The worst aspect of our society’s observance of Christmas is the way adults deceive children into believing there’s a magical bearded man who will grant their wishes if they’re good.
But enough about Jesus.
Santa Claus, on the other hand, is a truly heroic figure, running, as he does, a pagan mole operation inside the Christian mythos.
It’s widely presumed that the septentrional god of creation, poetry, wisdom, magic, and song, known to the Germanic peoples as Odin, Wotan, or Woden, and to the Finns and their relatives as Väinämöinen, made himself scarce after the introduction of Christianity, leaving the masses to their blissful idiocy. (In the Kalevala, Väinämöinen suggests that the baby Jesus be dumped in a swamp and hit over the head with a stick. If only.)
But it’s become apparent that the great shamanic culture-hero and master of disguise is alive and well in Korvatunturi, surrounded by those other survivors from ancient times, the elves, subverting the Christian ethos from within by adulterating it with the pagan virtues of pleasure, frivolity, and self-indulgence.
Like Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, Santa Claus says, “Love ever your neighbor as yourselves — but first be such as love themselves.”
But surely Santa is just a symbol of the gross commercialization of the ancient festival? Contrariwise: it’s all too easy to underestimate Jólnir‘s boundless cunning. He’s really playing eleven-dimensional chess here, having recognized the revolutionary role of bourgeois materialism in eradicating feudalistic superstition and paving the way for proletarian class consciousness. Why do you think he wears red?
So anyway, I forget exactly where I was going with this, but I wanted to post the lyrics of a Yuletide song I wrote regarding, I don’t know, inverted totalitarianism or something. (JUST WHAT YOU WANTED THIS HOLIDAY SEASON: MORE INSUFFERABLE, JEJUNE POLITICAL RANTING FROM POETARIAT.) I recorded five or six shitty versions of it a year ago and was going to have another go at it, but I decided my time was better spent programming some shit instead. You don’t care. (more…)