement. Good riddance you old out-of-touch carpetbagger.

 

Fans of Frozen
the wherewithal to let it go

 

Janay Palmer Rice
self-respect, strength, & the courage to eventually walk awayjp

 

Jimmy Fallon
the ability to focus on his guests instead of indulging his own narcissism

 

College Football
a fair, logical, & transparent playoff system

 

The White House
an extra powerful vacuum to clean up as the current President shreds the U.S. Constitutioncon3

 

Former UAB Football Players & Staff
a new home & success in whatever is next

 

Bill Cosby & His Alleged Victims
the truth…one way or another

 

Donald Sterling
tickets to a rap concertsterling2

 

American Schoolchildren
a return to fulfilling & appetizing meals for lunch

 

Kim Kardashian
a pair of pants (size XL)

 

ESPN
more sports, less sociopolitical commentary & obvious bias

 

David Letterman
A happy retirement. You were brilliant for two decades. I’m so sorry you became a weary & bitter old man.letterman

 

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
to be trapped in an elevator with Ray Rice

 

John Travolta
reading glasses

 

The White House
extra toilet paper & air freshener while the current President continues to take a huge crap all over the U.S. Constitutioncon2

 

California
lower taxes & rain

 

The Pittsburgh Steelers
a new defensive backfield

 

Business Owners in Ferguson, MO
economic recoveryferguson-looting-4

 

Fans of Honey Boo Boo
books…lots of books…..

 

The View
continued irrelevance & eventual cancellation

 

Florida St. QB Jameis Winston
A short, miserable, unproductive, non-lucrative NFL career. Stupidity shouldn’t be rewarded.

 

Craig Ferguson
Happiness & success in future endeavors. I regret not discovering the hilarity of your Late Late Show until it was almost over.craigferguson_big

 

 

 

As has become tradition I shall end with a quote from the Rankin-Bass animated classic Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town:

Santa-and-Jesus“Lots of unhappiness? Maybe so. But doesn’t Santa take a little bit of that unhappiness away? Doesn’t a smile on Christmas morning scratch out a tear cried on a sadder day? Not much maybe. But what would happen if we all tried to be like Santa and learned to give as only he can give…of ourselves, our talents, our love and our hearts? Maybe we could all learn Santa’s beautiful lesson and maybe there would finally be peace on Earth and good will toward men.”

The 2013 Sammy Claus Wish List

Boys & girls, first a healthy dose of the truth. Sammy Claus has really struggled to find the Christmas spirit in 2013. There are a variety of reasons for that…..a hundred mostly insignificant things that I won’t bore the masses with. Suffice to say that I haven’t always felt the presence of God in my life lately. Now let me be clear… I have never and will never doubt the existence of God. He is real. I have just had alot of questions recently about His role in my life. As usual though it was my friend The Owl who set me on the right path by reminding me that God is in control only if we allow Him to be, and that of course is the issue…..I have not truly let God be in control of my life. That needs to change…..and it will. Maybe we’ll dive deeper into that topic some other time. Now though it is time for the 5th annual Wish List. As always I must remind you that I have no particular power to make these wishes come true and can only hope that The Jolly One himself up in The North Pole is a citizen of The Manoverse and will see fit to help things along. Enjoy…and God bless us…everyone.

_____

Obamacare ocare

repeal

_____

Jimmy Fallon fallon

much success as he takes over The Tonight Show

_____

People who “axe” a question instead of “ask” one dunce

the strength & perseverance to put away those x’s and find their s’s and k’s – I know you can do it

_____

Speaker of the House John Boehner bn

a box of tissues and some testosterone

_____

Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin Tomlin

a spot in the next cast of Dancing with the Stars

_____

Paula Deen deen

the last laugh

_____

Twitter & Facebook twfb

an “Are you sure you want to post this??” button and maybe a 10 minute waiting period

_____

NASCAR smoke

a new champion – Jimmie Johnson bores me

_____

Black Friday thanksgiving-turkey-dinner

a return to normalcy (whatever that means in regards to Black Friday) – let us have Thanksgiving back

_____

San Diego Chargers LB Manti Teo teo

a real live girlfriend

_____

Ben Affleck AffleckBatman

best of luck as the new Batman…seriously

_____

President Barack Hussein Obama & First Lady MeeShell “My Belle” Obama obama

an ounce of class

_____

Autocorrect texting

Extinction. It’s an unnecessary & faulty technology. If you don’t know how to spell you don’t need to own a smartphone.

_____

Alec Baldwin alec

anger management classes

_____

Dennis Rodman rodman

South Korean citizenship. Y’all can have him… he serves no useful purpose here.

_____

George Zimmerman zim

better decision making skills

_____

The Star Trek Franchise trek

an awesome new director now that JJ Abrams is moving on to revive Star Wars

*******************

As has become tradition I shall end with a quote from the Rankin-Bass animated classic Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town:

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p class=”MsoNormal”>“Lots of unhappiness? Maybe so. But doesn’t Santa take a little bit of that unhappiness away? Doesn’t a smile on Christmas morning scratch out a tear cried on SantaJesus764a sadder day? Not much maybe. But what would happen if we all tried to be like Santa and learned to give as only he can give…of ourselves, our talents, our love and our hearts? Maybe we could all learn Santa’s beautiful lesson and maybe there would finally be peace on Earth and good will toward men.”

Heroes & Heels…..A Summer 2013 Retrospective

Well, I guess it is officially autumn. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Pumpkins, sunshiny 50 degree days, candy corn, football, the smell of cinnamon & cloves, warm apple pie, hot vegetable soup, The World Series…it’s all good. But before we fully embrace fall & all it has to offer let us take a moment to say a fond farewell to glorious summer. You may have noticed that I have not done a Heroes & Heels since the May edition. At some point I decided it would be a good idea to wait three months and do a summer retrospective H&H combining everyone who grabbed my attention over the course of three months. Now that the time has come to deliver I’m not so sure it was such a great idea, but nevertheless we shall forge ahead. So as always these are the people…dating back to June…who I feel deserve some measure of admiration or contempt. Enjoy!!

 

 

 

 

Roy Costner IV

Mr. Costner was the 2013 valedictorian of the graduating class of Liberty High School in Liberty, South Carolina. Apparently Thumbs_upthat school district has bent over and allowed the ACLU and the heinous Freedom From Religion Foundation to push all prayer from any kind of public events. But Costner is the kind of Christian we all should aspire to be and in the midst of giving his school approved (of course) speech at the commencement ceremony he tore up his written remarks, thanked his parents for leading him to Christ at a young age, and recited The Lord’s Prayer. Sometimes it takes courage…and faith…to do the right thing.

 

Aaron Hernandez

If I have to tell you why this moron is here you must have been living in a cave for the past few months.frowny-face

 

The Supreme Court

In June The Supreme Court continued to contribute to the decaying of America by ruling that “married” gay frowny-facecouples are entitled to the same federal benefits as real (one man & one woman…like The Bible says) married couples.

 

Bill O’Reilly

O’Reilly is one of the conservative pariahs…alongside Rush Limbaugh & Sean Hannity…that liberals like Al Sharpton love to Thumbs_updemonize. But it turns out that Sharpton is a liar (shocker!!). After Sharpton twisted O’Reilly’s words one more time back in August O’Reilly responded by revealing that he had once donated $25k to one of Sharpton’s charities to buy Christmas presents and Christmas dinners for hundreds of poor people in Harlem. Oh those evil conservatives!!

 

Montia Marie Parke

Miss Parke is the complete opposite of Roy Costner IV. She is a Minnesota high school cheerleader who somehow frowny-facemanaged to force a mentally impaired classmate into prostitution. To anyone who has ever whined & cried about something called “cyberbullying”…you just need to shut up now. This is actual bullying.

 

Don Thompson

Thompson is the CEO of McDonald’s. In response to a particularly precocious 9 year old’s question a few months ago at a frowny-facepublic Q&A inquiring as to why the fast food giant “tricks kids into eating food that isn’t good for them by using toys and cartoon characters” Thompson assured the little girl that McDonald’s “doesn’t sell junk food” and trumpeted the plethora of healthy options on the menu. You know…like the Premium Southwest Chicken Salad that’s only 450 calories and 21 grams of fat.

 

Pima Community College

Terri Bennett is a nursing student. She requested that the college enforce the use of English in her classes after several of frowny-faceher labs, group studies, & clinicals were conducted in Spanish…a language in which she is not fluent. In response school administrators called Ms. Bennett a bigot and suspended her for 9 months. This college is in Arizona. One of the 50 states of the United States of America…where we speak English. Someone needs to remind the politically correct suits at this school of those things.

 

Maurkice & Mike Pouncey

Maurkice is my boy. He’s a fantastic center for my Pittsburgh Steelers. But a couple of months ago he & his twin brother frowny-face(who plays for the Miami Dolphins) pulled a bonehead move by wearing “Free Hernandez” caps in reference to their college teammate Aaron Hernandez. Sorry gentlemen…I know all about “innocent until proven guilty”, but public sentiment isn’t with you on this one and sometimes it’s best to keep your opinion to yourself.

