Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Best Christmas present for both your conservative and your liberal friends

Conservatives tend to have more, well, conservative tastes than liberals, who tend to have more, well, liberal tastes.

So it's rare that the same gift would be perfect for both the Merry Christ-mas crowd and the Happy Holidays crowd.

But this year it exists: "O Holy Night" a small album of four songs on a CD, plus a DVD with five song videos and an interview by a 10 year old soprano named Jackie Evancho.

I'm not going out on much of a limb. This $6 mini-album was only released November 16 and it's now the #2 best-selling album on

I wrote a long review of it on that you can read there, with more on my arts blog, plus numerous entries on's discussion threads--the links are below the product listing for "O Holy Night."

The point here is that it's equally appealing to the religious and the religiously irreligious, Lefties and Righties. It embodies all of our best wishes for our fellow creatures at this time of year.

Anyone who reads this blog knows I'm an empiricist who finds the word "God" undefinable--yet this very religious album would be my pick for a gift right now, because I find it so moving.

If someone says "child soprano" and you think either "sugary fluff" or "cute kid but it's not real singing" think again. If terms like "portamento" and "chest-head voice transitions" and "buttery high notes" are in your normal vocabulary, you've probably heard of her already. She's been on so many talk shows by this point it's hard to not have heard of her.

I love seriously heavy metal rock and roll and despite ooky-cutesy stuff but this kid still got to me. She's utterly sincere. I can't imagine what her parents must go through when they have to say "no" to her--look at interviews with her on YouTube and you'll see.

And, to the point of this blog, giving her album as a present when it might seem incongruous coming from you might be just the trick to opening a political discussion--BUT with the idea that you should both speak as if Jackie was in the room looking at both of you with her large guileless blue eyes. That would put everyone on their best behavior.

Added bonus: the people who don't like her reveal themselves to be Grinches. And don't you want to know who it is that you know who's a Grinch?

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