Author Topic: What irks me about the holidays  (Read 51195 times)

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: What irks me about the holidays
« Reply #130 on: December 22, 2010, 12:09:48 pm »



Ok, I've been holding this one in reserve--   ::) :laugh:

Ha! All Swedes please comment!


http://www.slate.com/id/2239252/

Nordic Quack
Sweden's bizarre tradition of watching Donald Duck cartoons on Christmas Eve.
By Jeremy Stahl
Posted Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009, at 7:01 AM ET


Three years ago, I went to Sweden with my then-girlfriend (now-wife), to meet her family and celebrate my first Christmas. As an only partially lapsed Jew, I was not well-versed in Christmas traditions, and I was completely ignorant of Swedish customs and culture. So I was prepared for surprises. I was not prepared for this: Every year on Dec. 24 at 3 p.m., half of Sweden sits down in front of the television for a family viewing of the 1958 Walt Disney Presents  Christmas special, "From All of Us to All of You." Or as it is known in Sverige, Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar God Jul:  "Donald Duck and his friends wish you a Merry Christmas."

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAHk8nPAa-8&feature[/youtube]


Kalle Anka,  for short, has been airing without commercial interruption at the same time on Sweden's main public-television channel, TV1, on Christmas Eve (when Swedes traditionally celebrate the holiday) since 1959. The show consists of Jiminy Cricket presenting about a dozen Disney cartoons from the '30s, '40s, '50s, and '60s, only a couple of which have anything to do with Christmas. There are "Silly Symphonies" shorts and clips from films like Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,  and The Jungle Book. The special is pretty much the same every year, except for the live introduction by a host (who plays the role of Walt Disney from the original Walt Disney Presents  series) and the annual addition of one new snippet from the latest Disney-produced movie, which TV1's parent network, SVT, is contractually obligated by Disney to air.  

Kalle Anka  is typically one of the three most popular television events of the year, with between 40 and 50 percent of the country tuning in to watch. In 2008, the show had its lowest ratings in more than 15 years but was still taken in by 36 percent of the viewing public, some 3,213,000 people. Lines of dialogue from the cartoons have entered common Swedish parlance.  Stockholm's Nordic Museum has a display in honor of the show in an exhibit titled "Traditions."  Each time the network has attempted to cancel or alter the show, public backlash has been swift and fierce.

Kalle Anka  (pronounced kah-lay ahn-kah) gets its name from the star of the show's second animated short, a 1944 cartoon called "Clown of the Jungle," in which Donald Duck is tormented by a demented Aracuan Bird during a luckless ornithological expedition.  The short is typical of the random violence of many early Disney cartoons. The sadistic Aracuan (regularly mistaken in Sweden for Hacke Hackspett, or Woody Woodpecker) sprays Kalle with seltzer, bashes his head in with a mallet, blows him up with an exploding cigar, threatens to kill himself simultaneously by hanging and gunshot, and ultimately drives the infuriated Kalle insane.

Watching Kalle Anka  for the first time, I was taken aback not only by the datedness of the clips (and the somewhat random dubbing) but also by how seriously my adoptive Swedish family took the show. Nobody talked, except to recite favorite lines along with the characters. My soon-to-be father-in-law, a burly man built like a Scandinavian spruce, laughed at jokes he had obviously heard scores of times before. Nobody blinked at the antiquated animation, the cheesiness of the stories, or even the good-old-fashioned '30s-era Disney-style racism. (In the 1932 "Silly Symphonies" short "Santa's Workshop," there is a scene involving a black doll who yells "Mammy" at the sight of Santa Claus then moons the screen. It was eventually censored from the American version of the cartoon but remains in Kalle Anka. )

The show's cultural significance cannot be understated. You do not tape or DVR Kalle Anka  for later viewing. You do not eat or prepare dinner while watching Kalle Anka.  Age does not matter—every member of the family is expected to sit quietly together and watch a program that generations of Swedes have been watching for 50 years. Most families plan their entire Christmas around Kalle Anka,  from the Smörgåsbord at lunch to the post-Kalle  visit from Jultomten. "At 3 o'clock in the afternoon, you can't to do anything else, because Sweden is closed," Lena Kättström Höök, a curator at the Nordic Museum who manages the "Traditions" exhibit, told me. "So even if you don't want to watch it yourself, you can't call anyone else or do anything else, because no one will do it with you."  





The article continues--and continues--and continues!, this is a long article, interesting, but very possibly irksome--again, Monika, Sophia, Sonja, Berit--please do tell us about your feelings about Kalle Anka!


