They’re Too Much!
My two favorite secular Christmas icons are fruity as nutcakes, geeky ones.
And no, I’m not talking about Santa Claus or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Given the centuries they’ve been together, I think we can dismiss any arguments about Mrs. Claus being a beard, and as the classic 1964 Rankin-Bass special indicated, Rudolph is pretty heterosexual, too — at least if Clarice the doe has anything to say about it.
I am, in fact, talking about two other iconic characters from another iconic Rankin-Bass Christmas Special, The Year Without a Santa Claus: Heat Miser and Snow Miser.
Oh, yes. I am quite a fan of those stop motion holiday specials, which you know about too, unless you’re under thirteen (in which case, why are your parents letting you read a column where I regularly say “shit,’ “fuck” and “Dollhouse was a piece of shitting fuck?”). They’re the specials where all of the characters look like dolls or toys, move as stiffly as you’d expect, and have all the wonderful fur, hair and clothing textures that CGI can never, ever duplicate. Yes, I may be on the youngish side of geekdom, but dammit, I will not join the cult for this newfangled medium, no matter how many Monsters, Inc.s, Wall-Es and Ups it gives us. Let us not forget that CGI killed the Claymation star, after all. Even when these older specials stumble into glurge-worthy territory often, there’s just something so attractive, endearing and comforting about them, kind of like cranberry sauce or garlic stuffing. Heck if I know what. I just know that I never miss one if I can help it, from Thanksgiving Day until New Year’s Eve.
But back to the Miser Brothers. In case you’re one of the five teens or adults who have never, ever seen or heard of this special, a brief summary: Snow Miser is the being in charge of all snowy, cold, awful Christmases (like Utah’s), and Heat Miser is the being who rules all warm, sunny, awesome Christmases (what, me biased? Never!). The two are constantly at odds, and their fighting has a tangential — though incredibly fun — impact on the events of The Year Without a Santa Claus. Such is their popularity with children and adults alike, in fact, that they got their very own special, A Miser Brothers Christmas last year, which was the highlight of my holiday season.
And as I’ve said, they’re also gay as an eleven of diamonds.
I’ll give you a few minutes to run to your computers and google up some pictures of the boys, or if you’re YouTube savvy, a clip of their number. All done? OK, then you probably noticed the following:
1. Snow Miser is a 70-year-old twink.
2. Heat Miser could probably win the Mr. Utah Bear competition.
3. The mini-Misers dancing around them somehow make them even gayer.
4. They’re both faaaabulous. And yes, I really did have to add the three extra a’s.
Of course, if these were the only reasons I had for outing the Miser Brothers, you would definitely have the grounds to dismiss my argument — or, at least, more grounds than you might have now, given how I see gay in everything. But I have more proof:
1. Both are mama’s boys. (The family matriarch, Mother Nature, is the only one who can get them to stop fighting long enough to let Christmas go on as planned).
2. Harvey Fierstein played Heat Miser in the otherwise godawful 2008 live action remake.
3. And still managed to be gay despite having a bevy of attractive, bikini-clad chorus girls prancing around him.
4. Which made the scene bearable for me.
5. And may have actually contributed to the gay factor, come to think of it.
6. Most importantly, gay choruses have performed the Snow Miser/Heat Miser song. As you can see here: tinyurl.com/ylrcvpn.
7. A Snow Miser who shouts “Sing it, girls!” in the above performance.
8. A Heat Miser who is less dynamic, but who still has a “get off my lawn, you damn kids!” bear quality.
9. The Salt Lake Men’s Choir should totally perform these songs in 2010.
10. With Michael Aaron as Snow Miser.
11. Oh, hi, boss! No, I wasn’t just talking about you.
These reasons are, I think, ultimately why The Year Without a Santa Claus is my favorite Rankin-Bass. It’s always nice to see family — whether intentionally inserted or just accidentally fabulous — in a special meant for children, for one thing. And when they’re family who steal the show, well, so much the better. This holiday season, why not relive your childhood — or live it, if you’re reading “Gay Geeks” without proper adult supervision — and tune in to either of the Miser Brothers’ specials, which will air on cable and hopefully on at least one public-access HD channel. Your holiday will be all the merrier and gayer for it.
And come to think of it, isn’t the Island of Misfit Toys from Rudolph just another big gay metaphor? Not to mention, Hermy the elf and wannabe dentist with the impeccably coiffed blond locks and the femme features? Hmm. Maybe Rankin-Bass has even more family than I thought.
Well, that’s fodder for another column, I think. Happy start of the winter holidays, geeky ones!