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View Full Version : Is Santa a big, mean bully???


Vince524
12-09-2011, 09:37 PM
http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2011/12/06/does-rudolph-the-red-nosed-reindeer-promote-bullying/


says George Giuliani, a special ed professor at Long Island University in New York, who has written an alternative to the Christmas classic called "No More Bullies at the North Pole (http://us.lrd.yahoo.com/SIG=11labfv59/EXP=1324663560/**http%3A//learningaboutbullying.com/)."
He recently went on "Fox & Friends" to discuss the issue and says the treatment Rudolph receives from jolly St. Nick and his merry band of reindeer is tantamount to bullying.



I can kind of understand how what happens is considered bullying, but how is the ending not a good thing?

MamaStrong
12-09-2011, 09:39 PM
really? *holds belly and laughs* (at the article...not the OP).

Diana Hignutt
12-09-2011, 09:40 PM
He is kind of a dick in that one.

WTF, Vince, no poll?

Sidney Bristol
12-09-2011, 09:40 PM
.....oooookay.

My initial response is a big - WTF?

And then I laughed.

I understand what the guy is saying, but it doesn't work. At least not for me.

kuwisdelu
12-09-2011, 09:44 PM
No, but he's a dirty commie. Just look at his suit.

Vince524
12-09-2011, 09:44 PM
He is kind of a dick in that one.

WTF, Vince, no poll?

I tried to post a poll, but my pc wouldn't let me. I knocked out the whole thread and I had to start over again.

rugcat
12-09-2011, 09:54 PM
I actually did a blog post last year about this, partly tongue in cheek, but not really:

"I noticed on TV yesterday the networks got a jump on Christmas, airing something about Christmas from Rockefeller Center, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and Burl Ives narrating the story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Which made me think. Rudolph is one of our beloved children's Christmas songs, sung to tiny tots ad nauseam. But to me, it's a horrible song, antithetical to the Christmas spirit, and, as they say, sending the wrong message to kids. Think about it.

First, you have poor Rudolph:

All of the other reindeer
Used to laugh and call him names;
They never let poor Rudolph
Join in any reindeer games.

In other words, Rudolph, who is different, in fact, physically deformed in the eyes of the other children, is mercilessly mocked and excluded by his peers. Nice going, Dasher et al.

But wait! An emergency arises. And now Rudolph suddenly becomes useful, and saves the day.

Then how the reindeer loved him.

Indeed. Now that he's of use, everybody wants to be his friend. But if not for that foggy night, he would have continued to be an outsider and the butt of cruel jokes. But he's the same Rudolph he always was, is he not? Where was the compassion of those other reindeer before that night? Did any of them even try to get to know him?

The moral here is clear: You shouldn't mock others for their supposed afflictions -- not because it's cruel and heartless, but simply because someday they may turn out to be useful.

Lots of Dashers and Dancers in this world."

MamaStrong
12-09-2011, 10:02 PM
I actually did a blog post last year about this, partly tongue in cheek, but not really:

"I noticed on TV yesterday the networks got a jump on Christmas, airing something about Christmas from Rockefeller Center, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and Burl Ives narrating the story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Which made me think. Rudolph is one of our beloved children's Christmas songs, sung to tiny tots ad nauseam. But to me, it's a horrible song, antithetical to the Christmas spirit, and, as they say, sending the wrong message to kids. Think about it.

First, you have poor Rudolph:

All of the other reindeer
Used to laugh and call him names;
They never let poor Rudolph
Join in any reindeer games.

In other words, Rudolph, who is different, in fact, physically deformed in the eyes of the other children, is mercilessly mocked and excluded by his peers. Nice going, Dasher et al.

But wait! An emergency arises. And now Rudolph suddenly becomes useful, and saves the day.

Then how the reindeer loved him.

Indeed. Now that he's of use, everybody wants to be his friend. But if not for that foggy night, he would have continued to be an outsider and the butt of cruel jokes. But he's the same Rudolph he always was, is he not? Where was the compassion of those other reindeer before that night? Did any of them even try to get to know him?

