This is my granddaughter’s third Christmas which, to me, means that she is now old enough to watch and appreciate all of my favorite holiday classic television shows. She will do this even if I have to glue her to the couch. Those of you old enough, do you remember before the days of video machines, when you had to scan the TV guide to find out when Rudolph and The Grinch were going to be on? You had to schedule the times with your parents to be sure that you would be home to watch Frosty the Snowman? Inevitably, you’d get stuck at your grandparents house and show up fifteen minutes late. It was like, “Great! I get one fucking time a year to hear the Heat Miser song and now the whole thing is fucked up!” We couldn’t just pop in a tape or a DVD if we were screwed over by insensitive adults. This is another reason why young people suck. People my age were hardened by the things we considered vital, not mattering to anyone else. “You have food? You have a roof over your head? Healthy? Then shut the hell up about how you missed your stupid cartoons!”
So here’s the problem. I’m older now. I’ve watched these things a thousand times and, while this might come as a surprise to you, I’m more cynical and sarcastic then I was say forty years ago. I watch these holiday specials and have a special affinity for finding flaws, inconsistencies and holes in the story line. “So you’re saying that there are vagaries and holes in a story meant for a 4 year old? Remarkable.” Regardless, I made a few notes the last few dozen times Leila and I watched the clay-mation version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and this is what I’ve come up with. As always, I encourage and welcome your feedback but don’t give me any crap about it being a kid’s show. That’s no excuse for shitty work.
Early on in this Christmas classic, Santa drags his stupid ass to Donner the reindeer’s cave. As long as we’re on the subject, why is a reindeer living in a cave anyway? Reindeer either live in a barn or they’re walking around migrating from one cold, shitty location to another. There is no cave. Ever. Anyway, Santa comes in all high and mighty gracing the Donner family with his presence and, upon seeing Rudolph’s glowing nose, proceeds to drop some of the most bigoted shit on this poor creature. I cannot imagine that the EEOC would be pleased to hear that Santa is going to restrict someone’s right to work based on the color of their nose. Santa is like, “Well, I don’t know what you’re thinking Donner but I’ll be damned if that freak baby of yours will ever have anything to do with pulling my sleigh.” Donner proceeds to cover Rudolph’s nose with mud from the cave floor. Yeah, good call. That’ll fix everything. Santa will never see through that. He’s a racist, Donner, not a nitwit you stupid loser.
Shunned from being able to find work in the ever-competitive sleigh pulling game, Rudolph ventures out on his own and eventually meets with this stupid little fucking guy, Herbie. Herbie is an elf who hates making toys and wants to be a dentist. However, it is clear to anyone over the age of say ten that this Herbie guy is frustratingly gay and “dentist” is nothing more than poorly covered euphemism for ass play and clay penises. Once again, poor Herbie, because of him being “different” from the other elves, i.e., gay, is asked to disappear and is summarily found, by Rudolph, barely clinging to life in a snow drift. So in the first ten minutes of this right to work nightmare, Santa has thrown two people to the literal wolves one for being gay and the other for having a different colored nose. God forbid you were born with a club foot or something because this fucking Santa guy would have you hung.
On a less controversial level, in Santa’s workshop, there are like ten elves responsible for building toys for every mother fucker on this earth. This is simply impossible but is clearly indicative of Santa running an illegal sweatshop staffed by little people that he holds in captivity in an icy and inescapable hell. In addition, the only toy they ever seem to make is a shitty gray box on wheels. No one wants that stupid crap so why bother?
Speaking of toys, there is an kingdom in the story that Rudolph and Herbie stumble upon called the Island of Misfit Toys. This lifeless, cold dump is populated by toys that somehow ended up here after they were not wanted or played with by the children they were given to. The moniker of “misfit toys” seems a bit harsh given that all Santa is churning out of his workshop are grey wheeled boxes. Hmmm, let’s see. Would I rather have a grey box or a gun that squirts jelly? A box on wheels or a jack-in-the-box whose only fucking defect is that his name is Charlie. Every single unwanted misfit toy was one hundred times better than the best stupid box Santa was making and cramming down everybody’s throat.
