Artisans in Naples, Italy unveiled their new nativity figures the other day and proved an ancient bit of Christmas wisdom: don’t fuck with the formula. These representations of Barack and Michelle Obama (and, we think, John McCain) and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni shouldn’t be anywhere near straw, donkeys, and the baby Jesus.
Why do people persist in making this charming, naive old imagery into something modern and strange? Whatever it adds in novelty, it takes away in wholesome simplicity. You may as well serve your guests EggNogtinis and put your presents under a Christmas fungus.
We have long admired Going Jesus’ Cavalcade of Weird Nativities, but see they haven’t gotten around to a 2008 edition yet. So here to tidings-of-comfort-and-joy you over is a short review of recent, horrible innovations on the holy family theme:
Gay Nativities. We support marriage equality and are down with representational gender-fucks in general. When this ploy got started in the Italian Parliament in 2006 it was tolerable, producing a lot of hilarious “Christmas hijacked with ‘gay’ Nativity” headlines etc. But now that the Dutch are at it with a new Jesus Has Two Mommies and Two Daddies display, it’s turning into a thing, and we’re getting that old Rocky Horror burnout feeling. Can’t we move on to new horizons — maybe celebrating Hanukkah by spinning the gaydel?
A Charlie Brown Birth of Christ. This opens the door to Smurf nativities, Transformer nativities, and Where in the World is Jesus Christ. Children will have enough trouble coping with this year’s Recession Christmas without seeing Met Life spokestoons right there in the manger.
Edible nativities. We sort of appreciate the can-do culinary spirit, but inevitably someone’s going to be up late, maybe after too much Christmas punch, and think, “Mmm, baby Jesus sure would hit the spot.” Then the kids will ask “Where’s baby Jesus?” and it’ll be worse than the time you had to explain why Grandma was never coming to visit again.
Porno nativities. Do we even have to explain?
Urban nativities. If the story and its associated images mean anything, it’s that the Son of God came into the world in the humblest way to save mankind. Jesus, Mary and Joseph may have been poor but they were most definitely not thugged out. So don’t make a nativity with Homies or do a video of the Annunciation in a London slum or anything like that. If the Greatest Story Ever Told is basically 8 Mile, there’s really no point in having Christmas at all, except to make yourself more wretched than you already are. Peace out on earth!
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