The moral here is clear: You shouldn't mock others for their supposed afflictions -- not because it's cruel and heartless, but simply because someday they may turn out to be useful.

Lots of Dashers and Dancers in this world."

I can only applaud you. This was amazing and I couldn't agree more.

Vince524
12-09-2011, 10:03 PM
The moral here is clear: You shouldn't mock others for their supposed afflictions -- not because it's cruel and heartless, but simply because someday they may turn out to be useful.

Lots of Dashers and Dancers in this world."

Couldn't it also be seen as Everyone has their own worth, and we should celebrate that which makes us different?

rugcat
12-09-2011, 10:11 PM
Couldn't it also be seen as Everyone has their own worth, and we should celebrate that which makes us different?No.

Vince524
12-09-2011, 10:15 PM
That's how I always saw it. Is there something wrong with me?


Careful how you answer that!

Williebee
12-09-2011, 10:16 PM
Yes, Santa is a big, mean bully. I saw him clothesline the Tooth Fairy at the annual holiday party. And that was BEFORE the flag football game. He also lives in a remote secret location with a harem of little men.

Now and then they do things that make a reindeer's nose glow.

Alpha Echo
12-09-2011, 10:20 PM
Couldn't it also be seen as Everyone has their own worth, and we should celebrate that which makes us different?

That's how I always saw it. Is there something wrong with me?


Careful how you answer that!

That's how I always saw it. :Shrug:

Charles Farley
12-09-2011, 10:20 PM
Couldn't it also be seen as Everyone has their own worth, and we should celebrate that which makes us different?

In this case it means be careful who you alienate . . you never know when you might need to exploit them . .

Devil Ledbetter
12-09-2011, 10:40 PM
Which made me think. Rudolph is one of our beloved children's Christmas songs, sung to tiny tots ad nauseam. But to me, it's a horrible song, antithetical to the Christmas spirit, and, as they say, sending the wrong message to kids. Rudolph struggled socially because he was different. Then he prevailed, because he was different. This is "the wrong message" how?

One could parse just about any children's story, fable, song or fairytale out there and look at it as sending "the wrong message."

Who determines what the right message is, anyway?

We could say Santa is a long-haired, obese creeper who has elves spying on children, breaks into family homes, beckons strange children to sit on his lap and whisper their secrets in his ear, trades these secrets for candy and presents .... what kind of message is that?

Vince524
12-09-2011, 10:51 PM
We could say Santa is a long-haired, obese creeper who has elves spying on children, breaks into family homes, beckons strange children to sit on his lap and whisper their secrets in his ear, trades these secrets for candy and presents .... what kind of message is that?

Why do you think he's so jolly? He knows where all the naughty girls live!

rugcat
12-09-2011, 10:52 PM
In this case it means be careful who you alienate . . you never know when you might need to exploit them . .Exactly.

There is no realization of their former cruelty. The one and only reason they accept Rudolph is that what they thought was a disability actually turned out to be a benefit.

That's the basis for their acceptance. Oh, we thought he was a geek, and deserving of scorn, but turns out he was cool after all -- because he saved the day.

This is presented as a feel good after school special moment -- see, they've misjudged him. But what if Rudolph had been lame? The clear implication is that nothing would have ever changed. What if he had funny fur? Would he have been given the chance to prove he was just as good as anyone else? I think not.

The only way someone different can be accepted, apparently, is if their apparent difference turns out to be surprisingly and exceptionally useful. In real life the kid with the big nose doesn't have special abilities. He's just a kid with a big nose, and the cool kids mock him forever.

I call bullshit on this one.

icerose
12-09-2011, 10:53 PM
I think there are instances where looking deep into something is simply looking too deep.