 

Leah Remini

TV actress & talk show host Remini was one of many celebrities who got sucked into the cult of Scientology. But a couple ofThumbs_up months ago she finally wised up and ditched Tom Cruise, John Travolta, & all their weirdo buddies. Better late than never. Good for her.

 

Michael Dyson

Dyson is a sociology professor at Georgetown University and a frequent talking head on MSNBC. A few months ago, afterfrowny-face the Zimmerman verdict was announced, he made an analogy comparing how black folks felt about that whole deal to how many of us felt after 9/11. I guess it isn’t shocking that MSNBC employs such an offensive idiot, and even less astonishing that he’s a college professor.

 

Charles Dickens Primary School in Hampshire, England

Luke Blagden is a 10 year old student at the school. He was thirsty. It was a hot day. His teacher wouldn’t allow him to get a frowny-facedrink of water. Why?? Because there were a few of his Muslim classmates who were fasting for Ramadan and “it wouldn’t be fair to them” for Luke to be able to quench his thirst. And yet Christians are the ones who constantly get accused of ramming our beliefs down others’ throats. Hypocrisy at its worst.

 

Rolling Stone           

The 40 year old pop culture magazine put Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover of its August issue. I suppofrowny-facese we shouldn’t be shocked. This is the same piece of journalistic garbage that once put Charles Manson on its cover in 1970.

 

Holy Trinity School & The Diocese of San Diego

Carie Charlesworth was a 2nd grade teacher at a private school in San Diego, CA…until she was fired in April following a frowny-faceJanuary incident in which her abusive husband showed up at school and the powers-that-be put the whole place in lockdown. Ms. Charlesworth spoke out about the situation this summer. I understand that the safety of the children is one of the school officials’ primary responsibilities, but it seems very very wrong to blame a person for their spouse’s abusive behavior. And we wonder why an estimated 70% of domestic violence situations go unreported.

 

Ashton Kutcher

I’ve never been a big fan of Kutcher. He always seemed like kind of a dufus and none of the TV shows or movies he’s Thumbs_upstarred in have really frosted my cupcake. However, a few months ago he really impressed the heck out of me and probably a lot of other people when accepting a Teen Choice Award. His speech was thoughtful, genuine, & chockfull of sage advice. He told the youngsters in the audience that “opportunity looks a lot like hard work” and said that he “never had a job in my life that I was better than”. He said that “the sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart, thoughtful, and generous” and that “everything else is crap that people try to sell to you to make you feel like less so don’t buy it.” Then he wrapped up by relaying something he’d learned from late Steve Jobs which is that “everything around us that we call life was made up by people who are no smarter than you and you can build your own life that other people can live in. So build a life. Don’t live one, build one.” It may have been one of the best acceptance speeches any artist has ever given, so kudos to Mr. Kutcher.

 

Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum in Marietta, GA

A few months ago 11 year old Lexi Haas and her family attempted to visit the museum while on vacation. Lexi was denied frowny-faceentrance because her wheelchair might dirty the precious carpet inside the museum. Apparently the facility has its own (I assume squeaky clean) wheelchair that handicapped people are invited to use while visiting. As a person in wheelchair I can confidently say that this is unacceptable. I am NOT going to go thru all the hassle of transferring out of my own very expensive wheelchair that is specially fitted for me just for a bit of entertainment. It’s not worth the aggravation. There are other entertainment options. For anyplace to ask a person to do that is extremely offensive. To their credit Lexi’s family declined to pursue legal action and took the high road of simply exposing the stupidity of the museum.

 

Hunter Mahan

Mahan is a professional golfer who had the lead going into the final round of the Canadian Open in July. However, upon Thumbs_uphearing that his wife had gone into labor with their first child 31 year old Mahan immediately withdrew from the tournament and was present for the birth of his daughter. It’s nice to see a pro athlete with his priorities in order.

 

Temar Boggs & Chris Garcia

These two young men were simply helping a friend move some furniture in Lancaster, PA back in July when they were Thumbs_upinformed by police that a local 5 year old girl had been kidnapped. Boggs & Garcia, age 15, took off on their bicycles to search the neighborhood. Upon spotting the vehicle with the girl & the kidnapper the boys gave chase. The kidnapper became spooked and released the girl, after which Boggs & Garcia took her to the police. I never did hear whether the kidnapper was caught, but the important thing is that the little girl is safe. Good things happen when teenagers put away the video games and go outide.

 

President George Bush

In July the first President Bush…at age 89…shaved his head in support of the 2 year old son of one his Secret Service Thumbs_upagents. The little boy is battling leukemia. It certainly makes one wistfully recall the bygone days when Presidents had class & decency.

 

Marlon Wayans

Have any of the Wayans brothers done anything of note since In Living Color went off the air two decades ago?? Anyway, frowny-facethis irrelevant moron had a bit of a meltdown on Twitter after the Zimmerman verdict was announced in July, tweeting things like “the jury just said ‘fuck niggas’!!! We are officially game, like deer” and “black parents hold your kids at home because apparently killing black children is okay”. Maybe if he could act half as good as he overreacts he’d be a working actor and wouldn’t have so much free time to spend on Twitter.

 

Diana Nyad

On September 2nd Nyad became the first person to ever swim 110 miles from Cuba to Florida without the protection of aThumbs_up shark cage. I am reminded of the Austrian gentleman who skydived from space last year. There doesn’t seem to be any logical reason why these folks do this kind of stuff rather than get a normal job like you & me except that they’re just wired differently. To that I say kudos because it makes the world a much more interesting place.

 

Miley Cyrus

Come on…you didn’t really think I’d forget about this talentless little tart did you?frowny-face?

 

 

Superfluous 7…..Overlooked & Underrated Christmas Songs

Is there a difference between a carol and just a plain ol’ Christmas song?? The common view looks to be in the affirmative, but what exactly the separation point is can be debated. Strictly speaking a carol will always talk of The Nativity. So favorites like Silent Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, Joy to the World, and O Holy Night obviously qualify. But what about standards like White Christmas, Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, and The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)?? I think in most peoples’ minds they too would be considered carols. At any rate, it is an interesting if completely frivolous discussion and that isn’t my purpose today. Rather my intended mission on this lovely December morning is to give recognition to some songs that might go unnoticed by the masses. They aren’t songs that you’ll sing on your church’s trek through the neighborhood or a visit to the local old folks’ home, and they aren’t songs that you’ll hear on the radio as much as Frosty the Snowman, anything by Mannheim Steamroller and Trans-Siberian Orchestra, or that wonderfully silly Grinch theme song that I have literally heard atleast three times a day in my truck on the local 24 hour Christmas music station every day for the past two weeks. These are tunes that you might hear occasionally on the radio and possibly on your Music Choice Sounds of the Seasons station (God bless you Time Warner Cable) every once in a blue moon. And they all have one thing in common…your humble Potentate of Profundity thinks they rock. I have already covered the traditional Christmas carol scene, so let’s go off the beaten path a little bit as The Manofesto proudly presents…..

 

 

from the home office in Eggnog, UT…..

 

 

The Superfluous 7 Overlooked & Underrated Christmas Songs:

 

 

 

7              Dominick the Donkey – Lou Monte

We all know about Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, but have you heard about Dominick the Italian Christmas donkey??  He’s cute, he doesn’t kick, and apparently he has to help Santa in Italy because the reindeer can’t climb the hills. I guess they can’t fly in Italy either?? Odd. Anyway, this tune is what I would describe as infectious, and I mean that in a good way, not in the itchy, red, “Oh crap I shouldn’t have gone home with that crazy sorority chick last weekend” kind of way.

 

6              Snoopy’s Christmas – The Royal Guardsmen

Novelty songs have sequels?? Who knew?? However, much like Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan and Genesis with Phil Collins (instead of Peter Gabriel), the original is all but forgotten while the follow-up is much better. In this case the original is a song written in 1966 less than a month after Charles Shultz’s first comic strip featuring Snoopy’s Walter Mitty-esque obsession with the infamous WW1 German fighter pilot, which seems a bit rushed. The sequel is a catchy tune written a year later which references the historical Christmas Truce during which German & British troops enjoyed a brief ceasefire on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day in 1914.


 

5              Christmas Time Is Here – Vince Guaraldi

It’s probably a bit of a stretch to call this overlooked. We hear it every year when TV broadcasts the superb 1965 animated special A Charlie Brown Christmas. But it’s the show that gets the love…the music is just in the background. However, the music itself is stupendous. Charles Shultz had to fight a real battle not only to get the memorable Biblical quote into the show but also to use the Vince Guaraldi Trio because it was felt that a jazzy score was not the way to go for a children’s show. Thank God Mr. Shultz won the argument. The lyrical rendition, which speaks of happiness & cheer, olden times & ancient rhymes, and families drawing near is excellent. But as a jazz lover I actually prefer the soulful, melancholy, soothing instrumental version. Your mileage may vary.

