I’m pretty much a card carrying libtarded democratic socialist. I don’t think I need to go over my liberal bonafides, but I thought it was going to be really important for me to get that out of the way at the outset, because I want to talk about one of the dumbest things I’ve read in the last five minutes — people apparently want to “re-brand” and update Santa Claus from his current generally accepted appearance to that of a tattooed, possibly female, hipster with an iPhone — and I don’t want to be accused of being an uncaring white dude.
Believe me, I wish I was kidding, but as CBS News reported, a new poll conducted by GraphicSprings shows that about a quarter of those who responded want to see Jolly Old Saint Nick redesigned. Some want the new Santa to carry an iPhone, others want them to drive a flying vehicle. Others want Santa to be neither male nor female, and others specifically want Santa to be a woman.
When asked how they would modernize Santa, twenty percent of people responded that he should have tattoos. Eighteen percent responded that his iconic red-and-white suit should be replaced with skinny jeans. And twenty two percent said that Santa should ditch the sleigh in exchange for a flying car.
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Let me make one thing clear — I do not and will not lose sleep over what Santa Claus does or doesn’t look like, nor am I incensed that a quarter of the people who took this poll think Santa needs modernizing or updating. I just find it kind of hilarious that a fictional character’s appearance would be this important, one way or the other.
I thought it was hilarious when former Fox News host Megyn Kelly flipped her wig over the idea of a dark-skinned Santa, and for the same reasons I find the desire to change him to something else just as silly. There are probably a few other issues we, as humanity, could sit down and hash out that would move humanity along faster than figuring out once and for all what Santa’s made-up DNA consists of.
And forget cookies. Twenty one percent of people who responded to GraphicSprings’ survey suggested that Santa should go on a diet – though it’s hard to imagine leaving a crudités platter out in the living room the night before Christmas.
Representation is very important, and I do understand that. I just can’t help but wonder what would happen if we, as a species, put just a little more of our outrage into finding out why there aren’t more minority cops, lawyers, or lawmakers, then worrying about whether Santa represents a specific cultural identity.
Maybe I’m more upset at people even conducting a poll like this, or perhaps publicizing its results like they’re newsworthy. Maybe I’m just a grinchy guy who thinks that with migrant children still jailed at the border, a white collar criminal attacking democratic institutions like free press and free speech, and oh yeah, the planet giving us all kinds of warning signs that it wants to boot our toxic species off its surface forever, that there are more important things for the general public to put their time and energies into.
As the CBS report points out, maybe some of the poll responses tie into the larger cultural shift going on in America when it comes to gender roles, and I’d be stupid to not recognize that there is some value to re-imagining beloved mythological figures, as well.
Earlier this holiday season, when a Bay Area radio station stopped playing the Christmas classic “” over the #MeToo undertones in its lyrics, the was swift and intense. And that was just one song. So, it’s difficult to overstate how great the outrage would likely be if the world were to ever actually rebrand Santa Claus.
These responses, however, are indicative of a cultural shift when it comes to the perception of gender. A number of states in the U.S. have now recognized a non-binary gender option, “X” on transgender and than ever before.and . And far more U.S. teens are identifying as
Am I really all that surprised — or even outraged — that a quarter of people who responded want to revamp Santa? No. I personally don’t and never will care what Santa looks like in any representation because it doesn’t bother me one way or the other. Which is not to say I don’t get why it would be important for little kids to see themselves in Santa…but the question I have is whether it’s really worth our time caring so much?
I know…we can walk and chew gum and be outraged by fictional characters. I just wish we could dumb down the outrage culture long enough to focus on policies and their impacts more, no matter how much I love triggering and trolling conservatives from time to time.