It could be looked at in many different ways. I do believe that most children would look at it from the perspective that even if they are different they can be amazing with those differences, perhaps even because of them rather than inspite of.

rugcat
12-09-2011, 10:53 PM
We could say Santa is a long-haired, obese creeper who has elves spying on children, breaks into family homes, beckons strange children to sit on his lap and whisper their secrets in his ear, trades these secrets for candy and presents .... what kind of message is that?He knows if you've been naughty or nice. Probably works for homeland security.

robeiae
12-09-2011, 10:55 PM
I actually did a blog post last year about this, partly tongue in cheek, but not really:

"I noticed on TV yesterday the networks got a jump on Christmas, airing something about Christmas from Rockefeller Center, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and Burl Ives narrating the story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Which made me think. Rudolph is one of our beloved children's Christmas songs, sung to tiny tots ad nauseam. But to me, it's a horrible song, antithetical to the Christmas spirit, and, as they say, sending the wrong message to kids. Think about it.

First, you have poor Rudolph:

All of the other reindeer
Used to laugh and call him names;
They never let poor Rudolph
Join in any reindeer games.

In other words, Rudolph, who is different, in fact, physically deformed in the eyes of the other children, is mercilessly mocked and excluded by his peers. Nice going, Dasher et al.

But wait! An emergency arises. And now Rudolph suddenly becomes useful, and saves the day.

Then how the reindeer loved him.

Indeed. Now that he's of use, everybody wants to be his friend. But if not for that foggy night, he would have continued to be an outsider and the butt of cruel jokes. But he's the same Rudolph he always was, is he not? Where was the compassion of those other reindeer before that night? Did any of them even try to get to know him?

The moral here is clear: You shouldn't mock others for their supposed afflictions -- not because it's cruel and heartless, but simply because someday they may turn out to be useful.

Lots of Dashers and Dancers in this world."My feelings on the story, exactly.

But the kids love it, so I actually talk a little with them about how unfair the other reindeer were being and how just cheering for Rudolph isn't enough.

Devil Ledbetter
12-09-2011, 10:56 PM
He knows if you've been naughty or nice. Probably works for homeland security.Nah, he's probably Mark Zuckerberg.

Manuel Royal
12-09-2011, 11:55 PM
As so often is the case, Cheers dealt with this about twenty years ago: Frasier on the damaging lesson of Rudolph (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bYG4qnQiFg).

Shadow Dragon
12-10-2011, 12:15 AM
I agree with Rug. The story only had a happy ending because Rudolph was useful. If his nose wasn't good for something, then they'd still be mocking him constantly.

Cracked did a good article on the movie version:
http://www.cracked.com/article_18601_4-bad-lessons-rudolph-red-nosed-reindeer-teaches-kids.html

Devil Ledbetter
12-10-2011, 12:21 AM
I agree with Rug. The story only had a happy ending because Rudolph was useful. If his nose wasn't good for something, then they'd still be mocking him constantly.
What is bad about the message "try to be useful"? If that's the wrong message then Thomas The Tank Engine must really be pissing some people off.

It seems like a basic tennant of human relations that useful, effective people earn more respect than lazy, shiftless, useless and ineffective people.

Isn't that why everyone was mad at the firefighters in Tennessee? They weren't being useful enough?

Vince524
12-10-2011, 12:24 AM
They realized that what made him different wasn't a bad thing and that they shouldn't be mean to someone for being different.

Man, you people. Let me guess. You all were rooting for the Grinch, right?

Devil Ledbetter
12-10-2011, 12:27 AM
Man, you people. Let me guess. You all were rooting for the Grinch, right?*wrings hands* but nobody understaaaaaands him.

:tongue

Charles Farley
12-10-2011, 12:48 AM
Since the Grinch realized what he did was wrong and made restitution he is now an upstanding member of Whoville society . . .and all is right with the world

Manuel Royal
12-10-2011, 12:52 AM
They realized that what made him different wasn't a bad thing and that they shouldn't be mean to someone for being different.Only because of the accident that his bizarre bioluminescent mutation turned out to be useful. (Since apparently Santa can't rig up headlights on his magic flying sleigh.)

