The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #76485 Message #1359351
Posted By: NightWing
17-Dec-04 - 12:11 AM
Thread Name: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
Subject: RE: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
This is actually the second reference to Pelznichol I've heard in the past few days. Last Saturday evening the "Cheap Suit Santas" invaded downtowns of cities around the world. Be sure to see the pic about halfway down the page. *BG*
A sociologist pointed out the 'dark Santa' tradition from America and said that it's only been a hundred years or so that Santa has been the jolly old elf that you and I know.
Professor Stephen Nissenbaum, author of the book The Battle for Christmas, points out, the Cheap Suit Santas are actually carrying on a very long tradition of prankster Santas. The domestic, jovial Santa popularized by The Night Before Christmas and a million toy commercials was widely rivaled in the 1800s by raucous, "counter-versions" of Santa Claus that went around playing tricks. One such version was the Belsnickle's (in German, "Santa as a beast"), masked Santas who would roam the cities of Pennsylvania barging into people's houses, terrorizing children and singing drunken Christmas carols. In the Christmas Blues, songs popularized among African Americans in the early 1900s, Santa was also portrayed as a horny old goat who sneaked into houses, had sex with the mothers, and bribed kids with presents to keep their mouths shut. Naughty Santas, Nissenbaum explains, have become increasingly marginalized, "but it's the kind of thing that will never disappear, because the official culture is always going to get mocked at its most sacred places," he says. "It's hard not to think of Santa as a dirty old man, especially with today's concern about child abuse. Santa Claus is a figure who dangles kids on his lap - it's got to give rise to subversive thoughts."
Quoted from here. Sorry, couldn't find the original web site, but I saw it last week.