Before leaving this topic, I must observe that most of Christmas films have been pretty good. The one exception that comes to mind, however, is one that gets repeated over and over: White Christmas. With the music written by Irving Berlin, it comes as no surprise that his pro-military mindset dominates. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye play a couple of World War II vets who served under a general (played by Dean Jagger). Years later, one of their show-biz adventures takes them to a resort in Vermont where they discover the (now retired) general trying, unsuccessfully, to make a go of a business. Crosby and Kaye decide to put on a special show for the general at the resort. One of their (Berlin) numbers is “What Can You Do With a General, When He Stops Being a General?” Jagger provides the answer in the failure of so many former government employees to succeed in the marketplace: while apparently adept at leading men into the death and destruction of warfare, he is unable to make a go in the voluntary environs of the marketplace. Thus, Crosby and Kaye hatch a plan and, without the knowledge of Jagger, urge all of the erstwhile general’s former troops to give up their holidays with their families, and head to Vermont and spend Christmas with the man who, in an earlier time, acted upon the authority to send these men to their possible deaths – and to kill others. Crosby and Kaye then belt out another Berlin tune (“Gee I Wish I Was Back In the Army”), whose lyrics are a celebration of life under state socialism, in which responsibility for oneself was forgone.
What swill!5:25 pm on December 26, 2012 Email Butler Shaffer