Saturday, December 12, 2009

Scalzi's unsuccessful holiday specials

John Scalzi presents The 10 least successful holiday specials of all time, not including That One.
Ayn Rand’s A Selfish Christmas (1951)

In this hour-long radio drama, Santa struggles with the increasing demands of providing gifts for millions of spoiled, ungrateful brats across the world, until a single elf, in the engineering department of his workshop, convinces Santa to go on strike. The special ends with the entropic collapse of the civilization of takers and the spectacle of children trudging across the bitterly cold, dark tundra to offer Santa cash for his services, acknowledging at last that his genius makes the gifts — and therefore Christmas — possible. Prior to broadcast, Mutual Broadcast System executives raised objections to the radio play, noting that 56 minutes of the hour-long broadcast went to a philosophical manifesto by the elf and of the four remaining minutes, three went to a love scene between Santa and the cold, practical Mrs. Claus that was rendered into radio through the use of grunts and the shattering of several dozen whiskey tumblers. In later letters, Rand sneeringly described these executives as “anti-life.”
Also: An Algonquin Round Table Christmas, and The Lost Star Trek Christmas Episode: “A Most Illogical Holiday”.


At 13 December, 2009 09:07 , Anonymous Sprudlum said...

Really funny !

I'll have to admit that initially I took this to be an authentic Rand story, and that I was almost halfway into it before joke dawned on me.

In my defense I will note that Rand wrote a few short stories and plays in addition to her novels. Also, I was mislead by the fact that 'Atlas Shrugged' was published
in 1957, not in 1951. Or is there supposed to be an additional humourous point with the mix-up of the years ?

(Obviously, with humour, I need all the help I can get.)

At 15 December, 2009 04:50 , Anonymous Sprudlum said...

Rand Satire Sequel, (or RSS for the acronymically inclined.)

This short version of "Atlas Shrugged updated for the current finacial crisis" by Jeremiah Tucker is absolutely hilarious.

Warning: the satire is of Atlas Shrugged, but the joke isn't really on Rand I think, but then, I am not to be trusted in these matters.


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