Eminem fans on social media are in uproar over a campaign from Generation Z TikTok users to cancel the controversial rapper.
Videos from millennials defending Eminem — who’s real name is Marshall Mathers — trended on Twitter and TikTok in response to demands from “Zoomers,” youngsters identifying as members of “Gen Z,” that Eminem be canceled because of his history of violent, abusive, and otherwise controversial lyrics.
It all started with one TikTok video posted in February condemning the rapper’s 2010 hit song “Love the Way You Lie,” featuring a collaboration with Rihanna. The video condemns the lyrics, “If she ever tries to f***ing leave again Imma tie her to the bed and set this house on fire,” which obviously would be an act of domestic violence against women.
“To everyone that is cancelling him I literally love u,” the TikTok user wrote, firing a shot that began a generational war.
to everyone that is canceling him I literally love u?
Eminem’s fans counterattacked against the Gen Z haters with their own videos. The most popular response has more than 6.3 million views and is from a millennial woman who raps, “Listen little kiddies let me / make this quite clear / this man was around / even before you were here.”
She goes on to blast the rappers favored by Gen Z as mumbling “gibberish,” tell the kids their opinions don’t matter, and say “one day / you’ll grow up and see / how everyone went / and forgot about Z.”
if I had to see this and have it ruin my day, so do all of you https://t.co/5Gq8LpiNLr
Some of the replies pointed out that Eminem’s brand is writing controversial lyrics and having haters try to cancel him.
“Does she not remember when WE tried to cancel Eminem as well? His entire career kind of depends on having ‘haters’ and whatnot. We’re all just trying to fuel his next project lol,” one person wrote on Twitter.
“Gen Z should know by now that some people are above cancelling. Media been trying to cancel Eminem long before cancelling was a thing. He came out in ’99 and his first words were “Hi kids, do you like violence” and still enjoyed 22 years in the game. That’s who you want to cancel?” another user said.
In another popular video, a millennial TikTok user has a mock conversation with himself, playing “Gen Z,” in which they argue about canceling Eminem.
“We gotta cancel Eminem,” Gen Z says in the sketch.
“Why?” millennial responds.
Gen Z: “Have you heard his lyrics?”
Millennial: “Heard ’em? I was raised screaming them all through grade school.”
The Gen Z character complains that Eminem’s lyrics are “full of hate,” but the millennial responds, “so is my angsty little teenage soul, but look at me now. I turned out fine.”
The wokening of “The Simpsons” continues, as another white voice actor will step down from his role voicing a minority character.
Harry Shearer, who has voiced the character of Dr. Hibbert since the long-running cartoon’s second season in 1990, will step away from his role and be replaced by a black voice actor, the Wrap reported Monday.
“Last night’s episode ‘DiaryQueen’ featured Harry Shearer as the voice of Dr. Hibbert for the last time,” 20th Television, the studio that produces “The Simpsons,” said in a statement. “Next Sunday’s episode ‘Wad Goals’ will have Kevin Michael Richardson voicing Dr. Hibbert — and from there on out he will voice the character.”
The recasting decision follows an announcement from “The Simpsons” last June that the show would no longer have white actors voice its characters with different skin colors. The decision was made after Black Lives Matter protests and Antifa riots erupted in the wake of George Floyd’s death. At the time, “Family Guy” voice actor Mike Henry announced he would no longer voice the black character Cleveland Brown on the show.
Shearer will continue to voice other roles on the show, such as Ned Flanders and Principal Skinner, but Richardson will take over as Hibbert.
Shearer did not provide a comment to the Wrap but previously he has criticized the show for indulging the idea that a white voice actor cannot portray a character with a different skin color.
“I have a very simple belief about acting,” he told Times Radio last August. “The job of the actor is to play someone who they are not.”
Dr. Hibbert is not the first minority Simpsons character to be recast because of racial issues.
Last January, actor Hank Azaria stepped away from his longtime role as convenience store owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, a character that appears to be of Indian descent. The character was eventually written off the show entirely because of a documentary by comedian Hari Kondabolu, which depicted Apu as a problematic stereotype that has had a detrimental impact on how Indian and Southeast Asian actors are treated in Hollywood.
“My eyes have been opened,” Azaria said of the documentary and the criticism surrounding it. “I think the most important thing is we have to listen to South Asian people, Indian people in this country when they talk about what they feel, how they think about this character, and what their American experience of it [is].”
Country music star, native Tennessean, and American icon Dolly Parton kindly asked the Tennessee Legislature on Thursday to postpone an effort to erect a statue in her honor at the state capitol.
In a written statement, Parton said she was honored and humbled by the gesture, but thinks the timing is inappropriate.
“I want to thank the Tennessee Legislature for their consideration of a bill to erect a statue of me on the Capitol grounds. I am honored and humbled by their intention but I have asked the leaders of the state Legislature to remove the bill from any and all consideration,” Parton said.
“Given all that is going on in the world, I don’t think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time,” she explained. “I hope, though, that somewhere down the road several years from now or perhaps after I’m gone if you still feel I deserve it, then I’m certain I will stand proud in our great State Capitol as a grateful Tennessean.
“In the meantime, I’ll continue to try to do good work to make this great state proud.”
Born and raised in the Smoky Mountains, Parton is the favorite daughter of the Volunteer State. She’s written more than 25 songs that reached No. 1 on the Billboard country charts, including the 1973 hit song “My Tennessee Mountain Home” about growing up in rural Tennessee. She began writing music at 8 years old, using her talent to rise out of poverty to superstardom.
Parton is one of the most-honored female country music artists of all time, earning 10 Grammy Awards, 50 Grammy nominations, three American Music Awards, seven Academy of Country music awards, the Living Legend Medal from the U.S. Library of Congress, the National Medal of Arts, introduction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and more.
Her philanthropic work includes supporting literacy through the Dollywood Foundation, fundraising for the American Red Cross and HIV/AIDS-related charities, fighting to preserve the bald eagle by supporting the American Eagle Foundation’s sanctuary, and donating $1 million to help fund Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.
