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Bob Dylan: Christianity's next profit?

2009-11-13 09:15
'Tis the season to be jolly stupid and spend all your money, so you can wake up on the 26th with a hangover, pork-breath, and some new crap you never knew you needed, wondering how in the Sacred Little Baby's name you're going to survive 'til February without exploring Mary Magdalane's career options on the side.

Although I'm clearly not a Christian, I read the Bible (and the Bahagavad Gita, and the Koran) in self-defence aged 14, and think the Bible should carry a 16 age restriction for violence, hate speech, and sexually suggestive content.

Although I'm not a Christian, I remember special moments sitting around a candle-lit tree with my family singing my favourite carol: "Every star shall sing a carol / every creature high and low / come and praise the king of heaven / by whatever name you know..." So the smell of beeswax and the aromatic scent of a freshly stolen fir tree will always have an innocent place in my heart.

Although I'm not a Christian, I'm surprised by how every single year, I'm offended by the gung-ho commercialism surrounding the nice-guy-Jesus, and strongly suspect that the phrase "Christmas is for Everybody" will one day appear in an advert for margarine. Spread the joy of Christmas with new Rema light – its easy-on oil-free formula comes in useful when Santa visits your chimney.

And then there's the music, already, in mid-November. Short of living on a farm or foraging from dustbins, there's just no way to avoid "Deck the Halls" - with boughs of... what? If you're piping that sublime message through the system, the least you could do is sell some holly, Muslim Store Manager Who'd "Like to Assist" me. And those kings? I spent my entire childhood wondering where the hell Orientare was on the map. Someone needs to explain this stuff to kids. You know, tell them about Islam's prophets. Tell them Santa Clause is real, just human, so it's best not to sit on his lap when you ask him for sweets.

Okay, fine. I'll try get into the spirit of things...

I can understand Boney M. It's to be expected, like stale puke on a nightclub sidewalk at 3am. If Kenny G, Michael Buble, or certain treffer stars didn't bring out a Christmas collection, I'd assume they were dead. I can deal with the Muzak (TM)  versions of the classic carols – nauseous cats need slo-mo music for their karate-water parties. I wasn't even horrified by once-punk Sting churning out a Xmas album to give his wife something to listen to while she yearns for him to finally, un-tantrically climax and go to sleep. "Silent night, holy night..." Geddit? Gordon's a scream.

But when Bob Dylan, yes - really, Dylan – recently made a Christmas album, it was like my cultural canon just shot me in the face. Who's next? Leonard Cohen shoving the last jingle bells up the hole in our culture? Marilyn Manson doing it just to shock us? PJ Harvey finding God in YOU Magazine?

Sure, Bob. You've made the music because it moves you. Or it's all, like, ironic, or something. Oh? It's "alternative"? Well whatever, dude. Thousands of men with frequently investigated prostate glands will buy your story, but I don't. You're about as convincing as a bergie begging for bread outside a bottle store. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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