December 8, 2007
Santa Von ClausewitzBy Patrick Albanese
Carl Von Clausewitz is often quoted as saying, "War is the continuation of politics by other means". I am not nearly so frequently quoted as saying, "The war on Christmas is the continuation of political correctness by a bunch of meanies".
Of course, I probably haven't been cited much for that since I just came up with it. Perhaps it will take off and help me procure a spot in Bartlett's. That will have to wait as I focus on the very real attacks on Christmas and Santa. I offer the following stories pulled from recent events. I call them, ‘The four reindeer of the apocalypse':
"Your Santa is so fat...."
That he has to lose weight. At least if he wants to keep his job in Great Britain. Fearing that an overweight icon could serve as a poor role model for kids, a shopping center in Greenhithe, Kent has set up Santa boot camp to whip the corpulent Claus into a lean mean gift giving machine. They're worried that idolizing a portly man with presents will encourage kids to become fat themselves. They had no concern however that the children would don red clothing, grow beards and hang out with dwarves.
I'm surprised that they didn't toss in reduced carbon emissions since a thin Santa would need fewer reindeer to pull his sleigh, thereby staving off global warming. If the North Pole melts, Santa is homeless. The kids win, Santa wins, we all win.
"Who you calling a ho?"
Apparently, all women within earshot of Kris Kringle's trademark laugh. Santa's in Sydney, Australia have been told to replace the ho, ho, ho with ha, ha, ha because the former could frighten children and be construed as a derogatory term meaning prostitute. Why ha, ha, ha is less scary is never explained, nor the fact that ‘ho' is not even a slang term in Australia.
There's nothing worse than not knowing you've been offended. I suppose while we're at it we may as well ban the seven dwarves from singing, "Heigh Ho" (Two dwarf references in one post. No small feat). Also, Cab Calloway's "Hi-De-Ho", Don Ho, Tally Ho, Ho-Hum, Land Ho, Westward Ho, Gung Ho and the play Okla-ho-ma. Ho my goodness.
"Why don't you just tell me what you want from a safe distance?"
Our travels take us to Switzerland where Santas are banned from having kids sit on their lap for fear that the one with the beard is one that is weird. As in a pedophile. Evidently, Santa may be a sick freak that uses his position of power to convince good boys and girls to be bad.
Do they really believe that a pedophile would seek out a job as Santa and then abuse children in front of hundreds of people while the child's parents take photos for posterity? It is bothersome that a man seeking to bring joy to kids is presumed guilty of lying in wait to molest.
But this is nothing new. British Airways won't let anyone under 16 years of age sit next to an adult male stranger, even if there is a woman on the other side. The assumption is, all men are abusers. Following this reasoning, no gay couples should be allowed to adopt and Big Brothers needs to be disbanded. And it's best to submit your Christmas list by email. Just in case.
"A little change will do you good".
As in a change of clothes. Our trip around the world has brought us to the Steiner School in Brighton in the UK, where Santa has been stripped of his traditional red suit in favor of a more palatable green one. Why you may ask? Because the red suit just might make the kiddies think of Coca-Cola which is a symbol of commercialism, and that is no way to raise little Marxists.
The children will be told a moral tale in lieu of the traditional Christmas tale, lest a non-religious person be offended. Instead of opening presents, they will crack open fake rocks that will reveal crystals. Fun stuff. When I was a kid, you feared getting coal in your stocking. Now you have to be happy with rocks.
So, Santa is a gluttonous, misogynistic, pedophile who has sold out to corporate interests. He also must hate the poor since he brings them fewer gifts, completely overlooks Jewish children and gives charcoal to the naughty. But thankfully, the do-gooders in this world have come to the rescue. When you go to the mall this year, Santa will be the green suit clad skinny man over in the corner saying ha, ha, ha.
Then again, that could be the carpet salesman.