Friday, December 23, 2016
The Moral of the Ugly Christmas Tree
It's a classic Canadian story, or to be more precise, a story that could only happen in Canada eh?
A group of Montrealers set out to get a Christmas tree bigger than the one at New York City's Rockefeller Centre. The one in the picture above.
Only to end up with one considerable shorter, and...um...not quite as beautiful.
A Christmas tree that almost nobody loves.
“It’s horrible, it’s completely awful,” said Georges Malouin, who was passing through the open-air Christmas market where the tree is displayed. “I’m so surprised. I saw it on the internet but now, live, it looks very — cheap.”
“It’s quite sad, really,” said Michaela van den Berg, a visitor from England whose husband, Jos, compared the tree to a matchstick. “Maybe it’s a joke.”
Except those who put it up.
“It’s not perfect, but it’s authentic and it’s a real tree that you find in the forests of Quebec,” Mr. Pelletier said. “We’re not pretending this is the most amazing, beautiful tree in the world.”
And the tree itself...
Which points out quite correctly that beauty is in the eye, or the nose, of the beholder.
But now to make things even more embarrassing for us Montrealers, the artsy fartsy critics from Toronto are weighing in and questioning our artistic judgement !!
Stand well back, and you can see the slight curve in the tree’s upper third. Anyone who has spent time looking at forests in Canada would recognize that this fir probably stood on sloping ground, and that the curve was a natural corrective to that placement. Trees with much more pronounced curves often reach out over Canadian lakes and rivers, and no one calls them ugly.
The Group of Seven founded a school of Canadian painting on such trees, which stood on the land as God or natural selection made them.
Hitting us with the Group of Seven, against which there is no defence.
And pointing out that when it comes to the platonic ideal for Christmas trees, a recent one in Paris was even uglier...
Another giant expression of the Platonic ideal went up at Place Vendôme in Paris two years ago, in the form of Paul McCarthy’s inflatable sculpture, Tree. But that green monster also expressed the ideal form of a butt-plug sex toy. The uncouth resemblance led to Mr. McCarthy getting his face slapped at the unveiling by an unidentified Christmas reveller. The work was later vandalized.
So it could have been worse. Much worse. Much much worse.
But of course, the real problem was that we HAD the right tree.
Mr. Pelletier said the company had a more majestic, shapely tree in mind. It researched the typical height for recent Rockefeller Center trees — 74 to 76 feet — and found a 78-footer in Ontario that Mr. Pelletier described as “amazing.”
But its narrow height advantage vanished in early November when Rockefeller Center announced that its 2016 tree would be a 94-foot Norway spruce.
But in our determination to beat the Americans we ended up looking like idiots. And isn't that a familiar story?
And the moral of the story of the Ugly Christmas Tree.
When will we learn that we don't have to prove anything to the Americans?
Especially not now...
Not when that monstrous Santa is preparing to come down their chimneys.
We should just be grateful that at a time when the whole world is going crazy, we still live in a peaceful and relatively sane country.
And enjoy that humble blessing like this panda at the Toronto Zoo enjoyed its humble snowman...
Now isn't that cute? And where else can a panda play with a snowman?
Yup, I don't care what anybody says eh?
Canada never looked more beautiful than it does this holiday season.
And so does our tree !!!!!!!