Friday, 9 December 2016

The Pop Culture Chritmas Tree*

The Pop Culture Christmas Tree is done!

Well actually it was done on Sunday but my phone ran out of battery and I couldn’t find the charger. This isn’t the first year I’ve done this but this is the first year I’ve been able to have solely pop culture related to decorations. I feel like I’ve achieved something even though all I’ve achieved is being alive long enough for enough hanging things to be released, hmm but given my various depression-based problems, maybe that IS an achievement? Fuck it I feel a sense of accomplishment and that’s all that matters – so of course I’m going to share it with the internet.

The above photo doesn’t do my completely Pop Culture tree justice (I’m not even sure if it’s in focus) so I’ve picked out some key elements for you, you’re so lucky, so are you’re sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin


A Vader on Top of the Christmas Tree
I don’t have a star for the top of my tree this year, so I’m using a Death Star instead. It’s still a star, (it’s no moon though) and all that other ‘yonder’ star did was guide a bunch of old clever blokes with crap Christmas presents, the Death Star blew up Alderaan. Also in shot is one of the baubles I bought at Walt Disney World this year and I’d like to say how delighted I am that the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is now the landmark for Disney Hollywood Studios, think about that: Disney are now putting it in the same league as Spaceship Earth and Cinderella’s Castle, two of the most iconic things in theme parks, even more enjoyable now we know that Disneyland’s one is going to be re-themed into a Guardians of the Galaxy ride. It’s kind of how DC Comics insist on having horrible redesigned costumes on their characters in the comics and insist they’re ‘permanent changes’ but most of their merchandise uses the classic costumes, satisfying in one way but frustrating in another.

Named After A Hot Dog, You Poor Man!
Ghostbusters II is set at Christmas and New Year, that reference is thematically appropriate in every way. This is just a nice little story; my friends bought me this Oscar the Lucky Rabbit decoration last year just because I was too ill to go to a shopping centre with them. No bigger reason, just I wasn’t there and they were and they and they thought I’d really like a tree decoration of the lad who was Mickey Mouse before Mickey Mouse was Mickey Mouse. Then they came and dropped it off while I was still ill in bed – how nice is that? Oscar is perhaps second only to Uncle Scrooge in my little world (when it comes to Disney characters); I’m one of those Disney Hipsters who knew about him before he got famous but Epic Mickey made me appreciate him, it took him from being a nice piece of trivia to being a sympathetic underdog, it allowed Disney to merchandise him too.

The King, Queen and Knave of the Pop Culture Tree!
Raphael always goes at the front of the Christmas tree; he’s my favourite Turtle but he’s the also Christmassiest Turtle, he’s red and green, those are the colours of Christmas. He’s not exactly the most ‘good will to all men’ of characters granted, he’s more the ‘I am angry so savage beatings to all men who get in my way’ sort of dude but even he likes Christmas, and I have canonical proof and that proof involves using butterfly swords to trim a Christmas tree so it’s the best kind of proof. Maleficent is my favourite Disney villain so her bauble also gets centre place and my new hand-made Metal Sonic decoration is so cool I can’t possibly put it anywhere but front-centre. These three independent trains of thought lead to these three forming a power trio of Christmas decorations and now you need to imagine a Voltron made up of the angry Ninja Turtle, a metal Sonic the Hedgehog and a sexy green fairy witch who becomes a dragon, this Voltron will also be able to become a dragon, and will have butterfly swords.

Grim-Grinning Ghosts…and Lego
While it’s completely unintentional the Hitchhiking Ghosts Christmas ornament is the perfect colours to make them look like you’re seeing the green of a Christmas tree through them. This would work better with a real fir rather than this cheap fibre-optic contraption I have that makes a noise like TV static whenever you turn it on (and doesn’t even do it to a recognisably Christmassy tune) but I still enjoyed it. I’m guessing the build-it-yourself Lego baubles are on sale elsewhere but I bought mine at LegoLand (Windsor), the only way they could make a better Lego bauble is if you actually built the whole bauble out of Lego and now I’ve thought of that I want it to exist, right now.

Memories of EuroDisney
A few years ago my mum went with her friend’s family to EuroDisney Disneyland Paris (still can’t get used to that) and took me with her, about two weeks before Christmas - this was, I think, a good idea for all involved. Paris is generally considered the shittiest of the Disney parks worldwide and I will (begrudgingly) admit that yes, it’s nowhere near as good as Anaheim or Orlando but it’s still a Magic Kingdom and even a Magic Kingdom at its shittiest is still leagues above any other theme park in Europe, even the really creepy derelict ones I want to go camping in. I didn’t have much money for memorabilia that trip but one thing I had to bring home with me was a Disneyland Christmas decoration, this is that decoration. Since I’ve been I now get a deep yearning to be at a Disney park the weeks before Christmas, or any time I’m down in the winter, most people associate Disney with summer, I associate it with Christmas and Halloween. I wish I was there right now.     

Vintage TMNT Decorations!
I’ve had these for as long as I can remember, my nan has a dictatorial control of the main Christmas tree in the front room but she loosened her vice-like grip just enough to allow me a few wooden TMNT decorations, until I got to about 5 and then I got my own little tree and was forever banned from touching hers ever again. At the same time my dad also had a set for me and dressed Christmas trees the way he made stews, eventually he gave me his set to use so now I have lots of vintage TMNT Decorations to sprinkle around. I am obsessive about these things, and treat them like delicate glass treasures, which is exactly why I chose this one to photograph because as you can see: it’s clearly been chewed by a dog and it’s not alone in this tattiness, some are missing bells, some have also been gnawed on by long-gone pets, one appears to have been left out in the garden for a few months but NO, they are precious things and to be treated as such.   

I’m Not Hufflepuff I Just Like Badgers
So as far as I can tell the two most sought after items this Christmas are the NES Mini and Primark’s Harry Potter Christmas Baubles. These things are like rocking horse shit this December and after weeks of repeatedly going into Primark and being disappointed I gave in and bought a set of eBay, I figured the extra cost was worth being able to actually display them up to and during Christmas. So my Potter Balls turn up and... they’ve come from a Romford postcode, this means that there’s a very good chance they got them from my Primark and are directly responsible for me needing to buy them from them at an inflated price plus postage (even though they could have walked them to my house) – I just got Dealered, I feel a fool. Buuuut I do have baubles with each of the Hogwarts house logos on them and that does make me feel better, about most things actually…

Holidays are Coming…
I don’t like coke, any coke, not Coca-Cola, not Pepsi (not even Crystal Pepsi) but I LOVE the Coca Cola Christmas adverts. I have allowed myself to completely buy into the bullshit of letting a television commercial dictate my celebration because as it isn’t Christmas until the Coca-Cola trucks turn up in-between Emmerdale and Coronation Street. Do they run these ads in the day-time? Like in daylight? Or does it always instantly become 9pm on Christmas Even in my mind whenever they play and I don’t notice the midday sun? Anyway this came from BHS so can we have a moment of silence for British Home Stores please?
Good, now have a moment of hatred for one dodgy bastard Philip Green.

Finally, some advice: always balance your tree, not just for aesthetic reasons but for ‘stopping the tree from falling on your face’ reasons – especially if you have loads of metal baubles with, say, Star Wars characters on them, I can be hard because you might only have awesome decorations, I mean one could be a Lando Calrissian Ball, why would you not want to look at that? but you must. Yeah, in case I need to spell this out even clearer: I put a load of stuff on the front of my tree and it hit me in the face when it overbalanced – have some Christmas schadenfreude. I promise next time I’ll post on a topic that isn’t indulgent personal things that only I care about.  

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