In January, Tennessee state Rep. John Mark Windle sponsored a bill to build a statue of Parton in the state Capitol “to recognize her for all she has contributed to this state.” The proposed statue would face the Ryman Auditorium, a historic music venue where Parton has performed several times throughout her career. The statue would be paid for by the “Dolly Parton fund,” which would be made up of gifts, grants, and other donations, CNN reported last January.
The statue is not the first honor Parton has politely declined. The Trump administration offered to grant Parton the Presidential Medal of Freedom twice, but she turned the president down both times, citing her husband’s illness and the coronavirus pandemic.
“I couldn’t accept it because my husband was ill and then they asked me again about it and I wouldn’t travel because of the COVID,” she told NBC’s “Today.”
She also said that the Biden administration has reached out to her about the award, but said, “now I feel like if I take it, I’ll be doing politics, so I’m not sure.”
“But I don’t work for those awards,” she said. “It’d be nice but I’m not sure that I even deserve it. But it’s a nice compliment for people to think that I might deserve it.”
President Donald Trump signed a long-awaited $900 billion COVID relief bill Sunday night.
The news gained praise from millions of Americans who have lost income and business owners looking for a way to stay afloat due to government-imposed coronavirus restrictions.
One of the biggest names to offer a massive “thank you” for the bill was Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, who celebrated a $10 billion provision created to help concert venues that have had to shutter as officials have banned large crowds.
What was in the bill?
The relief legislation, which was combined with an omnibus appropriations bill to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, includes $600 payments for individuals and $300 per week “enhanced” unemployment payments for up to 11 weeks. It also provides $284 billion for Paycheck Protection Program loans, $25 billion in rental assistance, $13 billion increased SNAP and child nutrition benefits, and tens of billions of dollars for other priorities, Axios reported.
One of those priorities was the Save Our Stages Act, which, as Rolling Stone noted, sought $10 billion for independent concerts venues. The passage of the act, which was rolled into the COVID stimulus package (with an additional $5 billion for museums and movie theaters), received plaudits from Grohl for its immediate impact on local businesses that host concerts as well as its long-term impact on the music industry.
“A huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone who supported the Save Our Stages Act,” Grohl said in a statement the Foo Fighters posted Monday afternoon.
“The preservation of America’s smaller, independent venues is not only crucial to the millions of concert goers whose lives are bettered by experiencing their favorite artists in the flesh, but to the future of music itself, as it gives the next generation of young musicians a place to cut their teeth, hone their craft and grow into the voices of tomorrow,” he continued.
“The absence of live music this year has left us all longing for that communal feeling of connection, one that is best felt when joined in a song,” Grohl added. “The Save Our Stages Act brings us one step closer to sharing that feeling again, one that I hope we can all experience again very soon. Every day we’re one step closer. See you there.”
Apparently I’m a glutton for punishment. This year, at the risk of being labeled a Grinch, I’ve compiled the 10 worst Christmas songs of all time. And because I play fair, you can listen to each song below so that you, too, can judge each song for yourself … and then acknowledge my obvious correctness about the awfulness of each.
Just don’t let it ruin your Christmas.
#1: LAST CHRISTMAS — Wham!
This song is just objectively bad and an obvious first choice. There is not an American alive with two working ears and any sort of taste in music who would disagree that this is the world’s worst Christmas tune.
It’s everything that is wrong with ’80s music — from the bad vocals, obnoxious keyboards, sulky attitude, and goofy lyrics. And as if the song wasn’t bad enough, Wham! thought it would be a good idea to create this video to go with it.
#2: MERRY CHRISTMAS, DARLING — The Carpenters
I post this one at great personal risk. There are friends who will leave me and family members who will disown me for this, but honestly, the only redeeming quality for this Carpenters disaster is that it isn’t “Last Christmas” by Wham!
Sentimental Carpenters fans who long for Karen’s resurrection need to understand that there are not enough Christmas miracles in the world to keep this song from its placement at No. 2 on the all-time list of terrible songs. From dreaming of “Christmassing with you” to being filled with desire based on seeing logs on a fire, there is no saving this song from the weight of its own silliness — and lousy instrumentation and background vocals.
#3: WONDERFUL CHRISTMASTIME — Paul McCartney and Wings
C’mon, Paul. You’re better than this. You’re a Beatle for crying out loud.
Yes, I know it charted bigly. Yes, I know lots people have covered it. No, that does not make it a good song. As Craig Outhier wrote for the Phoenix New Times in his list of the worst Paul McCartney songs, this tune “torments” the public, and its chorus likely “is at least partially responsible for the yearly spike in holiday suicide rates.”
#4: THE CHRISTMAS SHOES — NewSong
I’m probably going straight to Hell for this one. But it had to be included.
Though it has a nice message about a boy buying fancy shoes for his dying mother and a stranger paying for the footwear when the young lad winds up not having enough money, it’s a depressing song that has no business being in anyone’s holiday playlist. All of that, combined with the sappy vocals, super-awkward video, and the fact that it is overplayed on Christian radio and 24-hour Christmas stations, make this song nausea-inducing and obnoxious.
#5: MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS — NSYNC
Justin Timberlake is one of the greatest entertainers of our generation: He can write, sing, act, and do comedy. Surely if there are any regrets he has in his career, this song has to be near the top of his list.
The song is like a poorly conceived musical number for a sub-par network holiday special. Speaking of sub-par, the video, featuring “Diff’rent Strokes” star Gary Coleman, is really … something.
#6: DOMINICK THE DONKEY — Lou Monte
Dominick is supposed to be the hero of the song, having saved Christmas by helping Santa because the reindeer can’t climb the hills of Italy. Instead, this silly song attempts a “Funiculi Funicula” vibe, but even for a novelty song — a genre that is typically given a lot of leeway when it comes to criticism — it is just painful.
Hee haw. Hee awful.
#7: HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER) — John Lennon
It’s a sad day when two songs written by Beatles make a “worst songs” list, but such is life. You write a bad song, it doesn’t matter who you are, you’re going to get called out.
