December 24, 2008

Trans-Genred -- Merry Christmas From Vanessa, Peggy, Vicki, And All Of Sybil's Other Personalities

If you're like me, you chase away holiday blues by watching movies showcasing those drastically less fortunate than yourself. I've spent many years getting myself fully freaked out/bummed out with the movie that rescued Sally Field's career from the Flying Nun quagmire, the 1976 television movie Sybil (obligatory Netflix link), based on a real-life victim of unspeakable parental sexual abuse whose psyche shattered into 16 distinguishable personalities. The acting is stellar, the story is sickening and heartbreaking, and overall the movie has that gritty 1970's New York City slice-of-life thing going for it, a factor which was totally lost on me back when I first used the family VCR to tape this off of Channel 45 back in 1993. All said, the film holds up miraculously well.

For this very special (and very depressing) Trans-Genred, I present to you a medley of moribund Christmas tidings from the second half of Sybil.

A Christmas card for Dr. Wilbur:

"Sorry about the color... Sybil tried for red and green, but it just kept getting purple and she wasn't able to stop it. Do you know what she did? She took the crayon and just scrubbed on the paper, and scrubbed on it like that, and grit her teeth! And then she wadded it up and threw it in the trash can. We rescued it... We tried to make it prettier. You see, Peggy added the red and we smoothed it out, we all tried."

A remembrance of Sybil's happy Christmases past:

"Mama, look what I made for the Christmas tree!"
"Oh... that's just a picture out of a magazine with a piece of tin foil stuck to it."

In which Sybil's isolation from the world makes her depressingly easy to shop for:

"Remind me never to let you take off a bandage!"
"Well if I'm very careful and don't tear the wrapping paper, I can draw on the back of it."
"You can draw on the whole thing -- it's only watercolor paper."
"Oh... Richard! It's the most beautiful paper, thank you!"

Some people get visions of sugar-plums on Christmas eve, others are chased through their nightmares by severed cat-heads:


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