~In which we think carefully and critically about the lyrics and story of Rudolph as portrayed in the famous Christmas song~
  1. 🎧"You know Dasher, and Dancer, and / Prancer, and Vixen, / Comet, and Cupid, and / Donder and Blitzen"🎧
  2. Don't assume, song! I do not know these animals one iota, actually. Literally the first I have heard of them ever in my life is via this song. And I don't think they appear in any other songs. They are not described really whatsoever other than by listing their names and then later on in the song we find out they are Santa's reindeer and not nice.
  3. Also: what kind of name is Donder? Really, Donder? That is not a very good name at all. Okay, I looked it up and on the Wikipedia it says that the original Dutch names were "Dunder and Blixem" which translates into "thunder and lightning" which I guess are kind of cool, descriptive names if you think about it.
  4. But then WTF is up with "Cupid"? This does not fit with all the other names which are actions or sky/weather-related. Cupid is a beautiful, naked winged boy with a bow and arrow. So that is the wrong image for a song about Christmas. Is Cupid the Reindeer albino? Or shaved/hairless? I would guess that is not an image the songwriter intended.
  5. While we're lingering on names, what is going on with Vixen? The Oxford English Dictionary defines "vixen" as either "a female fox" or as "a spirited and quarrelsome woman." Neither of which are true. It is not a fox, it is a reindeer. It is not a woman—quarrelsome or otherwise—it is a reindeer. Somehow this smacks as sexism, too, doesn't it??
  6. 🎧"But do you recall / The most famous reindeer of all?"🎧
  7. Of course I do *now*, but it is because of this very song that I "do recall" him. This world famous song. About Rudolph. He is literally the main character. This is backwards. It should say "This is a song about famous Rudolph, but do you remember the other mean reindeers names even? Dasher? Donder? Vixen? No, these don't ring a bell? Well. Shucks.
  8. 🎧"Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer"🎧
  9. Here begins what eventually becomes a very confusing and contradictory description of what exactly Rudolph's nose is and/or does. So it is red. Like red lips? Red like maraschino cherries? Like a red light bulb? Unfortunately, the song does not specify.
  10. 🎧"Had a very shiny nose"🎧
  11. Shiny. Okay, so shiny: Shiny can mean many different things. Back to the OED: 1) Full of light or brightness. Okay, that makes sense in the context of the Rudolph story. 2) Having a bright, polished or glistening surface. So like...reflect-y? Hmm. Or 3) Beaming/radiant. That ones makes sort of sense or maybe 4) Apparently excellent. Hm not sure.
  12. Because of what happens later in the song, I have to think that the author meant something like "shine-y" as in "shines like a flashlight" or "shines like a light house", not like "check out my shiny [polished/glistening] jingle bells!"
  13. 🎧"and if you ever saw it"🎧
  14. Sort of rhetorical, isn't it? No one has ever seen it. Santa is secretive and magical and comes around on Christmas Eve when everyone is asleep and no one ever sees it but okay.
  15. 🎧"you would even say it glows."🎧
  16. Here now is another troublesome word. "Glows". Like a glowworm? Because that is not very bright at all. Or like a little red LED light? Also not bright, especially if it is the size of a reindeer nose. Like a glow-stick? Can't see this helping with night flying either. The OED defines "glow" as "emit bright light and heat without flame."
  17. So is Rudolph's nose intensely hot as well? We are not told that it is hot. I guess we can suspend our disbelieve for now and just go with that it is incandescing with red light with no apparent heat source, as if by Christmas magic.
  18. 🎧"All of the other reindeer / used to laugh and call him names"🎧
  19. Who did? Dasher, and Dancer, and / Prancer, and Vixen, / Comet, and Cupid, and / Donder and Blitzen did? Because...that's bullying and mean and awful. I refuse to believe that beautiful, benevolent Santa Claus would have in his employ a bunch of asshole, intolerant deer that make fun of a new deer that is in any way different.
