December 23, 2010

From Noise Queen, Winter 1997 :)

Christmas: Consumer Orgy or Commie Love-In?

By Tim Murphy

Ah, Christmas - that most quintessentially Christian of holidays - what with the tree idea (stolen from Norse myth) - the fallen divine figure concept (ditto, at the very least); the mistletoe (the substance that killed Baldur in Norse myth, so what's up with THAT!?); and, of course, St. Nicholas (very possibly based on a man in Turkey who would creep down rich people's chimneys to steal for the poor).

As a Commie, I do believe in the concept of 'from each according to his ability to each according to his need' (though, my fellow members of the working class, I assure you that my need for white socks has been met for the conceivable future...).

However, I must confess it used to bug me when my parents would complain that Christmas left them in deep debt - both because, by implication, my sister and I were responsible and because they either chose to do it or were well-conditioned by consumerism.

However, Christmas can be subjected to a Marxist analysis (aren't you glad?). In addition to the 'ability-need' model, consider the following factors:

(a) One of the many St. Nicholases robbed from the rich and gave to the poor - thus modeling Robin Hood AND an ideal working class uprising.

(b) While Santa is said to preside over the ultimate family holiday, it is significant to note that Santas is the ultimate bear (fat, bearded and benign) and his assistants quintessential cubs. Mrs. Claus is a fairly recent addition to the myth, obviously inspired by heterosexist panic at the notion of NOT having the old guy safely married - I suspect she's either a beard (no pun intended) or a trannie. Thus, there is a queer overlay to the whole story that challenges the capitalist model of reproduction for future generations of workers...

(c) Santa wears RED and is said to give presents to all girls and boys (it's true that upper-class kids tend to get more, but that is due to attempts by the ruling class to undermine Santa's collectivist leanings - socialism cannot survive in one Pole).

Anyway - on the title question - oh, who knows? Just hope the season is tolerable to you.

Hugs and smooches of an indefinably but undeniably queer nature,

Santa Tim

Polar Cub/Bear Extraordinaire

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