The Third Annual Pinhead Christmas Blog*

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the land
All the people were focused on supply and demand.
They filled up their stockings – and even whole rooms –
With baubles and garments and toys and perfumes.

All the grown-ups were sleeping, all snug in their beds,
While visions of avarice danced in their heads.
And all of the children, no matter how small,
Had been told to buy/get/hoard/possess/have it all.

Then behind every wall a bright light did appear,
And the people gaped wide-eyed and trembled with fear.
A great wooden pillar sprang up in the square
And toppled the town’s Christmas tree standing there.

The pillar was covered, its surfaces crammed
With the skin of the wicked, the flesh of the damned.
The moon shining down on this horrible sight
Revealed in the shadows eight dread Cenobites.

Their leader, his face and head studded with pins,
Looked over the town and saw everyone’s sins.
He grabbed all the townsfolk with hooks and with chains,
And scoffed at their evils, and called them by name:

“Gluttony, vanity, lust and sloth!
Plenty of envy! Buckets of wrath!
But chiefly among you the worst that I see
Is the massive, insidious bulk of your greed!

“You buy and collect and obtain, yet ignore
All the loved ones you said you were doing it for!
But all that your Black Friday antics have done
Is bring the wrong Toymaker’s ‘elves’ to your town!”

“We’re sorry!” the townspeople cried. “Yes we are!
We just followed examples from near and from far!
We thought we were good! We just didn’t know!”
“You lie!” Pinhead bellowed. “You reap what you sow!

“You wanted it all, and you wanted it now.
You thought you’d avoid repercussions somehow.
But your children are learning; they see well enough
That fulfilling desires is what you call ‘love’.

“They’re drowning in presents; they’re smothered with clothes.
They think they’re in danger if nobody knows
How much money they have, how much stuff they possess,
How important they are, how much others are less.

“They’re imprisoned by things that are shiny and new,
And you’ve shown them exactly what matters to you.
Thus you’ve paid for the box, and the shipping was free;
Now I’ll know your flesh for all eternity!”

The townspeople panicked and cried out for help.
Pinhead laughed when he saw them, in spite of himself.
A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head,
Soon filled every soul with a cold, gripping dread.

But at the last minute, a child appeared,
And walked up to Pinhead without any fear.
“Thanks for responding so quickly,” she said.
“To the wish that I wished when I climbed into bed:

“That the grown-ups would stop buying love in the store
And maybe just try spending time with us more.
I think they all got it; they all saw the light.
They learned the real spirit of Christmas tonight.”

Pinhead, quite doubtful, said, “It’s up to you;
I only came here since you wanted me to.
If you think they deserve one more chance to do well,
Then I and my pillar will go back to hell.”

“I do,” the girl told him. “But thanks all the same.
It made quite a difference; I’m happy you came.”
So Pinhead retracted the chains and the hooks,
And the Cenobites all jumped back into the box.

And the townspeople, saved by one kind little girl,
Were grateful to be still alive in the world.
But they heard Pinhead warn, as he faded from view:
“Open your hearts … or I’ll do it for you!”


* A parody of ‘Twas the Night before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore

~Previous Pinhead Christmases:

Hellraiser Inferno         Pinhead Countdown Part One         Pinhead Countdown Part Two   Pinhead Countdown Part Three        Pinhead Countdown Part Four       Pinhead Countdown Part Five      Pinhead Countdown Part Six




A Countdown for the Holidays

The Wisdom of Pinhead: Part One
“You better watch out; you better not cry.  You’d better not pout …”*

Last year for Christmas, I blogged about my favourite part of Hellraiser V: Inferno.  I talked about how Pinhead’s dark, scary message was really a cautionary Christmas tale – avoid superficiality and selfishness and embrace what really matters, or, you know, pay horribly forever.  I realized afterward that Pinhead has always had some very Christmas-y things to say … when seen in the right light.  So this year, I will be presenting a Pinhead-Christmas-personal empowerment-happy-joy-countdown.  At the end of it, I hope readers – Christian and non-Christian alike – are more disposed to find the love and joy the Christmas holiday represents.

