Apart from the absurdly entertaining Faking It: Burlesque Christmas Special, only two blog posts offered respite from appalling telly and excessive consumption of sprouts and liquers this xmas. Specifically, IT's Porcine Extravaganza (and let's not forget Orwell's rather ambiguous use of the pig to denote the Bolshevik Party in Animal Farm- 'they looked from pig to man, and man to pig...') and Momus' meditation on Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence and Sylvian-Sakamoto's 'Forbidden Colours', complete with links to a new version by Sakamoto and Carsten Nicolai, Sylvian's video to the original song, Sakamoto playing it on the piano, and Momus' own remix of the lot (wish he'd sung on it though).
I've always found 'Forbidden Colours' almost embarassingly beautiful, like Satie's 'Gymnopedies' one feels almost guilty for falling for something so obviously sentimental and appropriate for ad campaigns, yet I don't think I've ever heard it without becoming at least slightly lachrymose, without misting up at least a tad. On the day Diana Spencer (who, let's not forget, got her haircut from Sylvian) was forcibly reminded not to get in a car with a drunk driver Radio 1 scheduled a continuous loop of music of some sort of universal poignancy- mostly risible, but with the instrumental of 'Forbidden Colours' popping up, as if to force me to weep for the mangled aristo.
A surprising element missing from Pop now, as K-Punk pointed out in his piece on Tin Drum and elsewhere, is the Sinophilia that accompanied postpunk Germanophilia and Jamaicophilia. Sylvian's fascination with not just Orientalism (that is undoubtedly there, of course) but also the alternative versions of modernity of China and Japan, from the asceticism of the former to the delirious cities of the latter. If China really want to be the USA of the 21st century (pending apocalypse) then the programme of cultural colonisation is long overdue. But except for the brief and intriguing fad for sinogrime (Jammer's 'Vice Versa' most stunningly), outbreaks of Pop sinoromanticism like 'Forbidden Colours' seem to be exceptions.