’Twas the Night Before Christmas: 21st Century Edition. Bruce Kluger
and David Slavin. Andrews McNeel Publishing. 80 pages in paper. $9.99.
This updated version of the holiday staple has more heft than its
zombie counterpart and makes Santa the victim of a hostile takeover
by a large corporation. The poem has been entirely rewritten—“The
toilers were toiling through night and through day. The business of
Christmas was well underway”—and the illustrations are accompanied
by Photoshopped images of magazines, newspapers and corporate
memos, each fully realized.
The details are genius—news articles announce the downsizing of elves
and the North Pole toy factory’s move to Honduras—and are perfect for
this moment in time. Who would have thought a classic holiday poem
could be so relevant?
Sara Frederick is a features editor at The Miami Herald.
In these times, there is clearly no way to make light of our ongoing
political miasma. We cannot shrug off the unnecessary suffering that
grips so many of our fellow Americans, as we take baby steps towards
improving an economy in need of a 400-meter dash.
But in the tradition of others who have looked at the bleak social
conditions that surround them and the corrupt institutions that seek not
to improve things, I give you good satire. From Aristophanes to The
Onion, it is this form of political dissent that can often engage people in
the goings on of their troubled times. Bruce Kluger (full disclosure, a
friend who I am helping promote this book) and David Slavin have
released a new book, a 2010 version of 'Twas The Night Before
Christmas, which clearly is capable of just that.
It will make you laugh, so you don't cry.
Kluger, satirist extraordinaire of NPR & USA Today, along with the
similarly accomplished Slavin, uses this laugh-out-loud tome to point us
in the direction of only the latest person to suffer on the altar of "Greed
Is Good." Santa himself:
"Early this morning, Santa Claus, the jolly icon of the holidays and
legendary symbol of Christmas for more than 970 years, was asked to
step down from his position as chief manufacturer and distributor of
holiday toys and merriment. The announcement was made by a
spokesman for GigantiCorp, the private equity firm that acquired
Santa's Workshop earlier this year in a historic leveraged buyout."
GigantiCorp went on to announce that Claus will be replaced by "a more
cost-effective team of regional Santas" scattered around the globe.
So apparently we should have broken up the banks and taxed
gazillion-dollar bonuses. Who knew? In any case, this is a hilarious book
and a great gift for the holidays for your progressive friends.
Crooks & Liars, December 11, 2010
The Latest Victim Of Corporate America
By Cliff Schecter