An alarming new trend has been adopted by right-wing Russian bots on Twitter: Santa hats superimposed onto their cartoonish avatars. Aside from the fact that Christmas, for these bots, has come unseasonably early; they are a frankly insulting reminder of the consumerist capitalist world we live in. Progress-cheering political activists will look to de-westernize typically capitalist public holidays. In recent years, the drive to encourage replacement terms for “Merry Christmas” such as “Season’s Greetings” or “Happy Holidays” to be more inclusive and sensitive towards other ethnicities and religions in our increasingly diverse society, has been warmly embraced by progressive individuals. But sadly, this isn’t anywhere near enough.
Celebrating the birth of a child whose followers would inspire the most oppressive, patriarchal, and imperialist religion on the planet is little more than just a cosy atavism for our more enlightened, modern age. Furthermore, the case could be made that this tinsel-y celebration is cultural appropriation of Pagan culture, adding insult to injury.
Santa’s gift-giving reinforces meritocratic values as ‘naughty’ children are often left giftless at a time when their better-behaved peers are pampered. Parents can also bribe their children into preventing them from fully expressing themselves with the promise of gifts. Poorer families cannot afford such luxuries to reward their children for their exemplary behaviour, and are forced to make do with more mediocre gifts, hauntingly reminding them of existing wealth inequalities under Trump’s government.
The image of Santa Claus is mockingly overrepresented by white CIS males. Minorities, POC, non-binary, and otherkin individuals are often cast aside in the Santa hiring process throughout malls, grottos, and other blood-soaked capitalist altars in Western countries. The fact remains that Santa Claus is painfully un-universal. And progress cannot be made until this absurdly lovable fatherly figure gets a 21st century makeover.
My first prescription would be to universalize Santa – to make him inclusive to all races, religions, and genders. In so doing, Santa would have to become a blend of all races as well as atheistic, and genderless. Being genderless is of utmost importance to dismantle his patriarchal aesthetic. As not all cultures celebrate sainthood, renaming Saint Nicholas/Santa to something more inclusive would be imperative. ‘Santa’ would have to relocate to somewhere less Western and somewhere more equatorial; so, goodbye Lapland and hello Kenya! ‘Santa’s’ sleigh being drawn by reindeer is a stark reminder of the continued animal abuse that persists around the globe, therefore; I would suggest ‘Santa’ to go green and hybridize his sleigh with a Prius engine. And finally, no child or those who identify as children to be excluded. Gifts should be distributed according to their victim status in relation to the most up-to-date progressive stack.
If you have the misfortune of encountering one of these Russian bots on Twitter, replying snidely using at least one of your favorite epithets is advisable. If, by chance, the bot replies; double down on your initial remark and block immediately.
Orwell & Goode
Orwell & Goode (a pun for “all well and good”) is a Youtuber, blogger, and an economics masters degree student. His main interests lie in documenting the decline of the Western world and identifying economic policies which may shape society for better or worse. He is the host of the “All Well and Good Show” and the co-host of news round-up “Waking Up The West” on YouTube.