And maybe they’ll want to watch the movies too.

Let’s start with his most popular quote, from the original Hellraiser:

“No tears, please.  It’s a waste of good suffering.”

Tears are important; they let us process complex emotions, both positive and negative.  They purge toxins, and help us feel re-set.  They communicate our empathy to others, and our sadness, and our joy.  Especially at Christmas time, we’re all teary-eyed at the barrage of poignant Hallmark commercials, that coffee ad where Peter comes home from college and surprises his family, the trip-through-emotion called “The Red Shoes”.  Tears are the great social equalizer – everyone cries, no matter their gender, their creed, their nationality, their colour, their age – and when we cry collectively, it represents our connection to every other person on the planet.

The problem is that so many of us use tears to manipulate.  Some of us cry to get a better grade on a school paper, or to frame a kid we don’t like by saying he “hurt” us on the playground.  Maybe we cry to forestall discussion about something unpleasant, or to cover up our culpability by making ourselves seem like the injured party.  We cry for pity, so that we won’t have to face the consequences of our actions, even – or perhaps especially – when they were deliberate actions the results of which we knew perfectly well beforehand.

We also manipulate ourselves with our tears.  We tell ourselves that our fate is dire, that we need to get all this pain out and off our chests, that a problem shared is a problem halved.  But when it comes time to return the favour, so many of us are not able to do it.  We don’t want others to poison us with their “toxic” negativity, we don’t want others to feel pain over things that we don’t think should bother them, we feel burdened doubly by their sharing of their misery … but we are proud of our own misery, and cry out triumphantly: “See how much I have suffered!”

Don’t get me wrong.  Many (most/all) of us have genuinely suffered, and to bury it would be a mistake; the things that plague us should be pulled out in the open, told to whomever is qualified to help us deal with them, and then … dealt with.  Even if it takes the whole of our lives, the goal of our sharing our pain should be to find a way to let it go.  If we have suffered, then let us learn from it, or work to make a better world, or reach out to another who is suffering too.  If we cry, let our tears be honest.  If others cry, let us see ourselves in them.


* “Santa Claus is comin’ to town” by Coots and Gillespie

The Thing I Like About …

What Would Jesus Buy? :  the introduction.

That makes it sound like I don’t like the rest of the show, but I do; it says a lot about consumerism, about what happens when we don’t know where our products come from, about placing that monetary number on the value of our relationships.  It also tends to be a lot of fun.  But I’m not sure I would have given it the chance if the first four minutes hadn’t been so well done.

It’s a documentary about Christmas, so it starts with a Christmas carol – the Carol of the Bells, which, of course, starts slow and builds in volume and intensity until the viewer is ultimately inundated with the sound.  And behind the sound? – images of people getting ready for Christmas:  decorations, ornaments, wrapping paper and bows, people going into malls, packing up their carts, piling carts higher than their heads, swiping credit cards, swiping credit cards, swiping credit cards, pushing purchases into cars and minivans, pushing other shoppers out of the way, stampeding over other shoppers to grab things off the shelf, rushing the doors of the stores and trampling one another to start a shopping feeding frenzy of piranha proportions….

Unlike other documentaries – or people who complain about it on Facebook – What Would Jesus Buy? doesn’t preach about the evils of consumerism or the lack of Christ in Christmas.  WWJB? shows the viewer, in less than five minutes, what people become when their identities, actions, parenting, friendships, relationships – their lives – revolve around the purchase of things.  The frantic, almost leering grins on the faces of people literally standing on the lower halves of the people in front of them, grabbing items from each other’s hands with a ferocity usually reserved for snatching babies from tigers’ jaws, and crowing with delight at the prospect of being more in debt from one Christmas than their parents were after buying a house – it fills the viewer with an open-mouthed sort of horror, like watching a train wreck and hoping that it’s not real.

What Would Jesus Buy? is exactly the sort of well-orchestrated slap in the face that the New Year needs – to put into perspective all of the things we want to buy, and to remind us of all the things we don’t want to be.

And it was fairly entertaining, too.