A Christmas Conspiracy

I was hanging out with my friend Gigi last week when the subject of TV Christmas specials came up.

Now, Gigi is one of the few people left in my peer group who, when presented with the name "Jesus," still thinks of our Lord and Savior, and not of a purple-clad pederast bowler, so you can imagine my shock at her choice of words regarding these perennial chestnuts of network broadcasting.

"I fucking hate those goddamned things," she spat. "All those Rankin/Bass cartoons and claymation things — I hate them."

I was flummoxed. Okay, well, for whatever reason I'm pretty corny about Christmas, and I watch "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" every year, but at the same time always thought "Frosty the Snowman" was gay as hell. So I cut her a little slack.

But certainly she must have had a soft spot for "A Charlie Brown Christmas"! Even the most godless of hellbound heathens at least gets a kick out of the sexual tension betwixt Schroeder and Lucy van Pelt.

"Oh god, I hate Charlie Brown worst of all. He's a total pussy, and Lucy is a little bitch who needs to get slapped."

I took a strong quaff of my holiday porter and struggled to get my bearings. My whole universe had been upended. But her reasoning was rather compelling — she pointed out that each and every one of these specials was fucked up in its own way, and depressing as hell.

Let's take a look at the most high-profile suspects, shall we?

» A Charlie Brown Christmas — Charlie is not only subject to constant derision by the ruthless hussies of the neighborhood, but also is practically (and literally, in the version found here) crucified like The Big J himself for bringing back a tree not to their liking. It takes Linus' fire-and-brimstone preaching to scare the cunts back to humanity.

» Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer — Boy, where do we start with THIS gem? Well, first, there's the total douchebag fascist of a Santa, grumpily employing an army of midgets with an iron fist. Then there's Rudolph's drunken, abusive prick of a dad, who's so bad that Rudolph has to run away. A little bit more realism and Rudolph would have ended up a gay street hustler on Santa Monica Blvd. And don't get me started on the eugenics experiment known as the Island of Misfit Toys.

» Frosty the Snowman — As previously mentioned, I was never a big fan of this one, but it's worthy of note simply because they manage to snuff out the main character. Of a Christmas special. Ouch.

» The Year Without a Santa Claus — Everyone loves Heat Miser and Snow Miser, but one of the reasons they stick out so much in this special is that even Santa himself is so depressed that he's about to go out like Goering at Nuremberg.

Strangely enough, in all my years of watching these Christmas specials, I hadn't really noticed The Pattern — not a single one of these shows presented a cheery vision of the yuletide season. But now I had swallowed the blue pill and could see it all for what it was — clearly a conspiracy (by the Masons? Jews??) to thin the population by driving the most emotionally vulnerable of us to blow out our brain stems when the Heat Miser shows up.

What easier way to deal with a global population that's spiraling out of control? Certainly there's little other incentive for ABC and CBS to keep trotting these dinosaurs out; each year brings diminishing returns in the ratings department, as the specials are hardly even promoted, and parents who give a shit have already bought "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" from the DVD bargain bin.

Maybe the most diabolical aspect of the conspiracy is how it's managed to identify the weakest of our race, like the wounded wildebeests they are. Yes, I'm talking about the few poor bastards out there at the mercy of a pair of rabbit ears and coked-up TV execs, forced to subsist on the meager crumbs of network TV.

I can remember one dark Christmas season when I was one of them, the huddled masses of immigrants, white trash, buggerers and thieves. I'm pretty sure the only channel I could get on my aluminum foil-enabled coat-hanger antenna was ABC, and "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was on. So I watched it.

I was doing pretty well at first. As sad as Vince Guaraldi's music is, I am sometimes actually comforted by melancholy music, so that was okay. It was only after Charlie Brown got that fuckin' sad-sack tree that my psyche became unhinged. By the time Linus started quoting scripture, I was busy writing my last note in Crayon with my head stuck in the oven.

Luckily, just as I was drifting into blissful unconsciousness, I remembered that the first Victoria's Secret Fashion Show was due to air that next week, and the prospect of rubbing one out to free TV (quite a rarity) reinvigorated my soul. In the interim between that first live-action lingerie catalog and this year, we've seen the rise of, among other things, affordable HDTV. Rabbit ears are a thing of the past, and angel wings —in their digital sexiness — are the future.

