Bullying Rudolph

Posted on December 16, 2010

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Danny and I have been listening a lot to Christmas carols recently (Mr. Hanky the Christmas Poo being our favorite), and they have certainly gotten us in a festive holiday mood.

Except for the one that he thinks is just plain cruel: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Have you ever actually listened to the words to that song? To Danny, Rudolph’s tale sounds like a bad day on the fourth-grade playground.  The little reindeer with the shiny red nose was different from his friends, so what did they do? They ostracized him and wouldn’t let him play with them. In the holiday TV special it’s even worse–they literally drive him from his home, and even Santa is mean to him.

Santa, I say! (Anyone ever get on you for being a little chunky, big guy? Hurts doesn’t it?)

Of course, the other reindeer and their red-suited leader eventually come around, but their acceptance comes only when they need Rudolph to help them out on a foggy Christmas Eve. It’s like the bully that befriends the class brain before a big math test.What would have happened had the night been clear? More Rudolph abuse? Would he still be banished? Would they make him and his lone friend, Hermie the Elf, clean up after the other reindeer after they fly off?

And what happens after Christmas? Do they let him play four-square and tether ball, and other reindeer games, or is it back to the sidelines with only a book (and maybe an iPod) for company? Danny would like to know.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer–beloved holiday classic or manifesto on how to abuse those different from us and learn that bullying is OK, unless you can gain some tangible personal benefit from being nice to someone? You be the judge.

How I love the perspective of a fourth grader.`

What do you think? Danny asks that you take our poll:

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