Monday, December 22, 2008

Santaland Diaries

If you're looking for something hilariously irreverent to do this time of year, I hope the stage play of "Santaland Diaries" by David Sedaris is being performed in your area.

If you can't attend a live play, you can read the comic essay in David Sedaris' "Barrel Fever" and also "Holidays on Ice" books.

Santaland Diaries is the story of Crumpet the Elf. It meshes Christmas capitalism and woes of unglamorous work strife as it tells the true tale of Sedaris’ employment as a santa elf in the Santaland display at Macy’s in New York City. It’s a world that places him amongst a cast of out-of-work actor coworkers, schizophrenic Santas and a varied waiting line of obnoxious children and parents. Among those who like a non-traditional seasonal tale, Santaland Diaries has become as much of a holiday tradition as A Christmas Carol or It's a Wonderful Life.

To listen to Mr Sedaris read a 7-minute excerpt on NPR in Windows Media: click here

Or, if you prefer Real Media: click here

Or, here is a 1-minute youtube teaser:


It has become a family tradition in my house to read Santaland Diaries aloud every christmas. This christmas may be especially poignant as so many people find themselves out of work and considering temporary christmas employment as a stop-gap measure to stave off the wolves at the door. Might as well go to the poor house laughing!

Another annual D.K. xmas tradition is to watch "Bad Santa". This hilarious Coen Brothers gem lives up to their skewed worldview. Billy Bob Thornton as Santa is your first clue this is not a normal xmas movie. His Santa is a bad-tempered washed-up alcoholic criminal who seems beyond redemption until he meets a very sad little boy. It was also John Ritter's last movie appearance. I believe he died as it was being filmed, and rather than try to rework his part, his odd character just disappeared. Only later do you realize, hey what happened to John Ritter? The x-rated DVD version is Badder Santa.

8 comments:

Fran said...

LOL! An elf with attitude, I love it already.

I sent cards a while back that had Santa scowling & the response- "Back Off! I'm a yard gnome"

As if Santa were yelling at the gnome to work faster, thinking he was an elf.

Thanks for this snarky holiday gem.

D.K. Raed said...

Fran:
After watching "Bad Santa" last night, another D.K. holiday tradition, I just added a little paragraph about it to this post. Kind of fits with the offbeat xmas stuff.

If you like snarkitude and get a chance to read "Santaland Diaries", I promise you won't be disappointed.

LOL ... "Back off, I'm a yard gnome"! Kinda sheds a new light on Santa as cruel overseer rather than benevolent employer of elves!

pursey said...

OMG, I love Bad Santa. I also love David Sedaris and will have to read Holidays on Ice.
I hope you and Ed have a blast this Christmas!

pursey said...

Too funny, earlier I left a comment which did not work, recommending Bad Santa. I came back to try again I saw the Bad Santa part and wondered, "How did I overlook that?" Now I read in the comments that you added it later. Too funny.

somenotesonliving said...

David Saderis is so funny ! you gotta love that guy. Wishing all and everyone renewal, a banishing of the darkness, and a wish for unity in what we all share in common our humanity. Here is to a better new year. here is to building alliances and coalitions and all of this requires humor and patience.

love to all the readers and friends of redheadedwishdom. !!

from pptg (nicki)

Fran said...

That original elf art you posted reminds me of Shrek!

D.K. Raed said...

Pursey:
If you wanted to see the play, it's probably going on in your town, though performances usually sell out early. I wonder why your original comment "didn't work"? Hmmm, maybe you wrote it at THE EXACT SAME TIME I was updating about Bad Santa -- and of course blogger can only do one thing at a time! How cool would that be?

D.K. Raed said...

Proud Progressive:
How nice to see you! I wish all the same for you (unity and peace and a better new year). Now I am gonna HAVE to stop by & see how you're doing cuz it has definitely been awhile!

Fran:
That elf is a Santa! The elf in question is much more fastidious! He is appalled by almost everything going on in Santaland. Now you'll just have to read the story! I'm sure "Holidays on Ice" is avail at the library.