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A New Column: Not With The Band Debuts

(Editors Note: West Correspondent Alyson Camus debuts a weekly culture column today, Not With The Band)

Do you know that movie 'The Day the Earth Stood Still'? Well Christmas day is like this for music, it is the day rock music stands still. Actually many news outlets used that same slogan ‘the day music stood still’ when Michael Jackson died, when Elvis Presley died…. That was stupid, because those were news!

On Christmas day, nothing is happening, every news stops, there’s nothing, nada, rien!

The XX released a mere demo of 2 minutes and all the blogs were after it, as if it would be the only thing they’d be able to feed on the whole day. And it was. Bands, if you want attention, release something on Christmas day, everyone will talk about you.

Constantly checking my Twitter feed, it was only giving me about a tweet every 15 minutes, whereas there are ordinarily several hundred of them every second. It was not even necessary to look for other news elsewhere, everything was brain dead.

It takes time to find a subject to write about, actually you only realize it when you start seriously writing. And I should suffer even more on Christmas because the world has decided to stop? I should spend more time brain storming because of this false religious excuse? Anyway, are we celebrating the birth of the son of God, or this obese bearded North pole man dressed in red? I have always been confused, passed the fact that they are both supposed to have magical powers.

Everywhere, we are stuck with that seasonal non-sense they call holiday music, blasting in stores, on radio and TV all day long, music by the way which has little to do with the supposed sacred-religious aspect of this holiday. Actually most of the things people do around Christmas time has nothing to do with religion, as everyone knows,… the believers rush to the mall before and after Christmas day, almost kill each other to get the last Nike Air Jordan sneakers, and, the day of the miraculous birth, they stuff themselves with foie gras and find themselves forced to give people presents that will be returned to the store the following day.

Christmas and its Northern European folklore of reindeers, pine trees and jingle bells curiously mixed with a-Bethlehem-kid-is-born-in-a-manger imagery is imposed to us every year, bringing the same confusion and frustration: there is the pressure to gather with family – what if you can’t, or worst don’t have one? – the pressure to be generous – hey, I want to give stuff when I want and to whom I want – the pressure to confess if you have been nice or naughty,… are we still little children?

I know, the war on Christmas is an old one, I haven’t invented it, but honestly, shouldn’t we stop with that non-sense? A recent Associated Press-GfK poll revealed that the mean age at which kids stopped believing in Santa Claus is 8.8 years, but, at the same time, 77% of American adults believe in angels?!!! Totally insane!

I don’t want a ban on Christmas, it would be like hoping for peace on earth, a complete loss of time. That said, you meet people hoping for peace on Earth almost every day. But think about it, if you are above 12 years old, do you like being brainwashed a month-long by this fake-generosity of Christmas spirit and imposed this same sugar-coated stupid music everywhere you go? Personally, I want to be entertained, in an adult-sense-of-the-word way, I want to be intellectually stimulated, I don't want to be induced in a food-coma while listening to ‘Santa Baby’.

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