Around this time o’ year way back in 2009 and 2010, I did a series of posts under the banners of Holiday Horrors and Holiday Triumphs, with at least one example of each for every day in December leading up to Christmas Day. I chickened out trying to do that again this year because I feared running low on material, but I think there are still some gems buried in the earlier posts that could do with some new exposure, if I do say so myself.
In that spirit, please enjoy any and all of these Holiday Horrors/Triumphs of years past, whether you’ve just been hipped to Scratchbomb or you want to reread these classics of yesteryear because they’re so awesome. Hubris!
Continuing the fabled tradition begun all the way back in 2009, Scratchbomb presents Holiday Horrors and Holiday Triumphs: an advent calendar of some of the more hideous aspects of this most stressful time of year–with a few bits of awesomeness sprinkled in.
Wanna feel old? Kids now in college grew up with Pokemon. It’s been around long enough to cycle back into the area of nostalgia, just like G.I. Joe and Transformers have for folks of my generation. In Japan, I think Pikachu was elected to the Senate.
Though I’m too old to be in the Pokemon wheelhouse, I totally understand why it was so popular with younger young’uns. It has all the elements necessary to hit kids right where they live.
For starters, the hero of the show was a kid, which is the quickest shortcut to kids’ show success. It had an enormous universe full of characters and a vocabulary all its own, which capitalizes on kids’ obsessive tendencies. And the show itself was really just one arm of a multi-tiered assault of Pokemon related things to buy and do, like its Magic the Gathering-esque card game and roughly a bazillion licensed items from backpacks to differently sized backpacks.
But as I’ve said repeatedly on this site, you should never confuse nostalgia for quality. If you loved Pokemon as a kid, that’s fine, but seen with adult eyes, it’s a terrible show. Not any worse than the stuff I watched when I was seven, mind you, but still terrible.
Naturally, Pokemon produced a gaggle of Christmas-related fare, because the franchise churned out more junk per square inch than any toy line since Masters of the Universe. Just in time for Christmas 2001, they released Pokemon Christmas Bash! Because in a world still reeling from the attacks of September 11, we all needed something to help us heal and strengthen our resolve. And what better to unite us than an album of Pokemon-themed Christmas songs, with instrumentation from the finest keyboard technology 1987 had to offer?
Or, more accurately, Christmas-themed Pokemon songs, since the holiday was was dwarfed in most of the tunes by the importance of naming as many of the characters as possible. But it’s one thing to compose brand new songs about Pokemon that barely mention the holiday (like the immortal ballad “I’m Getting Santa Claus a Pikachu for Christmas”). It’s quite another to shove the names of your dumb characters into beloved carols, which is what they did with this Pokemon Christmas medley.
If you know nothing about Pokemon, this will sound like another language to you. Every third word is the name of a character or a move or something else Pokemon-universe-related. If you did grow up watching it, I’m guessing this will inspire in you some serious cringing. If you can listen to this more than 30 seconds at a time, you are a stronger person than I.
And if you find this grating, be aware that somewhere out there is a German-language version of this album (Pokemon Weihnachtparty!). I could not find any audio of that online, and it’s probably best I didn’t, as I’m pretty sure if I heard it I wouldn’t be able to sleep for a month afterward.