Posts Tagged ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’

Every year its the same story: a small group of bleeding-heart liberals declare war on (terrible) Christmas (songs). For example, last year Funny or Die created a video revealing how rapey “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is. This year, a couple has re-written some of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” to emphasize the importance of consent. Based on this short list, you would be forgiven for thinking that the primary objective in this war is to take down “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Other songs are also targeted, however.

For example, A.V. Club has a regular feature called “HateSong,” in which people talk about songs they hate (I know, it is a difficult concept to grasp). Last year, Dan Finnerty, who is in a band called Dan Band (that, as far as I can tell, performs primarily in movies) discussed his hatred for “The Christmas Shoes.” As you may know, “The Christmas Shoes” was named “The World’s Most Offensive Christmas Song” in 2010, so Dan’s hatred is well-deserved. Dan’s band also recorded a song called “The Christmas Flip-Flop” to make fun of it, which I suppose demonstrates more commitment to hatred than simply writing a blog post.

Whether you’re full of Christmas spirit or need a 500-reindeer-powered Kringle 3000 to help you get out of bed this time of year, here are some additional posts from the past about Christmas:

2015: Life after murder for Kevin Mcallister


2015: Preferred pronouns on the shelf

2014: Christmas as social control

2013: Christmas at Fox News

2012: Kevin McCallister, murderer?

2012: Toys for rich and poor

2012: Toys for boys and girls

2012: Thoughts on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

2011: Holiday advertising gone wrong (a.k.a. the Folgers commercial)

2009: Christmas spells relief

“Like” Memoirs of a SLACer on Facebook to receive updates and links about spreading Christmas cheer via your news feed.

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Today is December 15, which means that there are 10 more days to gear up for Christmas or, alternatively, ten more days until you will stop hearing “Jingle Bell Rock” everywhere you go. In either case, here are some snarky Christmas-themed posts to pass the time:

2014: Christmas as social control

2013: Christmas at Fox News

2012: Kevin McCallister, murderer?

2012: Toys for rich and poor

2012: Toys for boys and girls

2012: Thoughts on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

2011: Holiday advertising gone wrong (a.k.a. the Folgers commercial)

2010: The world’s most offensive Christmas song

2009: Christmas spells relief

Christmas Bonus: A subscription to the Jelly of the Month Club? No, its the Hater’s Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog for 2012, 2013, and 2014

“Like” Memoirs of a SLACer on Facebook and I promise I will stop playing “Jingle Bell Rock” (and doing the dance from Mean Girls).

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I have always considered A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to be the holy trinity of Christmas specials. (While I later developed an appreciation for the other Rankin-Bass animated shows, I am steadfast in my belief that Frosty the Snowman is absolute shit.) Over the years my affinity for these specials, and Rudolph in particular, has been challenged by my knowledge of sociology. This doesn’t stop me from watching it each year, but the sort of joy I receive from it now comes as much from mocking it as it does from nostalgia (and quite a bit more than the joy I receive from believing it is any sort of good storytelling). Here, then, are some semi-sociological thoughts (and questions) I had while re-watching Rudolph on TV the other night:

  • For having a very distinctive appearance himself, Santa sure isn’t very accepting of differences in appearance.
  • Based on the four food groups that Buddy discusses in Elf (Candy, Candy Canes, Candy Corns, and Syrup), they really do need a dentist at the North Pole.
  • Other than Rudolph and Hermie, Clarice and Yukon Cornelius are about the only non-assholes in the entire movie.
  • Why doesn’t Yukon Cornelius’s tongue ever get stuck to his pick axe?
  • Which is worse for a kid, the threat of being eaten by an abominable snow monster, or whatever might happen on an iceberg with a strange man?
  • My favorite gender stereotyped line, spoken by Donner when Rudolph’s mother (a.k.a. “Mrs. Donner”) and Clarice want to help him find Rudolph: “No, this is man’s work!” They show their respect for his wishes by waiting a few minutes before setting out on their own.
  • On the Island of Misfit Toys, what is wrong with the girl and the scooter? Some have speculated that the girl has emotional issues. She does smile a lot and cry a lot. Maybe she is manic depressive. Some are apparently misfits on the outside, some are misfits on the inside.
  • Given the talking toys, do Rudolph and Toy Story exist in the same universe?
  • When everybody thinks that Yukon Cornelius has died, this only reinforces the belief in gender stereotypes. As Sam the snowman says, “Well, they are all very sad about the loss of their friend, but they realize that the best thing to do is to get the women back to Christmas Town.”
  • Has anybody watching Rudolph ever actually been sad about the supposed death of Yukon Cornelius? I doubt it. Regardless, he is believed to be dead for less than a minute of screen time, so the sadness wouldn’t last long.
  • Santa gains a lot of weight very quickly. That can’t be healthy.
  • To all of the kids who have wondered how Santa gets down their chimneys, the answer is that HE DOESN’T! The toys are delivered via umbrella and then eat the cookies themselves. (Do toys eat?) The ends of the umbrellas must also double as lock-picks for houses without chimneys.
  • Where I grew up, Rudolph went down in history like Columbus, not George Washington, Abe Lincoln, or whatever historical figure people put into the song where you lived.

What can we take away from all of this? Rudolph lives in a world of bigoted, sexist assholes. They hate him until they need him to help them out. In this way, Santa is like the captain of the football team who bullies the smart kids in school until he needs help with his math homework. I wonder how Rudolph was treated when they didn’t need his help to get through a terrible storm…

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