 

4              It’s Christmas Time Pretty Baby – Elvis Presley

Who doesn’t like Elvis?? But while his Blue Christmas (one of my favorites) gets all the love we should not forget about this bluesy little ditty in which Santa Claus is said to be driving a big black Cadillac. If you like the blues you’ll like it, if you don’t then you might not. It gets a little play on the radio and on Music Choice, but I could stand to hear it more often.

 

3              Christmas in Killarney – Bing Crosby

Crosby’s silky voice is ubiquitous during the Christmas season, but we usually hear him singing White Christmas, that Little Drummer Boy deal he did with David Bowie, and maybe It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas,  Adeste Fideles, or I’ll Be Home for Christmas. Even Mele Kalikimaka gets much love due to its use in the 1989 holiday classic National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. But let’s take a moment to give props to this beguiling little Irish jig written in 1950. I quite like it!!

 

2              Please Come Home for Christmas – The Eagles/Bon Jovi

The Christmas season isn’t jolly for everyone. It has the double-edged burden of being both the happiest and saddest time of the year. The gloom may not be much fun for most, but it’s a gold mine for songwriters. Some of the best Christmas tunes are also rather sorrowful. Songs like Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas & The Christmas Shoes effectively capitalize on the holiday dichotomy. For my money one of the best of the genre is this poignant song about a guy whose baby is gone and who has no friends. The most well-known covers are by The Eagles and Bon Jovi, who just happen to be two of my favorite bands.

 

1              All I Want For Christmas Is YouVince Vance & The Valiants

Everybody knows about the Mariah Carey song of the same name. I am not saying that is necessarily a bad tune, but this one is completely different and oh so much cooler. Vince Vance & the Valiants is one of those bands who never really made it to the big time but have just quietly been doing their thing for about 30 years. Other than the 1980 novelty song Bomb Iran (a parody of The Beach Boys’ Barbara Ann), this Christmas tune is their one notable contribution to pop culture, and I absolutely adore it. I must give credit to my friend The Owl for introducing me to it some years ago. Whenever it comes on the radio or Music Choice (which is not often enough) I immediately stop whatever I am doing and listen.

 

 

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, & The Christmas Creep

Happy Holidays citizens of The Manoverse!! Alas, today I come not to praise our most wonderful time of the year, but to express a bit of frustration.

 

Yesterday we celebrated that most American of holidays…Thanksgiving. We’ll look at the holiday itself a little closer this time next year because I am currently reading a delightful book about its history, but I just ran out of time to finish it before the big day itself came & went. However, for now let me just say that I feel bad for Thanksgiving. It really has begun to get lost in the shuffle the past decade or so. We don’t appreciate Thanksgiving on its own merits anymore. Instead we look at it merely as the kickoff to the Christmas season. If Christmas is the Super Bowl then Thanksgiving is the pre-game show to which people don’t bother giving their full attention. There was a time, believe it or not, in colonial America that Thanksgiving was the main event and Christmas wasn’t even commemorated. Thanksgiving was a celebration that lasted for several days in reverence to God and the blessings that He had seen fit to bestow. Somehow we’ve gone from that deeply spiritual sense of appreciation to treating Thanksgiving like a Nascar pit stop where we take just a few minutes out of our busy schedule to stuff our faces with turkey, stuffing, & pie and maybe watch a football game before rushing to the mall for some retail therapy. All we care about is that we have a paid day off from the job we hate and get a free pass on our diet for the day. Those things aren’t necessarily bad (because really…who doesn’t enjoy a day off & a big hunk o’ pie??), but they should be secondary benefits, not the main focus of our gratitude.

 

Things have gotten progressively crazier over the past decade with the growth of a phenomenon called Black Friday. The term itself was coined back in the 60’s or 70’s, and interestingly was originally an environmentalist wacko reference. It alluded to the increased traffic that clogs up the streets (and pollutes the air) on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Eventually it evolved to mean the day when retailers go “in the black”, i.e. when their year becomes profitable. Black Friday has long been lauded as the busiest shopping day of the year, but I have my doubts as to whether or not that is always the case. Logic dictates that “the busiest shopping day of the year” would be a moving target, changing annually based on a plethora of circumstances. At any rate, when I was a kid, if memory serves me correctly, there were always the occasional “midnight madness” sales, but the whole thing wasn’t this huge nationwide event. In the past several years the idea has blown up and taken on a life of its own. At first stores would open up at 5 or 6 in the morning. Then it became 3am. Eventually it became the norm for most places to begin the insanity at midnight. And now, in 2012, establishments like Target & K-Mart actually opened up on the evening of Thanksgiving. So Black Friday actually began on Thursday. I grew up in an era when blue laws were still in effect. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that malls and other outlets began opening up on Sunday, so it is hard for me to wrap my head around the idea of anything other than essential services like hospitals & police departments being open for business on a major holiday.

 

Society has been lamenting the commercialization of Christmas for decades. It is even referenced by a character in the classic 1947 holiday film Miracle on 34th Street. And it just keeps getting more appalling every year. Thanksgiving and Christmas used to be their own distinguishable holidays. Then they became connected when the former began being marketed as the official kickoff of the latter. All the sudden instead of two distinct days on the calendar we had an entire, month long holiday season. Personally I’ve never had a huge issue with that because, as I have written here abundantly I love everything about the holidays. I love the lights. I love the movies. I love the food. I love the music. I believe it is alright to enjoy the peripheral accoutrements associated with Christmas as long as we always maintain our focus on the true reason for the season, which is of course the birth of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. However, I am a bit disturbed at the direction things have taken in recent years.

 

First of all I am not at all convinced that there is much of a focus on The Lord anymore. Did you know that in the early days of our nation folks used to spend nearly the entire Thanksgiving Day in church?? Of course this isn’t just a holiday problem…it’s a year round issue. It has become quite popular to hate God in America these days. We’ve pushed Him out of nearly every facet of public life and really don’t heed His words much in our personal lives. That is a much bigger topic than I want to go into at the moment, but suffice to say that the whole purpose of Thanksgiving & Christmas is quickly becoming entirely lost in our modern society.

 

Secondly, as much as I love all the ancillary trappings of the holiday season I do think there should be limits. Things have progressed (or regressed, depending on one’s perspective) to the point that stores begin selling Christmas related items, radio stations start playing carols, television airs holiday films, and people decorate their homes as early as October. We definitely gloss over Thanksgiving, and oftentimes begin “celebrating” Christmas even before Halloween!! I do NOT like walking into WalMart or any other retailer and seeing a Christmas tree in October. #22 of my 35 Undeniable Truths of Life is that “It’s always about the money. Always.”, and there is no denying that the Christmas Creep is driven by greed. Look, I get it. I understand that there is very little profit to be made from Thanksgiving outside of turkey & the other various foodstuffs involved and that Christmas has become a huge cottage industry that can make or break the bottom line for a lot of businesses. But I also feel like there are other forces at work.

 

I believe that we are a very unhappy, unfulfilled, unsatisfied society. Political correctness & hatred of God have become inescapably pervasive. One has to be careful about words spoken and actions taken because everyone is so easily offended. The economy is bad and jobs are scarce or inadequate. We try many things to fill the void…alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, mindless entertainment. So when Christmas rolls around we have developed a habit of jumping the gun. We decorate the house a few weeks sooner, look forward to shopping for our loved ones, and don’t seem to mind the music & movies being played in October. Christmas makes us happy, and we are desperately seeking happiness. I suppose that’s not such a bad thing, but I still think we should tread lightly. It’s human to want what we cannot have. What the Christmas industry has done (and I can’t honestly blame them) is give us what we want. They understand that Rudolph, twinkle lights, wrapping paper, and Bing Crosby put a smile on our face. Christmas is a drug and Best Buy, WalMart, Sears, and all the rest are dealers. The problem with getting high is the inevitable low, which in the case of Christmas Creep is the backlash and desensitization to the magical wonder that is Christmas.

 

It is ironic that this is the time of year when one frequently hears the old maxim that “good things come in small packages”, yet we have taken what was once a couple of very lovely days on the calendar and made them into a stretch of time that lasts more than a quarter of our year. I do not leave the comfort of The Bachelor Palace on Black Friday for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that a day that involves a sea of humanity isn’t comfortable for a guy who has grown increasingly exasperated by human beings. To paraphrase Popeye’s pal Wimpy, I’ll gladly pay extra next week for an item that you got today for an awesome discount. I sincerely enjoyed my Thanksgiving, and do my best to appreciate the blessings that God has given me. I had a great meal and enjoyed a lovely day with family. I will embrace the Christmas season with my usual verve & childlike delight. But above all else I will continue to give thanks to God, who gave his only begotten Son so that I could have the opportunity to enjoy eternal life. There is nothing wrong with giving (and receiving) gifts, company parties, hoping Ralphie doesn’t shoot his eye out, or roasting chestnuts on an open fire. I just don’t want to wake up one day and end up doing those things in the summer.

