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Saturday, September 20, 2014 | Last updated: 9:00am

Jolly Old St. Nick really tyrant, bully



I’ve gone after a lot of easy targets in my columns: Kim Jong-un, bro tanks, clichéd country music lyrics, bad Hollywood remakes, bird poop and Arizona State University. For my final column, I’ve finally decided to go after a much tougher target: the big man himself, jolly Saint Nick, the beloved cultural icon known as Santa Claus. (Note: This column is not recommended for children who love and believe in Santa Claus). Yes, I am aware that Christmas is eight months away, but I only dare criticize Santa now, when his guard is down and his global network is relatively inactive.

Let me make one thing clear: This column is not an attack on Christmas. I’m totally in favor of family togetherness, peace on earth, goodwill to men, yada yada yada. Nobody ever got a New York Times column by hating on Christmas, and I don’t want to end up shunned by everybody in society except for Ebenezer Scrooge and the Grinch. But I do have an issue with Santa. When he laughs and shakes like a bowlful of jelly, he’s laughing at us, not with us, because he’s fooled the world.

During my childhood, when I got to a certain age, I developed some doubts about Santa. How does he deliver presents to every kid in the world in just one night? Is it really possible for reindeer to fly? Then, the only possible rational explanation for these paradoxes dawned on me: There’s a massive evil conspiracy behind Santa’s whole operation.

But I think the truth is darker still. “Kris Kringle” (to use another of his suspiciously made-up sounding aliases) is actually an exploitative boss who abuses his illegitimately gained authority. Who put Santa in charge of delivering presents, and how does he stay in charge? Who holds him accountable if he isn’t doing a good job? The most powerful leaders in our democratic society, from presidents to CEOs to college football coaches, can be removed from power. But Santa seems to have ruled the North Pole from as far back as anybody can remember. Do the elves ever have the chance to vote for a different leader? Of course not, because Santa Claus is an evil dictator.

Think about it — he has all the characteristics of dictators throughout history: fearsome facial hair, a ridiculous uniform, even a stern Germanic-sounding surname. He probably lives at the North Pole to avoid the scrutiny of pesky journalists and elf-rights inspectors.

The sinister clues are right there in the classic Christmas song: “He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake.” Am I the only one who finds this creepy? “He knows if you’ve been bad or good.” Sounds like Big Brother from “1984.” “Santa Claus is coming to town.” Yeah, to unlawfully break into people’s homes as part of an intelligence-gathering mission bent on world domination!

But I have a theory about who’s really behind all this: aliens. I mean, a sleigh that can fly around the world in a single night has to be a UFO, because it’s way too advanced for human technology. The pointy-eared elves are another dead giveaway; they’re obviously Vulcans from “Star Trek.” Everyone knows that alien reindeer, unlike earth reindeer, fly around and shoot deadly laser beams out of their glowing red noses.

This column has revealed the only possible truth about Santa Claus. Now humanity needs to stand up to him before he conquers and subjugates the entire planet.

Then again, I have to begrudgingly admit another possibility: that my anger and suspicion toward Santa are rooted in the fact that he is only a symbol. A symbol of the commercial and media oversaturation that surrounds our culture. A symbol of the marketing hype and gaudy displays that crowd out more meaningful traditions in our society, and that sometimes turn what should be joyous seasons into unpleasant and stressful times. But my Santa-is-an-evil-alien-tyrant explanation makes for a much more entertaining column, so I’m going to stick with that.

Disclaimer: As a general rule, nothing in Logan Rogers’ columns should be taken seriously.

— Logan Rogers is a second-year law student. Follow him @AproOfNo


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