Opinion

Brotherton: PC police go after Rudolph, holiday songs and other things we love

‘Tis the season to be jolly? There’s not a snowball’s chance of that happening, thanks to the usual season’s bleatings by the PC police.

Political correctness is out of control. We’re more concerned about the bullying of a cartoon reindeer (Rudolph) and the “predatory” ways of a man in a popular song than we are about the fact that the world is going to hell in a handbasket.

Radio stations in the U.S. and Canada have decreed that Frank Loesser’s 1944 song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” is offensive and promotes date rape. I support the message, efforts and determination of the #MeToo movement, but this goes #TooFar. It’s time to chill out!  

This is a song, people, and a witty one at that. Not everything has to be taken so literally and dissected word-by-word. The duet, in which the host, a male, tries to convince his female guest to stay the night because it’s cold outside and the trip home would be rough, is, to me, a classic. I always viewed the banter between the two as a clever flirtation and that the woman wanted to stay, but such behavior was frowned upon by a “good girl” in the 1940s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ut3jDxmXa2M

Partial lyrics, with the woman’s words in parentheses:

(I really can’t stay) But, baby, it’s cold outside

(I’ve got to go away) But, baby, it’s cold outside

(This evening has been) Been hoping that you’d drop in

(So very nice) I’ll hold your hands they’re just like ice

 

(My mother will start to worry) Beautiful, what’s your hurry

(My father will be pacing the floor) Listen to the fireplace roar

(So really I’d better scurry) Beautiful, please don’t hurry

(Well, maybe just half a drink more) Put some records on while I pour

 

(The neighbors might think) Baby, it’s bad out there

(Say what’s in this drink) No cabs to be had out there

(I wish I knew how) Your eyes are like starlight now

(To break this spell) I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell

 

(I ought to say no, no, no, sir) Mind if I move in closer

(At least I’m gonna say that I tried) What’s the sense of hurting my pride

(I really can’t stay) Baby, don’t hold out

[Both] Baby, it’s cold outside

 

To my ears, numerous rap songs and the gold-digger in Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby” are much more offensive.

Who do we go after next? Santa? All those cookies and milk left by kiddies have made him fat, with high cholesterol and clogged arteries. It might be wise for Santa to join a gym and ask his cardiologist if Crestor is right for him. Santa is probably a pervert, too (“He knows when you’ve been sleeping/He knows when you’re awake”), but does it mean we should demand “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” be banned?

Those poor Chipmunks are likely in danger, too, because the man (David Seville) who yells at Alvin in “Christmas Don’t Be Late” is a bad influence, a nasty, cultish Witch Doctor-lover who’s always chanting “Ooo eee, ooo ah ah/ting tang, walla walla, bing bang.” Guess we should ban that song as well.

Those horses in “Jingle Bell Rock” are being exploited and worked to death (“Giddy-up jingle horse, pick up your feet, Jingle around the clock”). You’d think the organization H.O.R.S.E. (Harness Oppression Resulting in Sick Equines) would come to their defense. And don’t get me started on those vertically challenged elves who work overtime in Santa’s sweatshop at the North Pole and have been denied their union-negotiated 10-minute break every three hours by bully bosses. Reindeer are forced to meet impossible deadlines, endure inhumane conditions with mandatory travel around the world. Work-life balance doesn’t exist for reindeer.

Therefore, all songs related to horses, elves and reindeer must be banned, for the good of society.

It’s crazy.

Even a great organization like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has lost its mind, wanting to change long-used expressions like “Bring home the bacon” to “Bring home the bagels,” “Kill two birds with one stone” to “Feed two birds with one scone” and “Beat a dead horse” to “Feed a fed horse.”

As for “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” keep your mitts off the beloved TV staple. The stop-motion animated feature is one of the greatest achievements in TV history. I watch it every year and marvel at its risk-taking and subtle social commentary, especially for 1964. Yes, Rudolph was bullied by his fellow bucks who wouldn’t let him join in reindeer games. Yes, his dad was a jerk for forcing him to wear that fake nose because his beak blinks like a blinking beacon. Yes, Hermey, who hated making toys, was ostracized for his looks and wanting to be a dentist. For those of us who were “different” or bullied by our peers, “Rudolph” celebrated nonconformity. We learned being different was a thing to be celebrated, not criticized.

Anyway, if you’re offended by something on radio or TV, turn the darned thing off. Yes, please speak your mind and make your opinions known. But don’t ruin the fun and happy memories for the rest of us. “Rudolph” and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” are OK in my book.

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