March 26, 2019

Inside the Terrible Christmas Movie Industry

“Imagine a world like the inside of a snow globe, where a dusting of impossibly pristine white snow is always falling, layer after layer, never turning into sad, grey-colored slush. There are wreaths, strings of lights, and stockings literally everywhere you turn. Pretty people with matching impossibly white smiles are falling in love with each other even if they only sort of know each other. At least half of them are royalty, hailing from a European country that almost sounds real. Oh, look: there’s a jolly old dude who looks like he’s up to something or just being really nosy.

Sound familiar? You’re probably watching a deliciously cheesy holiday movie on Netflix, or Hallmark, or Lifetime, or any number of TV networks or streaming platforms. ‘Tis the season.

Christmas movies have become so popular that networks like Lifetime and Hallmark, the O.G. for wholesome, family-friendly viewing, now begin their merry marathons way before December 25. Hallmark kicked off its two-month (two-month!) holiday programming on October 26—before nary a trick-or-treater knocked on a door—with Christmas at Pemberley Manor, a riff on Pride and Prejudice.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"THE CAPTURE of the last territory controlled by the Islamic State on Saturday was far from a final victory over the movement, as U.S. commanders and diplomats were careful to emphasize."

"How a Gay Teen, an Internet Nazi, and a Late-Night Rendezvous Turned to Tragedy. When self-loathing meets the new age of online extremism."

"Benjamin Netanyahu ignored the intelligence operations of Beijing and Moscow for too long. Now, the Israeli government is finally paying attention, but it could be too late."

"Former Nick Jr. kids are now reckoning with this all-grown-up intrepid explorer, whose obstacles are a lot bigger than Swiper the Fox. And that is a hard pill to swallow."

"At the end of last week, the three-month Treasury bills' yield rose above the yield for 10-year Treasuries for the first time since 2007, prompting warnings that the U.S. is headed for recession later this year or in early 2020."

"A team of researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology attempted to answer some questions about voting with the help of artificial intelligence (AI)."

"The experts I spoke with all said that the internet had changed the way conspiracies spread, but conspiracies, both dangerous and petty, have always been with us."

"Pop culture today is obsessed with the battle between good and evil. Traditional folktales never were. What changed?"

"Trustful parents allow their children as much freedom as reasonably possible to make their own decisions. They trust their children’s instincts, judgments, and ability to learn from mistakes."

"Arugulagate. In 2007, Barack Obama was in Iowa, speaking as a presidential hopeful to a group of farmers who were worried about the stagnation of their crop prices while America’s grocery bills continued to rise."

"To say that information exists in and of itself is akin to speaking of spin without the top, of ripples without water, of a dance without the dancer, or of the Cheshire Cat’s grin without the cat."

"Ted Cruz replaces the Democrats’ muddled manifesto with a clear and unequivocal exploration of the hatred of Jews and its particular evils."