Editorial #10: Bah, humbug! I don’t know which is worse: the drowning commercialism of Christmas, or the cloyingly pedantic lectures on the “true meaning” of Christmas. The great thing about Christmas though, is that it means so many things. Christmas shares its roots with pagan feasts celebrating the harvests and to prepare for the gloomy winter to come, as well as celebrating the birth of Christ. Christmas can historically stand for everything from drunken orgies to candlelit church services (I have, unfortunately, yet to hear of a drunken orgy in a candlelit church).
However, the “true” meaning of Christmas now is quite obviously crass commercialism. And, as always, Hollywood is one of the best examples of this. Two films released in the last couple weeks show the contradictions that come up when the Christmas message and commercialism come face to face. The two movies are “The Grinch,” and “102 Dalmations.” “The Grinch” is ostensibly a movie protesting the consumerism that surrounds Christmas, and yet there has been a huge marketing push to sell Grinch related items. Doesn’t anyone see the problem in buying an anti-commericial toy for their kids?
The bigger criminal is “102 Dalmations” though. In the first film, Cruella DeVille wanted to kill the puppies and make coats out of them. This is, of course, wrong. However, in marketing “102 Dalmations,” Disney has been pushing Dalmations merchandise, including (wait for it...) Dalmation coats. Not real dalmation, but close enough to seem dalmation, thus promoting DeVille’s evil.
Am I the only one who finds this messed up?
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