Friday, December 04, 2015

A Santa-less Santa Claus Parade

Although so many dispatches from small-town America tend to involve bewildering examples of redneck insensitivity, a report on excessive political correctness in the American Mid-West on CBC Radio 1's satirical This Is That program (whose by-line is "Canada: North America's Third Largest Country") cheered up my day no end.
It involves an interview with a councillor from Dunlop, Wisconsin ("the inclusive jewel of the Mid-West"), which has just announced that its historic Santa Claus Parade this year will exclude the politically incorrect, offensive and divisive figure of ... Santa.
As the councillor explains, with admirable seriousness: "The idea of Santa may offend some people, so we felt it best to have a Santa-less parade this year ... this is an event that ultimately should offend nobody." The traditional portrayal of Santa as an older man can be seen as both sexist and ageist ("we have received letters"), and Dunlop is looking to replace the old guy with a different character carrying less political baggage. Consideration is being given to a large, sexless, ageless snowflake, or perhaps "a large circular shape with eyes and a mouth and arms and legs".
It will, however, still be called the Santa Claus Parade ("It would be too confusing to call it something else.") The good councillor stresses at the end of the interview that, "It's still the Santa Claus Parade, with just the subtle change that the actual Santa Claus will not be in it, so please don't get confused by that."
As with some other This Is That items (like the one on the horseless RCMP Musical Ride from earlier this year, for example), it is a mite difficult to tell whether the interviewers and interviewees are being completely serious or whether their tongue is held firmly in cheek (it is in fact, completely fictional/satirical, although you'd be hard-pressed to know it). Either way, the interview is a hoot and I strongly suggest that you check out the audio online.

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