Optional page text here. The Beast's Lair: The Message of Rudolph

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Message of Rudolph

It's a tough call to say which is my favorite Christmas cartoon classic. A Charlie Brown Christmas or Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer are just too close to determine a favorite. My vote inches toward Charlie Brown, for nothing other than the all-time greatest recital of the Christmas story by Linus.

Anyway, I was talking to my wife about Rudolph and this thought came to me. What is the deal with this message? Now, I'm half-way playing here, so don't take me too seriously, but check this out. . .

We always take the meaning of Rudolph as a story of those who are gifted in ways that we might not see at first, in other words, everyone has a purpose and a gift. That is great, but notice the message from the other side of the coin. Here is the progression:

1. Everyone hates Rudolph
2. Rudolph becomes Santa's #1 guy
3. Everyone loves Rudolph

Basically, this story tells children that if they can climb to the top of the corporate ladder and be the coolest cat (in this case reindeer) on the block, then everyone will like them. The song says "Then how the reindeer loved him. . ." What is the "then" in that lyric? Is it because they came to respect him for who he was on the inside rather than outside? Or that due to Rudolph's sincerity, they saw the error of their ways? Nope! The "then" is because he was now pulling the lead in Santa's sleigh. You get the idea that if Santa had an elf develop a 5000 lumen headlight for the following year to avoid this problem, that the reindeer would return to hating Rudolph's guts. So, in other words, make sure all you children out there remain the most popular in school, whatever it takes. If you don't, then you are going to lose your respect. Or, the other lesson to keep in mind is that we should make fun of people unless they are in a high position of importance.


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