December 21, 2006

True Dat (from Jerusalem)

One "Ruvy," has got something groovy to say about Santa, from Israel. A writer for desicritics online, he grew up in Brooklyn, so he has first-hand memories of the madness of the Santa Cult as it is in the Apple. He writes, in "Ho, Ho, Ho: The Truth About Santa Claus:"

First I explained as well as I could that a commercial is an attempt to make us spend our money on something. After I thought I got that point across, I had to explain what stores do - that is to say that they sell merchandise - and that they use commercials to get people to buy their merchandise. Finally, I had to point out that if stores could not sell their merchandise, the owners would not be able to pay their bills, and they would lose their homes and have to sleep in the streets. Naturally, I also pointed out that the people who work in the stores would lose their jobs, and then they wouldn't be able to pay their bills and that they would also have to sleep in the streets. But, you know how five year olds are. You can't dwell on details too much.

Then I told my son how big department store owners some hundred and fifty years saw how they could make a fortune of money. They turned the Dutch Sinkt Niklaas - a wisp of a legend with a beard and long pipe who was not averse to dropping coal into someone's stocking - into Santa Claus, the jolly provider of gifts for all children. And why did they do this? So that the parents would have to fulfill their children's' expectations of gifts mysteriously coming into the house by Christmas morning. Santa Claus, I told my boy, was the biggest and best commercial ever invented in the last 150 years.

The astute Jew (Jews are people with a detector for false idols in their blood, mind you) then added:

But, if I were a Christian, I'd be infuriated with what big business in America had done to my religion and concepts of what is right, wrong, just and equitable.

But, my only obligation is to my son - to make sure he understands what is in those sweet commercials with Santa Claus in them, so that he never has to get caught up in Christmas madness himself.

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