Of all the things that have now been deemed politically incorrect, this latest really takes the reindeer chow. Evidently some folks feel that the song “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” is offensive in that it makes fun of a facial deformity. Some feel that making fun of a cartoon reindeer with a red nose is giving their children the wrong message. Well, yes—it isn’t nice to make fun of someone’s deformity and parents are right to make sure that their kids understand that.
However, as a child of the 50s, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” was just a funny little Christmas song we all sang. In fact, every kid I knew used to root for Rudolph for saving Christmas the year that it was too foggy for Santa to travel safely. We were always happy that, at the end of the song, the other reindeer were glad of his help.
But now that I’m older and less tolerant, what about all those hypocritical reindeer who suddenly loved Rudolph because he lit the way for them all. Do you think that they thanked him afterwards for this? Had a big party in his honor? Started inviting him to their reindeer games?
I’m guessing that they did none of this. Just look at their personality profiles:
**Quick Look at All the Reindeer
|Dasher||He loves to go fast!|
|Prancer||A bit vain, though affectionate|
|Comet||Handsome and easy-going|
|Blitzen||Fast as a bolt!|
|Rudolph||A little down on himself|
Dasher: “loves to go fast,” does he? I’ll bet that he was both angry and mortified at being bested by whom he deemed the most useless reindeer of all.
Dancer: “completely extroverted”? I’m thinking she is a big old attention hog who would also resent Rudolph for stealing her thunder on that foggy night.
Prancer: “a bit vain?” That sounds about right. I’m sure that she never sent Rudolph a Valentine that year, either.
Vixen: “slightly tricky?” Like maybe tricky enough to put a laxative into Rudolph’s post-flight cocoa? (Bet she did.)
Comet: “handsome and easy-going?” Well, sure—he was the ‘handsome one,’ who no doubt believed that he deserved credit for just breathing each day….
Donner: “Loud.” Well—doesn’t that just say it all? He probably was the first in line to congratulate Rudolph for guiding the sleigh that night. He probably also was the first one to snub him afterwards.
Blitzen: “Fast as a bolt.” Yeah, I’ll bet he bolted right into his pen without a word of thanks after they all made it safely back to the North Pole.
Rudolph: “a little down on himself.” Well, wouldn’t you be if you’d been laughed at your whole life over your looks? And wouldn’t you just know it, those other rotten reindeer laughed at him constantly and refused to let him play with them.
And then, poor Rudolph, at the end of the night, exhausted from miles and miles of beaming his red nose, lay down in the straw and just knew that all that false friendship wouldn’t last.
Did he turn into a serial killer over this? No, he did not. He kept his secret sorrow to himself. When Santa asked for his help in guiding the sleigh on that famous foggy night, did he question it? No, he just antlered-up and used his “facial deformity” to save Christmas that year.
He is the hero of this song, and the others were just sycophantic suck-ups who probably went back to their old jeering ways. My Christmas wish is for Rudolph to get better co-workers.
*From Wikipedia: “”Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is a song written by Johnny Marks based on the 1939 story Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer published by the Montgomery Ward Company. Gene Autry‘s recording hit No. 1 on the U.S. charts the week of Christmas 1949.”