 :o ::) ;D


http://www.slate.com/id/2239252/


"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: What irks me about the holidays
« Reply #131 on: December 22, 2010, 12:12:49 pm »
Weird and fascinating. Makes me feel more okay about my odd habit of watching Orlando on New Year's Eve.
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline milomorris

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Re: What irks me about the holidays
« Reply #132 on: December 22, 2010, 12:22:29 pm »
Minor quibble: While I haven't double-checked, I suspect the early 1840s may be too early for Tiny Tim to have known Silent Night in English, and I also doubt that God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen was sung in church at that time.

Silent Night wasn't written until 1859. God Rest Ye was written in 1833, and mentioned in the original Dickens.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What irks me about the holidays
« Reply #133 on: December 22, 2010, 12:40:12 pm »
Wow. Suddenly I'm not so embarrassed by my own habit of watching Charlie Brown and the Grinch every Christmas season.

Is Donald Duck to Sweden as Jerry Lewis is to France?  ???

I used to watch Gone With the Wind on New Year's Eve.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Sophia

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Re: What irks me about the holidays
« Reply #134 on: December 22, 2010, 01:19:24 pm »


Ok, it's not a Christmas song, exactly, but--

Here's the newest musical comedy short from SNL, and I have a feeling
we're going to be hearing it A LOT this week--plenty of people are going
to be irked! (It's a hoot, though!)

Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akon:

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQlIhraqL7o[/youtube]



thank you John, for giving me ..... the best laugh this Christmas. Now I know what Christmas song I will play when we have have Christmas dinner.  ;D

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What irks me about the holidays
« Reply #135 on: December 22, 2010, 01:23:08 pm »
Wow. Suddenly I'm not so embarrassed by my own habit of watching Charlie Brown and the Grinch every Christmas season.

Is Donald Duck to Sweden as Jerry Lewis is to France?  ???

I used to watch Gone With the Wind on New Year's Eve.

One year, my mother and brother decided to rent a movie on Christmas Eve. I asked which one, and they said they were thinking about getting Leaving Las Vegas. I wasn't even going to be there, but I had to forbid it. That's the most depressing movie ever. Luckily, they heeded my warning.


Offline Penthesilea

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Re: What irks me about the holidays
« Reply #136 on: December 22, 2010, 01:27:12 pm »
Ha ha, I LiKE this Swedish tradition of watching Kalle Anka. :)

Do tell us about it, lovely Swedish Brokies. Do you and your families follow the tradition?



Marge_Innavera

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Re: What irks me about the holidays
« Reply #137 on: December 22, 2010, 01:28:49 pm »

Nordic Quack
Sweden's bizarre tradition of watching Donald Duck cartoons on Christmas Eve.
By Jeremy Stahl
Posted Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009, at 7:01 AM ET


Three years ago, I went to Sweden with my then-girlfriend (now-wife), to meet her family and celebrate my first Christmas. As an only partially lapsed Jew, I was not well-versed in Christmas traditions, and I was completely ignorant of Swedish customs and culture. So I was prepared for surprises. I was not prepared for this: Every year on Dec. 24 at 3 p.m., half of Sweden sits down in front of the television for a family viewing of the 1958 Walt Disney Presents  Christmas special, "From All of Us to All of You." Or as it is known in Sverige, Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar God Jul:  "Donald Duck and his friends wish you a Merry Christmas."

Oh, that sounds delightful!  And it isn't any more out of character for Cthe season than It's A Wonderful Life, which isn't even primarily about Christmas.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What irks me about the holidays
« Reply #138 on: December 22, 2010, 01:34:02 pm »
I need to research cast lists, too, because I would swear that the elderly actress who played Mrs. Dilber in the pawn broker scene was the same actress who played Mrs. Dilber in the Hallmark/Scott version.

It was the same actress:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0809131/
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Sophia

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Re: What irks me about the holidays
« Reply #139 on: December 22, 2010, 01:36:03 pm »
ha ha ha, John you are so right. This is something more then half of the population watch. And we do organize everything around it.

Donald duck and another show that's shown later in the evening called Karl-bertil Jonsson julafton (Carl-Bertil Jonssons Christmas, its a Swedish cartoon) And its true, if someone refuse to watch it young or old. Let me tell you that person will definitely hear about. But for me this ain't something that irks. I kind of like this tradition, the combination of Christmas and cartoon.  ;D


                 [youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fde1DCmdxAI[/youtube]