December 11th, 2012

holiday park

Christmas Disasters

My primary achievement yesterday was getting my Christmas tree up and the lights on. Still no ornaments, but it's a work in progress. I'm really shaking things up this year with my decor. Not only did I re-do the front-door wreath and change out the ribbon on the stair-rail garland, but I put the Christmas tree in a different place. It's always gone at the back of the living room, in the middle of the rear window, mostly because that's a fairly open space with easy access to a light socket, where it's visible from the dining room and living room. But this summer I moved my small stereo to the table that usually sits in that spot. I put it on a turntable so it can face either the living room or the kitchen/dining room, and I can hook my computer up to it to use it as speakers for iTunes. I couldn't figure out where I could move the stereo so I could still access it from the dining room and where I could also hook up the computer to it. So I got the grand idea of moving the end table next to the sofa and putting the tree in the corner between the sofa and the side window. It's minimal disruption of my usual layout, though putting the lights on when 3/4 of the tree is hard to access was a bit of a pain. If I do this again next year, I'll put on the lights and then move the tree into place.

I was doing all this rearranging and setting up while getting in the holiday spirit by watching my recording of Saturday night's SyFy Christmas disaster flick. The Lifetime holiday movies are cheesy fun. The SyFy holiday movies are awesomely awful, and this one, The 12 Disasters of Christmas, was epically awful.

Keep in mind that I am not making any of this up. It turns out that the Mayans were right about 12-21-12. Disasters will strike that could destroy the earth, and it happened before. The Mayans left information about this so it would be passed on throughout history and we'd be ready for it the next time. How did they do this? In the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas." There's a pseudoscience/magic explanation about geomatic -- or maybe geomagic, but I was pouring a cup of tea during this scene -- energy building up in the earth, and every 1,000 years it needs to be vented or terrible things will happen. For reasons that are never explained, the focus of all this is on a small town in what looks to be the Pacific Northwest, and the chosen one who can save us all is a whiny teenage girl (and what's the deal with these whiny teenage girls we're expected to believe will save us all? That's working so well on Revolution). The town comes under attack by terrible CGI, with the most awesome involving perfectly aimed ice missiles that impale and deflate all the inflatable lawn ornaments. Oddly, unless someone is being gored by an ice missile, all the disasters seem to kill by turning people to dust and disintegrating them, whether they're overcome by cold, fake lava, electricity or geysers. Our teenage heroine and her dad have to find the five gold rings before the world comes to an end -- and before the guy who wants to bring a Wal-Mart-type store to town (so you know he's evil) catches her and tries to sacrifice her because he saw one page in the Mayan 12 Days of Christmas book and leapt to that conclusion. I never did figure out how the 12 Days of Christmas mapped to the disasters. The only one they explained was that the twelve drummers drumming related to the twelve mountain peaks surrounding the town that were twelve (formerly) dormant volcanoes that were about to erupt with bad CGI lava.

Of course, the chosen one's name is J.C., and her parents are named Mary and Joseph, and the mayor who sells them out to the villain is named Jude, because subtlety is for weenies. The characters are too stupid to live at way too many points in the story. For instance, they're down to walkie-talkies as a form of communication, and everyone in town has them. So what do they do when on the run and checking in with the rest of the family? They give their location or destination over an open channel. It's just a "still alive" check-in, not a plan to meet up, so there's no reason to give their location other than idiot plotting (because otherwise, the bad guys might have had trouble finding them). Heck, even if they did need to give a location, if the odds are that the people who want to sacrifice your daughter are listening, you give it in a kind of private code, like "that place where we went that time." Unless, of course, they actually wanted to get rid of an entitled teenager. The smartest character in the entire movie was the family dog, who ran into the woods at the first hint of disaster and stayed there until the happy ending.

In summary, it was amazing. I'm not sure which was best, the inflatables being speared or the bad guy who got strangled with strands of Christmas lights that came flying off the eaves of a house. But I have decided that I could combine two of my career bucket list items and write a romantic comedy SyFy Christmas movie. The SyFy Christmas movies are too family-focused, with a nuclear family battling the disaster together. What we need are single people being thrown together by disaster and learning the "real" meaning of Christmas while falling in love in the midst of the disaster. One of them could be a Scrooge-like Christmas-hater who realizes during this crisis how precious life is and how important it is to buy gifts and put up decorations. Then the happy ending can be them kissing in front of the smoldering remains of their town in the aftermath as snow starts to fall and the surviving townspeople spontaneously burst into "Silent Night."

I must start writing this immediately.