I know I’ll get raked over the coals by Beatles fans who feel Lennon could do no wrong, but this is a terrible Christmas song. The music is well done and everyone knows Lennon was a peacenik, but this tune has no business invading the joy of the holiday.
#8: A HAND FOR MRS. CLAUS — Idina Menzel & Ariana Grande
You know who the real hero of the North Pole — and therefore Christmas — really is? No, not St. Nick. Nope, not the elves or Rudolph.
The real hero is Santa’s ball-and-chain. She does all the real work up north — and Idina Menzel and Ariana Grande really want you to understand that in this badly written, poorly performed (particularly Ariana’s portion), and inferiorly produced pile of feminist nonsense.
#9: DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS? — Band Aid
This song was created with the most talented artists alive in 1984, and that stable of amazing musicians makes this a tough one. And anyone with a soul can appreciate their efforts to help the people suffering in Ethiopia.
But that does not make it a good Christmas song. Despite the talent involved, the tune is mediocre at best — some took to calling the supergroup “Bland Aid” after the record’s release. And the words, again, do not capture the joy and magic of Christmas — which is what holiday songs are supposed to be about. When the song came out, NME called it a “turkey” and ripped the song as “Millions of Dead Stars write and perform rotten record for the right reasons” — which, honestly, was a pretty generous review.
#10: WARM AND FUZZY — Billy Gilman
Yes, only a monster would mock a record cut by a kid, and this is probably enough to get me labeled Mr. Potter reincarnated, but seriously …
This song serves no purpose, tells no story, and contains zero originality. It isn’t even cute. There’s nothing about this song that should give it any acclaim, yet here it is — every stinking year.
There are some songs that are pretty ridiculous or silly or just downright dumb. But unlike the songs listed above, they do bring some joy to the season.
I couldn’t bring myself to list them as terrible, but their questionableness should at least be noted.
The Christmas season offers some of the greatest television ever made — from touching commercials to holiday episodes of your favorite shows to seasonal specials. There is always something available for families to gather and watch this time of year.
Yesterday, you experienced the “Top 15 Christmas family-friendly Christmas movies of all time.” Today, enjoy a look at the 15 best Christmas TV specials ever made. Like the movie list, there were a few rules needed to set boundaries for the TV list: Each item had to be “Christmas-y” and family-friendly; had to be created for TV and not a theatrical release that’s now replayed on TV annually; and had to be an actual “special” created for Christmas and not just a Christmas-themed episode of a regular series.
#1: A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
This is one overtly Christian cartoon that has become and annual must-see — even among secularists. When Charlie Brown becomes depressed over the commercialism of Christmas, he turns to the school’s Christmas pageant for inspiration. But as the director of an unruly cast — not to mention his disappointing tree — he finds himself more frustrated than ever. All of that changes when Linus reminds everyone about true meaning of Christmas by reciting the Nativity story from Luke’s Gospel. Plus, the special put the musical genius of Vince Guaraldi into the mainstream of American pop culture.
#2: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)
Featuring the incredible vocal talents of Boris Karloff, this tale of a nasty … well … Grinch who hated Christmas because of the happiness it brought to the lives of others offers a poignant story of redemption and change. Determined to keep Christmas from coming, the Grinch steals all of the gifts, decorations and food from the entire town of Whoville. When the Whos still celebrate sans gifts, ol’ Grinchy Claus realizes that Christmas will come without ribbons, come without tags, come without packages, boxes or bags.
#3: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
The “Rudolph” tale of a band of misfits’ journey across the North Pole trying to find where they fit in inspires kids everywhere and is probably the best-known of Rankin/Bass’ many stop-motion Christmas programs. The characters who’d been cast-off save Christmas and become the heroes. Throw in the beloved voice of Burl Ives, and you’ve got a classic that will continue to endure.
#4: Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town (1970)
This is another one of several Rankin/Bass gems chock-full of great songs and characters. The Mickey Rooney- and Fred Astaire-led creation delves into Santa Claus’ origins and pits him against one of the best comic “villains” of all time — the evil Burgermeister Meisterburger
#5: A Christmas Carol (1984)
George C. Scott’s turn as the miserly Scrooge is the most famous of the made-for-TV movie adaptations of the Dickens tale (though the 1999 Patrick Stewart version may be closing in). The film stayed true to the story and earned Scott an Emmy nomination.
#6: Frosty the Snowman (1969)
Based on Gene Autry’s 1950 hit song, it features Frosty “dying” so he can save a little girl. Kids are taught about love and laying-down-your-life-for-others sacrifice, all with palpable Christian parallels — even the bad guy changes his ways in the end.
#7: John Denver & the Muppets: A Christmas Together (1979)
In 1979, Jim Henson’s team worked with country folk artist John Denver to create an LP of 13 Christmas songs (which eventually went platinum). From that album came a one-hour special for ABC featuring great Muppet takes on holiday classics, plus the typical Muppet humor.
#8: The Star of Bethlehem (2007)
The Magi followed a star in the heavens to find the Christ child. Explore the truth of God’s stellar handiwork in this documentary that uses historic and scientific evidence to tell the real story of the Star of Bethlehem.
#9: Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol (1962)
Call it a history-maker. It was the first-ever animated Christmas special produced for TV, according to IMDB.com. The cartoon was created to give the feel of a Broadway production — a feel that was enhanced by the musical work of two Broadway show writers, Jule Styne and Bob Merrill.
#10: The Little Drummer Boy (1968)
This old-school, stop-motion 1960s production about the little orphan boy who didn’t have anything to give to the infant Jesus except his drumming ability teaches kids that the best things we offer each other have nothing to do with money or “stuff.”
#11: Mickey’s Once (and Twice) Upon a Christmas (1999/2004)
Both of these shows are a series of cartoon shorts all about the importance of friends and family and doing good for others at Christmas. From Donald’s repentance for his selfishness to Goofy’s expressions of love for his son Max to Mickey and Minnie’s selfless giving of everything they have for each other, these specials offer great lessons for the little ones.
