You know about Rudolph the Red-Noised Reindeer, don’t you? It’s an absolutely classic little nugget of popular culture. A cute and epic little song that works as a sequel to ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, the classic poem. It got a famous TV adaptation, and quite a few more non-famous ones.
Lately the song is getting some flak. They it promotes the idea that people won’t stop treating you like shit until you start being of use to them. That you need to acquire a convenient purpose to someone before they stop making fun of you. That they’ll only stop hating you when they can use you.
Doesn’t it seem rather strange, though, that we, as a species, can totally relate to this sour take on a wholesome story? Even the people who still think Rudolph has a good message about self-worth or learning to work with others can totally get why this piece of popular culture needs a good little jabbing.
How exactly can we have so many problems, so many disagreements, so many fucked up situations when we all want to….expose the nasty shit in wholesome shit?
I think the rage against the reindeer is a lot deeper than you think it is. It’s inside of that deep, wry, smiling anger, that things like vengeance and payback and comeuppance become possible for not just shrieking animals, but civilized adult humans as well.
Your heart can sense something a lot more disgusting than a lack of appreciation for someone or pretending to care about someone in the friendly antagonists of this tale, who only supported their anatomically unusual cohort when it became rather practical to sing his praises.
You can feel it in your fucking cheekbones. Something much smarter than hate, right? Something much more keen than a ability to detect bad behavior, right? Something much more beautiful and strong feeling than a need to hurt people, isn’t it? Something for which drastic actions feel as fair is it gets.
Something that makes you almost see red.
That state in which you can detect a person really starting to regret their actions without truly letting go of what made them do that in the first place.
That amber sensation in your diaphragm. That burning in your nose. The trembling of your wrists.
To be sure, you will do something, even as civilized as trying to destroy whatever that vibe is through the way you treat others, to try and fight that.
You have the ability to see people commit to real change, to learn from regret, and to get past their malice.
But inside of that is a warm feeling, a proud feeling, a sweet feeling, an interesting feeling, and you want….to break the neck of that feeling.
The undue blame on you still exists in heart of the apology giver.
The eagerness to poke fun at your innocence.
The need to make games out your flaws. The neglect for making a difference in their actions beyond the kind that comes from…..
childish appeals to act nicely to other people.
Like a fungus coming out of a fancy tree.
A form of growth that mocks that of your own.
Revenge always seems to find a way, somewhere, because, really…..it’s charged with the will to fight inner ugliness.
People giving value to their actions in a giddy and triumphant way is something you want to destroy. People claiming they’ve reconciled when they could do more is something you want to destroy. People who seem to celebrate the very nature of incidents leading to change are something you want to destroy.
Inside these moments, it’s like your nose shines red and chirps, involuntarily.
And someone who claimed to regret their mockery of you shows something condescending on their face, and you snap. Maybe viciously. Or perhaps more civilly.
You’ll do something to to and destroy that very dumb and ugly feeling of inner beauty.
And nothing, nothing, nothing for the rest of your life will make you ever feel like you came closer to being unjustified for whatever that thing was that you did……
until it does, perhaps.
And you tame yourself.
Feeling okay again, feeling kinder again. Smiling at the clouds again.
But then the story plays out the same way, in someone, somewhere.
The disaster just plays out again.
Because deep down, we are all good at smelling the odor of an egregious heart.
No matter what you did, you were witnessing what makes us so aggravating as humans, and fighting that in your own way.
My goal is to do for us to TAME ourselves for the first time in spite of this being case.
People give into the need for payback, mainly because…..accusations of being heartless and ignorant and selfish really aren’t that apt. Deep down, there’s a part of your that feels like you’re banking everything on destroying whatever it is that an innocent person would be right on fighting.
The excess, the exploitation, the recklessness, the smugness, the apathy, the neglect.
Everyone’s always fighting that somehow. Even in casual social interactions. Everyone’s always navigating around whatever that mysterious bullshitty vibe is.
If you want to know what makes people act insane, you only need to ask this: why to them, does it feel related to more ordinary behavior?
The constant fight to keep people from messing with you, from making rumors about you, from exploiting you, from mocking you, from belittling you.
People get called sick and malicious and heartless and then the volcano erupts.
The smile of bright-hearted cruelty comes into play.
People feel like the evolution of pin-headed fables in those moments.
And I really do believe the only way to stop that is for everyone to get a better grasp on themselves when their hearts feel the biggest.
And prevent themselves from doing the things that feel like the interesting, awesome, controversial, incredible, indescribable polar opposite of what a shitty person is.
Giving no one a reason to ever shine so terribly in response.
There is a way to not need incidents to inspire better behavior. There is a way to not need songs and stories, nor the eager subversions of them.
There is even a way to quell the need for revenge by daydreaming of someone, something, somewhere, destroying whatever that mysterious ugliness is. By pushing your craving for justice to a higher, broader level. That isn’t necessary to unfuck everything.
Maybe you’ll find it here. A method for identifying and restraining yourself and working around what feels incapable of being worked around.
For wrapping your head around others’ sense of positivity and purposefulness when they seem completely out of line.
That is what I offer you, that is my attempt at a story for the ages.
A way to not despise the mediocrity in the approval of others, but rather, guide their will for accommodation through the heavy snow.