 

 

 

The State of The Manofesto 2012

It’s hard to believe we are halfway thru the first month of a new year!! Time flies when you’re having fun…and even when you’re not. So we may as well have fun, right?? At any rate, this feels like the right time for your humble Potentate of Profundity to once again take inventory and assess things here at my own rest stop on the ol’ Info Superhighway.

 

This site will hit its 3rd anniversary in April of this year, and I have felt just in the past few months like I am hitting my stride and achieving a certain level of comfort. I know what The Manofesto is, what it isn’t, and what I’d like it to be. That’s not to say that it will not continue to evolve & grow because that will hopefully always happen, but  what I write is a reflection of who I am and where I’m at in my journey, so therefore as I become more steady in my life that should shine through here. What that means specifically for The Manofesto in 2012 encompasses a few things.

 

First, I have begun to back away just a bit from the political stuff. It just doesn’t interest me as much these days. I don’t listen to my boys Rush & Hannity nearly as much as I used to, not because I don’t agree with them but moreso because I’m not sure the constant bantering about does much to solve the problems we face. I’ve reached a point where I desire more tranquility & stillness. Television, media, technology, etc. all too often become one big bundle of noise that just adds to the confusion & tumult of life. That doesn’t mean I am going completely off the grid or moving to the woods like Thoreau (although that’s not a bad idea), and it certainly doesn’t mean that I no longer have strong opinions. It’s just that I know what I know, think what I think, and believe what I believe, so I don’t really have an overwhelming desire to dive into the muck and mix it up with all the Godless, soulless, open-minded, multicultural, inclusive, anti-Christian, anti-American, baby killing, hedonistic heathenry. I’m not going to change their misguided little minds, so why, as my friend The Owl might say, add to the strife??

 

Secondly, I need to get back to God. It’s not that I’ve drifted completely away, but in 2011 I experienced some dissonance with the human construct known as religion precisely because I began to see thru the disingenuousness & superficiality, the fear of change, the going thru the motions, and the mistaking of habit for tradition. Unfortunately I feel like I have gone too far in the other direction, letting my disappointment progress into bitterness and allowing my melancholy to take over my heart & mind. That’s probably not going to change overnight, but there are steps that can be taken. Most of what needs to be done is “real world” stuff, but here at The Manofesto what I want to do is take some of the focus that has been on frustrating socioeconomic topics and put it on more faith centered subject matter. To that end I will soon begin an analysis of the books of The Bible, studying & writing about each book individually or in a cluster when appropriate. I think we all know this task will end up spread out over the next few years, so I’m not even going to estimate a date of completion. Also we will, of course, continue looking at The Fruits of the Spirit and The Sermon on the Mount, plus dive into whatever else The Voices yell at me about.

 

The tranquility & stillness I mentioned earlier means I’ve been doing less surfing of The Net & watching TV and more reading…of books. Y’all booksremember those don’t you?? I purchased a Kindle a couple of years ago but to be quite honest I never use it. I think maybe I was born just a decade or so too late to fully embrace the concept. I still enjoy the feel of a good old fashioned paper book in my hand. At any rate I’m back to my old habit of being in the midst of reading 4 or 5 books simultaneously, many of which I am re-reading for the express purpose of writing about here. Much of life is about focus, and I think maybe my brain is better served concentrating on good books and The Lord rather than the wasteland that humanity is becoming.

 

But just because I’m getting all serious & mature doesn’t mean I don’t still need to chill at times, right?? I’ve been really pleased with how the Winning & Musing addition to The Sports Page went last year, so that will definitely be continuing. I plum forgot about the concept of picking college & pro football games every week this past year. It wasn’t until a few weeks into the NFL season that I had the “Oh crap…I said I was gonna do that!!” moment and decided to let the idea rest until 2012. After a few years I think we have established some annual traditions like The Sammy Awards, my NFL prognostications & pre-season college football Top 25, The Sammy Claus Wish List, and me finding any & every way to babble on about how much I love Christmas. I kind of like the idea of having a few things that we can look forward to each year. And of course I’ll still be expressing my unique opinions on pop culture issues, just maybe not as much as in previous years.

 

I need to say a word about the look of the site itself. WordPress offers an abundance of themes and ways to tweak one’s page. I have become more skilled in making these changes and sometimes I can’t help myself when a new theme is added by the mothership. That means that the next time you visit things might look a lot different than the last time. I realize that comes at the cost of “establishing a look” for the site and “building my brand”, the consequences of which I may have to ponder more thoughtfully at some point in the future. But before that happens I need to find ways to grow The Manoverse and possibly make some dead presidents doing this someday. Also, I have been told that the way the site looks to one may not be how it looks to another. I have verified this personally by logging onto other computers. I’ve sat with my laptop open at work looking at a perfectly readable post with easily legible, properly sized fonts while at the same time looking at the same post on a desktop and wishing I had the Hubble telescope to help me make out the Lilliputianized typeface. I have no idea why that happens and no clue how to fix it, but I shall find the answer.

 

So here we are. 2012. Three years in. Your humble Potentate of Profundity going thru some fluctuations in interests, perspectives, & personal development. It’s going to be a fun ride. Join me. You know you want to.

Under A Blood Red Sky Nothing Changes On New Year’s Day

On the night of December 31, 2010 I sat at The Bachelor Palace alone…except for Rocco….gently weeping and asking God to send me somebody to relieve the loneliness & lift the gloom. I’ve never told anyone that, and I’m not sure why I have decided to be so revelatory now. Maybe I have finally realized I have nothing at all to lose. It is certainly not to elicit any level of sympathy, but more to illustrate a point.

One year later I did not reach quite the same level of despair, although it was tempting since God had not yet answered my plea. I’ve set aside the emotion and become more contemplative, not only of my situation, but also about the world at large and this thing we call a “new” year.

I have grown to detest New Year’s Eve. There are two kinds of people to whom the event is targeted. The first type is the party animal. We all know these individuals. Some of us have been these individuals. They will happily use any excuse to “go out” and “party”, usually consuming copious amounts of alcohol in the process. Please understand that I am not being critical. Like I said, once upon a time I fit into this category like a glove. Sometimes I wish that I was still a party animal because life would be a lot more fun and much less solitary. The lifestyle of the party animal is also perfect for New Year’s Eve because their charismatic aura usually means they have lots of friends so their phone rings off the hook with invitations to all manner of social gatherings. The second target audience of New Year’s Eve are couples. Whether they are still trying to hang with the 20-somethings at the bar or have evolved into attending a fun little get together with friends complete with finger food and board games, it’s all about being with the one you love…or loving the one you’re with (Where are Crosby, Stills, & Nash when we need them??). And then of course those couples eventually have children so even if they stay in they’re usually doing something fun.

Unfortunately for me I am Choice C…none of the above. I’m single, have no children, don’t really drink or “party”, and even though I feel like I’m a nice person my phone n-e-v-e-r rings and I am never invited to or included in anything. I’m the person that will someday die alone in my apartment and no one will notice for several days until the stench becomes overwhelming. I am invisible and disconnected from society, which to some degree is probably my own fault but is largely a mystery…atleast it is to me. To be honest this relative anonymity doesn’t really bother me most of the time. But on New Year’s Eve it is gut wrenching. I’m not sure why kissing someone at midnight is a tradition…I just know that it is depressing not to have anyone to kiss.

Now once we get past that whole New Year’s Eve thing I’m okay, but I still find the concept of a new year intriguing. After all, January 1st is just some arbitrary day that was decided upon a couple thousand years ago by the Romans. January is named for Janus, the Roman god of gates, doors, and beginnings, of beginnings & endings and transitions. Janus supposedly had two faces…one looking forward and one looking back. Mythology is undoubtedly fascinating, and this story in particular is kind of cool. But let’s be honest…there is usually not one bit of difference between 11:59pm on December 31st and 12:01am on January 1st. There isn’t some bolt of lightning that shoots down from the heavens erasing all our worries, mistakes, & illnesses and magically making our lives perfect. But we do tend to gravitate toward that notion, imagining that magical bolt of cleansing lightning to be real.

Human beings love the idea of redemption. We embrace the thought of starting over with a clean slate. Folks happily latch onto the thought that the next 365 days are going to be better, happier, healthier, and more prosperous than the previous 12 months. Lots of people make resolutions, deciding with dogged determination that now is when they are going to lose weight, quit smoking, learn a new skill, or change some other aspect of their life. They weren’t interested in making such transformations in April, August, or November…but now all the sudden their going to turn over a new leaf because the calendar says January. We eat foods like pork, cabbage, or black-eyed peas (the food, not the horrible “music” group) because we’ve been told they’ll bring us luck, success, and affluence. I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve been eating that stuff every New Year’s Day my entire life and I’m still poor.