#12: A Flintstone Christmas (1977)
The story in Fred Flintstone’s one-hour special begins with Fred begrudgingly agreeing to play Santa Claus at a party for the Bedrock Orphanage on Christmas Eve. On the night of the party, an injured and sick Santa Claus recruits Fred to fill in for him (and Barney takes the role of an elf) to make sure all the presents get delivered. The boys work through a massive storm, make a trip to the North Pole and barely make it back to Bedrock in time for the orphanage party.
#13: Prep & Landing (2009)
The North Pole has gone super-hightech in Disney’s Emmy-winning special. Elves Wayne and Lanny, while prepping the world for Santa’s annual trip, are the only members of the command team available to make possible a visit by St. Nick in the midst of a terrible storm. They save Christmas for Sector 7 using sweet gadgets and a little creativity.
#14: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (1983)
Grace (played by Loretta Swit aka “Hot Lips Houlihan”) is tasked with the job of leading her church’s annual Christmas pageant. The disaster of a job gets even worse when the six Herdman kids, who are known troublemakers from a broken home, decide to be a part of the play. By the end, the Herdman children, from whom no one expected anything worthwhile, learn the power of the Christmas nativity story and teach the church the true meaning of Christmas.
#15: Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (1977)
One of the lesser-known Rankin/Bass creations, “Nestor” is a very religious special that shares the story of an outcast and abused long-eared donkey who goes on to fulfill his special purpose—to carry a very pregnant Mary to Bethlehem. The message, combined with the musical talents of the estimable Roger Miller, make this a powerful show for kids.
A version of this list first appeared in the December 2014 issue of TheBlaze magazine.
One of the many great things about the Christmas season is the entertainment available for families. Whether you prefer recordings of your favorite Christmas songs from Nat King Cole and Perry Como or Mariah Carey and Cee Lo, TV specials you grew up with as a kid or new specials created for your kids, or holiday movies in black and white, Technicolor, or 3-D, there’s always something for everyone looking to submerge themselves in the spirit of the season.
If you’ve got kiddos at home now for Christmas break, you’re probably looking for things to fill the hours before the big day arrives. Here are some ideas for TV time.
Below are the 15 best Christmas movies for your family. There are just a few rules behind these selections: Each movie had to have been a “Christmas-y” movie shown in theaters (no TV specials), couldn’t be rated worse than PG (keep it clean, so no “Die Hard”), and had to have a hook for families to actually want to see it — just having a good message wasn’t enough, it also had to be worth watching.
#1: Miracle On 34th Street (1947)
STORY: The Macy’s store Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, says he is the real Santa Claus—a claim he eventually has to defend in a court of law, which sends the locals into an uproar.
WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: Though it was first filmed in 1947, this story has continued to be an American favorite for generations. Families love seeing the no-nonsense Doris Walker and her daughter Susan let down their defenses to experience the true gifts of Christmas: hope and love.
#2: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
STORY: A man on the verge of losing it all and taking his own life is visited by an angel who shows him what life would be like if he’d never existed. And it’s not a pretty picture.
WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: Filmed in the 1940s, it’s family friendly and contains a ton of moral messages, from sticking out rough situations, self sacrifice, and how communities can come together and help each other in tough times to how much worth each life actually carries.
#3: White Christmas (1954)
STORY: WWII Army buddies Bob Wallace and Phil Davis team up to create a hugely successful song-and-dance duo after the war. They and the Haynes Sisters put together a Christmas spectacular in a Vermont inn owned by the men’s former commanding officer.
WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: The acting and choreography are great. The Christmas spirit shared by all is, of course, prevalent. But it comes as no surprise that the music of the film is what everyone remembers.
#4: The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
STORY: In this musical depiction of “A Christmas Carol,” Jim Henson’s magical Muppets play second-string to Michael Caine’s performance as Dickens’ skinflint.
WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: The original songs and scoring are tremendous. Caine’s turn on the miserly Scrooge is masterful. And the brilliance of the Muppet casting defies description. (Gonzo as Charles Dickens; Miss Piggy as Mrs. Bob Cratchit; Statler and Waldorf as the Marley brothers? C’mon, it doesn’t get any better.)
#5: Elf (2003)
STORY: Buddy, a human raised by elves at the North Pole, sets out from Santa’s workshop to New York City to find his dad who is on the “naughty list.”
WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: The quotes — “Smiling’s my favorite”; “I’m a cotton-headed ninny-muggins.” The humor—an elf-costumed man treks through Manhattan, finds his dad and becomes a part of his family. The morals—everyone wants to be loved. Christmas is not about physical gifts, it’s about family. And this movie highlights that journey in one of the funniest ways possible.
#6: The Nativity Story (2006)
STORY: The Biblical account of Jesus’ birth comes to life in this film that faithfully adapts the account found in Matthew and Luke.
WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: This film reminds us how very revolutionary Jesus’ message of peace and love truly were. Christmas movies typically avoid any mention of Christ, but this film serves to remind us of the true reason for the holiday.
#7: The Santa Clause (1994)
STORY: After accidentally killing the real Santa Claus, a divorced dad finds himself as the reluctant replacement.
WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: This movie cleverly details Tim Allen’s transformation into Kris Kringle, everything from sprouting white facial hair to massive weight gain to having a desire to wear red and green. Families who have been touched by divorce will also be encouraged by the happy ending.
#8: The Polar Express (2004)
STORY: A young boy on the verge of giving up his belief of Santa Claus boards the Polar Express train on Christmas Eve. His astonishing journey to the North Pole that teaches a lesson on the spirit of Christmas.
WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: The animation does an incredible job of bringing this beloved story to life. The kids experience action, adventure and mystery all in one night — reminding us that Christmas is truly a magical time of year for children.
#9: A Christmas Story (1983)
STORY: Ralphie dreams of getting a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas — he’s obsessed with it. Now he has to convince his parents, who are sure he’ll shoot his eye out.
WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: The movie portrays what it’s like, through the life of an Indiana 9-year-old, to grow up in middle America around 1940 (or even today) — dealing with family, friends, bullies, and teachers — all while wishing for what every kid wishes for: that perfect present from Santa under the tree on Christmas morning.
#10: Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)
STORY: Mickey Mouse and his fellow Disney all-stars offer their version of Dickens’ 1843 masterpiece.
WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: The Oscar-nominated short isn’t just a Disneyesque portrayal of Scrooge and his ghosts, it serves as a faithful adaptation of a life-changing story that’s accessible for children.
#11: Home Alone (1990)
STORY: This is what happens when a mischievous 8-year-old boy is left to his own devices to defend his family’s home against a pair of hooligan crooks during the Christmas season.
WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: While the antics that young Kevin McCallister employs to protect his home are hilariously entertaining, the true message of the movie showcases how everything is better when you can share it with your family.
#12: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
STORY: Everyone in the city of Whoville embraces Christmas, except for the Grinch — until he experiences the ultimate transformation of the heart.
WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: Dr. Seuss’ classic is brought to life complete with delightful rhymes, colorful imagery and the always adorable Max the dog. The Grinch’s lesson about love is the icing on the cake.
#13: Scrooge (1970)
STORY: In a performance for the ages, Albert Finney brilliantly transforms Ebenezer Scrooge from super-grump into the giddy Scrooge of Christmas morning. The fact that it’s a rare musical interpretation of the holiday story makes it even more powerful.
WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: The music from the film is unforgettable, the redemption story is, of course, powerful, and the film itself is very well done. The whole thing is worth watching just for Alec Guinness’ loopy performance as Jacob Marley.
#14: The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
STORY: The king of Halloween Town, Jack Skellington, stumbles into Christmas Town, is moved by the spirit of Christmas and decides the residents of his hometown need to get in on the act.
WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: Tim Burton’s tale celebrates the generous spirit of Christmas with a lesson on being yourself using great humor, award-winning stop-motion cinematography and a fabulous score from Danny Elfman.
#15: Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)
STORY: The 1980s’ favorite bumbling neighbor, Ernest P. Worrell, helps an aging Santa Claus with his eye on retirement find a replacement.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Ernest’s unwavering faithfulness and innocence leads not only to comical scenes but also to heartwarming lessons about loyalty, friendship and the child-like wonder that permeates Christmastime. “KnowhutImean?”
Because nobody doesn’t love a list and everybody is an expert nowadays, I’ve compiled a list of the definitive recordings of 35 of the most loved classic Christmas carols.
Don’t agree? That’s OK — you’re allowed to be wrong. (Spoiler alert: There are zero Josh Groban or Pentatonix songs on this list. If you find that upsetting, this probably isn’t the list for you anyway. Just click on something else.)
Merry Christmas! And happy listening:
#1: SILENT NIGHT — Dean Martin
This one was a gimme — that way we don’t start out the list fighting.
#2: HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS — Ella Fitzgerald
Now, a lot of people will tell you that Mariah Carey has cornered the market on this old hymn, but that’s only because she was hitched to Sony’s Tommy Mottola when she cut the holiday album that features the song. If Whitney were still around today and able to get the press Mariah does, I’m pretty sure everybody would be saying “Mariah who?” when it was time to drop the needle on “Joy to the World.”
#4: IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR — Andy Williams
If you fight me on this one, we can’t be friends.
#5: THE CHRISTMAS SONG — Nat King Cole
C’mon. Mel Torme wrote the song (with Bob Wells) and gave it to Cole to sing, knowing he was the guy to make this song unforgettable. Other people can roast their chestnuts all they want — many have done it well — but Cole’s take will never be topped. Ever.
#6: HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING — Amy Grant
Truthfully, Jewel’s arrangement of “Hark!” is superior, but the problem is … Jewel, the woman who sings like she has marbles in her mouth and can’t decide if she’s going to do an adult voice or a little girl voice. Advantage: Grant.
#7: ADESTE FIDELES — Celine Dion
No one really knows who wrote “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” but anyone with any sense knows who did best. (Though I have to give a nod to David Osmond’s strong performance on Glenn Beck’s “Believe Again” album.)
#8: WHITE CHRISTMAS — Bing Crosby
There’s a reason this Crosby record is the best-selling single in the world — not just in the holiday genre, but best-selling single of all time. Nothing has ever topped it, and it’s likely nothing ever will.
#9: RUDOLPH, THE RED-NOSED REINDEER — Gene Autry
Yes, Burl Ives was the narrator for the TV special. Yes, I get a warm, fuzzy feeling from Ives’ record. No, it’s isn’t the best version. That belongs to The Singing Cowboy.
#10: IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS — Johnny Mathis
Crosby and Como both killed it when they recorded this song, but the Mathis version has the edge — not just in quality but also culturally with its inclusion in “Home Alone 2,” which gave it a massive surge in popularity.
#11: I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS — Perry Como
Is there really any question? No. No there isn’t.
#12: JINGLE BELLS — Frank Sinatra
Don’t question this one either: Frank knows people who know how to hurt people. (Well, at least, he used to.)
This is Ives’ song. No one else should even try to sing it.
#17: WINTER WONDERLAND — Perry Como
Admit it, you were expecting me to say Darline Love here. It’s OK. It’s a normal and fairly logical guess. But it also happens to be incorrect. Not only did Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass cut a version that was better (though wordless), both of Perry Como’s versions (here and here) are objectively better. Here is the track from his 1946 album “Perry Como Sings Merry Christmas Music.”
#18: LET IT SNOW! LET IS SNOW! LET IT SNOW! — Lena Horne
Lots of artists have made great “Let It Snow!” records (including Harry Connick Jr., who deserves a mention). But none of them ever reached the smoothness — and, frankly, sexiness — of Lena Horne’s.
#19: THE FIRST NOEL — Third Day
It’s a more modern version of an old hymn with some cool rhythm. It’s also the best version ever recorded.
