At least Scrooge found redemption
Many, many years ago, before what most people think of as the internet, I was active in several forums on Fidonet. One December someone started a thread about Christmas movies, and someone else posted into that thread a brief explanation of why The Bing Crosby, Danny Kay, and Rosemary Clooney White Christmas was their favorite movie.
And one of the first replies to that post was a cranky rant about how that movie was not the film which had introduced the song of the same name, that the song had been originally written for the Fred Astaire film, Holiday Inn, and no one should like White Christmas because it wasn’t the movie that introduced the song.
Nothing in the original message had even mentioned the song, “White Christmas.” The person had even said that the movie was full of corny and silly bits, with a highly improbable plot.
I shrugged my shoulders at the cranky, crazy person, and went on to read other people’s recommendations of their favorite Christmas movies.
A year or so later, I think it was on a Usenet forum, a similar thread was in progress, and again, not long after someone mentioned White Christmas, there was another angry rant about how that movie wasn’t the one that introduced the song, and how much the person wished people would stop saying it had. Except, of course, that once again, no one had.
I’ve seen it again, and again. Mention the movie, White Christmas, and some troll will post a rant about it not being the movie that introduced the song. Now, sometimes, before the troll got there, someone would mention in a more friendly way the fact that the song was originally written for another movie, but had become so popular that a studio decided to base an entire film on the song. But eventually, there would be the angry post conveying the same fact.
When I posted on an old blog a list of my favorite Christmas movies, I got an anonymous message from someone, ignoring all the other movies in the list, to angrily tell me he’s tired of people mistakenly believing that White Christmas, the movie, introduced “White Christmas,” the song. Which, of course, I hadn’t said.
It’s perfectly legitimate to dislike a movie that someone else likes. It is also socially acceptable to join a virtual conversation about a movie by sharing some trivia about the film, one of the people in it, and so on. The part that I don’t get is why this movie, of all the innocuous, corny, trivial films that have ever been made, seems to always attract this one particular rant.
I have wondered if it’s just the same troll. Does he have alerts set up searching for mentions of this film, so he can log into whereever someone mentions it and post his rant?
If it isn’t the same troll, what makes several people feel a need to react with righteous outrage about a movie named after a song which it didn’t introduce? How can such a trivial detail provoke such outrage?
People get angry about things that other people enjoy all the time. No matter how wrong headed (and factually wrong) it is, I underatand why people get worked up about the so-called war on Christmas, for instance. Something that represents their faith and their personal history appears to be under attack. I think they are deluded to think it’s under attack, but I understand why traditions and beliefs and treasured memories are important to them.
But which movie introduced a sentimental holiday song? Really?
And of all the things about that song to get exercised about, again, it’s which movie introduced it? Not the fact that it’s a secular song about a sacred holiday? Not that a song for a Christian holiday was written by a Jewish man? (Actually, maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned that—because now the war on Christmas folks will decide that Irving Berlin started their whole war, or something.)
Maybe these folks just need to be visited by some ghosts, perhaps the spirits of Musicals Past, Present, and Yet To Come.
Haven’t you always wanted to see those ghosts doing jazz hands?