Yes, you are reading the time correctly. It is 2:00am Christmas Day and I am awake writing on this blog. It seems my sister Art Cheerleader, Rebecca Oliver gave me a little Christmas gift of her sinus infection and I am miserably trying to sleep with my head feeling like a giant vice grip is trying to squeeze what is left of my brain out. So I am awake and what better way to spend my time than to rant on the blog...
I did check the location of Santa Claus at www.noradsanta.org before I logged on. Just making sure I don't screw things up by being awake ya know. It might interest you to know that at this hour Santa is somewhere in Montana. According to NORAD he is three quarters of the way through the US and headed for Central and South America to finish up his annual work of delivering toys to good girls and boys all over the world. Perhaps already thinking about that hot toddy in the hot tub after a long nights work. Of course the entire Santa thing disturbs me. I mean what is OK about a strange man essentially breaking into our homes to leave stuff? Shouldn't we be a little wary about this?
Folks in Australia are getting to be more wary of Santa. I heard on the radio earlier this season that Santas in Australian malls were being asked to say "HaHaHa" rather than "HoHoHo" because "Ho" was considered to be degrading to women. In some places, probably California, there is a movement to return Santa to his original skinny self (aka pre Samual Clement poem) citing obesity to be unhealthy and a poor example to children. Why all of a sudden all these problems? Is it our culture of fear as theorized by Michael More in his film 911?
Who knows? But really when you think about it Santa Claus is seriously politically incorrect: A Strange looking old fat guy with a red nose who smokes a pipe and wears winter clothes even in hot climates. This is a profile for a pedophile if there ever was one. Then to go even further he hangs out with kids- encourages them to sit on his lap! and we promote this as a culture?
How scary is Santa these days? Let's break it down:
He is old: Ok- those of us who are over 40 may be encouraged by Santa's longevity but the truth is that someone that old can't really have great judgement. In our youth oriented culture Santa is pretty scary.
Fat: It is a bad example for kids especially in countries in which childhood and adult obesity are the number one health problems.
White Male: could this be more politically incorrect? Look to the current presidential hopeful race to see how five minutes ago it is to be a white guy in the thinking people's camp.
Smokes: This is the epitome of poor health choices. Why would I invite someone into my home who is going to pollute it with pipe smoke? Do I really want my children to admire someone with this habit?
Red nose: Santa usually sits in a warm mall all day. His nose is not red from the cold so it must be a sign of advance alcoholism. That would also explain the protruding gut and the psycho happy attitude.
Kids on lap: If you saw or are familiar with The 8: Reindeer Monologues you already know about this one. As a parent, this is especially disturbing. I can't believe that mothers coax, bribe and threaten their children to get on Santa's lap. In this age of rampant pedophilia, what are they thinking? When my mother-in-law took my daughter (expressly against my instruction) to visit Santa at the age of two and got upset because she refused to get on Santa's lap I pulled my daughter aside and congratulated her. I felt that I could not send the message of not talking to strangers or being seduced by candy 364 days a year and then make her forget it for one day in front of a camera no less. I was proud that she followed my instructions despite the pressure from another adult. It is sad though, that this is the way the world has become.
Winter clothes even in warm weather: If you have ever worked in retail you know that people wearing big winter coats in warm weather are profiled as shop-lifters.
All those clothes give them a place to hide stuff.
Giving stuff away for free: We have all been told that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Is Santa just dumping the stolen goods at out houses? Let's face it, is there truly a factory on earth that could make enough toys and goodies to fill stockings of every child on the planet?
So all in all Santa is a pretty suspicious character and after this blog I am sure to get ashes a switches or lumps of air polluting coal in my stocking next year. But at Santa's age and the way the media moves he will probably forget all about it by next Christmas. And anyway this blog has worked its magic on me this morning - I am going back to sleep because you know that there are at least two people in my house who will be up in a couple of hours to see what is in their stockings.
Take care everybody. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.