#20: SILVER BELLS — Elvis Presley
After The King walked out of the studio the day he laid this down, there was no reason for anyone to ever bother trying to do it better.
Ashley Hess is not likely a name you recognize at first. But if you’re a Glenn Beck fan, you’ll remember this after a quick listen. And then you’ll agree.
#23: GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN — Barenaked Ladies
Here’s one that had me going back and forth for hours. Everything Nat King Cole touched was superb, so I could easily put his recording here and be done with it. But … the Barenaked Ladies put a spin on this classic that has just the edge needed to bump it ahead of Cole.
#24: THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS — John Denver & The Muppets
The LP of this 1979 Christmas special (which has never been released on home video) is full of great music. The most notable is the Muppet Gang’s clever rundown of the many gifts the writer’s obnoxious “true love” gave him. Bah-dum-bum-bum.
#25: ANGELS FROM THE REALMS OF GLORY — Julie Andrews
If you like Andrews’ style, you’ll absolutely love all of her Christmas songs. Her best Christmas record happens to also be the best version of that song.
Another modern take on a hymn. On first listen, you’ll disagree with me on its ranking. But then you’ll listen again and again and be forced to admit that, well, the fat Blaze editor was right once more.
#28: LITTLE DRUMMER BOY — Bing Crosby & David Bowie
It’s a beautiful song — it’s also the strangest Christmas song. Crosby and Bowie’s awkward video didn’t help make it less weird. But you can’t argue with the talent they brought to the studio when it was time to record.
#29: WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS — Alvin and the Chipmunks
Every Christmas music list is required to include Alvin and the Chipmunks. It’s scriptural.
#30: ROCKIN’ AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE — Leann Rimes
“Brenda Lee!” you’re shouting as you read this. “You’re nuts!” I’m shouting back. Lee’s famous record doesn’t have 1 percent of the feel (or talent, for that matter) that Rimes’ does.
#31: O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM — Andy Williams
I was torn on this one — all the way up until it was time to post this. My brain tells me to go with Mahalia Jackson’s soulful version. But my heart says this is another song that The King of Christmas just nailed.
Though a lot of folks will say The Velvet Fog’s jazzy turn on this tale of a ruler who looked out for others should be tops, I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for the Ames Brothers’ record. The majesty of the music sets the tone for understanding the lesson we can learn from Wenceslas.
#34: O HOLY NIGHT — David Phelps
Here’s another hymn that could have gone to a couple artists. Critics have rightfully celebrated Celine Dion for her rendition, but David Phelps really brought it home. (Plus, Celine is Canadian, so the thought of giving her more than one song on this list was nauseating.)
Doctors weren’t sure if Luke Benjamin Bernard would make it after a serious car accident in 2013 left him near death. Bernard suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, blood clots on his brain, and an emergency craniotomy and was ailing in the ICU amid a cloud of uncertainty.
Fast-forward to 2020, and Bernard has defied all expectations, telling “The Pure Flix Podcast” about his unlikely story of survival, his harrowing journey to recovery, and his starring role in “The Favorite,” a movie now streaming on Pure Flix.
“Medically, you have almost no chance of survival,” he said of his initial condition. “It would be a miracle if you lived in vegetative state — a miracle.”
Listen to Bernard discuss his miraculous recovery:
Bernard had what medical experts call a GCS (Glasgow Coma Scale) of 3 with dilated and fixed pupils, which generally yields a grim prognosis.
“The doctor … told [my family], ‘I can’t tell you what’s going to happen with him. You just need to get here right away,'” Bernard recalled, noting that it was clear he might not survive.
Despite facing the unthinkable, Bernard’s family refused to give up, turning with fervency to faith and prayer.
“Basically, they did the best thing they could for me … and the only thing they could have done was — they prayed,” he said. “They read scriptures, they sang praise … at my bedside again and again and again.”
The grieving parents firmly believed God would heal their son, and they decided to combat the negative possibilities by intensely appealing to hope.
“[My dad’s] mindset was, ‘This is a fight — I’m in a fight right now for my son’s life and Satan’s trying to take my son and I’m not going to let it happen,'” he said, noting that their prayers weren’t just for survival, but also for “complete healing.”
And the Bernard family got their wish. Against all odds, he fully recovered, and they now attribute it all to God.
“It’s just remarkable with God’s grace and mercy, with his healing power over me,” he said.
And that was only part of the story, as Bernard, who was an actor prior to his accident, later ended up writing and performing in “The Favorite,” a touching new film about two rival brothers who face tragedy — a traumatic event that mirrors what happened to Bernard in real life.
The idea and plot line for “The Favorite” came to Bernard as he was recovering from his accident.
“One night I fell into this deep sleep and I had this very vivid dream … a dream that you feel like you’re really there,” he recalled.
Bernard said he saw two brothers in that dream who had a car accident, with one of the men facing the same injuries, recovery, and healing that Bernard faced. The dream was so stirring that Bernard started writing what he saw, turning it into a script, and the rest is cinematic history.
Listen to this phenomenal story in its entirely on “The Pure Flix Podcast,” and be sure to watch Bernard in “The Favorite.” Check out the trailer for the movie below.
The left-wing Hollywood celebrities were fuming as President Donald Trump accepted his party’s nomination on the final day of the Republican National Convention. Not only did left-wing stars lash out at the commander in chief, they also singled out first daughter Ivanka Trump and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani for their nastiest insults.
Rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson made waves this week, telling Variety that not only is cancel culture unfair, but it’s targeting straight men who don’t have any organizations to back them up.
What did he say?
In a video interview with Variety’s Andrew Wallenstein on Wednesday, Jackson lamented the impact cancel culture has had on the lives of so many people who have worked hard to get where they are.
Wallenstein asked Jackson if he ever fears saying the wrong thing, getting serious backlash, and becoming a victim of cancel culture that ultimately destroys his business and brand.
Jackson replied that he doesn’t believe he can be canceled because “hip-hop culture loves things that are damaged. It loves people who are already broken from experience.” He said that a rapper won’t get canceled unless he does “something extremely bad,” like “go to jail” or “shoot a girl.”
