Hating On Rudolph – It’s A Thing On The Internet
The difference between 1964 and 2018 is not one that should be measured by just years. In my lifetime, which is basically that time frame plus two years I have seen the hearts and minds of Americans manipulated in some pretty interesting ways. But as much as I believe that change is inevitable I never thought the perception one of the most beloved Christmas TV specials of my generation would be so despised by so many of the current generation.
The TV special in question is the 1964 Rankin/Bass production of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. It's a classic. There are Burl Ives and a dentist and a monster and what? A lot of bullying?
What hurts the most about this is when you strip away the emotional attachment to the story and just look at the facts. Poor old Rudolph was really a victim of a very mean peer group, a nonsupportive parental unit, and gasp, even Santa piled on just a little.
Just look at some of these observations that were made about the iconic show on Twitter.
I always thought it was just a neat Christmas story about how being different shouldn't stop you from living out your dreams. Sure, there will be some setbacks and every now and then the breaks won't go your way. But, if you find a good friend or two and learn to rely on your strengths you too will be needed, necessary, and the kind of person the people would love to call a friend.
But that's just the kind of thinking you'd expect from someone who grew up in the '60s and early '70s. While we harp about growing up so tough, the fact is we really had it pretty easy.
Many of us grew up in a two-parent household where Mom stayed at home and took care of the kids. We were actually pretty sheltered compared to what most kids have seen and heard and been exposed to in the generation that grew up in the '90s or 2000s.
So, I get it. I see why you might say or think those kinds of thoughts about Rudolph. But, if you can just watch the show in the spirit it was intended to be enjoyed then maybe you can see it's just a funky little Christmas tale that was written in a time that no longer exists.
I am not saying it's right. I am not saying it's wrong. All I am saying is that I will watch it for the nostalgia and whimsy and not for the real world definitions that will never fit in a world of animation and imagination.