Is there anything wrong with the idea of New Year’s and a new beginning?? Not at all. Just because Jesus was almost certainly born nowhere close to December 25 and that date was simply co-opted by the early church to squash the pagan celebration of Saturnalia doesn’t mean that Christmas is bad. On the contrary…celebrating the birth of Christ is a wonderful idea. Similarly, making January 1st a day of renewal & restoration…a kind of rebirth of our lives…isn’t a bad idea at all. But much like Christmas I think maybe we kind of mistreat New Year’s nowadays. The aforementioned resolutions are too often shallow, vain, meaningless, and broken before the calendar turns to February. We love to talk about changing & improving our lives, but we aren’t really very committed to following through. We embrace the hope a new year brings, but abandon that hope as soon as things start to go to hell in a handbasket just like last year.

Maybe a better idea is to treat every single day as a gift from God and an opportunity to be a better person than we were yesterday. Sammy Hagar sings a song called Give to Live that I absolutely love. In the song The Red Rocker gives the following advice: “If you want love you’ve got to give a little. If you want faith just believe a little. If you want peace turn your cheek a little. If you know what you want just go on out and get it. Don’t give up…don’t give up…don’t give up”. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been tempted to give up many times, especially on lonesome days like New Year’s Eve when feeling forgotten, overlooked, and taken for granted. But then I remember that every day is New Year’s Day in some way. Oh sure we are going to have bad days. We are going to fail, screw up, not feel well, and come face to face with the abyss. But, as Tom Hanks says in Cast Away (#40 on my Favorite Movies list), we’ve “got to keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise and who knows what the tide could bring”. And hey…maybe I’ll have a date next New Year’s Eve!!

The Sammy Claus Wish List 2011

Yes West Virginia, there is a Sammy Claus. I exist as surely as chocolate, fast food, Facebook, & soap operas exist, and I know that they abound and give my life its joy & meaning. Alas! How would The Manofesto exist if there were no Sammy Claus?? It would be really dreary, like being married to a Kardashian or cheering for the 2011 Indianapolis Colts. There would be no Internet then, no high definition television, no cute puppies to make tolerable this existence. We would have no enjoyment, except in sleep & dreams. The eternal light with which bachelorhood fills the Manoverse would be extinguished. Not believe in Sammy Claus?? You might as well not believe in lower taxes & self-reliance!! Nobody sees Sammy Claus, but that doesn’t mean there is no Sammy Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither Stevie Wonder nor The Who’s Tommy can see. No Sammy Claus?? Thank God I live, and will live forever…or atleast hopefully for another several decades. A thousand years from now, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, my legacy shall continue to make glad the hearts of bored & lonely web surfers everywhere.

For now though, you’ll just have to settle for the 2011 edition of the Wish List. As always, I yield no authority in making these dreams a reality and just have to hope that The Jolly Old Elf himself checks it out and may see fit to provide folks with the gifts which I am suggesting for them. Enjoy…and God bless us…everyone.

 

 

Detroit Lions DT Ndamukong Suh……….self control

 

 

Regis Philbin……………a very happy retirement

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Barack Hussein Obama………..crushing defeat in November & utter rejection by the American people of radical & destructive leftist philosophy

 

 

The Southeastern United States…….a mild 2012 hurricane & tornado season

 

 

Former Penn St. Assistant Coach

Jerry Sandusky……………….very slippery soap

 

 “Golden Voiced” Ted Williams……..continued sobriety, success, & happiness

 

Fans of The Kardashians………….better role models

 

Iraq………………….peace

 

The Cast of Harry Potter……..continuing relevance & achievement without being typecast or having to resort to desperate moves like hosting a game show or doing softcore porn on Cinemax

 

 

America…………………..more Jesus, less PC Godless liberalism

 

 

Heisman Winner Robert Griffin III…….a pro career more like Vinny Testaverde & Charles Woodson than Danny Wuerffel & Chris Weinke

 

 

My Family & Friends……………health, serenity, & dreams that come true

 

 

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day……………..a balmy 40 degrees with lots of sunshine. White Christmas can remain just a song & a movie.

 

 

My Alter Ego………………..the genuine Christian experience I have been seeking

 

 

New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick……………………a hoodie

 

 

Amazon.com……………………inspiration for an improved Kindle Fire 2

 

 

Vegas………..my presence in 2012!! You hear that Greg, The Owl, Sealey, & Slack??

 

 

 

 

 

 

I shall wrap up with a quote from the Rankin-Bass animated classic Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town:

“Lot’s of unhappiness? Maybe so. But doesn’t Santa take a little bit of that unhappiness away? Doesn’t a smile on Christmas morning scratch out a tear cried on a sadder day? Not much maybe. But what would happen if we all tried to be like Santa and learned to give as only he can give –  of ourselves, our talents, our love and our hearts? Maybe we could all learn Santa’s beautiful lesson and maybe there would finally be peace on Earth and good will toward men.”

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday Essentials with Your Humble Potentate of Profundity

It goes without saying that Christmas is…or atleast should be…all about the birth of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. It should also be christmas-lightsabout family, an attitude of giving, and a time of reflection & contemplation of life. However, I am not here to hop up on my soapbox (not today anyway) or proselytize (not that there is anything wrong with that). There are a lot of cool things about the holiday season, and since I do not have a spouse or children I tend to enjoy a lot of other peripheral traditions besides opening presents on Christmas morning. So these, in a nutshell, are the things that entertain me, make me a bit wistful, and help me fondly recall the idyllic childhood of my selective memory.

 

 

 

 

Santa Claus on the Biography Channel

I’ve railed against the stupefying mediocrity of television elsewhere here at The Manofesto, but I have to admit that amongst the plethora of nothingness that passes as “entertainment” on The Idiot Box there are occasionally some hidden gems. Whenever I am not watching a ballgame on TV I tend to gravitate toward more informational fare on Discovery, History, or The Science Channel. If only I’d have had that sort of intellectual curiosity 30 years ago. Ah well…c’est la vie. At any rate, A&E used to run this terrific show called Biography, which is exactly what it sounds like. A few years ago the show somehow got its own channel, which is probably overkill but what’re you gonna do?? At Christmas time they inevitably run a show about the jolly old elf himself…Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus, Sinterklaas, Father Christmas, etc. They explore the origins, the myths, and how our modern interpretation came to fruition. It’s educational, it’s fun, and it’s not a bad way to spend an hour or two.

 

 

Reading A Visit From St. Nicholas

Unfortunately I do not have children of my own and have begun to have very serious doubts about whether I ever will. If I did I would like to think that one of the final things I would do as they lay their little heads down to sleep on Christmas Eve is read this most beloved poem. As it is I still like to find it online and read it to myself. What a beautifully written story it is, with the power to make even middle-aged men feel like children once again.

 

 

Die Hard

Coming in at #9 on my list of Favorite Movies is the best action movie of all time and the world’s most unlikely Christmas film. It’s a terrific change of pace from the sentimentality and mawkish preachiness of typical holiday fare. Obviously I don’t shy away from all that sweetness & light…not at all. But sometimes it’s fun just to sit back and watch smartass Bruce Willis (at his very best) shoot things and blow stuff up.

 

 

Crazy Christmas Lights

lightsI am physically unable to put up a huge decorative display, and even if I could The Bachelor Palace is not really conducive to that sort of thing anyway. So I can get my fix a couple of ways. If the weather cooperates I can hop in the ol’ gasoline powered extended cab sleigh and traverse local neighborhoods where folks with that funky Christmas spirit have decorated the outside of their own homesteads. The swankier sections of town where the pretty people live are usually the mother lode of ornamental holiday nirvana. It’s not a bad way to spend a chilly December evening. The other, far lazier option is to just hang out on the couch and find The Travel Channel on your television. They frequently replay a couple of specials about people who go all out with their Christmas light presentations. Either way the soft glowing lights (I am partial to white lights) are an essential part of the holiday season.

 

 

Thanksgiving with The Macy’s Parade, Planes, Trains, & Automobiles, and NFL Football

This list is obviously more about Christmas, but sometimes I feel like Thanksgiving gets the short end of the holiday stick. In 21st Century America it is treated as nothing more than the kickoff to the commercialized Christmas season. I am not excessively offended by that, but I also think Thanksgiving deserves some love. It isn’t quite as special these days since my mother and grandparents are gone and I usually go out to eat alone instead of having the old fashioned family feast at home, but I do have my own little checklist for the big day. I still love to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, even if it does strike me as being a lot hokier now than when I was a kid. Being a huge football fan I appreciate the fact that there are always a couple of NFL games with the Dallas Cowboys & Detroit Lions facing off against various opponents and sometimes there is even a college game or two. And to top everything off I like to watch the 1987 Steve Martin/John Candy classic Planes, Trains, & Automobiles, which is the world’s best…and maybe only…Thanksgiving movie.

