Blackwolf the Dragonmaster's Diary of Magecraft

Being a Chronicle of the Inner Secrets of, and Spells of Magick as Wielded by, the Philosopher of the Internet and Unofficial Sorcerer-in-Residence of the City of New York

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Location: New York, New York, United States

As New York's Unofficial Wizard, my mission is to encourage the Mortals of Manhattan to imagine responsibly!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Blackwolf Interviews Santa, Part 2

Y'know, Santa, several days before I announced that we'd be doing this interview, I had the pleasure of previewing a copy of Santa Claus: A Biography, Professor Gerry Bowler's enlightening account of your history, origins and contribution to culture overall. You yourself did your own preview of the book before you made the moves necessary to bring the two of us together; so, I was thinking, what did you think of the book?

Honestly, I thought the text was exceptional. Dr. Bowler has obviously done all the homework he needs to have done. However, he makes a few major factual errors in his references to Santa Claus: The Movie, not the least of which being, this guy still doesn't know how to spell director Jeannot Szwarc's name. For the record, it's S-Z-W-A-R-C. And also, while TriStar Pictures did theatrically distribute the film, Professor Bowler negelcts to mention the fact that the current U.S./Canadian video rights to the film still rest with Anchor Bay Entertainment. And speaking of them, I should like to give a few props to their new parent company, IDT Entertainment. If anyone can put a restored version of Santa Claus: The Movie back on the big screen, I'm sure that they can!

They will, of course, need the help and input of our other friends -- those working for the Ilya Salkind Company.

Indeed! It's always a good adventure, flying over Los Angeles and seeing Ilya's place decked out for the holidays. I hear his young son Orson is into rap music.

He is.

Well, well, well! That sort of makes me wonder what Alexander might have thought of that. Ho-ho-ho! "Sal to tha kind in tha house," as it were! Ho-ho-ho!

(Laughter from both.)

I should now like to address another aspect of your legacy, Santa, one that has been a part of your history for more than a century and has not been really pursued by a lot of Santa historians, and that is Santa Claus, the pitchman. 12 years ago, CBS and the Post-Newsweek Group produced an hour-long compilation of classic Christmas commercials, entitled Brought to You by ... Santa. At that time, your status as an advertising pitchman was at an all-time high. Now, suddenly, a dozen years later, that status has somewhat dwindled whereby, with the exception of certain local TV markets, commercials starring Santa have become hard to come by. One has to wonder why this is so; and I 'd like to get your thoughts on that.

An interesting conundrum, Master Blackwolf. Television doesn't really encompass as much advertising featuring me as it should. I still do commercials, but these days, I'm less on the radar than I should be, because popularity isn't as much of an element as it once was. Given that they want Tim Allen to do The Santa Clause 3, I find it surprising that there really haven't been that many ad agencies who have been that willing to take a chance on me and focus an entire ad campaign on me. I remember that IBM campaign where I was in front of a laptop or something, and the tagline was "Imagine, all children: good." I think those were the words. That one was a real classic!

Well, I'm sure that it was. I trust, dear Santa, that you had a look at the December 10th New York Post.

Not to my knowledge. Should I have?

Well, in the article I cite, Macy*s refused to allow the Post to photograph their Santa, on the basis that they, Macy*s, were the home of THE Santa Claus. Would you, the genuine Kringle, consider that to be something along the lines of an act of arrogance?

Strangely enough, yes, I would, Master Blackwolf. And I'll tell you why. You see, as much as I continue to love Miracle on 34th Street --- both the original and its 1994 remake --- it seems to me that the folks at Macy*s have this obsessiveness with the movie being the end-all, be-all about Santa Claus. And considering what I read about Chicago's Marshall Field's stores about to be converted to Macy*s as of next year, it would not surprise me if someone at Federated Department Stores were to take all the elements from Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade and adapt them for the folks in Chicago. That would, I suspect, arouse the attention of the folks at NBC --- and then, their telecast would potentially cover both the New York and Chicago parades.

I see. Clearly, you have a keener mind than I do!

Naturally, Master Blackwolf. That is the result of centuries and centuries worth of reading! And, as you yourself have often said, "I simply cannot live without books!"

By Merlin's beard! That makes us kindred spirits!

Indeed it does, my friend.

Well, still thinking about Macy*s, is there something you would like to change about them?

Well, as a matter of fact, there is: What's up with the storybook motif as far as this year's windows are concerned? I mean, telling the story of New York is all well and good, but seriously, does anyone really think that collecting all of New York City's wonders within the pages of a storybook is gonna cut it? I don't think so.

I agree. Maybe, during the off-season, you'd like to have my job, eh what?

No thank you, Master Blackwolf. I prefer to lose enough sleep on the job I got! Ho-ho-ho!



Blogger Amon said...

Well done on a nice blog Master Blackwolf. I was searching for information on Santa letters and came across your post Blackwolf Interviews Santa, Part 2 - not quite what I was looking for related to Santa letters but very nice all the same!

We're all getting ready for Christmas and I've just put the finishing touches to my new site specially for kids, or rather their parents and relatives. You can go there and get Santa to send a really nice personalized letter to a youngster. It's great fun! If you have a moment, perhaps you'd enjoy taking a look: Letter from Santa .

Well, a merry Christmas to you and yours!

1:33 PM  

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