Leave it to Harvard to find a druggie connection to Christmas

Rick Moran
I don't want to disturb your holiday merriment, but this is just too typical of what passes for "scholarship" on campuses today.

Apparently, there are a couple of zoned out druggies who believe that a psychedelic mushroom is the reason behind our Santa Claus myths, including "flying" reindeer:

He explained that back in 1967 an amateur scholar named R. Gordon Wasson published a book arguing that Amanita muscaria was used in ancient ceremonies by shamans in the Far East. Other scholars then chimed in, noting that in Siberia, both the shamans - and the reindeer - were known to eat these mushrooms. Man and beast alike hallucinated.

As any 1st grader knows, the Santa legend has absolutely nothing to do with the Far East. It is a northern European tradition - about as far from the Far East as you can get and still be on planet earth.
You can see the Christmas connections, Pfister said.

Um...no, but don't stop now - you're on a roll:

"This idea [is] that reindeer go berserk because they're eating Amanita muscaria," Pfister said. "Reindeers flying - are they flying, or are your senses telling you they're flying because you're hallucinating?"

More likely they are flying because, well, they are magic reindeer, you dolt, and don't need mushrooms or drugged out Santa pretenders to get off the ground.

Look at the Christmas decorations here, he said.

"We use - all over the Western world at least - these Christmas ornaments [which] have Amanita muscaria or other mushrooms."

Mushrooms are food to most of us - unless we are so enamored of being whacked out on drugs that you don't see Mushrooms in our turkey dressing, soup, or as a garnish as anything except an excuse to trip.

And finally, he said, consider the color schemes.

"So here's a red fungus with white spots. And Santa Claus was dressed in red with white trim."

Add it all up and what do you get? Pringle connected the dots: "People are flying. The mushroom turns into a happy personification named Santa."

It's very difficult to keep from swearing at such juvenile logic. And what about the color green? That's a huge Christmas color, but since it doesn't fit into these "scholars" adolescent musings about drugs, it is conveniently left out of their theory.

Only at Harvard...



I don't want to disturb your holiday merriment, but this is just too typical of what passes for "scholarship" on campuses today.

Apparently, there are a couple of zoned out druggies who believe that a psychedelic mushroom is the reason behind our Santa Claus myths, including "flying" reindeer:

He explained that back in 1967 an amateur scholar named R. Gordon Wasson published a book arguing that Amanita muscaria was used in ancient ceremonies by shamans in the Far East. Other scholars then chimed in, noting that in Siberia, both the shamans - and the reindeer - were known to eat these mushrooms. Man and beast alike hallucinated.

As any 1st grader knows, the Santa legend has absolutely nothing to do with the Far East. It is a northern European tradition - about as far from the Far East as you can get and still be on planet earth.

You can see the Christmas connections, Pfister said.

Um...no, but don't stop now - you're on a roll:

"This idea [is] that reindeer go berserk because they're eating Amanita muscaria," Pfister said. "Reindeers flying - are they flying, or are your senses telling you they're flying because you're hallucinating?"

More likely they are flying because, well, they are magic reindeer, you dolt, and don't need mushrooms or drugged out Santa pretenders to get off the ground.

Look at the Christmas decorations here, he said.

"We use - all over the Western world at least - these Christmas ornaments [which] have Amanita muscaria or other mushrooms."

Mushrooms are food to most of us - unless we are so enamored of being whacked out on drugs that you don't see Mushrooms in our turkey dressing, soup, or as a garnish as anything except an excuse to trip.

And finally, he said, consider the color schemes.

"So here's a red fungus with white spots. And Santa Claus was dressed in red with white trim."

Add it all up and what do you get? Pringle connected the dots: "People are flying. The mushroom turns into a happy personification named Santa."

It's very difficult to keep from swearing at such juvenile logic. And what about the color green? That's a huge Christmas color, but since it doesn't fit into these "scholars" adolescent musings about drugs, it is conveniently left out of their theory.

Only at Harvard...