Friday, December 03, 2004

Dissing Rudolph

Disclaimer: The rather snippy, grouchy tone of this post may have something to do with the fact that there is NO Diet Dr. Pepper in the vending machines at work. How I am supposed to work under such conditions?

This year, the television version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer turns 40. Yippee! Or not, as the case may be.

I was once a die-hard Rudolph fan. Every year I'd eagerly await the show. My freshman year of college, my friends and I even had a mini-party to celebrate the broadcast.

Soon after that, I had a small epiphany. RTRNR actually imparts a terrible, depressing message---that bigotry is acceptable.

Poor Rudolph has a congenital birth defect that renders him an outcast. His parents, visibly ashamed, hide him from society and try to masquerade his glowing nose. When the fake nose is dislodged, everyone shuns him. Not just the kids, mind you, but the grown-ups, too. Even Santa, the benevolent patriarch in this story, fails to intervene. Up to this point, the show could still redeem itself by demonstrating that bigotry is inexcusable and that everyone should accept Rudolph for who he is, nose and all.

But of course that's not what happens. Why is Rudolph ultimately accepted back into the community? Merely because he is USEFUL. Had that pesky storm not arisen, those moronic reindeer and the jolly old elf would have been content to continue in their social policy of intolerance and cruelty.

Merry freaking Christmas, kids.