Friday, August 10, 2012

1965 and Charlie Brown

1965 Blogging, Part 1 of 5
A Charlie Brown Christmas

In these long breaks between the signature 21 Essays series, I relax by considering possibilities for future series.  I spin the roulette wheel to pick a year (or set of years) and then brainstorm on some potential essay topics.  This time the wheel spins, gradually slows, then clicks to a stop, pointing at:  1965. 

So here’s my first 1965 series possibility:  12 essays on A Charlie Brown Christmas, which first aired on CBS on December 9, 1965.

Linus and Charlie Brown's Christmas tree.

Last year for Christmastide (the twelve days of Christmas beginning on December 25 and concluding on twelfth night, the evening of January 5), I ran 12 essays on Christina Rossetti’s lovely poem “In the Bleak Midwinter.”  I don’t have any definite plans for this upcoming Christmastide yet, but I’m always up for an expanded Christmas celebration.  Twelve days with the Peanuts gang could be good winter fun!

It might be fun to be more like Snoopy—to be free to dance on pianos and type novels on a doghouse roof.  Or like Linus—and have the poise to stand at center stage and eloquently share the meaning of Christmas. 

But most days I feel more like Charlie Brown.

On a 21 Essays series on A Charlie Brown Christmas, I could ask the big questions, like “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” and “How can you say someone is great who’s never had his picture on bubblegum cards?” and “Do innkeeper’s wives have naturally curly hair?”  I could ask the judges to score Snoopy’s awesome ice skating routine.  I could challenge you to imagine a time when studio executives sincerely believed that Vince Guaraldi’s now ubiquitous score would be too sophisticated for a mass audience.  (What WERE they thinking???)

And most of all we could just consider how kids respond to Christmas.  I think kids like this are still with us today.

Over the next four days, I’ll be proposing some more 1965 ideas (with no promises that I’ll necessarily be getting to any of them…).  But I’m wide open to other suggestions.  Any ideas for 1965 movies, books, short stories, poems, songs, paintings, or other cultural artifacts that might inspire a good 21 Essays series?

© 2012 Lee Price

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