A Gentle Reminder That John Travolta & ONJ Released The Strangest Christmas Song Of All Time
Most Christmas music is not good. Christmas carols are just a regrettable staple of the season, a little bit like fruit cakes — everyone pretends to love them for reasons that aren’t quite discernible to any of us anymore.
For that reason, picking apart the aesthetic value of Christmas music often feels pretty unfair: a little like shooting some particularly festive fish in a barrel.
That is most stridently not the case when it comes to ‘I Think You Might Like It’, a Christmas duet released by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John way back in 2012. That is because ‘I Think You Might Like It’ is not like most Christmas music. Oh no.
Before we get into explaining just why ‘I Think You Might Like It’ is so magnetically surreal, you should probably just watch the video. But don’t go in blind. No, treat watching ‘I Think You Might Like It’ with all the weight you’d treat dropping acid. Make sure you’re in a comfortable spot in your home, clear your mind of bad thoughts, and brew yourself a calming cup of tea.
Then, take the plunge.
You know, there’s this conspiracy theory that’s been banging around the internet for a while now that alleges Sandy and Danny died at the end of Grease. That’s the explanation, some internet sleuths say, for why their car floats into the air at the end; they are ascending to Heaven, leaving the mortal coil behind them.
It’s not a conspiracy theory I ever really bought into — that is, until I first clapped my eyes on the music video for ‘I Think You Might Like It’.
What is going on here?
Now, I one hundred per cent believe Sandy and Danny die at the end of Grease. They die, but they don’t go to Heaven. No. Instead, they are trapped in a purgatory — a woozy fever dream in which they must live out their days flying planes, driving open-aired cars, and moving through a world populated by lost spirits, the humanity slowly draining from their eyes.
That purgatory, my friends, is the ‘I Think You Might Like It’ music video.
That’s the only way I can explain any of this baffling, hypnotic work of anti-art. It’s the only way I can explain Travolta’s dance moves. Travolta can dance — he proved that to us recently — but he doesn’t dance, per se, in ‘I Think You Might Like It’.
This image came to me in a dream.
No. Instead, he does something far more miraculous. He moves with a sluggish, rhythmless grace all of his own, like a cowboy, boot-stepping while asleep. You could not choreograph movement this astonishing if you tried.
Indeed, that is the whole appeal of ‘I Think You Might Like It’. It’s one of those magnetic, oh-so-rare found objects that blasts right through the binary between good and bad.
I know the video doesn’t work — every critical faculty in my body is telling me that it’s bad; that I shouldn’t watch it ever again. And yet here I am, studying it like it’s the blurry face of Mary Magdalene appearing in a slice of cooked toast. I am obsessed with it.
And now, dear reader, you can be too.