The Christmas Shoes: A Study in Dialectic Materialism
September 20, 2019 10:10 AM   Subscribe

I was expecting Slavoj Žižek. Am disappoint.
posted by jquinby at 10:18 AM on September 20, 2019

This movie and song represents every maudlin, forced-sentimental bit of bullshit that I DESPISE during the holidays.

Keep Christmas happy, fer fucks sake.
posted by Paladin1138 at 10:44 AM on September 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

And if you do want a good cry over the holidays, just watch the scene where Kermit tells Piggy about Tiny Tim's gravesite in A Muppet Christmas Carol.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:53 AM on September 20, 2019 [6 favorites]

There's room for downbeat Christmas songs -- it's a stressful time for a lot of people. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is largely about how life is troubled and that the future is uncertain.

But it's self-aware about it and that's what "The Christmas Shoes" absolutely is not.
posted by Quindar Beep at 10:56 AM on September 20, 2019 [4 favorites]

I just laughed over the Patton Oswalt bit until I had tears coming out of my eyes, so thanks for that link, Rhaomi.

God do I hate that song, and of course I refused to see the movie, which is an unholy combination of a number of things I hate. But this is an interesting analysis of it. My guess is that the writers didn't completely think through the intended message, but I suppose if one had to derive a consistent message from such a piece of schlock, it would be that work can -- and must -- take one away from one's family, and that there is a tension inherent in working to provide meaningful things for one's family that will never be resolved.
posted by orange swan at 11:08 AM on September 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

posted by overeducated_alligator at 11:17 AM on September 20, 2019 [5 favorites]

Is this a rare Christmas song or have I just somehow either dodged it or managed to never get it stuck in my head during the awful periods of Christmas music assault? This movie is bizarre and so is the song. I feel like I was better off not being aware of this because now it seems inevitable I will notice it this upcoming season.

This analysis is very interesting, though I feel like the essayist is elevating this movie above what it was meant to be. I have a hard time believing the movies writers and director were really all that concerned with complex messages about labor and work. I would assume they were just churning out a Christmas movie based on what is supposedly a popular song to get their paycheck. Still, artist intention doesn't mean shit and he cool thing about every art medium is what you get from it, which is often independent from whatever that art was "meant" to say or do. Which is kind of the point the video ends on.
posted by GoblinHoney at 11:27 AM on September 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

I saw the title of this post, and for a few seconds, I thought there was a Noel Streatfeild book I'd somehow missed.
posted by Dorothea Ladislaw at 12:59 PM on September 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

Thanks, these round out the footnotes for Section 17 of my manifesto.
posted by Rat Spatula at 2:02 PM on September 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

We used to hold an annual holiday tradition, Cheesemas, where we would all eat cheese-based items (gougeres! Fondue! Queso! Cheese straws!) and watch The Christmas Shoes, because lord almighty, that movie deserves to be viewed by people who are half in the bag and willing to heckle.

I got my husband the book that was written -- based on the song -- as a stocking stuffer one year, so naturally I had to read the book. The book struck me as incredibly sad: Although the narrator is male, his repeated appreciation of the domestic labor the women do in his life -- and his devastation when he's threatened with losing any of it -- honestly reads as wish fulfillment for women who feel underappreciated and ignored. Sure, he doesn't say anything, but I know he values my work and cherishes me!

Also, the male protagonist is positioned as selfishly ambitious for hoping to aspire to better than what he has. It was sort of a precursor to the pop-country epidemic of songs about how small-town people with small-town values don't need no fancy nothing because small town. It's so sad.

Anyway, the movie is kind of a hoot but the source material is hella depressing.
posted by sobell at 2:06 PM on September 20, 2019 [6 favorites]

I thought I had heard all the smarmy Xmas songs, but this is a new one for me.
posted by tavella at 7:28 PM on September 20, 2019

A young boy tries to pick out women's shoes. The premise alone tells you that it's not going to end well.
posted by dances with hamsters at 7:39 PM on September 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

A young boy tries to pick out women's shoes. The premise alone tells you that it's not going to end well.

Huh? Can't you just see the mash-up with the other recent Metafilter thread on Billy Porter? That would no doubt be an amazing movie!
posted by eviemath at 6:51 AM on September 21, 2019

I finally got around to watching this video and was quite bored.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:27 PM on October 2, 2019

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