Monday, 23 November 2015

Expletive-Filled Christmas Rant

"Don't dance on the chair."


"Well, what do you think could happen if you dance on the chair."

[Bursts into tears] "Santa will put me on the naughty list and I won't get any presents."

"Santa is not going to put you on the naughty list, Santa knows that sometimes people make mistakes."

[Sobbing uncontrollably] "But Santa said if I was bad I'd go on the naughty list."

"There is no naughty list."

[Screaming] "Santa said!"

"Listen, if Santa thinks you are naughty and you shouldn't get presents, then I'll go get you those presents myself. You are great, if Santa doesn't think so then he's wrong."

[Still crying] "If Santa doesn't get me presents I want you to get me presents."

"I will, you are not naughty."

So fuck Christmas. Fuck Christmas for making my little girl think of herself as a bad person rather than as a person who does the wrong thing sometimes. She doesn't need any help in that department.

Fuck Christmas and it's stupid fucking Christian cultural origins that are all about dividing people into good and bad people. That shit causes massacres and wars.

This isn't just about Christmas or Christianity. Humans collectively have had a multi-millenia project to divide ourselves into insiders and outsiders and to kill the outsiders. We've decided that violence is sometimes what people deserve, and that answering violence with violence is the only way to make other people learn, even though they don't learn and we very obviously don't learn.

We're kind of on track to try to stop acting like that. We're figuring out different ways of conducting ourselves and different ways of raising our children. We're trying to do better. Christmas as a cultural tradition could come along with that wave, I suppose. The idea of a nice person who brings everyone presents every year is hardly a destructive one - sort of.

But even if Santa was just a present bringer rather than a tyrant-god for children, what the fuck does it say to kids of less-well-off families that Santa brought them some $20 toy and Santa brought their classmate a PS4? What does it say to kids of impoverished families that Santa doesn't bring them anything at all? It's fucked in half. If we are going to have a benevolent figure give gifts to all children then society has got to get itself together and give gifts to all children, because otherwise it isn't going to happen. Those toy drives aren't going to cut it.

I hate our stupid fucking consumer culture. I hate that my daughter associates receiving shiny gifts with being loved. But she's not crazy for making that association, it's natural to make that association. Like a friend of mine once said: "Most of us have eating issues, if you don't learn to associate food with being loved when you are a baby then you have a development disability."

For a lot of kids this kind of stuff would roll right off their backs. For my kid Santa's naughty list means that if she does anything she's not supposed to that might mean she is just plain unlovable. I know what it's like to feel like no amount of good you've done can ever outweigh the bad you've done. And I am trying my best to not raise my kid to follow in my footsteps - not that I have any idea what I'm doing. Then this fucking Santa shit happens and fuck ass fuck shit damn hell fuck.

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