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Impeach Santa!
Finding the perfect candidate for Christmas '08

By Ellen Snortland

Santa is so old hat. A Madison avenue puppet, he's also sexist, racist, runs a male-only sweatshop, abuses reindeer, ignores borders with impunity and is a poster child for gluttony. Is there anything admirable about him? For goodness' sake, he's a break-and-enter artist, which at the very least must be an impeachable offense.

Yeah, yeah . I know there are people who adore Santa, but I have a hard time understanding exactly why. Perhaps Santa-lovers have never questioned their devotion and, if given a choice, would never have picked him as the symbolic head of Christmas in the first place.

Seriously, could someone please explain this Santa mania to me? I don't like him, never have and never will. As we gear up for the presidential primaries and next year's presidential election, I couldn't help but muse that we don't really have to put up with a Santa administration. I mean, who made him president of Christmas? I say impeach him or vote him out and elect someone else. Add Santa and his challengers to the primaries.

But let us examine the qualities that are important for a CEO of Christmas: Must like children, must be generous, must be a good shopper.

Of course, Michael Jackson would most likely love to run for the sleigh job since he's kind of been hurting for other work these days. Drat. He doesn't have Neverland Ranch anymore which could have been a "North Pole" stand-in. But you know, he should probably not touch this opening with a, er, 10-foot pole. Oh dear, I just keep digging this one deeper, don't I? Forget it. He would never make it in the Iowa primaries given he has a reputation for liking children a little too much, if you catch my drift, and I don't mean snow drift either. Besides, we want to make sure that whoever fills the Santa vacancy pays equal attention to boys and girls so as to avoid even the appearance of gender discrimination.

Speaking of sex discrimination, given that there's been such a Christmas executive "glass ceiling" as a result of the Santa regime, it has never even occurred to females to aspire to replace St. Nick. Lack of citizen aspiration, by the way, is a hallmark of dictatorships.

In that light, Santa Lucia may be a very good alternative candidate for the top Christmas job. For traditionalists, she's a saint like St. Nick ("Santa Claus" is an alias) and would make the transition easier for people who are sentimentally attached to saints.

Historians trace St. Nicholas to medieval Turkey where he apparently got his "creds" for generosity by anonymously providing dowries for three daughters whose father was about to sell them all into slavery. Santa gave them bags of gold. Now that's thoughtful gift-giving! Unfortunately, the Santa Claus of today is more associated with cheesy Chia pets and bicycles manufactured by slaves in China rather than acts of philanthropy.

Santa Lucia, on the other hand, represents the bringing of light and sweetness during the darkest days of winter in Italy, all of the Scandinavian countries and some parts of Minnesota. Patron saint of blindness, she was one heck of a martyr in Roman times, plucking out her own eyes to avoid entering into a marriage with a heathen! Whew. That's an image - and one the mighty electoral machinery of fanatical Christian rightwing evangelicals might rally behind, making Lucia highly electable.

My favorite? Mrs. Santa Claus. Yes, Virginia, there really is a Mrs. Santa Claus.

Visibility issues aside, Ms. Claus is my pick for Yuletide commander in chief. Jessica Mary Claus has the behind-the-scenes knowhow to keep Christmas going without the mayhem of changing reindeers in midstream, or mid-airstream, in this case.

While having to deal with the onus of her spouse's "naughty or nice" shenanigans, Ms. Claus' experience with dealing with the media and the insufferable suck-ups also known as elves (or interns) would make her a natural for the job. And she's got shopping bona fides for miles! Do you think it's a piece of cookie to pick the right gift for the right child? I say Jessica Mary Claus in 2008. How, how, how about it?

Since we can't seem to rev up the gonads to impeach Bush and Cheney, we should practice on Santa. We must have a breakthrough on mediocre white guys having all the plum-pudding jobs.

Merry Christmas.

Pasadena Weekly: 12/20/07

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