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Christmas Music is Chinese Water Torture for the Soul

Cynical Santa

By C. Rommial ButlerPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
I feel like the zombie brain this time of year...

How many versions of John Lennon’s Happy Xmas (War Is Over) have to be recorded before war is actually over? I don’t know, but while John rolls over in his grave, artists will keep milking the song for Christmas cash, come hell, high water or… war.

One day I’ll record my own version, but instead of a chorus of singing children, it’ll be grunting old men. Yes, they must grunt, not sing, and they have to be old men, so it’s reminiscent of the involuntary sounds grandpa makes after he nods off on the couch from too much Christmas turkey and mashed taters.

Look, I know Lennon was cremated, so calm down, fan boy or girl. It’s a figure of speech. I guess it’s more like the faint remnants of John’s scattered ashes singe the air with tacit angst every time someone prostitutes his legacy. Imagine all the people covering your song for Christmas, John, and despair.

But seriously, folks, Christmas Music is Chinese Water Torture for the Soul. Let me make my case.

Before I go on, I want to point out that though the ancient Chinese had as many ingenious and gruesome ways to torture and kill people as anyone else in history, Chinese Water Torture is not Chinese at all. Harry Houdini popularized the term in 1910 to refer to his famous act, where he escaped from being bound in a vat of water, and then, mysteriously, this terminology was transferred to the torture practice that can actually be traced to an Italian fellow named Hippolytus de Marsiliis, who, by all accounts—mostly his own—seemed to enjoy deducing the best ways to torture people.

Hippolytus noted that when water dripped consistently into the same place on a rock, it eventually hollowed a hole into it, and he decided it would be interesting to see if this works on a human skull. What he found after restraining his victims and subjecting them to the process was that it will drive the person insane long before it burrows a hole in their skull. How’s that for Christmas Cheer? Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-dee-da.

On Mythbusters they tested Chinese Water Torture and found it pretty effective. However, without the restraints, they noted that it didn’t bother its intended victim at all, and conjectured it was mostly the restraints which accounted for the deleterious effect.

However, Mythbuster Adam Savage had this to say in a later interview:

“The creepiest thing that happened after we did this episode was that I got an email from someone from a throw away account. He said, We found that randomizing when the drops occurred was incredibly effective. That anything that happens on a regular periodicity can become a type of meditation, and you can then tune it out. If you couldn’t predict it, he said, We found, we were able to induce a psychotic break within 20 hours.

The randomness of Christmas Music hits you like cold water in the face after you finally manage to tune it out. You turn off the radio, the TV, put your phone on silent, avoid any media from which a jovial holiday jingle might strike like a snake hid in the grass… and then you unwittingly, with a wide, peaceful smile on your face, walk into the grocery store for a gallon of milk.

There it is. The fifth cover of John Lennon’s Happy Xmas (War Is Over) you’ve heard this week dashes you right in the face. You should have known. You know better! But guess what, you persnickety Grinch?

The war is most definitely not over. Specifically, the one in your head. Now for several more hours you’ll catch yourself humming the tune and you’ll curse. Your heart will shrivel into a lump of coal. Your soul will be as empty as a Christmas Stocking of the Damned.

You read that right. Your heart is just a black, hard piece of coal in an otherwise empty Christmas stocking.

Or am I just talking about myself? To myself? Where am I? Who am I? Oh no…

…I think I’ve had a psychotic break.

So this is Christmassss…

pop culture

About the Creator

C. Rommial Butler

C. Rommial Butler is a writer, musician and philosopher from Indianapolis, IN. His works can be found online through multiple streaming services and booksellers.

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  • Jay Kantorabout a year ago

    C.R. ~ Who was THAT in my head? 'Cynical' you bet! You're 'Fired' you just may have had a 'psychotic' Break?...Just kidding; or am I? 'Silly' sometimes may fit you, too! - Vocal Authors Community - Jay Kantor, Chatsworth, California 'Senior' Vocal Author

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