 

 

A Holiday Inn & White Christmas Double Feature

I’m an old-fashioned guy, and no time of the year lends itself to kickin’ it old school better than Christmas. One of the things I could never do but would love to have the talent for is singing and dancing. I envy people who can entertain a crowd with song & dance, and that is what these two films are all about. The plots themselves are secondary to watching Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Rosemary Clooney, & Danny Kaye display their inimitable talents. It’s such a shame that films like these are not made or barely appreciated anymore. I have two teenage nephews and I’d be surprised if they’d watch either of these for longer than 10 minutes before wanting to play some inane video game or watch “reality” television. That’s fine…to each their own. As for me, I will anxiously await AMC’s showing of these two films, during which I will dim the lights, snuggle with Rocco under a warm blanket, and drink a mug of piping hot cocoa overflowing with marshmallows.

 

 

Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town

Rudolph & Frosty get all the love, but among the plethora of classic, Rankin-Bass produced, stop motion animated holiday specials this one deserves some props as well. Starring the voices of Mickey Rooney, Fred Astaire, & Keenan Wynn, it’s a unique Santa Claus origin story with one of the most memorably named villains ever, Mayor Burgermeister Meisterburger. It’s usually on ABC Family a few times.

 

 

 

Christmas on The Food Network

I am addicted to The Food Network. I can’t actually cook all that well myself, but I sure do get a kick out of watching pros who know their way around a kitchen whip up a plethora of edible delights that look quite tasty on TV. The holiday season provides folks like Bobby Flay, Rachael Ray, Giada De Laurentiis, and Emeril Lagasse several weeks to wow the viewers with all kinds of festive ideas & recipes. Yummo!!

 

 

 

 

Made-for-Television Holiday Movies

We are all familiar with the big screen classics that debuted in the theaters decades ago and now grace our television screens each & Christmas season. However, there are a lot of other lesser known holiday films available for our viewing pleasure every year. Channels like Hallmark, ABC Family, and Lifetime (Television for Women) produce new made-for-TV flicks all the time and replay several that have evidently gotten good ratings. You won’t see many big stars, great production values, or even very good stories, but you’ll be entertained, maybe have a laugh or two, and possibly get your heart tugged on a bit.

 

 

Miracle on 34th St.

This is a fantastic way to kick off the holiday season!! The beginning of the film incorporates the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade into the story, so it is usually amongst the first Christmas movies I watch. It used to be on NBC immediately following the parade every year, but then they started showing a dog show instead. However, if my sources are correct then NBC is showing it on Thanksgiving this year again!! I know that most of us (unless there are young crumb crunchers out there with an odd addiction to The Manofesto) understand the truth about Santa Claus, but I also think that most of us retain…dare I say…an inner child that we love to bring out during the holidays. Even if we know the real deal with Santa there is something charming about the idea that he may actually exist.

 

 

 

Mannheim Steamroller & Trans-Siberian Orchestra

I love all sorts of music and I really enjoy Christmas carols. I have to give a shout out to my friend Greg and The Godfather of Conservatism Rush Limbaugh for introducing me to these two groups, both of which put a distinctive spin on traditional holiday tunes. They are each a unique mix of orchestral & progressive synthesized music, with TSO having more of a rock edge. Once one is familiar with their singular styles it becomes instantly recognizable when heard on the radio or the sound system at your local shopping center. Both groups have done tunes other than Christmas songs, but it is the latter for which they are best known & loved and that has become an integral part of my yuletide merriment.

 

 

Elf

The new kid on the block in the pantheon of beloved Christmas films is 2003’s Elf, starring Will Ferrell as an orphan who accidentally ends up in Santa’s bag on Christmas Eve and grows up at the North Pole think he is…you guessed it…an elf. He learns the truth and sets out to New York City to find his real father, who just happens to be a grumpy book publisher who is on Santa’s Naughty List. Ferrell is hysterically funny and nails the childlike vibe one may assume would mark an elven personality, and James Caan is the curmudgeonly Dad. This is one of Ferrell’s best roles, and it is amazing just how quickly Elf has taken its place amongst the annual holiday classics. I do have a concern about possible overexposure, because USA Network shows the film a lot starting even before Thanksgiving.

 

 

Christmas Unwrapped on The History Channel

Okay, so I am kind of a nerd. I love history, and I love Christmas, so this is a perfect marriage of the two. It explores the origins of the holiday, various symbols like the Christmas tree, and how the celebration has evolved over the centuries from a strictly holy day to 18th century rabble rousing to the modern bent toward consumerism. There is a lot of interesting input from a variety of experts in history, religion, and folklore, and it is all narrated by the soothing voice of newsman Harry Smith. I don’t mind being educated at the same time as I am being entertained. Your mileage may vary.

 

 

Home Alone & Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

MacCaulay Caulkin seems to have followed the same path as a lot of child stars…overnight fame at a very young age, followed by years of personal & legal issues that were tabloid fodder for the jaded, voyeuristic masses, and eventually relative obscurity. However, for just a little while each holiday season he is simply that precocious and insufferably cute little boy that was inadvertently ditched by his family (twice) and left to fend for himself at Christmas time. The original came in at #12 on my Favorite Movies list, while the sequel ranked #37. I fondly recall watching the original when it first started airing on television in the early 90’s with my oldest nephew (who is now in college). We laughed so hard at the cartoon violence when little Kevin is “defending his house” against bumbling burglars Harry & Marv that tears were streaming down our faces. I don’t laugh quite as much now, but these two films are still virtual comfort food. The second isn’t quite as good as the first, but the two still need to be connected and viewed, preferably together.

 

 

The Ref

If one checks The Vault and peruses my Top 100 Favorite Movies series it becomes obvious that I adore Christmas films. I believe somewhere around a dozen made the cut. Checking in at #28 is The Ref, an overlooked 1994 offering starring Kevin Spacey and Denis Leary. The story revolves around a thief who takes a bickering couple hostage on Christmas Eve and regrets it tremendously since they and their crazy family drive him nuts. For some reason The Ref has never quite entered the well-known pantheon of traditional holiday movies, but I have adored it since the first time I rented the video over 15 years ago. It’s rather difficult to find on TV but well worth the rental.

 

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies, Peanut Butter Balls, Peanut Butter Fudge, Hot Chocolate, Wassail, Eggnog, & Pita Piata

Let’s face it…food is an important part of the Christmas season. Even the most steadfast of dieters throw their weight loss goals aside for the holidays. And depending on cultural influences and what our families prepared when we were kids, we all have our particular favorites. Chocolate chip cookies are great any time of year, but when I was young both my mother and her mother always made a huge batch right after Thanksgiving, enough to last until New Year’s, so chocolate chip cookies always remind me of Christmas. My grandmother also always made a big ol’ turn of fudge and peanut butter balls as well. On my Dad’s side of the family I was introduced to pita piata, and Italian dessert that is basically a nut roll containing brandy soaked raisins amongst a host of other tasty ingredients. Pita piata is native to the small village of San Giovanni i Fiore in Calabria, Italy, where my great grandparents immigrated from at the turn of the 20th century. As far as beverages go, who doesn’t like hot chocolate?? And what drink is as identified with Christmas as eggnog?? You may have also heard the old Christmas carol Here We Come A Wassailing. There is actually a beverage called wassail, and the best way I can describe it is that it tastes like liquid apple pie. We usually enjoy some wassail after the folks from church trek through my small hometown caroling.

 

 

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Firmly entrenched as one of America’s favorite holiday classics is 1989’s third offering in the adventures of the wacky Griswold clan, led by the bumbling stumbling Chevy Chase himself. It’s hard to believe that it’s been over two decades since this one originally hit theaters. As I said when I rated Christmas Vacation #6 on my Favorite Movies list, this isn’t high art. It’s mindless entertainment & harmless fun, and it’s something I look forward to every year.

 

 

 

Reading Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

There is no shortage of movie adaptations of Dickens’ tale about mean old Ebenezer Scrooge who is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve and shown the error of his ways. There are a few classic B&W films from the mid-20th century, a “motion capture” animated feature starring Jim Carrey made just a couple years ago, loose interpretations like Bill Murray’s Scrooged or the popular cartoon Mickey’s Christmas Carol, and a particularly well done 90’s TV movie starring Star Trek:TNG’s Patrick Stewart. All of these are perfectly delightful. However, might I suggest the following: On some chilly December evening, take Dickens’ novella off the bookshelf, settle down into a comfortable chair or couch, and read the book!! Last year I discovered a wonderful trick to enhance the experience. The Bachelor Palace doesn’t have a fireplace, but somewhere on the television there is a wonderful channel that is nothing but an endless loop of a roaring, crackling, very peaceful fire. So now I dim the lights (except for what I am going to use to read by), grab a warm beverage, burrow myself under a blanket, and read A Christmas Carol in front of a 40 inch high definition fireplace.

