Throughout history legends have played an important role in passing down information and values to succeeding generations. Whether it was Washington Irving’s The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow teaching us that the jocks will always exercise supremacy over the nerds, the legend of Johnny Appleseed who pioneered the “tin pot as hat” craze of the mid 1950s, all the way up to more recent tales such as The Legend of Billie Jean which taught us that Helen Slater really did peak with Supergirl, our need to spin yarns of bigger than life heroes, deeds, and blue oxen are a window into our national identity. But of all the stories a young and bustling land vomited forth upon the cold prairie nights, it is the legend of the candy cane that has captured the imagination of Americans more than any other!
Though I would have preferred to know the legend of the thin mint since to me a candy cane is something I’m always pulling cat hair and stocking fuzz off of, I was willing to give this candy cane business a chance because this cartoon promised a talking mountain goat!
It’s not that I think that talking animals are per se amusing, it’s just that with a mountain goat involved I figured I could count on an endless stream of “butt” jokes. Or at the very least, the goat would somehow eat the prize candy cane that little Timmy was counting on to win first place at the town’s Winter Festival to save the orphanage his adopted grandmother runs.
Well, when I heard the word “god” issue forth from my television at just over the two minute mark, I knew I had been had. Some dirty bastard had gone and hijacked this whole candy cane business to advance his Jesus agenda!
Hey, that’s cool with me – free country all that bullcrap, right? But, come on! Isn’t it just a little much to be waging your cultural war in my Christmas cartoons? I’m here for elves, reindeer, and burgermeisters, not a dang sermon!
The real beauty of all this is that these candy cane activists so intent on imposing their religiousosity on my Christmas are not even very effective at it. At the beginning of things they vainly attempt to establish their God-cred by running a montage of Adam and Eve running around, some old coot in an ark, and an even older coot with a long white beard harassing some kid with his shepherding staff.
After that, it’s thirty minutes of flaccid frontier follies as we watch the mysterious blue-eyed stranger with the wimpy Bible-beard roll into town with his talking horse, talking goat, and simpering orphan boy.
The town of West Sage has a bevy of problems for John to solve as he has to contend with one guy settling for a mail-order bride so his daughter will have a mommy, Jane who is hot for the guy with the mail-order bride, Jane’s mean old sister who is most likely frigid, his orphan boy that needs a home (but obviously not with John since he’s got lots of old west towns to annoy with his wispy brand of Bible thumping), and his mountain goat who is afraid of heights.
Holy crap! That’s a mighty tall set of problems for one quietly confident Christian to solve! But don’t sweat it because John is so wise he even knows when to change the tires on his covered wagon to runners so that it becomes a sleigh right before the big blizzard rolls across the amber waves of grain! Heck, I’ve been unexpectedly rained on enough to know we need more weathermen who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ rather than with the girl who anchors the morning newscast.
But how in the world does John save Christmas, solve all the problems, and mosey on to another (hopefully off-screen) adventure with only the power of a single candy cane? Um, because you unwashed pagans, it’s a candy cane on mission from God!
You think a little thing like a rabid wolf trying to eat Jane who fell into a mysterious chasm in the middle of the prairie is going to stop this Confection of Christendom? Can a simple case of fear-of-heights-phobia stand against the righteous vengeance of this two-tone Treat of Tribulation? (And no, I don’t know what half those words mean – I’m just trying to remember stuff from those Left Behind movies.)
Shockingly, it’s just when it seems that there isn’t any answer that John shows this little girl what exactly is in the crates that he’s brought to the storefront he just bought. (Which doesn’t make any sense story-wise since he’s leaving in the morning anyway, but God works in mysterious ways, right?)
It’s a bunch of freaking candy! YES! He’s going to solve everyone’s problems by giving them bad teeth and making them fat and hyper! Chalk one up for the Big Man Upstairs!
Mr. Godbar busts out his magic candy cane and explains its secret origin to the little girl. Something about how the white is purity and the red stripe is sadness and sometimes you just gots to lick all that sadness away just like our Lord and Savior did!
To bolster his airtight case for the candy cane being a divine instrument, John points out how it looks like a shepherd’s staff and – get ready – if you turn it upside down it looks just like the letter “J”! And do you know whose name starts with “J”? That’s right! Judas! Wait, I mean, Jesus!
The voices of Florence Henderson, Ossie Davis, Tom Bosley, and Malcolm-Jamal Warner humiliate the rest of their bodies in this one which comes complete with songs that get progressively worse as the show goes along.
It’s obvious that this is the work of Satan and really, doesn’t that candy cane seem to resemble a striped, crooked dingus sans nads? I know I was really uncomfortable with all that licking. I don’t recall nothing in my Bible that speaks of licking anything, least of all some demonic-looking phallus. As far as I’m concerned, you can keep your kinky sex toys to your creepy self, John Godbar!
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