Post by Josh Zinn.
Hi folks! We’ve got a special treat for you all today. Direct from some vague Midwestern town where children frequently suffer from bouts of depression and apathy, child star Charlie Brown is here to tell us all about his timeless and beloved holiday special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas!” Let’s take it away!
Josh Zinn: Hi there, Chuck. Can I call you Chuck?
Charlie Brown: I guess. I mean, it’s kind of overplayed and all, but do what you like.
JZ: Wow. I never knew you were so, what’s the word?
JZ: No, I was going to say sarcastic. Huh. I guess I just never suspected someone with such a big head and such a dour look on life would dare be prickly. It’s not like you have a lot of friends to begin with.
CB: What’s your point? Why does this even matter? Aren’t we here to talk about my “timeless” special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas?”
JZ: Sure, but I…
CB: But what? Oh, let me guess, you must just LOVE the song “Christmastime is Here,” huh?
JZ: Yeah, it’s very nice. Sure, they play it too many times at Starbucks, but it is pretty.
CB: Yeah, ooooh: “Christmastime is here/happiness and cheer.” Wow, what a lyrical powerhouse! You and every other hipster that’s out there have such unique taste. Let me guess, it sounds better on vinyl, right?
JZ: I think we’re getting off on the wrong foot here.
CB: Sorry. Look, I just… This special brings up some really bad memories for me, okay?
JZ: Why? Because you spend most of the special pondering your worth via the existential ennui that often sets in for people around the holidays?
JZ: And it becomes evident early in that all of your chums from school have zero respect for you, both as a peer and as a human being.
JZ: Heck, even your dog boos you at one point when you’re trying to direct the Christmas pageant.
CB: Yeah, that stung a bit. Stupid dog.
JZ: Oh, and let’s not forget the tree. I mean, I get that it’s supposed to be touching because you basically rescue this imperfect thing that’s dying in a sea of plastic artificiality, but couldn’t you tell when you saw it that everyone was going to hate you for buying it?
CB: I guess you could look at it…
JZ: Or did you just not care cause everyone hates you already? In that case, was this some fit of rebellion on your part? Did you think that by purchasing the crummy invalid tree you’d be making a bold statement about your own perceived lack of worth? Isn’t that basically just making the entire tree-buying scenario into something self-serving rather than something that is meant to serve the play? Has anyone ever called you a narcissist?
CB: Jeez, you are reading far too much into this! I just bought it because I felt bad for it, okay? Wouldn’t you feel bad if you saw something that you knew no one would probably ever want, but you knew had some kind of worth to it? Wouldn’t you want to give it a home?
JZ: Sure, but I don’t think you’re understanding what I’m trying to say here Chuck…
JZ: Okay, Charlie. What I’m trying to convey here is that, yes, I get why you bought the tree on a very surface “Christmas is a time of redemption” level, but I want to know if you have given much thought as to how the tree’s journey mirrors your own desire to be seen as someone who is worthwhile? I mean, all the kids do come to love it and don’t you want to be loved too?
CB: Yeah, they come to love it, but that’s only after Linus makes another one of his grandiose sermonizing speeches that are meant to be heartfelt, but make him come across as some kind of creepy and weird know-it-all. And yeah, I want to be loved. Doesn’t everybody? Hey, why aren’t you asking me any questions about what’s wrong with all the other kids in the special? It’s not as if Lucy comes across as all that put-together either. Plus, her ego is ten times the size of mine.
JZ: Sure, but the show isn’t called “A Lucy Christmas,” is it?
CB: Not my fault.
JZ: Regardless of whether it’s your fault or not, the onus is on you Chu… Charlie.
CB: Yeah, I get that. That’s why I told you that this whole thing brings up bad memories for me. Fine. Yes, I wanted to be loved just like the tree. Yes, I bought it because it reminded me of me. Yes, I am lonely. Yes, my dog hates me. Yes, I seek out emotional gratification by attempting to please others but oftentimes I shoot myself in the foot because I get angry that I have to resort to such pathetic maneuvering. The tree is me. THE TREE IS ME Are you happy?
JZ: I think that’s a question you should probably be asking yourself, Chuck. Anyway, Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!
CB: Good grief.