Tuesday , 22 June 2021

Rudolph the mean tale about racism and exploitation

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer-

was exploited by the bigoted Santa Claus…

Doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?

Christmas in utopia has kicked off anyway for the truly good and virtuous this holiday season.

The Huffington Post’s holiday cheer began last week as they reported that some people have noticed “disturbing things” in the cartoon Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

The Huffster put together a video called ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Actually Sucks.’

I mean, fair enough.

Perhaps Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer just doesn’t work that well as a Christmas story. Go hard and like the friendly ghosts of movie reviewers past, Siskel and Ebert, twist my thumb down, Huffington Post.

Their attempted piledriver takedown, tinged throughout with resentment, includes a whole four tweets from concerned viewers and “former fans” or the program, saying the tale “…is a parable on racism and homophobia with Santa exposed as a bigoted exploitative prick.”

But wait until you read @AngryBluePlanet tweet. They say, “Santa’s operation is an HR nightmare and in serious need of diversity and inclusion training.”

Ouch. The authoritative left-wing chokeslam returns. You caught those racist, misogynist writers red-handed Huff, you know, writing those redeeming Christmas stories.

They argue: Rudolph’s father verbally abuses him, Santa Claus berates Donner for his son’s nose, Donner forbids his wife from joining the search for their son, Clarice’s dad is a bigot, and the elf is an outcast for wanting to be a dentist.

Most of all, Rudolph is exploited on a dark Christmas Eve for his useful red nose, lighting the way for Santa to deliver the Christmas presents.

While we’re in the spirit of absurd criticism, I can think of a few issues with the story myself.

For one, all these reindeers talk. And this Santa Claus character can’t be the brightest bulb in the spruce if he doesn’t see the utility in a lighted reindeer leading the pack for his massive globetrotting trip every year.

Maybe my sarcasm is a little too thick, but this method of reading Rudolph like a Biblical fundamentalist with such a literal interpretation, and cutting up the mean bits of the story and leaving out the moral of the story, is becoming all too common with the young, postmodern crowd.

It’s all about groups, it’s all about oppression. Everything is for the benefit of someone else.

Rudolph has a rough time in the story, that is for sure. In fact, most of the meanness happens in the span of one minute when everyone realizes Rudolph has a red nose and he’s not invited to the reindeer games.

But that’s why the redemption as the hero at the end of the story matter. Plus, that’s what you’re rooting for the whole time. That’s what makes the story a good one.

And this is the resentful part: whoever believes that Rudolph is exploited instead of heroic, thinks that being a leader and being useful is exploitation. That’s a bad lesson to kids – not this nonsense about a couple mean things in a story.

Of course, you don’t need to hear this.

I will assume most people will hear a “news story” like “Rudolph under attack” and think, ‘that analysis just doesn’t cut it thank you very much.’

Most of all, why write a Comedy Central-esque news piece about this unless your goal is to gouge the ideological wedge farther open? All on the issue of a Christmas cartoon?

So be warned for more sophisticated analysis of Christmas with “modern tastes” because we’ve received the Huffster’s (and angry holiday tweeters) first yule-tide greeting, and before *Baby it’s Cold Outside is unilaterally banned and scrubbed from existence, let us overspend on Christmas presents during this worsening economic climate in peace. Please?

*This was written yesterday before CBC and other Canadian radio stations pulled the tune from their catalogue. The virtue strikes again!

Also make sure you check out the local Christmas productions to get into the proper spirit. Clyde Crocker’s 2018 Christmas lights are on now till Jan 6: show times are Sunday-Thursday from 5:00pm-to-9:00pm, Friday & Saturday from 5:00pm-to-10:00pm, Christmas Eve till 11:00pm. They are collecting for local food banks, their address is Glendon 4809 49 st, if you need any info call at 780-573-9218.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.