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Disneyland, Sibelius, and Depression

Sibelius joins the sad sack

Jean Sibelius in 1923 - Image by Public Domain
Jean Sibelius in 1923

It’s December and the Depressed Disney Dad at Christmas when his ex has the kids is rousing himself to make his annual rounds of self-loathing. The Depressed Disney Dad is the Jungian shadow of the jolly Father Christmas. He brings not a frivolous bag of goodies but a sad sack of self-loathing and holiday music stained with gloom. He says not “ho-ho-ho” but “no-no-no.”

Yet the Depressed Disney Dad is no grinch. He enjoys the holiday spirit but blunts it with a short contemplation of the mysteries of solitude at the winter solstice. Of course, this happens after he goes to Disneyland with the kids and bathes in the unbridled commercialism of the most emotionally manipulative place on earth. Say what you will about the Disney brand but more than one nostalgic tear has dropped during the Christmas Fireworks Spectacular.

For those unfamiliar with this little literary attempt, the Depressed Disney Dad first appeared in these pages on December 23, 2014. He brought a playlist of contemplative Christmas music designed to support a willful wallow in a wintery fortress of solitude. The playlist is full of chorale music such as “In the Bleak Mid Winter”, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”, and a couple of versions of O Mangum Mysterium. Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Vespers makes an appearance as does “Es ist ein Ros Entsprugen”.

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There is only one instrumental piece of music and that is Archangello Corelli’s Christmas Concerto. This year I feel inclined to include Jean Sibelius’s Violin Concerto. There is a melancholy in the first two movements that is irresistible to the Depressed Disney Dad. The clouds clear in the final movement but that is acceptable after the long night of pathos that precedes it.

I will say that the solitudinous approach to the holidays is an inclusive one in that it isn’t limited to Depressed Disney Dads. Anyone in any situation can feel alone. On the other hand, the solitudinous approach isn’t inclusive in that solitude excludes, by definition, inclusion. It is rather disingenuous to invite others to join one in one’s solitude. Is it not?

With that being said, should you find yourself in a solitary situation over the next few weeks maybe give this little playlist a try? There is a glory in solitude that can illuminate any heart and help it grow a few sizes more if that is your wish. Perhaps your Christmas wish is to shrink your heart just a bit. That works too.

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Jean Sibelius in 1923 - Image by Public Domain
Jean Sibelius in 1923

It’s December and the Depressed Disney Dad at Christmas when his ex has the kids is rousing himself to make his annual rounds of self-loathing. The Depressed Disney Dad is the Jungian shadow of the jolly Father Christmas. He brings not a frivolous bag of goodies but a sad sack of self-loathing and holiday music stained with gloom. He says not “ho-ho-ho” but “no-no-no.”

Yet the Depressed Disney Dad is no grinch. He enjoys the holiday spirit but blunts it with a short contemplation of the mysteries of solitude at the winter solstice. Of course, this happens after he goes to Disneyland with the kids and bathes in the unbridled commercialism of the most emotionally manipulative place on earth. Say what you will about the Disney brand but more than one nostalgic tear has dropped during the Christmas Fireworks Spectacular.

For those unfamiliar with this little literary attempt, the Depressed Disney Dad first appeared in these pages on December 23, 2014. He brought a playlist of contemplative Christmas music designed to support a willful wallow in a wintery fortress of solitude. The playlist is full of chorale music such as “In the Bleak Mid Winter”, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”, and a couple of versions of O Mangum Mysterium. Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Vespers makes an appearance as does “Es ist ein Ros Entsprugen”.

Sponsored
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There is only one instrumental piece of music and that is Archangello Corelli’s Christmas Concerto. This year I feel inclined to include Jean Sibelius’s Violin Concerto. There is a melancholy in the first two movements that is irresistible to the Depressed Disney Dad. The clouds clear in the final movement but that is acceptable after the long night of pathos that precedes it.

I will say that the solitudinous approach to the holidays is an inclusive one in that it isn’t limited to Depressed Disney Dads. Anyone in any situation can feel alone. On the other hand, the solitudinous approach isn’t inclusive in that solitude excludes, by definition, inclusion. It is rather disingenuous to invite others to join one in one’s solitude. Is it not?

With that being said, should you find yourself in a solitary situation over the next few weeks maybe give this little playlist a try? There is a glory in solitude that can illuminate any heart and help it grow a few sizes more if that is your wish. Perhaps your Christmas wish is to shrink your heart just a bit. That works too.

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