 

 

The Polar Express

While Home Alone has fond memories that I associate with my oldest nephew, The Polar Express hearkens a memory connected to my younger nephew. He was about 7 years old when the movie hit theaters and I decided to take him to see it. I think I was much more enthralled than he was to be honest. 7 year olds have a bit of an issue sitting still for almost two hours. At any rate, I fell in love with this film and my fondness has only grown in the ensuing years. The Polar Express was really the first movie that brought motion capture technology to the forefront, and it is so unique and so different that one is left with an indelible imprint on the brain. It also allows for things like Tom Hanks portraying half dozen different characters, which is pretty cool. When ranking The Polar Express #16 on my Favorite Movies list I referred to it as “whimsical, magical, and hauntingly beautiful” and said that it embodied the indefinable Christmas spirit.  A few years ago I was spending some post-surgery time in my 2nd “skilled” nursing facility in less than 2 years. It was in late November/early December, and after a kind soul hooked me up with a very small television one of the first things I was able to watch was The Polar Express. This particular period of time was amongst the saddest, most depressing of my entire life, and I will always be forever grateful that this fantastic movie helped pull me from the abyss.

 

 

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Not too long ago I read a really interesting biography of Charles Schultz, the creator of the Peanuts comic strip. I was never really a comic book fan, but I always enjoyed the comics in the Sunday paper, and felt a certain kinship with loveable loser Charlie Brown. It wasn’t until I read the Schultz book that I realized all the ups & downs and insecurities in his life and how much they influenced his work, and really began to understand why I always liked Charlie Brown. Several classic animated TV specials were made based on Peanuts, including A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, but at Christmas time there isn’t anything much cooler than A Charlie Brown Christmas. The story has Charlie Brown having a problem finding the Christmas spirit, the main issue being one that isn’t uncommon in Christmas stories…the overt commercialization of the holiday. Eventually he finds what he is looking for with the help of his blanket toting pal Linus, whose simple rendition of the biblical Christmas story found in Luke 2:8-14 is awesome since we live in such a PC world where every effort is made to appease Islam while spitting all over Christianity. Even back in the 60’s when the special was made corporate TV types wanted Schultz to remove the Bible passage, but he absolutely refused. After reading the aforementioned biography and knowing how devout Schultz was I understand why he took such a strong stance, and I have the utmost respect for the man because of it. As with other classic specials that have aired annually for decades, A Charlie Brown Christmas obviously resonates with the viewing public, and it is certainly an important part of my Christmas season.

 

 

The 24/7 Christmas Carol Radio Station

I love Christmas carols. I never ever get tired of them during the holiday season. In the archives here at The Manofesto you can find a two part ditty where I rank my all-time favorite carols. I think there are basically about two dozen carols, but they’ve all been covered by so many artists in every imaginable music genre that it seems like there are hundreds of them. At any rate, the day after Thanksgiving one of the local rock stations on my radio dial begins playing nothing but Christmas music 24 hours/day, and I think it is marvelous. I am sure stations nationwide do something similar. I really only listen to the radio when I am in my truck, and since I don’t travel all that much and have a short commute to work maybe that explains why I don’t tire of the endless caroling. It always kind of makes me sad when the station goes back to playing crappy pop music immediately after midnight on Christmas night.

 

 

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & Frosty the Snowman

When something is shown annually on television for nearly 50 years then it has obviously made a significant impression on a whole heck of a lot of people. I am secure enough in my masculinity to proudly proclaim that I look forward to watching these two animated specials each Christmas season. Rudolph is based on the song of the same name, written in 1949 by Johnny Marks, who was inspired by his brother-in-law Robert May’s creation of Rudolph for a Montgomery Ward advertising campaign in 1939. The stop motion animated special began airing in 1964, and I’d venture to guess that the vast majority of the population has watched it hundreds of times. Cowboy Gene Autry recorded Frosty the Snowman in 1950, and after the success of the Rudolph animated special Rankin-Bass took Autry’s song and made it into another stop motion classic in 1969. I’m not quite as fond of Frosty as I am Rudolph because let’s face it…little Karen and Professor Hinkle can’t quite compete with Herbie the Elf, Yukon Cornelius, and my favorites, The Island of Misfit Toys. However, both of these shows are absolute must-see-TV for me during the holidays.

 

 

 

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Grinch utilizes more traditional animation than Rudolph, Frosty, and The Polar Express, but that’s okay. Simplicity can be good too. I’ve always sort of wondered what kind of substances Dr. Seuss may have been imbibing, because I’ve never seen an amalgamation of prose & poetry quite like the turns of phrase that made him famous. The Grinch was first published in 1957, and this holiday classic first started airing in 1966. The Grinch is a character whose disdain for Christmas seems very similar to Charles Dickens’ creation Ebenezer Scrooge, and who is similarly redeemed by a sudden change of heart. I don’t know if Dr. Seuss was inspired by Dickens and just decided to simplify the story for children, but it’s an intriguing theory. There is a powerful moment near the end of the story when, despite The Grinch having stolen all their Christmas trees, presents, and even their food, The Whos down in Whoville arise on Christmas morning and still sing, or make a joyful noise, if you will. It’s such a simple yet potent reminder of what Christmas isn’t. I think we forget that sometimes and need to watch this little cartoon to be reminded.

 

 

24 Hours of A Christmas Story

The older I get the more I embrace the nostalgic impact of Christmas, because really, all of us enjoy feeling like a child again sometimes even if there is a tinge of sadness involved. Nothing embodies this wistfulness quite as well as 1983’s A Christmas Story. It is my #5 Favorite Movie and for most folks under a certain age maybe the most popular holiday movie of all time. In the late 90’s TBS/TNT (it goes back & forth) started running a 24 hour marathon from 8pm on Christmas Eve until 8pm Christmas night. What an awesome idea!! I usually catch parts of the first showing at my aunt’s house after eating our annual family fish fest, then maybe a little more after I get home from church before getting some zzz’s. On Christmas Day I catch glimpses here & there depending on where I am. And I always atleast try to watch the entire last showing, as it kind of puts a melancholy period at the end of what has been a wonderful, month long sentence.

 

 

It’s A Wonderful Life

As mentioned, for most people under a certain age…maybe 30 or 35…A Christmas Story is likely the most beloved holiday film. However, my generation grew up with various television stations showing It’s A Wonderful Life dozens of times during the yuletide season. This created one of two reactions. There was the inevitable backlash, with people beginning to hate the movie because of the endless airings (something that I see happening with atleast 2 or 3 other Christmas classics these days). Or there were people like me that came to love IAWL more & more each year. Unfortunately for us Lifers NBC “rescued” the movie from public domain back in 1993 so now we only get to see it twice a year…usually once in early December and then always on Christmas Eve. It is odd that a movie about suicide would become such a perennial Christmas favorite, but I think the central themes…friendship, family, and realizing that what you have and what your life is ain’t all that bad…really hits home with a lot of people. I know that this is a story that has always resonated deeply for me, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world this and every year.

 

 

 

 

100 Favorite Movies – The Complete List

As a coda to the Top 100 Favorite Movies series this is the complete list. All commentaries on each particular movie can be found in the vault. Once again thanks for reading!!

 

 

1       The Godfather

“I’m with you now. I’m with you.”

 

2       Forrest Gump

“Have you found Jesus yet, Gump?”…”I didn’t know I was supposed to be looking for him, sir.”

 

3       Field of Dreams 

“You know we just don’t recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they’re happening. Back then I thought, well, there’ll be other days. I didn’t realize that that was the only day.”

 

4       It’s a Wonderful Life

“Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole.”

 

5       A Christmas Story

“Frah-gee-lay. It must be Italian!”…”I think that says ‘fragile’ honey.”…”Oh, yeah.”

6    National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

“You want to hurry this up, Clark? I’m freezing my baguettes off.”

 

7       Apollo 13

“Failure is not an option.”

 

8       The Star Wars Trilogy

“May The Force be with you.”

 

9       Die Hard

“Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker!”

 

10     The Godfather Part II

“Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”

 

11     The Passion of the Christ

“Take this and drink. This is My blood, spilled for you and for many. Do this in memory of Me.”

 

12     Home Alone

“He’s a kid. Kids are stupid.”

 

13     National Lampoon’s Vacation

“This is a damn fine automobile if you want my honest opinion. I owe it to myself to tell you that if you’re taking the tribe cross-country this is the automobile you should be using, the Wagon Queen Family Truckster. You think you hate it now, but wait ‘til you drive it.”

 

14     Planes, Trains, & Automobiles

“Those aren’t PILLOWS!!”

 

15     Office Space

“Ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.”

 

16     The Polar Express

“At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell. But as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Though I have grown old, the bell still rings for me. As it does for all who truly believe.”

 

17     Bull Durham

“Man that ball got outta here in a hurry. I mean anything travels that far oughta have a damn stewardess on it, don’t you think?”

 

18     Dead Poets Society

“They’re not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? – – Carpe – – hear it? – – Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.”

 

19     The Fugitive

“I’m either lying or I’m gonna shoot you, what do you think?”

 

20     Grease

“Tell me ’bout it…Stud”

 

21     Casablanca

“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”

 

22     Jaws

“The thing about a shark is he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes.”

 

23     A Christmas Carol

“Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were all my business.”

 

24     Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

“To the last, I will grapple with thee! From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee! For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee!”

