Time for the seasonal re-posting of one of my first ever columns, a bilious, apoplectic rant against this, the most insipid and awful song ever written! First seen on the Needlefish in 2017, this classic post is worth revisiting just for my marvellous (and entirely more apt) re-write of the lyrics! Enjoy!
God save me from this f’ing dreck. God consign it to the fiery pit. This and all those other terrible, soul-destroying Christmas ditties.
What’s that? You just love hearing the incessant musical bombardment of Christmas Cheer while you wheel your cart around the supermarket? O.K., look, pal, everybody in his right frame of mind despises Christmas songs, got that? With rare exceptions (Silent Night, say, or O Holy Night ), they roundly suck eggs as music, and the treacly faux-Christian sentiments are obviously the work of some diabolical intellect intent upon driving us all insane. Indeed, I read somewhere a couple of weeks ago that over-exposure to insipid Christmas jingles can contribute to chronic mental illness, but even if you’re not driven into the clutches of the DSM-V, you’re sure to experience all the tenacious seasonal celebration as a sort of mental root canal less anesthetic. If you’re in your right frame of mind.
If I hear that god-awful drummer boy bucket of schmaltz one more time, I’m going to chuck an embolism. What was a goddam kid with a snare drum doing at the nativity anyway? What, there were little uniformed drummer boys running around the Roman world? Fine then, how’d he know to visit an obscure stable in Judea on the very day in question – he followed a star too? And did nobody see him lurking about? He’s not mentioned in the Good Book, last I checked, and suppose he was there, didn’t his pa-rump-a-bum-bum shenanigans disturb the animals, and vex the Wise Men? We come from afar, Holy Mother of God, bearing gifts, having been guided to this very manger by the bright new star that – OH FOR CHRIST’S SAKE WHAT’S WITH THE F*%KING DRUMMING?
Then there’s that appalling little ditty, that thing, about roasting chestnuts. May the open fire burn your goddam house down. And the jingle bells – oh, lord, the endless jingle bells – I hope your open sleigh and its one idiot horse go right through the ice, you miserable chirpy carollers. Yet even stinking Jingle Bells is Mozart next to the most obnoxious, pernicious and brazenly anti-social sing-along of them all, that malodorous pile of cow droppings called Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Every time I hear it, every time I think of a cheerful little choir of cherubic pre-tweeners belting it out at the f’ing Christmas Pageant, I want to tear my own teeth out with a pair of rusty pliers. Have you ever really listened to it? The words? It’s noxious. I’ve hated it with a passion surpassing all reason since I first figured it out as a six year-old, or maybe I was seven, when I realized I was actually living a real-word iteration of the song’s awful scenario at school. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is all about nothing except smug bullying and sucking up to The Man. Plain and simple.
Consider poor little Rudolph, his big red snout derided as a gross deformity. The other reindeer – assholes, the lot – shun him and taunt him without mercy, just on account of how the sad little guy looks. Hyuk! Let’s pick on the freak! Let’s make him cry! Let’s make sure he knows how unwelcome he is, as we exclude him from all of our shit-head reindeer games! Miserable, taunting pig-fuckers.
But then – who could have predicted?- the Boss Man takes a shine to him. Turns out that his stupid mutant nose is actually useful to Overlord Santa. Apparently, the fat old bastard has just realized this, having failed thus far to lift so much as a little finger to spare Rudolph from his daily beat-downs and ritual humiliation, but oh well, better late than never, right? Note, however, that Santa finally intervenes not on the general principle that it’s immoral to mistreat and victimize the weak and helpless, but solely because he’s suddenly reckoned that poor abused Rudolph’s glowing red nose might come in handy. By golly, Herr Sinterklaas needs a headlight for his next hypersonic, globe-girdling flight to deliver scads of undeserved goodies to all the world’s gloating little goons, most of them out there doing every day to their ostracized inferiors what the other reindeer did to Rudolph. Yup, and Mr. Freakshow Glowschnozz over there with his fog lamp of a sniffer is just the thing! (Just how incandescent is this shiny honker anyway? I know it’s a nose-so-bright, but it’s going to illuminate the ground from 40,000 feet? Or is it just a navigation light, the better to fend off an unfortunate mid-air with some 747 on the polar route to Europe? And did the “composer” know that red light doesn’t degrade night vision? So many questions! So little turning on the answers!)
So Rudolph gets picked to pull point on the big mission.
Then all the reindeer loved him.
For the love of Christ, really? This is a lesson fit to be taught to kids? By all means children, have your fun ganging up, but do take care to keep an eye on which way the wind’s blowing! Today’s hapless victim might be tomorrow’s teacher’s pet, and you don’t want to be the last one rubbing the helpless kid’s bawling face into the mud and dog turds when The Man decides he kind of likes the punk after all. Then you’ll be the one on the outs. You’ll be the one laying there in the fetal position while the mob kicks the stuffing right out of you. Beware the fickle favour of Power!
As an homage to this paean to toxic group politics, I penned my own version of the song, casting Rudolph as a thwarted climber who wants the same thing as everybody else: to be on top pissing on the downtrodden. It goes like this:
Rudolph the Brown-Nosed Reindeer
Rudolph he brown-nosed reindeer
couldn’t gain the upper hand
Climbing the reindeer ladder
wasn’t working out as planned
All of his so-called deer friends
screwed him over royally
This is the way careers end –
fuck ‘im better him than me
Then one listless arctic day
Santa yawned and said:
Rudolph with your nose so brown
no harm keeping you around
Then all the pant-loads loved him!
suddenly the worm had turned
Woe to the ones who’d shoved him
children this is what we’ve learned:
You may be made an outcast
fodder for the schemes of pricks
But if you kiss the right ass
the sycophants will suuuuuuuck yourrrrrrrrrrr diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiik
Don’t get me going on that creepy one in which Santa’s got you under 24/7 surveillance, tallying up all your naughties and your nices.