And then he launched into a statement about the unfairness of cancel culture and how the biggest target is straight men.
“I think it’s so unfair, too, to the people that are canceled. Some of them have worked all their lives to position themselves the way they are, and you’re saying that one thing you said that someone didn’t like [results in being canceled],” Jackson said.
“We’re talking about people who have organizations and — whatever their preferences are,” he continued.
“You a heterosexual male? Traditional choices? You like women?” the rapper asked. “If you say something about someone who chooses something different, there’s organizations set up that start sending things around to get signatures and stuff,” which lead to the targets getting canceled.
Jackson then wanted to know, “As a heterosexual male, who’s going to send things around to tap signatures based on your feelings? There’s no one. There’s no organization.”
“There’s certain demographics that have been conditioned, because they’ve been taken advantage of in the earlier stages,” he said. “They were once inferior, now they’re superior, because we have no organization.
“The biggest target is just heterosexual males in general,” the rapper continued.
Watch the full interview below (relevant portion begins at the 21:10 mark).
Facebook on Wednesday said it removed the Facebook page and Facebook event for a militia group in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the killing of two people during protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man.
Video distributor Netflix has removed a US promo poster for the French film Mignonnes (“Cuties”) featuring children in skimpy outfits and suggestive poses, after an outcry on social media, and a ban by notoriously perverted 4chan.
The subscription service said in a statement on Thursday that it was “deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Cuties,” acknowledging that the design – which featured the film’s 11-year-old protagonists in crop tops and booty shorts, several seemingly mid-twerk – was neither “OK” nor representative of the film itself.
Hollywood actress Rose McGowan has publicly accused Oscar-winning director Alexander Payne of “grooming” and of raping her when she was just 15. Given her call-outs of left-wing figureheads, how will liberals respond to this?
It’s not easy to say what to do with a public rape accusation. Unless there’s an actual court case with evidence presented, at the very start it feels like a “he-said, she-said” scenario. As time goes on, often more evidence or testimonial is provided that allows folks to come up with their own ideas of what actually went on. This, of course, is assuming that the statute of limitations has run out. If it has not, then it may end up in court like the Harvey Weinstein situation.
Now, Rose McGowan is certainly no stranger to these sorts of scenarios. She was one of the first actresses to be open about the terrible things that Weinstein has now been put in jail over, saying in 2017 that the movie mogul had sexually assaulted her in the late 1990s.
In a shocking video, American film actor and producer John Paul Rice sent an alarming message about child sex trafficking in Hollywood and urged viewers to take action to end violations which, according to him, are not accidental in the entertainment industry.
In his 39-minute Instagram live video about a week ago, Paul Rice revealed that Amazon.com has removed his film “A Child’s Voice” even though it has been on the website for a year and a half. The independent producer explained that Amazon’s response was a typical one that didn’t address the content of the film, and rather cited “constant changes on the platform.”
The 2018 feature film addresses human trafficking, particularly incidents targeting children and teenagers.
Hollywood won’t choose between the totalitarian Sauron of China and the authoritarian Darth Vader of the US military, but instead will support both evils, and the people of the world and the art of cinema will suffer greatly.
A propaganda war is being waged by China and the US military for control of Hollywood, and therefore the minds of the public, for their own nefarious purposes.
Not surprisingly, like whores at a battlefield brothel, the morally ambiguous harlots of Hollywood are trying to profit from servicing both combatants. PEN America, a group championing free expression, recently released an exhaustive report detailing how China has taken control of Hollywood.
No question, one of the Shutdown Democrats throughout the coronavirus pandemic has been Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
State residents were up in arms — literally — early on after her goofy restrictions forbade people from buying some home improvement supplies but allowed them to continue shopping at liquor stores and other ‘essential’ businesses that generated tax revenue for her state.
Now, however, it appears as though she’s about to be offered a promotion.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer traveled to Delaware last weekend to meet with Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s first known in-person session with a potential running mate as he nears a decision.
Whitmer visited Biden Sunday, according to two high-ranking Michigan Democrats who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The first-term governor of the battleground state has long been on his shortlist of possible running mates.
Flight records show a chartered plane left Lansing’s Capital Region International Airport for Delaware Coastal Airport at 5:33 p.m. and returned at 11:16 p.m. …
He has spent months weighing who would serve alongside him if he wins in November. Biden has pledged to select a woman and has conducted an expansive search, including Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, California Rep. Karen Bass, and former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice.
Biden is facing calls to select a Black woman to acknowledge their crucial role in Democratic politics and in response to the nation’s reckoning with systemic racism.
If Biden chooses Whitmer, that will send the biggest message yet to the Democrat Party’s legions of ‘persons of color’ supporters — that the party which founded the Confederacy, the KKK, and opposed civil rights laws, really doesn’t care about persons of color. and will continue taking them for granted.
Stewart, a New Yorker who has resided in Salt Lake City for the past five years, will recover damages from the films, The Matrix I, II and III, as well as The Terminator and its sequels. She will soon receive one of the biggest payoffs in the history of Hollywood , as the gross receipts of both films and their sequels total over 2.5 billion dollars.
Stewart filed her case in 1999, after viewing the Matrix, which she felt had been based on her manuscript, ‘The Third Eye,’ copyrighted in 1981. In the mid-eighties Stewart had submitted her manuscript to an ad placed by the Wachowski Brothers, requesting new sci-fi works..
According to court documentation, an FBI investigation discovered that more than thirty minutes had been edited from the original film, in an attempt to avoid penalties for copyright infringement.
Many ingredients combine to give U.S. soft power its strength and reach, but entertainment and culture have always been central to the mix. Film and television have shaped how the world sees the United States—and how it perceives the country’s adversaries. Yet that unique advantage seems to be slipping away. When it comes to some of the great questions of global power politics today, Hollywood has become remarkably timid. On some issues, it has gone silent altogether.
