Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks

RAW: Santa the Criminal

Illustration for article titled RAW: Santa the Criminal

In 2007, Pope of Discordianism Robert Anton Wilson reflected on a 1990 North Carolina case where a church put Santa Claus on trial for being a heathen mischief-maker.

They charged Mr. Claus, represented in court by a stuffed dummy, with all sorts of high crimes and misdemeanors. They charged him with paganism. They charged him with perjury for claiming to be Saint Nicholas. They even charged him with encouraging child abuse by appearing in whiskey ads. Worse yet, they found him guilty on all counts, for basically being a jolly old elf — i.e., a pagan god trying to steal Christmas from Christ.


In the article, Wilson performs the neat trick of a relatively short and tidy deep-dive into the history of the jolly old elf, in which he explores the icon's history as a deity in pre-historic cave paintings; as a bisexual figure who appears as both males and females in ancient Greek, British and Celtic mythology (I think he may mean trans-sexual); as a bear-god fertility symbol (what would Colbert say?); and incarnate in Charlie Chaplin and Hannibal Lector, among many other iterations. He also seems to have a healthy suspicion of Anthony Hopkins in general.

Let RAW illuminize you over at 10 Zen Monkeys.

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