Shadow Dragon
12-10-2011, 01:03 AM
What is bad about the message "try to be useful"? If that's the wrong message then Thomas The Tank Engine must really be pissing some people off.

It seems like a basic tennant of human relations that useful, effective people earn more respect than lazy, shiftless, useless and ineffective people.

Isn't that why everyone was mad at the firefighters in Tennessee? They weren't being useful enough?
But that isn't the message. The message is that if your deformity isn't something useful, then you're going to be mocked forever.

And it's not like he become useful by trying. He didn't train every night to become the best sleigh puller ever. It's just that his deformity was useful for that one night under special circumstances.

They realized that what made him different wasn't a bad thing and that they shouldn't be mean to someone for being different.

But they didn't learn their lesson. They didn't learn it at all. They don't feel bad for making fun of Rudolph. They only stopped because Rudolph did something amazing and now they want to cozy up to Mr. Popular. If it wasn't for that fog, they would still be doing it.

Devil Ledbetter
12-10-2011, 01:15 AM
They don't feel bad for making fun of Rudolph. They only stopped because Rudolph did something amazing and now they want to cozy up to Mr. Popular. If it wasn't for that fog, they would still be doing it.True. But that's how talking, flying reindeer really are.:tongue

Wayne K
12-10-2011, 01:18 AM
In Rudolph the Red Nosed reindeer Santa is a douche. I've always hated that story

backslashbaby
12-10-2011, 03:46 AM
I really was disappointed in Santa in that as a kid. He didn't handle it very well.

I think Rudolph had a hell of a potential lawsuit, frankly.

Jcomp
12-10-2011, 04:14 AM
Do kids really think that much about the story one way or another to pull a "moral" from it? I never gave the Rudolph song / story a second thought when I was a kid one way or another. It's a goofy song about flying, talking, game-playing reindeer. It seems like it's one of those things adults over-analyze that don't impact kids much at all.

Although now that I think about it... it does bother me that, apparently, the entire planet was covered in fog that Christmas Eve. What kind of dystopian, smog-filled future created by "climate change" is this song promoting with its secret sinister agenda?

Paul
12-10-2011, 04:30 AM
really? *holds belly and laughs* (at the article...not the OP).
ho ho ho

rugcat
12-10-2011, 04:54 AM
As so often is the case, Cheers dealt with this about twenty years ago: Frasier on the damaging lesson of Rudolph (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bYG4qnQiFg).I should have known. It's just like when Stephen King stole one of my plots.

AncientEagle
12-10-2011, 05:22 AM
I hope you people are happy. You've pretty much ruined Christmas for me. Damn all this dissecting! Next thing, you'll be telling me the whole thing —reindeer, sleigh, Santa — is a myth or something.

Vince524
12-10-2011, 05:38 AM
Do you guys do this for movies like Grease and Pretty Woman which I think send horrible messages, or just Christmas stories for kids?

Xelebes
12-10-2011, 05:43 AM
Do you guys do this for movies like Grease and Pretty Woman which I think send horrible messages, or just Christmas stories for kids?

We could, y'know.

thebloodfiend
12-10-2011, 05:50 AM
Do you guys do this for movies like Grease and Pretty Woman which I think send horrible messages, or just Christmas stories for kids?

I do it for everything; fairy tales, the bible, Christmas songs, Rihanna songs (which are rather obvious in meaning), and episodes of Dora the Explorer.

I, personally, think Santa Claus is a douche.

Manuel Royal
12-10-2011, 06:39 AM
ho ho hoWho you callin' a -- oh, never mind.

