Then all the reindeer loved him ...
I heard "Rudolph" playing over the mall speakers as we sat in the food court having a bite of lunch. While the song really doesn't bear thinking deeply about, I couldn't help but remember how much I envied Rudolph as a child and then realize how much I kind of dislike him as an adult. Well, not him exactly but what he and the song represent.
So here we have this reindeer with a very shiny nose. All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names. They never let poor Rudolph play in any reindeer games. OK, I totally get all this. Those with differences are barely tolerated in a society that worships sameness. Where there is tolerance it is often grudging and meanly given. I don't have a real positive view of the community ... I think it's full of bigots and mean people. The human equivilant of Rudolph ... would be treated with the same scorn and rejection, I'm sure of it.
I know you all think I'm being too harsh, but there it is. Up until here in the song, I'm OK. It's a song about bullies bullying someone different. It happens. Often. Acknowledging it is kind of cool, talking about it is even better. Reindeer with red noses get the poopy end of the social stick.
But then, because of one foggy Christmas eve, Santa came to say, "Rudolph with your nose so bright, won't you guide my sleigh tonight". Yeah, now Rudolph is like one of those cool kids with mutant powers who attend that 'special school' for future X men and women. Rudolph's difference SERVES A PURPOSE ... and Santa, like the teacher who hears kids being called 'retard' but can't be bothered to get off their ass and do something about it ... figures - hey I can USE this difference. It can get me out of a tight spot.
So Rudolph becomes beloved.
Well that's where it ends for me. Shit. Damn. Why couldn't Rudolph just be valued because he's Rudolph, red nose and all? Why couldn't Rudolph just be seen as an equal even though different? Why did Rudolph have to 'save the planet' just to get a friend or two?
Come on, if there's a kid in a wheelchair out there called Rudolph ... you can bet that he is wishing that somehow magically his nose would turn red and then ... all of the other kids would love him. But it won't and they won't.
Our cause is about the creation of a world of welcome for difference ... where everyone plays reindeer games.