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Radio ad nauseam - Joel Hall

About a year ago, before I was able to land a job as a reporter, I had a very different job as a suit salesman.

Selling suits is not all that different from reporting stories, sometimes.

While it doesn't require you to throw yourself into volatile situations as much, it does require you to blind and dazzle people into trusting you, sometimes.

The one great thing about not having to work retail anymore, however, is the fact that I no longer have to listen to hours upon hours of Chistmas radio programming.

The music is there to put holiday shoppers in the Christmas Spirit (i.e. make them spend more money), but anyone who has worked retail knows that it slowly drives all of the employees mad.

I'm not saying all Christmas music is bad. I love the soundtrack from "A Charlie Brown Christmas," and I know all of the words to the "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" theme song.

However, when all of the easy listening stations flip over to holiday programming, you begin to realize how much bad Christmas music is out there.

The worst thing that about Christmas songs is that every artist who has put out at least one successful, regular album feels the need to make one.

Being a great artist does not gaurantee a great Christmas song. A prime example is Paul McCartney.

McCartney is a great artist, but "Wonderful Christmastime" is a slack effort at best. The pedantic use of electric keyboard in the song feels more like water torture than music.

Then you have people, who take a perfectly good song and make it bad.

There is a rap song on the radio now that takes the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" and laces it with all sorts of whackness about "ridin' dirty" and asking Santa to remove felony counts from the artist's record.

There's another song on the radio that takes "Jingle Bells," mixes it with Crime Mob's "Knuck if you Buck," and throws in a few "Yeeeeeeahs!" from Lil' John for good measure.

Then you have those songs that aren't all that great, but they are so catchy that they attack your brain and stay lodged there weeks after Christmas is over.

The theme song from "The Year Without a Santa Claus" about the Heat Miser and Snow Miser is much "too much" for me.

There's nothing wrong with Christmas, and I'm definitely not a "bad banana with a greasy black peel," but I'll be glad when the radio dial goes back to normal.

Joel Hall covers government and politics for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached via e-mail at jhall@news-daily.com.