The most glaring example is the growing wariness of U.S. studios to do anything that might imperil their standing with the Chinese government. China’s box office is as large as the American one, and entertainment is above all a business. So Hollywood sanitizes or censors topics that Beijing doesn’t like. But the phenomenon is not limited to China, nor is it all about revenue. Studios, writers, and producers increasingly fear they will be hacked or harmed if they portray any foreign autocrats in a negative light, be it Russian President Vladimir Putin or North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
The Hallmark Channel has long been the cable TV destination for families seeking safe programming — especially during the Christmas holidays.
Because the company has had a history of being faithful to the goal of providing family-friendly programming, it has become a target of the left that wants to see the entertainment outlet become a platform for its cultural agenda, specifically the promotion of the LGBT movement.
In a statement on Twitter last week, the Hallmark Channel announced something sure to set the left-wing agitators’ hearts aflutter: America can expect to see announcements of LGBT storylines and characters “in the coming months” — which would be just in time for Hallmark’s annual “Countdown to Christmas” programming block.
Hallmark’s statement came as a response to a fan who was praising the channel’s announced Christmas lineup but lamenting the absence of LGBT representation.
“I love your movies a lot but I can’t say I’m not looking forward to some lgbtq rep that goes further than just a hint of it. I look forward to seeing the moves but also more rep,” the fan wrote.
Hallmark responded, “Diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us and we look forward to making more programming announcements in the coming months, with projects featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters, and actors.”
“We are committed to creating a Hallmark experience where everyone feels welcome,” the outlet added.
@KatBroux @EW Diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us and we look forward to making more programming annou… https://t.co/MCrEJSlBUf
This isn’t the first time in the last several months that Hallmark has faced controversy over LGBT content.
In late November, then-Hallmark Channel chief executive Bill Abbott said the company is “open” to doing movies with gay leads.
Asked whether Hallmark had discussed having stories about same-sex couples at Christmas, Abbott said, “We’re open to really any type of movie of any type of relationship in any space.”
Then, in December, the channel was in hot water over an ad showing a lesbian couple. Hallmark initially yanked the ad after getting pressure from a conservative group, telling the New York Times that the company pulled the ad because the channel doesn’t run ads “that are deemed controversial.”
After a left-wing call to boycott Hallmark, the company relented and reversed course. It not only began running the ads, it fell over itself apologizing for the “hurt” it had caused.
In January, after the Christmas season was wrapped up, Abbott resigned from Hallmark.
The circular firing squad of progressivism has taken aim on one of its former darlings. Leftists loved the musical “Hamilton” when it hit Broadway in January 2015. Democratic leaders, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and the Obama family, flocked to see Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical over the years. The musical is based on founding father Alexander Hamilton but with a modern twist and heavy influence of hip-hop.
Flash forward to 2020, and now the progressives say the founding fathers should solely be remembered for being slave owners, and all of their achievements have been nullified by many leftists. Some progressives not only declare that the founding fathers should no longer be admired, but they call for their statues to be ripped down. Now, there are people who want to cancel the “Hamilton” musical because it is based on the founding fathers. Many of the harsh critics are the same people who made the musical into a cultural leviathan.
“Hamilton” was trending on social media this weekend as the film-version made its debut on Disney Plus. There was also an undercurrent of leftists saying that “Hamilton” is “problematic.”
“Are y’all ready to talk about how problematic Hamilton is? Lin Manuel Miranda created a piece of work that used hip hop (a genre created by black people) to tell the story of colonizers and slave owners,” one Twitter user wrote.
“As much as I love the show, it and it’s writer are deeply problematic,” another wrote. “I’ve intentionally or unintentionally ignored these things for years, but I’m trying to fix this now so I can fully contextualize and understand Hamilton and it’s effect as a whole.”
“Hamilton is deeply problematic in concept and so is Lin Manuel Miranda to some degree,” another person tweeted.
“I mean I think the fact that a musical like Hamilton (which is deeply problematic and nationalist) has to exist in order for non-white actors to have a space on Broadway is just very indicative of how non-white stories will never be able to thrive on this elitist medium,” another person said.
“Reminder for all y’all Hamilton watching mofos: Hamilton was a racist slaveowner, and casting POC as white bigots isn’t the reclamation you think it is,” read a tweet that had nearly 60,000 likes. “It’s a romanticized telling of a white man’s plights, so none of y’all better be stanning the founding fathers AGAIN.”
Ajamu Baracka, a self-described “international human rights activist,” blasted Miranda.
“Lin-Manuel Miranda is a Puerto Rican Uncle Tom who instead of fighting for independence makes feel-good revisionism for white liberals. He is pathetic,” Baracka said.
In May, Miranda and “Hamilton” creator Jeffrey Seller were forced to apologize because people criticized them for not supporting Black Lives Matter sufficiently and not speaking enough about police brutality and the George Floyd protests.
“We spoke out on the day of the Pulse shooting. We spoke out when Vice President Mike Pence came to our show 10 days after the election. That we have not yet firmly spoken the inarguable truth that Black Lives Matter and denounced systematic racism and white supremacy from our official ‘Hamilton’ channels is a moral failure on our part,” Miranda said in a video. “As the writer of the show, I take responsibility and apologize for my part in this moral failure.”
“‘Hamilton’ doesn’t exist without the black and brown artists who created and revolutionized and changed the world through the culture, music and language of hip-hop,” he added. “Literally, the idea of the show doesn’t exist without the brilliant black and brown artists in our cast, crew and production team who breathe life into this story every time it’s performed.”
“It’s up to us and words and deeds to stand up for our fellow citizens,” he concluded. “It’s up to us to do the work to be better allies and have each other’s backs.”
Seller apologized by saying, “I’m not a politician. I’m not an activist. I’m not an expert. I’m a theater producer. But what I realize today is most importantly I’m an American citizen, and silence equals complicity and I apologize for my silence thus far.”
The cancel culture mob comes for everyone.
We stand on the side of justice. Black Lives Matter. Take action now in the links below. #BlackLivesMatter https://t.co/5Sy2dWyzIr