If the theme of the old Christmas specials was in fact that the holidays are red in tooth and claw, then that suggests evolution — analog begets digital, dour animation begets barely-clad boner bait. So maybe it isn't such a lamentable plot after all. I might even venture to say, "It's a Wonderful Conspiracy!"

See Also:
Christmas 2.0: Subverting the Holidays With Re-dubbing
Death at Christmas
They're Dreaming of a Boobs Christmas
Christmas with Hitler

6 thoughts to “A Christmas Conspiracy”

  1. It’s no wonder that there are more suicides at this time of year. Most Christians don’t even know that they got their traditions from the Pagans. Even though it was the darkest time of the year, Yuletide (i.e.Winter Solstice) was celebrated in ancient times as a time of rebirth. Rebirth of the sun(longer days). Anticipation of the new life to come. Organized religion & commercialization fucked all this up. What kind of message do you send kids with TV shows that say “If you’re a misfit, or don’t fit in; gifts or the ‘loving spirit’ of Christmas will make it all better?” Conspiracy indeed.

  2. I noticed this same thing last night watching a copy of Rudolph that I recorded. Santa basically looks at Rudolph and calls him a freak and unfit to pull his sleigh. And then there’s Herbie who wants to become a dentist, but is forced to work on the toy line because that’s what elves do (I guess also implying that this is all they’re good for too).
    Now I’m a Christian, but I recognize that most of our holidays and traditions have Pagan roots. Even the very nature of heaven and hell have their roots firmly planted in antiquity. It does go to say though, that if you are getting caught up in Christmas being a specific date, and that the purpose of Christmas is to give gifts to your friends and loved ones, you are missing the point of Christmas altogether.
    I disagree with Gigi about Charlie Brown. Of all the Christmas specials, I believe that this one goes the furthest to promote the true meaning of Christmas. Charlie doesn’t go out and buy a fancy aluminum tree, he buys a twig. It is symbolic. It is also Pagan. So what.
    Linus, when he describes the Nativity, tells us that these other things are meaningless. Whether or not you believe in the Christmas Story as it is told today doesn’t mean that you have the right to tell others they are wrong in that belief… any more than I should have the right in telling someone they are wrong for not believing.
    Belief and faith are what they are. They are personal choices, and by extension, they should be personal freedoms. Christmas should be a time of celebration and a renewing of one’s faith (much like the Pagan rebirth and renewal), if only so every 365 days or so it makes someone reflect. If someone chooses to make it about the Christmas specials they grew up with, I think they’re falling into the commercialization trap that Charlie Brown was talking about, but that is their personal choice.

  3. Heard about this via Waxy… excellent article. When my first kid was 2, I was all excited about Christmas and the prospect of showing all the fondly remembered TV specials…. One minute into “Rudolph” and she’s screaming like I pulled her leg off. Turns out you don’t have a daddy throwing a baby out of a house, separating her from mommy — it is forbidden. Showing that to children is child abuse. God knows how we survived it. I can only imagine that, since all kids TV was shit until about 1970, we were just used to having our psyches raped.

    Sending you more readers at: http://www.poormojo.org/hate/2006/12/i_fucking_hate_those_goddamned.html

  4. Gigi:
    “Oh god, I hate Charlie Brown worst of all. He’s a total pussy, and Lucy is a little bitch who needs to get slapped.”

    Go back and re-read your post “Is It Fascism Yet?” Especially what Scott Thompson had to say:

    “Fascism is the progressively all-inclusive and martial re-organization of society according to a violent re-assertion of masculine stereotypes through symbols of nationalism and ethnicity. Fascists call for a re-awakened virility to rejuvenate the nation.”

    Gigi’s reaction can be understood as an expression of the drive, a deliberate corporate campaign conducted through our media, to militarize our society.

    At the time when Charlie Brown was published and most popular, mostly in the sixties and early seventies, he was thought to be what a true Christian looked like. Fundamentalism was not even on the radar back then, much less the dominating force they are today. Gigi’s intolerance and bigotry is a sad commentary on where we are today.

  5. Dude, I stopped reading when you said “gay as hell”. That is pretty lame. Hell isn’t gay. Well, I mean, if Heaven is straight, then the party must be in hell, but I always say my hometown is Hell because it’s full of homophobes who don’t care about anyone but themselves. And when I read the name “Gigi” I thought of a transgender woman I know who used to consider herself a gay man. Damn. Gay as hell? I’m gay as hell and gay as love and gay as everything, thanks!

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