It’s time to celebrate that grand new holiday tradition: gathering the family around the TV, watching a classic holiday special, then rushing to Twitter to whine about how politically-incorrect it is.
First, we had the claims of racism against “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” and now, the Rankin/Bass animated special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is being denounced as “problematic” (this same complaint was bandied about a bit last year, but apparently, it didn’t meet with enough scorn and ridicule to crush it; so the PC brigades are back – this time, fortified with the backing of the professional leftist Grinches at the Huffington Post.
It seems that “Rudolph” promotes intolerance because he’s shunned for having a red nose. And it promotes bullying, because the other reindeer won’t let him join in any reindeer games. Even when he’s hailed as a hero for leading Santa’s sleigh, that acceptance only comes because the “man” found his differences exploitable. Do you feel like tossing your egg nog yet?
This may be the first time snowflakes ever ruined a happy Christmas mood.
Apparently, nobody ever explained to these aggrieved defenders of non-nasal-conforming reindeer that if there’s no conflict or obstacle for the hero to overcome, there’s no story. It’s just a bunch of characters all being very careful not to say anything that might upset anyone, which is boring, stifling to character development…and, come to think of it, the story of their lives. And did Santa really “exploit” Rudolph, or did Rudolph succeed largely because his non-conforming attributes were a strength that made him more desirable for the job, which I think is the same argument used to pass a lot of workplace diversity regulations? If hiring someone who’s different from the majority means they’re being “exploited,” then what’s the alternative? Not hiring them?
The whole point of “Rudolph” (which debuted in 1964, fifty-four years ago) was to promote tolerance, acceptance and recognizing the value of those who are different, whether it was Rudolph or the elf who wanted to be a dentist instead of a toymaker, or the misfit toys that thought no child wanted them. In that regard, it was PC before PC was cool. Also before PC became incredibly whiny and annoying.
Here’s a suggestion: now that Santa’s given out all the misfit toys, maybe we could turn their island into a sanctuary for all the social misfits who get filled with self-righteous rage while watching children’s Christmas specials. They could live there year-‘round, being happy in their outrage and misery as they fire off angry, snarky tweets to each other, and let the rest of us enjoy the simple pleasures of life again.