Wednesday, December 07, 2005

iCheer

Until a couple of days ago, I'd been in a very Scroogalicious mood. I know it seems early to be sick of the holidays, but everything about this holiday season seems early, so why not that too? I'm not sure if the decorations actually went up extra prematurely this year, or if my hectic work schedule conspired with the unseasonably warm weather to help the whole thing sneak up on me, but I'm definitely not ready for Chrismukah. My mom was bugging me about my wish list in November, and I hadn't even begun to think about it – and that's usually my favorite part! I barely even registered when Thanksgiving happened (just a snarky blog post to mark the holiday).

Last weekend I had to run some errands between shows, which forced me not only to face the hordes of idiots on 34th Street, but also to endure some of the worst Christmas music imaginable. No "Christmas Shoes" yet, but there was a reggae "Jingle Bells" that will haunt me to the grave. In fact, it seems like everywhere I go (including the basement of my own building, where the super has the radio tuned to, apparently, an all-holiday station) all of the season's most horrific music is playing, as if to say "Give up now! Resistance is futile!"

Then the other day, just as it was starting to get cold, and just after I had endured the sacrilege of bad holiday music in the Most Holy Church of the Container Store, my shuffling iPod decided to play John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," one of my most favorite holiday songs. Sure it's cheesy - with its overly simple worldview ("war is over if you want it"), vague sense of recrimination ("And so this is Christmas, and what have you done?"), racism ("the yellow and red man"), and of course the backing chorus of undoubtedly snotty and precocious English children and Yoko – but I love it anyway. It put me right in the mood, with a little spring in my step and an urge to spend money and update my Amazon Wish List.

In fact, my iPod has been playing quite a bit of John Lennon lately, as if it knows tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of his death. Do you think that's possible? Steve Jobs swears that Shuffle is completely random (hence the new feature in iTunes to make it seem more random by actually making it less random ensuring that songs from the same artist or album aren't grouped together), but I wouldn't put it past him to have programmed in things so that, say, from December 1 to December 8 it looks for John Lennon or the Beatles, or "Christmas." Around Valentine's Day it might pull out titles containing the word "love." For all I know it's playing subliminal messages convincing me my iPod is too big and I'm a loser if I don't watch Lost on the subway on a 2" screen. I certainly know that if I were in Steve Jobs' shoes, I'd do stuff like that just to creep people out.

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