"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Idolatry of Christmas

Not quite the theological screed the provocative headline seems to portend, but I kid thee not:


Actually, from what I heard on Hugh Hewitt's show, not too bad. Sort of like the guy at the party who sings a little better than everybody else.

Idol plays it straight with the material, his solid-enough yet unnuanced baritone no threat to the masterful velvet croon of Der Bingle, although a few of Billy's trademark growls spice things up a bit. (For those who came in too early like Hewitt himself, Billy Idol sang punky-glossy 80s hits like "White Wedding," and for those coming in late, well, you're young enough to know how to google "Bingle.")

The adventurous or the merely morbidly curious will check out samples of it here on Billy's MySpace page, accompanied by some properly foul-mouthed street cred CYA commentary by the erstwhile rocker himself: I did it, I hated it, it's bogus, but it's still kinda cool. Above all, buy it.

It's a nice day for a
White Christmas---
Nice day to
Make a buuuuuuuuuck...

8 comments:

Michael Simpson said...

it's sort of like that "Love Actually" movie (with Hugh Grant and Colin Firth) where the aging rock star (who could be a parody of Billy Idol) makes the Christmas album...something here about art imitating life imitating art...or maybe art mocking life mocking art....

Evanston said...

Internet sample sounds good to me. Not great, but as long as he's singing "straight" (not snarky) then I'm fine with it and actually hope to buy a copy for my brother. Thank you for the recommendation.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Cheers, E. With a Yuletide yell, he cried more, more, more.

Michael, I adore Love Actually. My kinda movie, with the seamlessly hilarious Bill Nighy reprising his riff as the burned-out lead singer of a rediscovered rock band in Still Crazy to which I also give a mighty three thumbs up.

S. T. Karnick said...

I absolutely detest Love, Actually. It's irredemably asinine garbage, with an obnoxios view of romantic love, in my view, saved only by Nighy's immense likeability.

Kathy Hutchins said...

Hugh Grant has made a long string of detestable movies, among which I count Love Actually. I can't stand Notting Hill either. The last time he appeared on screen in watchable form was Sense and Sensibility.

Tom Van Dyke said...

I forgot how putrid Hugh Grant (and his subplot) were in Love Actually. I kind of ignored it---I mostly loved Nighy and the Alan Rickman's betrayal of Emma Thompson story.

One of Kathy's favorites, Frederica Mathewes-Green (via NRO here), "wrote a very interesting piece on the larger phenomenon of un-grown-up-ness, of which [Leonardo] DiCaprio is emblematic, for First Things. An excerpt:

Today actors preserve an unformed, hesitant, childish quality well into middle age. Compare the poised and debonair Cary Grant with Hugh Grant, who portrayed a boyish, floppy-haired ditherer till he was forty. Compare Bette Davis’ strong and smoky voice with RenĂ©e Zellweger’s nervous twitter. Zellweger is adorable, but she’s thirty-five. When will she grow up?

In a review in the Village Voice of the film The Aviator, Michael Atkinson dubbed our current crop of childish male actors “toddler-men.” “The conscious contrast between baby-faced, teen-voiced toddler-men movie actors and the golden age’s grownups is unavoidable,” he wrote. “Though DiCaprio is the same age here as Hughes was in 1934, he may not be convincing as a thirty-year-old until he’s fifty.” Nobody has that old-style confident authority any more. We’ve forgotten how to act like grownups."

Kathy Hutchins said...

Re: the "toddler-men" -- I agree in general with the observation, and would place Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and even probably Joseph Fiennes in that category as well. His brother Ralph seems to be a subcategory, the Effeminate Yet Firmly Heterosexual Man Child. One counter-example is the new Bond, Daniel Craig, who is at least as self-assured and manly as Sean Connery and much more so than Pierce Brosnan.

Evanston said...

Uh, for those wondering about the Billy Idol "Happy Holiday CD, the verdict (unsurprisingly) = not very good. My youngest brother, a Billy fan, liked it OK but I find it best playing far away in the background and quite irritating at normal volume. Oh well. It's a nice day to, start again...