GateHouse – There are a lot of things wrong with Santa Claus — the tobacco addiction, the repeated breaking and entering, the vanishing for 364 consecutive days without explanation — but to that long and deplorable list ABC News has added the following: Santa Claus may be sending the wrong body message to children.
Indeed, in a video clip posted this week on abcnews.com, there stands a blow-dried twerp in a shiny suit, arguing with a disgustingly faked sense of concern that “the big belly will send a bad message to kids,” specifically the millions upon millions of kids who look at Santa Claus not as a magical elf who brings free presents every year, but as the standard for sheer physical magnificence and the primary reason they keep going to gym class every week.
The reporter geek goes on to say that Santa is the latest target of “health experts” worried about the obesity epidemic, and by “health experts” he means “the four editors by the Snickers machine who had few other story ideas at meeting time.”
“The belly under the red suit is as much a tradition as the suit itself,” intones a dramatic-sounding voice in the report, before pausing dramatically and adding, “But should it be?” OK, truly, if you’ve never really worried about the media around here, if you’ve spent a little time vaguely wondering about the tenuous state of American journalism, but are maybe waiting for that one touchstone, that watershed moment that changes your brief interest in sudden, spluttery panic, that last sentence is probably about as good as it’s gonna get. It’s go time.
The report goes on to spotlight, and by spotlight I mean mostly invent, a nationwide movement that’s calling for a slimmer bunch of Santa Claus at our nation’s malls, parades and bars.
Anyway, it’s somewhere around this point that the story pretty much dives into that weird realm between television news and science fiction, like when Dennis Kucinich said he saw that UFO, or anytime Glenn Beck opens his mouth. Have you ever seen a film set in a dystopian near-future, in which a weatherbeaten protagonist sets out on an adventure in the futile pursuit of the salvation of a TV-soaked humanity? This is what I’m talking about. Sometime this week, try to watch “The Running Man” and tell me I’m wrong.
But lest you think that I’m just there to poke some more holes in the Thin Santa movement, may I please, in the interest of both objectivity and girth, direct your attention to the Web site KeepSantaFat.com, which is dedicated to “keeping St. Nick thick”. I know there’s an ice storm going on out there, but if you’re with me on this, you may want to have a quick margarita before checking out the interview with the pro-Fat Santa guy. OK, ready?
“Are we gonna melt a few pounds off Frosty the Snowman,” gushes a grown man in the ABC report, before going on to joke that the Easter Bunny is looking “kinda chubby” and snort-laughing. Sweet raisin danish. But in this horror there is much good to be found: As rough as your holiday season may be, no matter how far behind you are on shopping, no matter how you’re kicking yourself for missing out on Black Friday sales, no matter how many times you’ve heard Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime,” things could be worse: you could be a grown adult debating the girth of a storybook elf on television, but you’re not, and that truly is a Christmas miracle.