Today Diane Rehm was talking to author John Dominic Crossan, whose new book "In Search of Paul" talks about how he and his researchers believe through their studies that much of the controversial stuff that Paul is credited with having said/wrote may not have been authored by poor, controversial and much-maligned "St. Paul the Asshat" at all, but instead cobbled together by the Romans to make sure those weird, radical ideas about strength through peace, female equality, and the badness of keeping slaves wouldn't get around. It was interesting listening to him, and I'm thinking I'd like to read the book and see what they have to say.
I had some other deep thoughts, but of course I didn't write them down this morning while I was thinking them, so they're gone.
Now on to Christmas thoughts, coming from spending the day listening to my compilations of favorite Christmas songs, as well as seeing my friends talking about their "top five Christmas shows" (notably rahirah and sillymagpie). Only five? Gonna be tough. Let's see...
1) Santa Claus is Comin' To Town -- My first introduction to Fred Astaire, and better still, the hero and heroine were BOTH redheads. Trust me, growing up with red hair is a trial, because kids are mean little snots when you're different. I loved having a Christmas show where Santa and Mrs. Santa were redheads in their youth, and even as a kid I loved a love story.
2) A Charlie Brown Christmas -- Interesting for me to learn this first broadcast the year I turned one, so I can almost picture 16-month-old me watching it for the first time with Mom and Dad, in the living room downstairs in the house in Cheyenne. I always get a real misty feeling listening to Linus recite the true meaning of Christmas.
3) How the Grinch Stole Christmas -- Like everyone else, the original. Chuck Jones, funny dog, great vocal narration, more mistiness, what else do you need?
Okay, now it gets hard. What to list next? Holiday Inn? The Bishop's Wife? Bernard and the Genie? The Year Without A Santa Claus? A Christmas Story? White Christmas? The Little Drummer Boy? Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? Miracle On 34th Street? The Santa Clause?
Okay, I'll admit it.
4) The Santa Clause -- I can't help it, I love this movie. Tim Allen is a surprisingly effective Santa, and while the E.L.F.S. are kinda annoying, I still love this movie. Never have seen the sequel.
5) Holiday Inn -- All respect to White Christmas, this is for me the better film. Much earlier, the first movie to use that perennial title song, plenty of Fred Astaire dancing, some rivalry and humor, songs and dancing, and it spawned an entire hotel chain.
Then kinda jumble up all the others listed above tied at #6, and throw in dark-yet-somehow-saccharine It's a Wonderful Life and Nightmare Before Christmas, then just keep on going. I love Christmas and Christmas specials, all of them. A good version of "Christmas Carol" will always delight me (I recorded the new Kelsey Grammer version -- haven't watched it yet). I liked Scrooged and, yes, I even liked Bad Santa. But then, I live in Phoenix. Some of the jokes were uncomfortably close to the mark (it's true! That's what makes it funny!).