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HO-HO-OH PLEASE STOP IT.

24 November 2004

I'd like to discuss Santa. All you boys and girls that still believe in this big fraud, please close your eyes and skip this rant. Now I can't say for sure how much of the following thing is urban legend or not, because you just never know. Maybe the feds have cooked this up to veil that the real Jolly Man is a dangerously homicidal loony, but I'll just go along with what I know. You see, Santa Claus, that happy happy cute little bulky man, was created by none other than the Coca-Cola company somewhere at the beginning of the 20th century. To the purpose of creating more of a festival around the very Christian event of Christmas, generating a heavier emphasis on the commercial aspect of it and ultimately selling more of their beverages. They've put him forward as this legendary creature from the North pole that has existed from the beginning of time. Now the last time I checked, most of the wonderful fairytales and folklorish legends were created by the retelling of stories and the explanation of the inexplicable by unique cultures around the world. There's nothing romantic about the big fat marketing strategy that is called Santa Claus.

Besides, Coca-Cola ripped him off from one of OUR national legends: 'Sinterklaas', or St. Nicolaas. Besides a few added characteristics their premise is almost a carbon copy: a saintly man comes from faraway lands to spread happiness and presents to all the kids. He is dressed regally in red and has a bunch of slave helpers who are somewhat quirky. The big difference however, is that St. Nicolaas actually existed, and wasn't invented by some freaking corporate machine. Sinterklaas is a Netherlandic icon who visits our country every year. It's a national holiday on the 6th of December, and one of the biggest events of the year. He comes on a steamboat from Spain (supposedly of course) with thousands of helpers all called 'Zwarte Piet' ('Black Pete'), who historically have been white people smeared with shoepolish, dressed in magnificent colourful costumes. In TRUTH, St. Nicolaas existed centuries ago and was Turkish from origin. He moved to Spain later on and pitied all the empovered children around him. He then began to ease their suffering by giving them food and presents (if my memory recalls). I don't know exactly how this got to be the main Netherlandic cultural icon, yet has been sent screaming into oblivion in both Spain and Turkey. But the fact is that it's here, and it's pure, authentic and very much culturally defendable.

Unlike Santa Claus, who is just another proof that corporations are taking over the world, and a big fat copycat at that.

Roderick.