25 December 2009

Snowbird and the Forgotten Christmas

 Snowbird and the Forgotten Christmas
United States – 1989
Director – Tina Young & David Van Hooser
Brentwood Music Inc, 1989, VHS
Run Time – 30 minutes

It should be clear now after a forty-five year Cold War that communism is an ideology that seeks to subject us all to the withering self-doubt of constant deprivation and loneliness. Christmas is exactly what communists hate, for it embodies all the things that make the world a wonderful place. In short, Christmas is the uranium core within the reactor of America.

Any attempt to undermine the spirit of Christmas is clearly a communist plot to destroy the very fabric of America. It can be forgiven if the fear of just such a scenario might drive godfearing Americans to the heights of paranoia, afterall we did spend over two decades in a tiny Southeast Asian country trying to keep some dominoes from falling over.

The social upheavals of that very era sent shockwaves through the country. Never more so than in the South where even in the late 80’s the youth culture of the 60’s could still be conjured as a counterrevolutionary boogeyman, albeit in a tattered and proscribed version. Just such a scenario occurs in Snowbird and the Forgotten Christmas when aging hippy Kredge seeks to realize the crumbling utopian monocultural dreams of his youth and kidnaps Snowbird from his annual celebration of Christmas.

Kredge intends to harvest Snowbird’s own Christmas memories to create an atheist brainwashing gas which, unleashed upon the unsuspecting community like a cloud of radioactivity, will wipe their minds clean of any recollection of the holiday, including the identity of the infant in the manger scene at church.

But Kredge's own mind is teetering on the edge, haunted by the spectre of the failed revolution of ’68. They tried so hard to fill the world with love and equality and now to be surrounded by the revelry of American consumption and decadence. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, enough to plunge even a free wheeling hippy into the depths of bitterness and depression and Kredge almost didn’t make it. His epic plan to subject the free world to godless communist uniformity is foiled only at the last minute by a simple Christmas gift from Snowbird. This unexpected act of compassion brings Kredge’s meticulously constructed factory of pain crashing down around his beard. He slinks off into the night to contemplate his own emptiness, and perhaps plan a new machine to wash away his own tortured memories.

Overwhelmed by the lonliness of a commune of one, Kredge contemplates what he has become.

Another Brentwood version of the VHS box art.

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