 

25     The Lethal Weapon Series

“I’m too old for this shit.”

 

26     The Blues Brothers

“We’re on a mission from God.”

 

27     Ocean’s Eleven

“You’d need at least a dozen guys doing a combination of cons. Off the top of my head, I’d say you’re looking at a Boesky, a Jim Brown, a Miss Daisy, two Jethros and a Leon Spinks, not to mention the biggest Ella Fitzgerald ever.”

 

28     The Ref

“You know what I’m going to get you next Christmas, Mom? A big wooden cross, so that every time you feel unappreciated for your sacrifices, you can climb on up and nail yourself to it.”

 

29     Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

 

30     Rocky

“I was nobody. But that don’t matter either, you know? ‘Cause I was thinkin’, it really don’t matter if I lose this fight.  ‘Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. If I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I’m still standin’, I’m gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren’t just another bum from the neighborhood.”

 

31     The Perfect Storm
“She’s not gonna let us out.”

 

32     The Back to the Future Trilogy

“And that’s when you came up with the idea for the Flux Capacitor, which is what makes time travel possible.”

33     Titanic

“God Himself could not sink this ship.”

 

34     A Shot in the Dark

“I believe everything and I believe nothing. I suspect everyone and I suspect no one.”

 

35     Scent of a Woman

“There is nothing like the sight of an amputated spirit. There is no prosthetic for that.”

 

36     Halloween

“I realized that what was living behind that boy’s eyes was purely and simply evil.”

 

37     Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

“There’s nobody dumb enough to knock off a toy store on Christmas Eve.”

 

38     Best in Show

“We have so much in common, we both love soup and snow peas, we love the outdoors, and talking and not talking. We could not talk or talk forever and still find things to not talk about.”

 

39     The Shawshank Redemption

“Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.”

 

40     Cast  Away

“I’ll be right back.”

 

41     Jerry Maguire

“You had me at ‘Hello’.”

 

42     Rear Window

“We’ve become a race of Peeping Toms. What people ought to do is get outside their own house and look in for a change. Yes sir. How’s that for a bit of homespun philosophy?”

 

43     Mrs. Doubtfire

“He was quite fond of the drink. It was the drink that killed him…”How awful, he was an alcoholic?”…”No, he was hit by a Guinness truck, so it was quite literally the drink that killed him.”

 

44     Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

“Computer! Computer? Hello, computer.”…”Just use the keyboard.”…”Keyboard. How quaint.”

 

45     Sleepless in Seattle

“Shall we??”

 

46     When Harry Met Sally

“I’ll have what she’s having.”

 

47     Elf

“This place reminds me of Santa’s workshop. Except it smells like mushrooms and everyone looks like they want to hurt me.”

 

48     You’ve Got Mail

“The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing or who on earth they are, can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self.”

 

49     Miracle on 34th Street

“Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to.”

 

50     Little Miss Sunshine

“Nietzsche? So you stopped talking because of Friedrich Nietzsche? Far out.”

 

51     Father of the Bride I & II

“He’s like you, Dad! Except he’s brilliant.”

 

52     Die Hard with a Vengeance

“Look around man. All the cops are into something. It’s Christmas, you could steal City Hall.”

 

53     Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

“You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon.”

 

54     Swingers

“Vegas baby! Vegas!!”

 

55     Saturday Night Fever

“You know how many times someone told me I was good in my life? Two! Twice! Two times! This raise today, and dancing…dancin’ at the disco!”

 

56     Batman

“You ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?”

 

57     This Is Spinal Tap

“It’s such a fine line between stupid and clever.”

 

58     American Beauty

“I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me, but it’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much. My heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it. And then it flows through me like rain. And I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life.”

 

59     Vertigo

“I have acrophobia which gives me vertigo and I get dizzy. Boy, what a moment to find out I had it!”

 

60     Hoosiers

“You know, a basketball hero around here is treated like a god. How can he ever find out what he can really do? I don’t want this to be the high point of his life. I’ve seen them, the real sad ones. They sit around the rest of their lives talking about the glory days when they were seventeen years old.”

 

61     Silence of the Lambs

“A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”

 

62     Meet the Parents

“Shut your pie hole and listen to me when I say that I am finished with the checking-of-the-bags conversation!”

 

63     Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

“You think I’m licked. You all think I’m licked. Well, I’m not licked, and I’m gonna stay right here and fight for this lost cause.”

 

64     Raging Bull

“I’m gonna win. There’s no way I’m goin’ down. I don’t go down for nobody.”

 

65     Airplane!

“Surely you can’t be serious?”…”I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.”

 

66     The Frat Pack 3 Pak (Anchorman, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Wedding Crashers)

“Stay classy San Diego”

 

67     Ocean’s Thirteen

“He owns all of the air south of Beijing…”The air?”…”Let me put it to you this way – try building something taller than three stories in the Tiangjin province, and see if his name comes up.”

 

68     The Greatest Show on Earth

“The circus is a massive machine whose very life depends on discipline and motion and speed. A mechanized army on wheels that rolls over any obstacle in its path, that meets calamity again and again, but always comes up smiling. A place where disaster and tragedy stalk the big top, haunt the backyard, and ride the circus train. Where death is constantly watching for one frayed rope, one weak link, or one trace of fear. A fierce, primitive fighting force that smashes relentlessly forward against impossible odds. That is the circus.”

 

69     The Shrek Trilogy

“Once upon a time, there was a lovely princess. But she had an enchantment upon her of a fearful sort, which could only be broken by true love’s first kiss.”

 

70     The Glenn Miller Story

“Maybe it’s good and maybe it ain’t, but it’s radical!”

 

71     The Patriot

“Before this war is over, I’m going to kill you.”

 

72     American Pie

“I got some scotch”…”Single malt?”…”Aged eighteen years. The way I like it.”

 

73     North by Northwest

“That’s funny, that plane’s dustin’ crops where there ain’t no crops.”

 

74     Glengarry Glen Ross

“Put that coffee down. Coffee is for closers only.”

 

75     Goodbye Mr. Chips

“I thought I heard you saying it was a pity… pity I never had any children. But you’re wrong. I have. Thousands of them. Thousands of them… and all boys.”

 

76     Twelve Angry Men

“We have a reasonable doubt, and that’s something that’s very valuable in our system.”

 

77     Rocky II

“Yo Adrian!! I did it!!”

 

78     The Godfather Part III

“Just when I thought I was out they pull me back in!!”

 

79     Saving Private Ryan

“James… earn this. Earn it.”

 

80     Big

“There are a million reasons for me to go home but there is only one reason for me to stay.”

 

81     Trapped in Paradise

“Hey! That’s Timmy’s sleigh!”

 

82     Top Gun

“I feel the need…the need for speed!!”

 

83     Dirty Dancing

“Nobody puts Baby in a corner!!”

 

84     Apocalypse Now

“I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn’t find one of ’em, not one stinkin’ dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like…victory.”

 

85     Brat Pack 3 Pak (The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, St. Elmo’s Fire)

I always preferred to hang out with the outcasts, ’cause they were cooler; they had better taste in music, for one thing, I guess because they had more time to develop one with the lack of social interaction they had. – John Hughes

 

86     Tin Cup

“Sex and golf are the two things you can enjoy even if you’re not good at them.”

 

87     The Big Chill

“A long time ago we knew each other for a short period of time; you don’t know anything about me. It was easy back then. It’s not surprising our friendship could survive that. It’s only out there in the real world that it gets tough.”

 

88     Seabiscuit

“You don’t throw away your life just ’cause it’s banged up a little bit.”

 

89     The Wizard of Oz

“There’s no place like home.”

 

90     The Birdcage

“I’m the Vice President of the Coalition for Moral Order! My co-founder has just died in the bed of an underage black whore!”

 

91     Pride of the Yankees

“Is it three strikes, Doc?”…”You want it straight?”…”Yeah.”…”It’s three strikes.”

 

92     The Ten Commandments

“Let my people go!”

 

93     Honeymoon in Vegas

“We’re the Flying Elvises. Utah chapter.”

 

94     Hook

“Your children love you, they want to play with you. How long do you think that lasts? We have a few special years with our children, when they’re the ones that want us around. After that you’re going to be running after them for a bit of attention. It’s so fast Peter. Just a few years, and it’s over. And you are not being careful. And you are missing it.”

 

95     Uncle Buck

“I don’t have a college degree. I don’t even have a job. But I know a good kid when I see one. Because they’re all good kids, until dried-out, brain-dead skags like you drag them down and convince them they’re no good.”

 

96     School of Rock

“Dude, I service society by rocking, OK? I’m out there on the front lines liberating people with my music!”

 

97     Risky Business

“Every now and then say, ‘What the fuck.’ ‘What the fuck’ gives you freedom. Freedom brings opportunity. Opportunity makes your future.”

 

98     Fast Times at Ridgemont High

“All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine.”

 

99     E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial

“E.T. phone home”

 

100   Caddyshack

“It’s in the HOLE!!”