Tag Archives: pervert

Fat, obscene and pervy… your post-Christmas guide to Santa

Santa Claus

Christmas has come and gone.  As the festive fuzzies are replaced by a cold, bleak and broke January, consider the following about Santa to help you get over Christmas:

Santa is crude and scary

Recruiting firm Westaff encouraged its 2007 Santa trainees in Sydney to replace their traditional greeting of  “ho ho ho” with a blander “ha ha ha” because the former could scare kids and, as Australia’s The Daily Telegraph put it, “One would-be Santa has told The Daily Telegraph he was taught not to use “ho, ho, ho” because it was too close to the American slang for prostitute.”

Santa encourages obesity.

Santa is way too fat and, as such, is a bad example for kids. Acting US Surgeon General Steven K. Gallson said in 2007 that Santa should lose his body fat, start eating carrots instead of cookies and wear a helmet when conducting activities on the roofs and in chimneys.

Santa spreads diseases

Now that we have swine flu to further spread Christmas cheer, Australian academic Dr. Nathan Grills says in the Chicago Tribune: ‘“Unsuspecting little Johnny gets to sit on Santa’s lap, but as well as his present he gets H1N1 influenza… Santa continues on his merry way and gives the ‘present’ to a few more 100 kids before coming down with influenza himself.”‘

Santa is a pervert

What is it about Christmas that makes it OK for strange old men in musty costumes to sit around with unsuspecting minors in their laps for days on end at the mall?  Remove the context of Christmas and it is downright disturbing to consider placing children in the lap of a tubby stranger who is said to “see you when you’re sleeping” and “knows when you’re awake”, who makes out with mommy and has a thing for a reindeer with a shiny nose.

Santa runs a sweatshop

Santa is a hell of a taskmaster.  His poor elves pull brutal shifts as they scurry around making toys and loading sleds for all the children of the world.  What do they get for this herculean feat?  Christmas cookies.  Not cool.


Bjorn Karlman

Pulling the plug on (communication with) grandma

love in any language
love in any language

This summer ultra right-wing spin masters crisscrossed the US, spouting sensationalist garbage about Obama’s healthcare plan and organizing America’s lunatic fringe for circus-style mayhem at Town Hall meetings. One of the more charming claims made was that somehow healthcare reform was going to allow the government to “pull the plug on grandma.” Sen. Chuck Grassley, who first made the comment regarding the government’s potential future role in end-of-life decisions, later retracted it. But like Joe the Plumber, the expression stuck around. The mention of grandparents struck an emotional cord with people. We want them around. But as much as we value older family members it seems that most of us do precious little in the way of communicating with them. What’s to blame? Busy schedules? Misaligned priorities? Or is the real evil… social media?

I typed in one simple question into my Facebook status today: “Are your parents on Facebook?” Comments ranged from “my parents are old school eastern Euros…they type with one finger…so your answer is no” to “Mum is a super user… AND my 80 yr old grandmother!” I got 23 comments total.

The general trend was surprising to me: Most of my friends had at least one parent that was on Facebook even if they were subscribed, as one person put it, “only as a lurker.” Keep in mind that most of the respondents were in their late 20s or 30s and had parents that are or are pushing, grandma age.

Facebook reported this year that the fastest growing demographic of users was over 35 (http://bit.ly/7CMGd). Even more significantly, the fastest growing subset of this larger group of people over 35 is women over 55 (http://bit.ly/173ReU). That’s right, grandma has invaded Facebook. Trends such as these may be part of the reason one of my friends’ responses was, “My dad is (on Facebook) and he keeps trying to friend my friends. I will not friend him. You have to draw the line somewhere!”

LifeTips blogger Jamison Cush said, “Conventional teen wisdom: once your parents embrace something, it is no longer cool. So, inspired by a recent Facebook friend request from my mother, I am boldly declaring on this blog that Facebook is so over.” This kind of logic may be indulged for comic effect, but there is truth to it. As much as I want to stay in touch with my retirement-age parents, I don’t want them sifting through my Vegas pictures. And I will think twice about social media that allows them to do so.

Is it just time to admit that cross-generational communication is a touchier area than we give it credit for? Trying to do what we’ve failed to do in face-to-face communication across an age gap isn’t going to get easier because grandma now knows how to post bingo pictures and, very disturbingly, friends your online buds that she finds attractive. You could try to remedy the issue through heart-to-hearts over hot chocolate.

Or maybe just beef up your privacy settings.


Bjorn Karlman