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  • Robert Farago

Frosty the Snowman Must Die!

On December 17, 1981, four terrorists posing as plumbers (not shown) kidnapped American General James Dozier. The Italian Red Brigade held NATO’s Deputy Chief of Staff in an apartment in Padua. Wikipedia:

For more than a month, Dozier's right wrist and left ankle were chained to a steel cot, which was placed under a small tent. He was also forced to live under the "never-extinguished glare of an electric bulb." Dozier's captors also required him to wear earphones and listen to loud music.

The Red Brigades’ playlist remains classified, for obvious reasons. At the press conference following his rescue by Italian SWAT, General Dozier let it slip that his captors subjected him to a steady diet of “hard rock.”

We can be fairly certain which bands the terrorists tasked for torture; including Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, Van Halen, Def Leppard, Rush, Motörhead, Thin Lizzy, Saxon, AC/DC and Black Sabbath.

Back in those bands’ hair day - I mean heyday - any hard rock fan worth his salt would’ve considered General Dozier’s nine-hours-a-day, 40-day exposure to hard rock laughably brief.

In fact, calling the military man’s extended listening session torture is something of an exaggeration. Especially when compared to Christmas music.

I’m currently recovering from American Airlines’ decision to subject passengers to a selection of sickly seasonal serenades, including Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmastime, Bing Crosby’s White Christmas and, worst of all, Burl Ives’ Frosty the Snowman.

You know the term “earworm”? It may or may not have originated in Wrath of Khan, where a genetically modified Montalban sticks a worm into Lieutenant Chekov’s ear.

You see, their young enter through the ears and wrap themselves around the cerebral cortex. This has the effect of rendering the victim extremely susceptible to suggestion… Later, as they grow, follows madness and death.

When you find yourself singing or humming a Christmas tune without meaning or wanting to, boom! Earworm!

The madness that follows takes the form of excessive Christmas shopping. Death? Death is death (na-na-na-na-na).

Speaking of The Big Sleep, Frosty the Snowman is creepy as fuck.

A group of children find a hat and place it on Frosty's head. Frosty laughs and plays with the children until the hot sun threatens to melt him. Frosty says goodbye to the children, reassuring them, "I'll be back again someday."

The kids’ animate a snowman who becomes “alive as he could be.” How alive is that?

Thumpety thump thump; thumpety thump thump; thumpety thump thump; thumpety thump thump. If those aren’t the stage directions for a horror movie, I don’t know what is.

It’s no wonder the artist responsible for the image at the top of this post puts boots on old Frosty, although one of them is disconcertingly footless. Anyway…

Wikipedia skips over the part where Frosty – a fat, legless blob of snow with coal for eyes – leads the cavorting kids down to the village ”with a broomstick in his hand.” Am I only the one wondering where child protective services was during all this?

Sensibly enough, a “traffic cop” hollers "Stop!" Frosty does no such thing. He waves goodbye, telling the kids not to cry ‘cause "I'll be back again someday." Is that a threat or a promise?

I get it: some of the best children’s stories are slathered in Vantablack.

But Frosty’s It-like undertone makes me wish AA opted for AC/DC’s Mistress for Christmas, Twisted Sister’s I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. Better yet, Christopher Lee’s heavy metal Little Drummer Boy/Silent Night.

Sure a song like GWAR’s Stripper Christmas Summer Weekend would be a bit much, what with Santa Claus getting violated by aliens and all. But at least Stripper isn’t an earworm with a hidden subtext.

Unfortunately, maybe even tragically, there’s no escaping Frosty and his way too fucking cheerful musical friends as they annoy the shit out of us in airports, stores and Whole Foods FFS.

General Dozier should count himself lucky that he’s gone to the great bivouac in the sky before the annual, inescapable Xmas musical onslaught. Or not. GenD may not have been part of the bah humbug brigade.

If you are, I’m gonna contradict my previous cantankerous rant and recommend wearing earbuds during this festive season. As for choice of music, even death metal is better than death by treacle. IMHO.

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