  20. So let's all, please, assume that the bully deer who...
  21. 🎧"[They] never let poor Rudolph / play in any reindeer games"🎧
  22. ...are some other anonymous deer on the deer school playground bullying Rudolph. But even that is not terribly satisfactory because this whole story takes place in the wondrous, nirvana-like, Heaven-like Christmasland of The North Pole where it is very hard to imagine anyone or anything bullying any other one or any other thing. Am I right?
  23. 🎧"Then one foggy Christmas eve / Santa came to say: / 'Rudolph with your nose so bright, / won't you guide my sleigh tonight?'"🎧
  24. First of all, it seems to me that Santa is a little late in making contingency plans for foggy nights. Really, is Rudolph his only option? No magical sleigh fog lights or anything? But okay, so it's foggy. So that means that Rudolph's nose is like a fog light? That is hard to believe. A dim, red fog light nose would not help Santa's sitch AT ALL.
  25. Okay, maybe we assume it is mega, mega bright nose. But wouldn't that blind the f*ck out of Rudolph and all the other reindeer and Santa and make Santa crash and overturn the sleigh and dump all of everyone's presents into the deep, blue sea? Unless Rudolph's nose is not glowing ALL OVER but like directionally glowing? Like a theatrical spotlight?
  26. So Rudolph has a super high lumen, unidirectional, spotlight, fog-piercing nose lamp. I think. Oh, and it gives off no heat and does not give Rudolph third-degree burns on his face.
  27. Wait and foggy where? Over the entire Earth? So like a world-consuming fog? So why not just FLY HIGHER, SANTA. FOG PROBLEM SOLVED.
  28. Sidebar: If this is, in fact, what Rudolph has, he should totally use his nose to temporarily blind any reindeer that "laugh[s] and call him names" and, while they are blinded, hoof them hard right on their reindeer private parts. Anyway, this is one possible strategy, if Rudolph was ever interested in revenge on the bully deer.
  29. 🎧"Then all the reindeer loved him / as they shouted out with glee, 'Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, / you'll go down in history!'"🎧
  30. But...go down in history for what? For leading the sleigh just that one night? With his fog-piercing spotlight nose? Because the song doesn't say he gets to lead the sleigh forever and ever after that, just that he led the sleigh one time when it was foggy and Santa was in a bind to find a quick fix to his "safe journey through the sky" issue.
  31. Probably after that Christmas Eve, Santa installed some heavy duty fog lamps on the sleigh and Rudolph went back to the reindeer school yard and kept getting bullied by the mean bully deer and had to go to counseling and the rest of his life was not miraculous at all and he put on weight and got a job as a middle-manager in one of the many
  32. North Pole toy factories and died in relative obscurity in upper middle age. And when you really think about it, a glowing nose is not that miraculous. More miraculous is flying reindeer. Or how flying reindeer can pull a fully-loaded sleigh through the sky.
  33. Or really the most miraculous thing is how a tiny little cloth sack can hold 7.215 billion presents. That is physically impossible unless the bag is the size of the United States. And if the cloth sack is that enormous, I hardly see how even nine magic reindeer could haul that across the sky and—even if they could—
  34. it would block out all the stars and the moon in the heavens as it passed overhead and certainly someone somewhere would have snapped a photograph of that by now and it would be on the front page of the newspaper: "147,000 MILE LONG SACK APPEARS OVER WESTERN HEMIPHERE" or on Instagram with the hashtag #BigSack.
  35. Also: one final note: Why would all of the bully reindeer suddenly love Rudolph at the end? So like Rudolph has this amazing power. And he is tiny and an underdog and yet Santa picks him to lead the sleigh anyway over them. This would make the bully reindeer VERY jealous. So jealous that, as soon as Rudolph returned from his Christmas Eve journey,
  36. he would have to grow eyes in the back of his head because the bully reindeer would find him and ambush him and trample him and hoof the crap out of him and try to stomp his red nose off and Rudolph would end up in the hospital with broken bones and many lacerations and profound sadness and a disfigured face with no nose on it.
  37. And then there would be a sad, country song about Rudolph.
  38. And maybe that song would have gotten famous instead.
  39. Merry Christmas!
  40. 🔴