Later on, the king of the misfit toys begs Rudolph to tell Santa about their plight and to try again giving them to a thankful kid rather than the ungrateful bastard he gave them to in the first place. How does Santa not know about this island of hell? All my life I was told and manipulated my kids with stories of Santa’s surveillance system that gave him intimate knowledge of every fucking thing they and I ever did. So here he is, up everybody’s ass all year long but he has no freaking clue that there are toys, toys that aren’t a sorry box on wheels and come to him free of charge all sitting on some dumb island? Is this guy mentally ill? How can I take any of this seriously if I even have half a brain?
In the story, there is this mean snow creature they call The Bumble. This thing is apparently committing heinous and violent crimes against the residents of the North Pole. killing and eating elves and reindeer alike. We are kind of led to believe that there are more than one of these murdering snow gargoyles running around. What kind of shit is this? We’re to believe that this Santa Claus character is completely capable of delivering toys to every fucking house on earth in one night but is completely helpless against this Bumble thing? Does Santa not give a fuck or is he some kind of giant pacifist vadge? Is this why he’s down to only ten or so elves? This guy is a real piece of work, if you ask me.
There is concern the entire film that Santa is not eating enough and granted, he does look like a cancer patient. Mrs. Claus is obsessing that her husband wont fit into his Christmas attire mostly because she’s lost the will to live and doesn’t want to have to re-tailor this fat idiot’s wardrobe. Magically though, as soon as Santa eats crown and elicits Rudolph’s help with the sleigh, he gains like 150 pounds like he’s some kind of a diabetic Incredible Hulk.
In the end, Santa needs Rudolph’s help because of some storm. Here, Rudolph really missed a chance to tell Santa’s racist ass to eat shit but since he has no self-esteem left to speak of, he acquiesces to the old slave owner and “guides his sleigh” anyway. How can Rudolph even look at himself in the mirror knowing how much this old bigot hates him for his nose skin color and then help him deliver his lame-assed packages all over the world. If he had even a shred of dignity he would have told him, “You know what Santa? Why don’t you go fuck yourself! You hated me for the color of my skin! I’m not helping you and I hope you all go out into that storm and die. Die a horrible long and painful death.”
You know what else? What’s with this storm at the North Pole anyway? Really? Canceling Christmas because of a storm? It’s the fucking North Pole! The fucking place is a perpetual storm. More likely than not, Santa is just trying to find an excuse not to go on the excruciating toy delivering journey from hell and for that, i cannot blame him.
As in all customary Christmas fable fare, Santa is to fly on his sleigh, climb down everybody’s chimney and deliver toys to every boy and girl on earth as long as they been well behaved. When my kids were little I would tell them the story of Monkey Claus and how, if they were bad, Monkey Claus would come instead of Santa. In my manipulative story, Monkey Claus drops the hammer on all of the bad kids by releasing a diseased and delirious spider monkey into their house. This monkey afflicted with a severe case of hemorrhagic fever proceeds to defile their house with infected feces even using the curtains to wipe himself with. He breaks their toys and eats their food. To this day, they all vividly remember the emotional damage done by the story of Monkey Claus.
In the last scene of Rudolph, Santa is shown flying around like an asshole in his sleigh and instead of going down the various chimneys like he is supposed to, is seen carelessly carpet bombing people with all of his shitty ill gotten misfit toys that he has ruthlessly tethered to umbrellas. I remember thinking even when I was a kid how absolutely fucking lazy this was. Like get out of the sleigh you fat bastard and do this Christmas thing the right way!
Let me close this by saying that half the reason I love Christmas is for the television shows and movies. In spite of all of this vitriol, I will watch and appreciate Rudolph until the day I die. I’m just funnin a little.