Magdalen
12-10-2011, 07:34 AM
I think the sub-plot of Hermie the Dentist and his independent endeavors on the isle of misfit toys, along with his "dental domestication" of the Abominable Snowman balances the issues regarding the reindeer in this story. And I still like to watch it sometimes!!

rhymegirl
12-10-2011, 07:41 AM
Sure, maybe Rudolph was bullied. But isn't that what happens in real life? People get picked on for being different. It's been going on for years. How long ago was the song "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" written? After all, the TV show was written, based on the song lyrics. They had to fill in the story line to fit the song lyrics.

I think kids can relate to bullying. It's too bad it happens, but it does exist in real life. Kids will see Rudolph getting picked on, Rudolph running away from the conflict, Rudolph making the decision to come back and face his problems, Rudolph being brave trying to rescue his family from the snow monster, and ultimately Rudolph being asked to lead Santa's sleigh team and getting respect from his peers for saving Christmas.

I think they're just showing that what was seen as negative is really a positive thing. Isn't that a good lesson to learn?

Though I suppose it is true that Santa is portrayed as a bully. It makes sense to have the other reindeer make fun of Rudolph, since they're supposed to be young. Kids would do something like that. But a grown-up should know better.

The song doesn't say anything about Santa making fun of Rudolph. The person who wrote the script decided to make Santa say negative things about Rudolph.

Maxinquaye
12-10-2011, 08:09 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In3sApWlY1s

This guy? Creepy bloke that. I'd lock the doors. I mean, Santa Claws...

jennontheisland
12-10-2011, 08:21 AM
But the kids love it, so I actually talk a little with them about how unfair the other reindeer were being and how just cheering for Rudolph isn't enough.
This is why bad behavior in stories and shows is necessary. How else are parents supposed to point out the behaviors, discuss them with kids, and help them realize why they're bad. Hiding this stuff from kids makes it a lot more difficult to discuss it with them.

Vince524
12-10-2011, 08:24 AM
This is why bad behavior in stories and shows is necessary. How else are parents supposed to point out the behaviors, discuss them with kids, and help them realize why they're bad. Hiding this stuff from kids makes it a lot more difficult to discuss it with them.

This. Thank you.

Vince524
12-10-2011, 08:25 AM
& at least in this, it's seen as bad by the end. Unlike Grease and/or Pretty Woman!

Charles Farley
12-10-2011, 08:31 AM
This is why bad behavior in stories and shows is necessary. How else are parents supposed to point out the behaviors, discuss them with kids, and help them realize why they're bad.

Send them to school . . talk about their day .. have a relationship with them that doesn't come from fairy tales.

rugcat
12-10-2011, 09:08 AM
& at least in this, it's seen as bad by the end. Unlike Grease and/or Pretty Woman!Grease and Pretty Woman are not beloved by millions of kids.

At least, I hope not.

Flicka
12-10-2011, 11:08 AM
Rudolph is any high school movie about going from geek to popular, without the morality clause they usually have at the end. My sisters and I used to rant about the bullying of Rudolph and how when he turned into a star suddenly all the other reindeer wanted to be his BFF every Christmas and then we'd have some smoked reindeer heart and call it Prancer.

This is what happens when children are made to listen to Christmas songs. They start thinking and soon they're engaged in the ritual eating of their enemies.

Celia Cyanide
12-10-2011, 12:28 PM
Do kids really think that much about the story one way or another to pull a "moral" from it?

I would hope so.

Celia Cyanide
12-10-2011, 12:29 PM
Do you guys do this for movies like Grease and Pretty Woman which I think send horrible messages, or just Christmas stories for kids?

Pretty much everything. We're writers, aren't we?

JohnnyGottaKeyboard
12-10-2011, 12:57 PM
At the risk of sounding like the serious one here, I always saw (the stop-motion animation special about) Rudoph as a parable on the dangers of conformity. If we exclude the mutations from the group, the group may eventually encounter an obstacle it is ill-equipped to overcome. Hey, maybe it was even a subversive promotion of Darwinian Evolution. Happy Birthday, Jesus!

It was the '60s after all.

robeiae
12-10-2011, 04:39 PM
I heard someone was talking smack about Grease in here...