“A Sad Christmas Story” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:
Described by a critic as “one of those rare movies you can say is perfect in every way,” “A Christmas Story,” directed by Bob Clark, debuted in 1983.
Set in the 1940s, the film depicts a series of family vignettes through the eyes of 9-year-old Ralphie Parker, who yearns for that gift of all gifts: the Daisy Red Ryder BB gun.
This was boyhood before “bang-bang you’re dead” was banned; family life prior to “One Dad Two Dads Brown Dad Blue Dads,” and Christmas before Saint Nicholas was denounced for his whiteness and “merry Christmas” condemned for its exclusiveness.
If children could choose the family into which they were born, most would opt for the kind depicted in “A Christmas Story,” where mom is a happy homemaker, dad a devoted working stiff, and between them, they have zero repertoire of progressive psychobabble to rub together.
Although clearly adored, Ralphie is not encouraged to share his feelings at every turn. Nor is he, in the spirit of gender-neutral parenting, circa 2014, urged to act out like a girl if he’s feeling … girlie. Instead, Ralphie is taught restraint and self-control. And horrors: The little boy even has his mouth washed out with soap and water for uttering the “F” expletive. “My personal preference was for Lux,” reveals Ralphie, “but I found Palmolive had a nice piquant after-dinner flavor—heady but with just a touch of mellow smoothness.” Ralphie is, of course, guilt-tripped with stories about starving Biafrans when he refuses to finish his food.
The parenting practiced so successfully by Mr. and Mrs. Parker fails every progressive commandment. By today’s standards, the delightful, un-precocious protagonist of “A Christmas Story” would be doomed to a lifetime on the therapist’s chaise lounge—and certainly to daily doses of Ritalin, as punishment for unbridled boyishness and day-dreaming in class. Yet despite his therapeutically challenged upbringing, Ralphie is a happy little boy. For “Progressives”—for whom it has long been axiomatic that the traditional family is the source of oppression for women and children—this is inexplicable.
Perhaps the first to have conflated the values of the bourgeois family with pathological authoritarianism was philosopher Theodor Adorno. …
… Read the complete column. “A Sad Christmas Story” is the current column, now on WND.
UPDATE (12/28): A Treasured Letter From Assistant Director of “A Christmas Story.”
Hi Ms. Mercer,
I want to thank you for the article you wrote on “A Christmas Story”. Bob would have really loved your opening paragraph.
My name is … I was a friend of Bob’s in addition to being his 1st Assistant Director on most of his movies, including “A Christmas Story” and “Porky’s.
Both Bob and Jean Shepard had “Jewish” sensibilities and there were plenty of the tribe working on the set and in the executive substructure.
In fact, the sign of the Chinese restaurant that the Parker’s went to was called Bo Ling. I mention this because the name of that restaurant was Bob’s recognition of my MOTHER’s contribution to his career.
The story of Bo ling occurred when my family was driving from NY to south Florida in 1961. It was getting late and we were all hungry when my mother shouted that there was a Chinese Restaurant at the next exit. Dad pulled off and as we drove up to the building we all realized that there was no restaurant but a bowling alley with the neon light of the “L” was not lit, hence Bo ling was later immortalized in the movie.
The only critical point that I would make is I think you should have mentioned that Bob and Arial were killed by a drunk driver, who happened to be an illegal alien. [
Again, I really enjoyed reading your article. Even after all these years it is still in the public consciousness and Bob would have loved that too.
This note means a great deal; it’s of historic significance.
Thanks for the pointer against my point on illegality. Here is my counter to it, excerpted from an older article:
Bob Clark, director of one of the most delightful films ever made, “A Christmas Story,” and his 24-year-old son were both killed by a drunk, unlicensed, allegedly illegal alien. Geraldo and Jacoby, the teletwits of amnesty, both asserted that the illegality of the perp is irrelevant to the crime. “It’s not an illegal alien story; it’s a drunk driving story,” Geraldo noodled on “The Factor.”
Geraldo was serious, although he should not be taken seriously. So here’s my next question: For the Geraldo/Jacoby crushingly stupid claim to stick, they would have to demonstrate that had this drunk, illegal alien been stopped at the border or been deported, his victims would have nevertheless suffered the same fate.
Thus illegality matters to this story of lives lost. Had the Overlords in DC not facilitated the unleashing of this illegal individual, Bob and his son would be alive, at least on that day.